What To Do With Rats Caught In Live Traps

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Dealing with rats that have made themselves at home in your house can be a frustrating problem. You might try utilizing live catch traps that will allow you to humanely deal with your unwanted visitors. But do you know what to do with rats caught in live traps?

The best practice for removing a rat from a live trap is to place a blanket or towel over the trap to keep the rats calm and then release the rats a minimum of 100 yards from your property.

Hopefully, this method is enough to solve your problem but sometimes, removing rats is more complicated than that. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about what to do with rats caught in live traps.

How To Dispose of a Live Rat

If you have a rat pest control problem, installing live traps for rats around your home may help. When you have caught a rat and need to release it, the most important thing to remember is to be safe above everything else. Rats can become aggressive when afraid or feeling threatened. Be sure to wear gloves to ensure the rat does not hurt or transmit any diseases to you.

To release a rat caught in a live trap, follow these steps:

  1. Put on a pair of thick gloves to keep you safe from the rat’s scratches and bites.
  2. Place a towel or blanket over the cage to keep the rat as calm as possible.
  3. Remove the cage to a secluded area that is a minimum of 100 yards from your home or any other house.
  4. Place the cage on a flat surface, open the door, and stand back.
  5. Wait as long as necessary for the rat to exit the cage and run off. You can then collect the trap and go home.

What To Do When a Rat Is Stuck in a Trap

If you successfully trap a rat, you will need to decide what you want to do with it. But how do you dispose of a rat in a live trap? Read through the options below:

  • Go to the vet. If the rat is injured but still alive, you could take it to a vet. The vet would be able to provide the rat with the necessary medical attention so that you could release it at a later point. However, this process might be expensive, and you might have to search to find a vet that will see rodents.
  • Release the rat. If you want to avoid expensive vet bills but don’t love the concept of killing the rat, then you could immediately take it into the wild and release it. Be sure to employ the same safety measures and procedures mentioned earlier in this article.
  • Kill the rat. If you don’t have an ideal area to release the rat, then killing it in a humane way is another good option. You want to kill the rat in a way that is safe for you and as painless for the rat as possible. Read the next section of this article to learn more about humane killing methods.
  • Call the professionals. If handling or killing a live rat makes you uncomfortable, then getting in touch with a company that offers professional pest control services is your best option. Seek a company with the experience and tools necessary to help you remove all kinds of pests from your home.
  • Take the rat to a humane society. Many local animal shelters and humane societies will take a live rat. They will then be able to handle the next steps humanely. Please do some research and contact your local shelter to learn more about their specific policy.

How to Humanely Kill a Rat Stuck in a Trap

Sometimes a rat may survive and become stuck in a trap intended to kill.

If this happens, you can use various techniques to kill the rat and cause minimal suffering humanely:

  • Breaking the neck or decapitating
  • A hard stomp on the rat
  • Hitting the rat with a hammer or other heavy tool

To break the neck, or otherwise, whack the rat:

  1. Put on protective equipment and move the rat to a bag or similar, flexible container.
  2. Hold the bag in the air and make a precise swing using a heavy tool.
  3. Try to be as accurate as possible so that the rat does not suffer unnecessarily.

If you are stomping on the rat, you can leave it in the trap. Be sure to wear a heavy boot to make the process simpler and safer.

None of these techniques are entirely humane or painless for the rat. The best approach to kill a rat with a trap is to ensure you have purchased a high-quality, appropriately sized snap trap so that it will immediately break the rodent’s neck the moment its head makes contact with the bait.

Best Way To Get Rid of a Trapped Rat

What do you do with a captured rat, and will a rat find its way back? Options for removing the rat include:

  • Release it into the wild
  • Surrender it to a local shelter
  • Kill it humanely

These options can be effective and don’t require anything more than a little extra safety equipment and effort.

However, none of these options are entirely safe, and you are increasing the risk of injuries to yourself or others if you employ these methods. Consider calling a pest control company and speaking with a trained professional for the safest approach. 


Follow these guidelines if you need to establish what to do with a rat caught in a live trap. However, our experts at Hama Pest Control have years of experience capturing and exterminating rat infestations and can assist. 

If you notice any telltale signs of rats, consider calling us. These signs include seeing droppings, unexplained odors, dirty surfaces, scratching sounds, nests, rat footprints, food or food packaging that has been tampered with, or gnaw marks on your walls, floors, and other surfaces.

Hama Pest Control will come out to handle your rat infestation and help you understand how to keep rats away from your home.

Jake Garza
Jake Garza
Jake is the founder of Hama Pest Control, the preferred choice for pest removal and extermination in the Greater Toronto Area. With over thirty years of experience, Jake prides himself in bringing quality, knowledge, and care to Hama Pest Control's customers.
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