Rats are often underhyped for their abilities. They are clever, so much so that you can’t catch them with just any food. However, in this post, you will find out the best rats favorite food for trap. When the food is attractive enough, it increases the chance of catching the critters.

Understand that trapping rodents is similar to a science project, and they often respond differently. What makes it tricky is that even rats from the same group can react differently to your efforts to control them. That is to say that if peanut butter works well for one rat group, the rats in another area might prefer something else.


Nevertheless, rats aren’t as picky, in fact, they are opportunistic feeders, and there are many foods they are attracted to. When rats are in the wild, they are just trying to survive, so unless your bait is really unappetizing to them, they might go for it.

Now, let’s talk about the different rats favorite food for trap that attracts them, how well they work, and the best way to use them to catch as many rats as possible.

Rats Favorite Food for Trap

Rats Favorite Food for Trap


While rats can eat anything, including roaches, they have a priority. So, in this section, you will know the top rats’ favorite food for trap.

1. Peanut Butter (Rats Favorite Food for Trap)

The average home uses peanut butter a lot to catch rats. Usually, the advantage of peanut butter is that rats can smell it from up to 10 miles away. Peanut butter is easily the best rats favorite food for trap for many reasons.

  • it’s sticky;
  • sweet; and
  • has a strong smell that rats find irresistible.

Rats do love peanut butter, and if given the chance, they will attempt to lick it all up. The problem with peanut butter is how you make it stay in place. The solution is to attach seeds (which rats also like) and other solid snacks. However, if a rat can lick the trap clean without setting off the trap, it is due to not setting the trap well.


Experts often suggest using the peanut butter bait by combining it with a bit of peanut butter with another bait. You could use it to stick seeds in place.

How about Reese’s cups? Well, they are known for their mix of chocolate and peanut butter, but since the peanut butter is sealed in chocolate, you’re mostly using chocolate as bait. While it can attract rats, it doesn’t fully use the power of peanut butter, which works best when it’s exposed to the air.

You could slice a Reese’s cup in half, but it’s likely better to use peanut butter from a jar. That’s the bait rats really seem to desire.

2. Tootsie Rolls

You probably enjoy these sweet, chewy American treats. It turns out that rats also like chocolate, and it’s a key ingredient in a Tootsie Roll. This bait is a bit similar to cheese because it gives rats something substantial to chew on.

Roll your Tootsie Roll bait into a sticky ball and let the rats work on it for a while. The longer they are busy with the bait on the trap, the more likely it is to snap shut. If a rat can find a way to grab some of the rolls without any problem, it will give it a try.

Set up your traps with tootsie roll bait that can’t be taken away easily. Using glue can work well, and when a rat chews on the tootsie roll, it’s likely to trigger the trap. Note that cheese and tootsie rolls may not be the rat’s absolute favorite foods.

3. Seeds

If you have seed blends that contain a lot of filler seeds and grains (millet, milo, or sorghum), that’s rats favorite food for trap. Seeds might be associated with birds, but rats won’t say no to them.

Also, Sunflower seeds are a popular choice for rat trapping. They’re often used as a test to check if you have a pest problem. Just scatter some tasty, extra-salty sunflower seeds on your floor overnight.

If you wake up and find the seeds have been moved or are gone, you have got a pest issue. Seriously, rats find seeds very tempting, usually more than the first two baits on our list. However, seeds are small and can be taken away easily by a rat, so they might grab them and escape before the trap can snap shut.

You can prevent their escape though. Make the seeds work better as bait by gluing them down. Place a trail of loose seeds leading to the part of the trap where it’s most likely to snap shut. Then, on that trigger spot, use glue to create a tempting pile of tasty seeds for the rat to tug on. You can guess what comes next – caught rats.

But there’s a drawback with seeds – they don’t have a strong smell like some other baits. This means traps baited with seeds might take longer to catch rats because the rats need to locate them first.

4. Cheese

Do not be surprised to find cheese on this list of rats favorite food for trap. Many experts often associate cheese with rats, like peanut butter and jelly. Speaking of which, you can use peanut butter and jelly as bait too. But for cheese, you want something smelly and tasty. Since it’s bait, that strong smell is what will attract those unsuspecting critters into your trap.

When you watch videos of rat trapping, you will notice that if rats can grab their food and run, they’ll stash it away for later.

Cheese is helpful here because big pieces can’t be easily carried off, and rats can’t digest them right away. If you see nibble marks on your cheese bait, it means the rats had a snack and left. But if your trap is set up so the rat has to chew the cheese to trigger it, you’re on the right track.

Rats can easily snatch cheese from a trap and dash away, mocking your efforts. To stop this, melt the cheese just a bit, so it’s soft but still solid. Then, spread it all around the trap’s trigger area. Give it only a few hours until you wake up to the sound of traps snapping shut on rats in your home.

5. Bacon

Tasty! Yes, you can say that again. The truth is that rats will risk it to get bacon in their belly. It does top rats’ menu of irresistible food. A rat can smell bacon from far away and will get curious about it. So, use bacon as bait, just like other options, and you will catch rats.

If you have difficulties keeping the bacon in place, use glue to stick it down. This way, rats can’t take it off, giving the trap a good chance to catch them. But keep in mind that bacon is more expensive than the other baits we’ve mentioned.

You should know that the meat can spoil over time, which means you might need to spend more time preparing and reloading the trap if the rats don’t go for the bacon immediately.

What Food is Irresistible to Rats?

What Food is Irresistible to Rats

Rats eat a lot during their short lives. It’s quite surprising that a rat’s stomach is only about half the size of a human thumb, given all the nibbling and gnawing they do. Female rats weigh around 225 grams, while males can reach up to 267 grams, allowing them to consume about 15 to 20 grams of food each day.

So, what food is irresistible to rats? A variety of edibles!

1. Rodents are big fans of nuts

Whether it’s peanuts, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts. Almost any nut can be a satisfying meal for rats and mice because they are rich in protein and energy.

That’s why some rat trap manufacturers use the scent of peanut butter on pre-baited traps, which works for rats. The enticing aroma of peanut butter lures them in and helps you catch these pesky critters.

2. Garbage scraps and trash

These are treasure troves for rats and mice. That’s why New York City Health advises homeowners to keep rats out of a food service establishment through proper garbage management, maintenance, and pest proofing.

They see value in the things humans discard, and all sorts of food become their top picks during their dumpster diving adventures. Bread, cheese, meat, fruits, and vegetables that people throw away become irresistible feasts for these rodents.

3. Food and animal byproducts

Rodents aren’t picky eaters; they’ll even munch on things that aren’t meant for consumption, like worn clothes and leather.

When they’re hungry, just the scent or taste resembling food can tempt them to take a little nibble. And if the smell or taste is strong, they might even go ahead and have a full meal, especially when they’re in dire need of food.

4. Rats and mice love to eat grains and seeds

Whether they find grains and seeds stored for later or still attached to plants – this food is irresistible to rats. On farms, they’re drawn to grain storage bins and fields before harvest. In suburban areas, they might go after delicious seeds like oats in your pantry, flowerbed, or garden.

Rats can also get into bird seed containers, sneak into sheds where you store grass seed, or explore cabinets for unprotected cooking and baking ingredients.

5. Pet Food

What’s suitable for your dog or cat is also enticing for the rats and mice in your area. They won’t stick to just cat and dog food; they’ll gladly explore anything you feed to other animals, such as grains, seeds, hay, fish food, and more.

6. Rodents absolutely adore fruits and berries

They top the list of their favorite food irresistible to rats. In the wild, rats and mice never miss a chance to munch on these delicious treats.

So, if you have raspberry and blackberry bushes, or apple and pear trees around, consider them like magnets for these critters. When uneaten fruits and berries are left to rot on the plants or in uncovered trash cans, their enticing smell and sweetness draw these rodents in. Unfortunately, this attraction can eventually lead to infestations in residential areas.

7. Meat

Meat as food is irresistible to rats. While mice species prefer seeds, grains, and fruits, some are omnivorous and will eat meat if it’s available. However, rats are particularly fond of meat and will eat various kinds of spoiled fish, poultry, and red meat. They usually find this meat in places like dumpsters, trash cans, or even from roadkill.

It’s important to note that rats and mice don’t actively hunt for meat; they just eat whatever meat they come across.

8. Plants

Plants? Yes, rats eat plants. Rodents like rats feed on the plants around them, so they will come after your vegetable garden. Even the larger plants may be targeted by bigger rodents, but rats and mice will happily munch on almost anything they can find. They have a diverse diet, nibbling on grass, weeds, small twigs, bits of bark, and even plant seeds.

9. Salty and sweet food

Yes, salty or sweet food is irresistible to rats. They are really drawn to salty and sweet treats, and just can’t resist these tasty snacks, whether they find them in food or non-food sources.

Things like jerky, gumdrops, and chocolate are particularly tempting for mice because of their high sugar and protein levels.

Steps to Get Rid of Rats

What food are rats most attracted to

Having knowns what food is irresistible to rats, you also want to keep them away from your home. Fortunately, there are several options to help you get rid of rat problems ASAP!

  1. High-Tech Solutions: Electronic and Ultrasonic Traps

    • Electronic Traps. Get an electronic mouse trap that uses smart circuit technology for a quick and humane solution. Such should deploy a high-voltage shock to eliminate rats in your home.
    • Ultrasonic Repellents. With rodent sonic repellents, you can deter rats using high-frequency sound waves inaudible to humans and non-rodent pets. Say goodbye to infestations and create an unwelcome environment for pests! It works by using sound to keep rats at bay.
  2. Environmentally Friendly and Humane Options

    • Use Scents. Buy a scent-based rodent repeller pack filled with peppermint oil-infused granules that rats can’t tolerate. Place the sachets in enclosed spaces, and the strong minty scent will get rid of rats from your property.
    • Innovative Live Traps. Consider a live rat trap designed to catch multiple rats without harming them. This enables easy release in a more suitable location. You can even try making a bucket rat trap yourself to catch live rats to be released later.
  3. Hygienic and Convenient Trapping Solutions

    • Clean Traps. For less of a mess, you want a clean capture trap that is hygienic and offers a convenient trapping solution. Catch rats and simply dispose of the entire trap – no mess, no fuss. Then what you need is a live catch trap.

For additional ideas, here are some potential products you can get to solve your rat problem:

  1. Motion-activated Sprinklers: Pests can be deterred from your garden or lawn using motion-activated sprinklers. These devices work by sensing movement and then spraying a burst of water, scaring away any intruders.
  2. Bio-Repellents: Develop products that use biological elements, like predator scents or pheromones, to repel pests.
  3. Heat-Activated Barriers: Devices that generate heat or a physical barrier to prevent pests from entering a space.

Here’s a comparison table for your products:

Product NameTypeEffectivenessSafety
Scent-Based TrapsScentHighHigh
Tin Cat Mouse TrapTrapMediumMedium
Kill & Seal TrapTrapHighHigh
Electronic TrapElectronicHighHigh
Pest Chaser TrapUltrasonicMediumHigh

Which food smell attracts rats


This conclusion is a bit lengthy but you need to read it. The bait you choose is crucial, but it’s equally important to consider the type of trap you’re using.

Peanut butter is the best, rats favorite food for trap, but it might not always be effective, especially with certain trap designs. For instance, rats can often lick the peanut butter without triggering the trap.

A combination of chocolate and peanut butter, such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, is highly attractive to rodents. The aroma can draw them from a distance. You can cut Reese’s Mini-Bites in half, heat them slightly to soften the chocolate, place them on the trap trigger, and let them cool. This bonds the bait to the trigger, making it harder for rodents to just lick it off without setting off the trap.

Live catch traps are effective for both rats. Rats, being intelligent, often observe other rats and learn from their actions. If they see a rat safely eating from a live trap without harm, they’re more likely to approach it themselves.

Rats have a “new-object-phobia,” meaning they are wary of new objects in their environment. It might take some time for them to get comfortable with a trap, so patience is key here.

Read alsoWhat Food Kills Rats Instantly? 11+ Recommendations


  • Bird Feeders Bird Feeders and Rats and Rats: What You Need to Know. Worthington
  • Debunking the Myth: Do Mice Really Love Cheese? The Science Times

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