The Top Three Rat Zappers & Traps

Trapped & zapped rat

Rats in the home are a problem. It isn’t just a case of dealing with larger versions of mice; rats have their own set of difficulties for humans, and they need to be dealt with appropriately. What will work for mice won’t necessarily work for a rat. Our favorite of all the rat traps is the Rat Zapper Ultra. It retails around the $59 mark, and it is highly efficient at trapping rats in the home. Below, we have written a very thorough review of the Rat Zapper.

If you feel you need something that costs a bit less, then you should read our two other review recommendations. We think they are the best budget rat traps and cages available, though one is a humane trap. These are shorter reviews, but they highlight the main features and many of the benefits. We just haven’t gone into as much detail on these reviews as the main one. We felt it was necessary though to offer a more rounded review package on the best zappers and traps at various price ranges, and we hope this helps you to make the right decision.

NOTE: You can go straight to any part of this review by clicking the links in the Table of Contents below.

Table of Contents

What should you look for in rat a zapper?

#1 – Our Top Choice – The Rat Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap RZU001-4

#2 – Our Second Choice – The Havahart 1082 Easy Set Small 1 Door Live Rat Trap

#3 – Our Third Choice – Victor Rat Traps

Before we get into all the details of the Rat Zapper, we need to ask this question:

What should you look for in rat zapper?

Everyone is likely to have a different opinion, but these are the features and benefits I wanted to see:

1.    Quick and efficient disposal of rats.

2.    Ability to cope with larger rats, as well as smaller rats and mice.

3.    No blood, gore or mess.

4.    Easy disposal of dead rats without the need to touch the bodies.

5.    Easy and safe to use.

6.    A remote monitoring option, so the zapper can be placed in awkward, difficult to get at places, but still monitored easily.

7.    Durable and long lasting construction.

#1 – Our Top Choice – The Rat Zapper Ultra Rodent Trap RZU001-4

If you’re like me, the idea of rats in the home will make you shudder. That’s why I need a trap that will deliver a deadly electric shock instantly to the rodents, to kill them without suffering on their part. I certainly don’t want injured rats roaming around my home, and I don’t want to hear or see them in that state either. I want them gone – fast! The Rat Zapper Ultra Electronic Rat Trap (#ad) does exactly that, every time.

It’s so powerful that the rat never knows what hit it. And if a mouse ventures in, it really gets zapped hard. There are no half measures. Disposing of rodents is very quick and easy too, and you never have to touch the dead bodies either. The unit runs on 4 “D” batteries. It tells you when a kill has been made, and it will tell you when you need to change the batteries too.

Preparing the Rat Zapper is ultra easy too. You just need to make sure it’s switched off, and then bait the trap with ordinary pet food, something strong smelling and tasty works best, place the trap where the most rat activity can be seen, and switch on. After that it’s simply a case of waiting for the red light to start blinking to tell you a kill has been made. Then you simply empty the trap, without any need to touch the dead rat, re-bait and place the trap, all ready for the next one.

What makes this Rat Zapper so efficient?

I suppose I’d rather the rats just went away, but in my experience, it’s never that simple. The best way to get rid of rats in your home is to use one of the many rat zapper products, and I have found the RZU001-4 Ultra to be the most efficient one yet. I don’t want the rats to be stunned, or to suffer with a device that just singes them repeatedly while they are desperately trying to escape. I want the electric shock, the zapper produces, to be an instant deadly shock – every time.

This trap is designed to kill large rats. That means it can easily cope with the average sized rat. The manufacturer claims it is 100% efficient, meaning it will kill the rat each and every time. I like that, as just injuring a rat means it will crawl into a tiny out of the way space, usually somewhere behind a wall, to recover. If it then dies there – well, you can imagine how unpleasant that will be, at least until the terrible smell finally fades away.

You have to realize that the efficiency rating of a rat trap is one thing, but if you don’t maximize that potential, it won’t work as efficiently as it could. If, for example, the rats are gorging on food from elsewhere in your house, why would they bother crawling into a trap to get food? You have to near starve the rats and other rodents, so they need to get food. Then when they come across a trap that has a wonderful food aroma, they will willingly crawl inside and get zapped. Do this properly, and the efficiency of the trap will increase a lot.

How does the RZU001-4 Rat Zapper work?

The Rat Zapper is battery operated, yet it delivers a potent deadly shock to rats, much more than you would expect from a few batteries. Just four alkaline “D” cell batteries are all it needs, and they can deliver the same potent electric shock to 60 rats on average, before you will need to change them. I feel that 60 rats disposed of for the cost of four batteries is a pretty good deal.

The rat has to enter one end of the trap. It will do this because it will smell the food at the other end. However, before the rat can get to the food, the rat will trigger an infrared mechanism that will deliver a deadly shock, reputed to be some 8,000 volts, which will kill it instantly.

It is best to keep the batteries fresh, so replace them regularly. However, while the used batteries may not have the power to operate the rat zapper to its full potential, they can still operate other battery operated devices. The manufactures say this: “When your batteries are no longer powerful enough for Rat Zapper, don’t throw those batteries away just yet. There is usually plenty of juice to run other devices that require less energy such as flashlights, remote controls, clocks, timers, etc.”

How do you empty and clean the Rat Zapper?

You can easily dispose of a dead rat by simply holding the Rat Zapper in such a way so that the dead rat slides out of the trap and into a trash bag. You will never need to actually touch the dead rodent. You shouldn’t ever touch a rat or mouse anyway, as they can spread disease, or the parasites on them can.

Follow these five steps for the best results in emptying and cleaning the Ultra Rat Trap RZU001-4:

Emptying the rat zapper
  1. Always ensure the rat zapper is switched off before handling the trap, either for dead rat disposable, or for cleaning the unit.
  2. Always wear disposable gloves for your own personal safety when handling the trap to dispose of a dead rat, as rats, and the parasites they have, can carry diseases.
  3. Wear disposable gloves so you don’t transfer a human smell to the trap as rats will be wary if they smell you on the trap, so never handle the trap directly.
  4. Clean the zapper with a damp cloth, while wearing gloves, of course.
  5. Don’t use soaps or detergents, never spray anything on to it, and keep the cloth just damp, and not wet.

Our Favorite Features

Some of our favorite features of the Rat Zapper Ultra RZU001-4 (#ad) include:

  • It has a large rat chamber to cope with the largest rats you are likely to encounter in your home.
  • It is very easy to use and clean.
  • It can kill up to 60 rats from one set of batteries.
  • Rats are killed instantly from a very powerful electric shock.
  • It uses infrared technology to detect the presence of a rat or mouse in the kill chamber.
  • It will easily kill mice too.
  • No poisons to cause danger to children or pets.
  • It kills cleanly with no blood or gore.
  • You don’t ever have to handle the dead rat.

What do customers of the RZU001-4 Rat Trap think of it?

One of the most important features of the modern online marketplace is user feedback. It lets ordinary people who are thinking of buying a product hear what other customers think. They can get to know the good, the bad and the ugly from people who have actually used the product, and either liked it or hated it.

The RZU001 Rat Zapper has received mainly good user comments. In Amazon, for example, there are 549 customer reviews and 47 answered questions, at the time of writing, and they have scored this product a very good 4.1 out of 5 stars on average.

Some of the features that others liked included:

  • It uses ‘D’ size batteries that last much longer than the ‘AA’ used in other products.
  • Very easy clean up. Just dump the body out and restart it.
  • The animal doesn’t suffer – death is instant.
  • The red light lets you know when to empty the trap. It’s a dream to use and much cheaper than bringing in a pest control company.
  • When a rat goes into the zapper, it does not survive to fight another day.
  • Disposal is so simple, hold the top and carry to trash can and tilt. Rodent falls out into the trash.
  • Kills so fast because there is no faeces or urine left in the trap.
  • Disposal is easy and you don’t ever have to touch the rat.
  • You can have the trap baited, re-armed and in place within minutes.
  • It delivers death as humanely as it can be delivered.

There were a few negatives also mentioned about the RZU001 Rat Zapper:

  • One draw back of the Rat Tale is that is uses it’s own internal battery for power and I’m sometimes worried that it might run out of power before I notice that there has been a catch. To be honest, I don’t see this as being a negative, as all you need to do is check it more regularly. You are ridding your home of rats, after all – not making a life’s commitment out of this.
  • The battery life isn’t awesome – but that’s what I expected with something that zaps rodents. Yes indeed! The zapper delivers some 8,000 volts from four small batteries. That’s no mean feat.
  • Only potential problem is that it isn’t recommended for outdoor use. That’s true, but think about it. This is a device that delivers a very powerful electric shock. It might work fine outdoors if you can guarantee it will stay dry, but can you? If this zapper finds itself in a downpour, it probably won’t ever work again. That’s how it is with most electrical items.
  • The initial cost is high compared to snap traps and poison. It is, but the rat zapper does a completely different job, and it does it a lot more efficiently and more cleanly and safely too.
  • Apparently, a fast rat with long toe nails can sometimes escape with just a shock. I have heard this too, but from my research it seems to be a very rare occurrence, so it isn’t really something you need to be concerned about.

A summary of the Electronic Rat Trap RZU001

This unit is a rat zapper. It works by luring a rat into the kill chamber by having some bait at the far wall. An infrared sensor detects the rat before it can get to the bait, and the unit then delivers a very powerful electric shock to the rodent.

The unit is battery operated, using four “D” cell batteries. It will flash a red light to let you know that a kill has been made, and it will also warn you if the batteries are low. You can then carry the unit to your trash can and let the dead rat slide out the end, without having to touch the dead rat at all. The device can then be switched back on, re-baited and be back in business within minutes.

Where can you buy the RZU001 Rat Zapper?

The rat zapper is available at many retail outlets, both online and offline. However, we recommend you buy the RZU001 Rat Zapper online at Amazon (#ad). They offer a super-saver on shipping where you can get shipping free if you spend more than a certain amount and you can read real customer reviews .

Amazon is also perhaps the most respected retail store online. They have a returns policy that is second to none, which you will be thankful for should you need to return the product for any reason. They are also extremely competitive on pricing.

#2 – Our Second Choice – The Havahart 1082 Easy Set Small 1 Door Live Rat Cage Trap

The Havahart 1082 Easy Set 1 Door Live Rat Trap  is a humane trap. This kind of trap is designed so the animal is not harmed in any way. The idea is to catch the rat alive and completely unharmed. The inside of the trap is also designed with smooth edges so that the animal is very unlikely to cause itself harm if it becomes agitated at being trapped. You can then take the trapped animal to a location far away from you home and release it safely, back into the wild.

As with most Havahart traps, it is constructed from steel reinforced galvanized wire mesh that is rust resistant. This makes it suitable for outdoor use, as well as indoor use. The mesh size is small to prevent smaller animals thinking they may be able to escape, and then harm themselves in the attempt. The door is spring loaded with a sensitive trigger to ensure a quick capture.

  • The trigger rod is outside the trap, which means the trapped animal can’t cause it any damage.
  • You can set the traps easily with one hand.
  • Carrying the trap is safe as the animal can’t get at you.
  • There are no sharp edges to accidentally injure the animal.
  • Releasing the animal is easy as you stand behind the trap to activate the release mechanism.

Always check the trapped animal carefully as it may be a nursing mother, and its young would die if you remove it and release it far away. Check the belly of the animal, if it is a female, for signs of nursing before releasing it.

Where to buy the Havahart 1082 trap

You can buy the Havahart 1082 Easy Set Trap, and all Havahart traps, at Amazon (#ad). Their prices are very competitive, and they are fully trustworthy. You can also read user generated product reviews, which are there to help you make up your mind.

#3 – Our Third Choice – Victor Rat Traps M326 (9Traps) VST010

This product is a more traditional snap trap. I grew up with snap traps. We used to live in a house where mice ran free for much of the time. My mother used to set traps every night, and I remember hearing them snapping off every so often as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep.

The Victor M326 Rat Traps are pretty much the same device. It’s constructed from FSC certified wood with a very powerful spring loaded bar. The manufacturer says the spring and bar are strong enough to break a finger or two. I believe them, so be very careful loading this trap if you choose to get a few of them. This package is actually nine traps in all, enough for most people with a rat problem. However, their relatively low cost means you could easily get several packages if you choose.

  • A simple snap trap with little to go wrong.
  • It is pre-baited so you can deploy them immediately and not have to worry about which is the best rat bait to use.
  • A plastic triggering mechanism, much more sensitive than metal ones.
  • Very powerful spring activated bar to dispose of even the biggest rats.
  • Made with a strong wooden base.
  • Easy to use and bait.

Victor rat traps on Amazon

You can buy the Victor M326 at Amazon (#ad) where you can also read real customer reviews. Its price takes it below the super-saver free shipping rate, but if you buy two or three packages at the same time, you would then qualify for free shipping.


Mark has a strong background in Engineering and a huge interest in Pest Control as a way of getting rid of rodents and other unwanted pests who can cause a nuisance in your home and garden. You can subscribe to his free daily paper on Pest Control Solutions and follow him on Facebook or Twitter

View Comments

  • Hi, thanks for all the great information. I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I am wondering if you have any information on moles...Looking for all the help I can get! thanks again Terri Savoie

    • First thing to do is place the zapper on a rodent runway and the second thing to do is place a little bit of peanut butter at the entrance of the zapper.

  • One question I have about the rat zapper ultra rodent trap ... I think we have either a chipmunk or a rat in the ceiling in our house, but we also have indoor cats. Can the cats get into the rat zapper and be killed? Knowing how curious our cats are, I'd worry about that. Thanks!

    • The cat shouldn't be able to, but I would err on the side of caution and not let any cats into the room where the rat zapper is active.


  • Rodents are amazingly smart. When they said they were going to kill them, I took my hooded rat,Albert Einstein, from my experimental psych class. Albert came home & became, my pet. He quickly gained control of my family. When I was late in cleaning his cage, he would throw the turds across the room. He cried when lonely & wanted attention, came when called & learned all kinds of tricks. Rats eat all kinds of foods. I suggest you try cheese, apples, any old, slightly rotten or moldy fruit that may have a bit of a smell. Eventually you will learn what is attractive to your special rat. LOL. Be sure to claim boasting rights: "I outsmarted a rat!" & post the results. I want to know. Puppy love from Inventing Joy & Furry folk

  • Your description of the Rat Zapper Classic RZC001says it uses 4 C batteries but the listings on Amazon indicate 4 AA batteries.

    • Hi,

      Thank you for telling me about the batteries. I have recently changed my recommendation to the M240 rat zapper which does use 4 C batteries.


  • The Agri Zap has been discontinued.

    I have two Victor traps with peanut butter, but this rat will not take the bait. I caught 8 rats with this method last year and now I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO!

    I have two places outside that they/it may be using that I am going to foam up today... But if they/it won't take the peanut butter I don't know what else to do. I do not have funds for an electronic device.

    • Hi Bonnie,

      Have you checked the batteries of the rat zapper? If they are fine, then the rats may be able to smell either dead rats or human scent. Always wear gloves when using the trap and try rubbing soil or something else, over the trap, to remove any scent.

      Yes, the Agri Zap has been replaced by he rat zapper classic.

  • hey mark, why couldn't this thing be put into tunnels and used for moles, seems simple enough to hide in a tunnel, and pretty failproof compared to all the mechanical trigger mechanisms on the scissor/choke style mole traps?

  • I purchased the Agri zap ultra you mentioned above after doing some research online. I had a rat chew a hole through, what must have been, a thin section of my basement concrete slab. I back filled and cemented the floor but I had a feeling the guest was somewhere in my basement. Every winter I have a mouse war and I really got the agri zap to help with the mice and i figured i'd put it in the basement to deal with the rat if it was still here. I set the agri zap in the zapped a couple mice. I put it back out and the following morning there were fresh rat droppings at the opening of the zapper. This was the first time i had ever seen evidence of a rat in my actual living space. It was evident the rat had been shocked enough to crap but it wasn't still in the trap. I must have had one of those long nailed quick rats. I looked under the kitchen table and there was a long rat tail and a rat butt. I psyched myself up all day preparing to dispose of the rat. To my horror, after moving the table, senor rat was not dead. The zapper merely immobilized one of its legs. I haven't caught a mouse in the zapper since. I tried following the directions and soaked the bottom in water and rinsed just in case the rat left a smell that scared the mice away from the trap. I'm hoping that was the only rat but i'm moving the zapper to the basement! i don't smell the smell I smelled in the basement before i caught that rat...a kind of musky pungent odor, so maybe its buddies were still in the burrow when i sealed it.

    • Wow what a story. Was the Agri zap designed to catch rats or mice? If it was for rats and it didn't completely kill the rat then you might want to check your batteries, after all you have zapped a few mice. Since you wrote this post have you seen any more evidence of rats or mice?

  • Havahart's live rat traps is the best product I have tried to trap rats of all kinds.
    Its very effective too in a humane way.
    It easy to use and safe to handle. Peanut butter works great.

© 2021

This website uses cookies.