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Best Electric Rat Zapper for Killing Rodents in Your Attic or Garage

Electric rat zappers work great and are a handy way to safely kill rodents.  There are several different models on the market and, in principle, all of them work using the same mechanism.  The  difference between the products lies in the minor details.  Here is a review of the differences between the products along with what I think is the best electric rat zapper.

Here is a quick video from Victor Traps showing how these devices work:

Because these zappers kill rats instantly they are generally agreed to be the most humane rat trap.  The Victor products shown in the video (Original and Ultra) are both great traps but I like The Eliminator a little better since it can be powered by batteries OR can be plugged in to a wall outlet.

Best Rat Zapper

Let’s do a quick recap of how these devices work.  An electric rat trap consists of two separated metal plates connected to a power supply.  When a rodent steps onto the metal plates it completes an electrical circuit and the sudden power surge kills the rodent.  Instant electrocution via 7000 volts.

So what makes one zapper better than another?

Power Supply  

I prefer traps can be powered by either batteries or a plug in ac adapter.  Some traps can only be powered by batteries and that can create some problems.

When the trap is battery powered the shocking power gradually gets weaker after every use.  At some point (after 10-15 kills) there will still be some charge in the batteries but the trap won’t kill the rats.   The number of “zaps” you will get is going to depend on the quality of your batteries.   It is not easy to tell when the batteries need to be replaced.

When the trap is powered by a plugged in adapter you know the device is always fully charged and ready to work.

However, there are times when the battery powered option is needed.  For example, when you are trying to kill rats in your attic, garden shed or other area where no power outlet is available.


The price fluctuates quite a bit depending upon the brand and bounces between $40 and $70. The higher priced models offer NO benefits over the lower priced ones.  You can usually save some money on a per unit basis by buying a three or four piece bundle.  If you have a multiple rats to kill you will want to get several traps as a zapper will only kill a single rat per night.

Ease of Use

Using an electric trap is very easy.  Bait the trap, turn on the power and place the trap where you want it to go.  Some traps come with an indicator that let you know if a rat has been caught. On some traps the indicator is a flashing light on top of the trap while others have a remote indicator.  It is nice to see if the trap has killed anything without having to get on your hands and knees for inspection.

Here is a look at some of the electric rat traps available on Amazon:

The Eliminator eliminator-electric-rat-trap

  • Power Source: Plug or Battery
  • Dead Rat Indicator: Yes

The Eliminator ticks off all of the important boxes and gets pretty solid reviews from Amazon customers.  The Eliminator has everything you need without any useless bells and whistles to drive up the price tag.

Some Amazon customers are using this trap to kill squirrels (not sure how I feel about that) so it absolutely has enough stopping power to take care of rats.

This is my choice for the best electric rat trap.  It also works great for trapping mice.

Pest No More Rodent Zapper


  • Power Source: Plug or Battery
  • Dead Rat Indicator: Yes

The Pest No More Rodent Zapper is almost the exact same product as The Eliminator but usually costs more.  The trap gets decent reviews but isn’t worth the premium price tag.

Rodent Terminator

  • Power Source: Battery
  • Dead Rat Indicator: Yes


The Rodent Terminator has two unique features that make up for the lack of a plug in options.  The trap comes apart into two separate pieces for cleaning which completely prevents ANY chance of accidentally shocking yourself when you wipe it down.  This trap is also one of the few that can be left in the rain without permanent damage.

Raticator Max Rodent Zapper

  • Power Source: Battery
  • Dead Rat Indicator: Yes

This is a solid product with decent reviews.  The price tag is hard to justify.

Tips for Using an Electric Rat Zapper

Tip #1: Have realistic expectations

Electric traps have many benefits but they are not as effective as setting out a dozen snap traps. You will probably only kill one rat per day with an electric trap.

Tip #2: Give the trap some help

Sometimes a rat will enter an electric trap and not get zapped.  Sometimes this happens because the rat is only standing on ONE of the metal plates and isn’t completing the electrical circuit. Sometimes this happens because the environment is so dry that electricity has a hard time flowing through the rat.  You can help the trap work by placing a damp paper towel in front of the trap.  The towel will make sure the rat has damp feet when contact is made with the metal plates and electrocution becomes MUCH easier.

Tip #3: Keep it clean

The process of zapping a rat often results in the rat releasing the contents of its bladder. If there is a build up of rat urine in the trap it will eventually foul the contact wires in the unit.  Take the time to clean the inside of the trap with a damp cloth whenever it looks dirty inside.  Make sure the power is disconnected and the batteries are removed before cleaning the trap.

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