Best method to eliminate roof rats is the use of PUBS with "Just One Bite" poison bait.
ROOFRAT.NET * How to best indentify and control roof rats
Your Subtitle text

eRATication that works!

Large spring traps by Victor, best baited with peanut butter and a secured nugget of nut or pet food.

Use recommended poison for roof rats, securing bait in a Personal Use Bait Station (PUBS) or a commercial bait station which keeps pets, wild birds and children safe.

A quick electrical shock instantly kills the roof rat, best used in attics and around the home. To order, visit

"Have-a-heart" traps will catch live roof rats. Rats need to be exterminated and not moved from the subject property. 
Maricopa County Vector Control (602) 506-6616 may pick up any captured live rats upon request only when staffing allows.

Not effective for adult roof rats, though this method does work for mice and rodent young.

For the most part ineffective, these devices do not detour rats from an attic or storage space.


Snap traps (designed with a trigger mechanism) can be purchased at home improvement stores.

Snap traps (like those used for mice) are intended to be baited with a food source and to kill the rat as the rodent attempts to eat the bait. These traps must be emptied of the dead rodent and reset after each use. They are recommended for use only in areas where bait stations are not feasible, such as inside the home.

How to bait and deploy snap traps

  • Bait snap traps “lightly” with creamy peanut butter so the rat will have to work hard to get it off the trigger, which will ensure that the trap will ‘trip’. OR…
  • Bait snap traps with a mixture most people can make in their own kitchen (dry oats, creamy peanut butter, and nuts or peanuts). Mix the oats and creamy peanut butter together in a bowl until it reaches the consistency of cookie dough. Roll a small “dough ball” in the hands (about the circumference of a quarter). Slip the nut of choice into the middle of the “dough ball.” Re-roll the ball a bit in the hands. Place the “dough ball” (AKA: “bait”) on the lever of the snap trap where the “bait” is designed to rest. Use dental floss to “tie down” or secure the “bait” to the lever (the nut inside the “bait” will keep the dental floss from going completely through). It is important to secure the bait onto the trap’s lever to prolong the time the rat will spend at the trap. Often, the rat is quick enough to evade a lethal snap, hence defeating the trap’s purpose.
  • Any questions regarding the proper deployment of snap traps should be directed to the trap manufacturer.
  • When used in attics, snap traps should be placed within arms length of the entrance into the crawl space/attic.
  • It is also recommended that each snap trap be secured down to the wood framing/rafter within the attic. If a rat evades the lethal snap of the trap, yet is still caught in the apparatus, the rat can potentially scamper away connected to the trap to die elsewhere in the attic, thus causing an unnecessary odor and expense to the homeowner.
  • Check snap traps daily, but don’t move or disturb them if there is no rat captured. Roof rats are nervous and cautious of new objects, so leave snap traps in the same location for at least a week without physically disturbing them, unless a rat has been captured.

Snap Trap Safety Precautions

Only place snap traps well away from children and pets
Use snap traps in any crawl space or attic. These mechanical traps are spring loaded and are constructed of wood or plastic. They can be purchased at most home improvement stores for a few dollars.
Snap traps come in two sizes (small and large). The small are for mice and the large are for rats.


Personal Use Bait Station (PUBS) Instructions
The bait station is ideal for people who have lush landscapes, unpicked citrus, pecan trees, figs, date palms, pomegranates, apples, peaches, apricots, as well as any human or animal food source. The roof rats are attracted to these areas because of water, food, or shelter and are prone to take the poison bait.
Please see the Bait Station page for more information about placement, monitoring, and where to obtain bait, etc.

  • Before setting bait and bait stations, it is imperative that you properly seal your house to avoid poisoned rats from entering the house and dying, creating a bad odor which may be hard to remove.
  • Bait stations are for “housing” toxic bait, not for trapping the roof rat. The roof rat enters the station, eats the bait, and then leaves. Within 3-6 days after ingestion, the poisoned rat dies.
  • Bait stations provide a protected place for rats to feed. They allow residents to place poison bait in some locations where it would otherwise be difficult because of hazards to small children and/or non-target animals.
  • For bait, use the anti-coagulant ingredient “Bromadiolone” which is sold as “Just One Bite” and can be purchased at feed and hardware stores.
  • Residents are responsible for purchasing and placing the bromadiolone poison in the bait station. Read the entire label first and strictly adhere to all instructions, restrictions, and precautions.
  • Place two or more bait stations in your yard, depending on the size of the property and the number of trees and shrubs.
  • Optimal locations are in trees and on any potential rat pathways, such as shrubs, perimeter fences and roofs.
  • Use a metal strap to secure bait station to a tree or wall with screws or nails.
  • Place the station’s entry point in a slightly upward position. The bait station is most effective from 4’ to 6’ above ground at no greater than a 25-degree angle.
  • Install unit where it is easy to inspect for any rodent activity.
  • Normally, birds will not seek out or be attracted to bait that is properly enclosed in bait stations; however, if you are concerned, you may choose to close the bait station openings in the morning to protect wild birds, and open them in the late afternoon about sunset.
  • The practice of wiring poison bait “blocks” directly to tree branches without a bait station may cause accidental poisoning of cats and wildlife; use poison bait blocks only in bait stations and slide the blocks all the way to the back.
  • It is recommended to check and refill bait stations at least weekly and they may need to be checked up to daily during times of heavy use.
  • Bait stations should be deployed and monitored year round.
  • See the section on handling dead rats, rat droppings, and nesting areas for complete instructions and safety precautions.

PUBS and Poison Bait Safety Precautions

  • Place bait stations well away from children and pets!
  • Always read and follow all bait manufacture’s handling instructions and precautions.
  • In case of emergency regarding bait, call the local Poison Control Center at (602) 253-3334.
  • Toxic bait should never be used in the home or in the home’s crawl space. For these areas, see the section on snap traps (below).


Rodenticide Used: Bromadiolone

  • Registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recommended for use in alleys for roof rats.
  • Newer class of anti-coagulant with extremely low level of active ingredient.
  • Anti-coagulant reduces the ability of blood to clot so that the rat bleeds internally and dies (usually within three to five days).
  • Each station will have eight ounces of bait (four two-ounce blocks), consisting of .005% rodenticide and 99.95% food substances like grain and flavoring.

Bromadiolone Toxicity Levels:

  • LD50>5000mg/kg. LD50 means 50% mortality rate when eating 5000mg/kg. The lower the LD50, the higher the toxicity.
  • Compared to Nicotine: LD50=53; Caffeine: LD50=192; Aspirin: LD50=1240; Table Salt: LD50=3320.
  • A 22-pound dog would have to eat nine pounds of bait (the full contents of 18 bait stations) to have a 50% mortality rate without treatment.
  • A four-pound cat would have to eat 2.5 pounds (the full contents of five bait stations) to have a 50% mortality rate without treatment.
  • Vitamin K1 is an effective antidote for anticoagulant poisoning.
  • Secondary effects: A cat would have to eat more than 30 poisoned rats to have a toxic effect.

Over the Counter Bait

"Just One Bite" or any anti-coagulant containing the active ingredient "bromadiolone" can be purchased at local livestock feed stores.


General Safety Precautions

Safety Precautions: Handling dead rats, rat droppings, and nesting areas

  • Roof rats throughout Maricopa County continue to test negative for tularemia (rabbit fever), Hantavirus, and plague, however the following procedures are recommended by the county:
  • Ventilate the affected area the night before cleanup by opening doors and windows.
  • Spray dead rats, droppings, nests, and surrounding areas with a 10 percent
  • bleach solution (one part bleach and nine parts water).
  • Always maintain adequate ventilation when spraying the bleach solution and allow at least 15 minutes for ventilation before removing anything from the sprayed area.
  • Use rubber gloves and wear a face mask when handling dead rodents or when cleaning areas that they have inhabited.
  • Large zipper food storage bags can serve as a protective glove when turned inside out. The rat can then be picked up and pulled through the bag opening (making the bag right side out), zipped shut and thrown away.
  • Clean the affected area with paper towels or a mop. Do not sweep or vacuum.
  • Double bag both the disinfectant-soaked rat and cleanup materials securely in plastic bags and seal. Dispose of in city trash containers.
  • Before removing gloves, wash in disinfectant, then soap and water. Dispose of gloves with other household waste.
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after disposing of all items.

Website Builder