Traps can be an easy and inexpensive way to get rid of rats. Traps are relatively cheap, if unbaited, can be left in place for long periods. But all traps, baited or unbaited, must be regularly inspected, as a dead or dying rat or a food bait can attract secondary insects and cause an infestation. Traps should be set where rat signs are seen and in out-of-the-way, hidden areas, especially in attics, basements and near food sources. Always take care to keep traps away from potential triggering by children or pets. Snap Traps. Rat-sized wooden or plastic traps can be one of the most effective means of capturing and killing rats and can be the least expensive. When using a snap trap to capture a rat, be sure to use a larger trap labeled for rat control.