The T-rex rat trap is an easy-to-use snap trap designed to target rats and mice.

It can be easily set by hand (or foot) and has a removable bait cup that allows you to re-bait without the trap being set. It is contained within a trap box which helps keep pets, children and non-target animals (like birds) safe.

Where to put your trap

Start where you have seen rats or where they are likely to be active (like near rubbish and compost bins).

Rats tend to avoid open areas and prefer cover. You may have more success putting your trap in a quiet corner or along a fence line, hedge or building.

Monitoring predators in your backyard

Using a chew card is the best way to find a good place for your trap. These show which predators are around and where they feel safe eating which means they are more likely to interact with a trap.

What to use as bait

Rats love anything high in fat as they are more attracted to energy-rich foods. Try using peanut butter, cheese, chocolate, hazelnut spread or nuts (such as almonds, peanuts or walnuts).

Make sure the bait is securely in the bait cup and not loose in the trap box as this helps ensure a more humane kill.

Rats are naturally suspicious of new food sources. Help them find (and eat) the bait by leaving your trap unset for a few days so they get used to the trap and see it as a safe food source. You can also leave bait at the entrance with the trap unset to show food is available.

How to set your trap

Remove the mesh screen by pulling it up (1). Be careful not to cut yourself on the metal. Slide your trap out of the box entrance.

Remove the bait cup from the underside of the T-Rex rat trap (2). Simply twist left to unlock and pull out. Fill the cup with your chosen bait and replace, twisting right to lock it back in place.

Set the trap by squeezing the back end until you hear it click and the jaws of the trap stay open (3, 4).

Carefully slide your set trap, bait-end first, into your trap box and replace the sliding mesh screen at the end of your trap box.

Put your trap box in the place you have selected. Always make sure the trap is on a flat and stable surface. You can put something under the trap to ensure it won’t move.

When you catch something, simply squeeze the back end to release the jaws.

Disposing of carcasses

  • Bury in the garden (planting a native on top to symbolise your effort can be a nice touch).
  • Put in your compost bin (if you have one).
  • Double-bag and place in your Dunedin City Council rubbish bags.

Reporting your results

Please let us know what you catch! This allows us to keep track of the collective effort to protect native wildlife across Ōtepoti/Dunedin.

To report a catch, visit You will be asked to enter a trap ID number which can be found engraved on the side of your trap.

Safety information

Always ensure a trap is un-set before engaging with it.

Always wear gloves when handling your trap and wash your hands thoroughly. This minimises the risk of catching animal-borne diseases such as leptospirosis.

Always put your trap inside the wooden trap box provided to keep pets, children and non-target animals (such as birds) safe.