Self-resetting rat traps are 20 times more effective at killing the pests than standard traps, a new study has shown.
The project - conducted by Bay of Plenty Polytechnic student Chantal Lillas - compared the amount of rats killed by self-resetting traps over a 10-day period last month, compared to the single-action traps more commonly used.
The self resetting traps were developed by the company Goodnature in collaboration with the Department to Conservation, and could reset up to 24 times before it needed to be reloaded.
Ms Lillas said 120 of the pests were killed by the self-resetting traps she laid, compared to just six in the other traps, known as Victor traps.
She said she was overwhelmed by the results.
"It's quite overwhelming to see how effective the A24 (self-resetting) traps are. They're able to reset themselves automatically, using a Co2 canister which powers a bolt and it will recoil and reset itself. In a Victor trap, the rat comes along and gets caught, and that's that trap done and that might not be checked again for a couple months, so that's just one kill from one trap during that time, whereas the A24 can keep on killing, it's not just limited to one rat per trigger, it can be triggered multiple times in one night and that's really important when it comes to decreasing the rat population."
Goodnature founder Stu Barr said it would be useful information for planning ways to get rid of pests for good.
"We firmly believe that New Zealand can be pest free and A24 traps are going to be one powerful tool in this fight. Six dead rats versus 120 dead rats is pretty compelling."
Department of Conservation spokesperson Herbert Christophers said it was currently using several of the self-resetting traps, but would not immediately replace all Victor traps with them.
The self-resetting traps also came with a bigger price tag, costing about $130, compared to roughly $15 for the standard victor traps.
"I see these as an ideal tool to be used to help protect our native birds and wildlife. They've been very effective, it's just a matter of working out a way of deploying them where they are most cost effective, but no doubt in the longer term they will be a great tool in the arsenal."