If rodents have invaded your home, you're likely not too happy. It's difficult to control the critters, especially because they can bite and scratch, so getting close to them isn't an option. While you go around sealing up holes and cracks that allowed the rodents to get in from outside, you need to decide on how to get rid of the ones that have already invaded your home. Calling a pest control company is best, but you might be thinking you'd rather save the money and go DIY. Traps and baits can help if you want to try to accomplish this yourself, but each has very distinct advantages and disadvantages that you need to know about before you choose.
Death vs. Life
You have to figure out first whether you want the rodents to live or die. Many traps are fatal, either immediately or slowly. The classic snap trap is an example of a relatively immediate fatal trap; once the trap has sprung, the rodent may be alive for a few minutes more, but it will eventually die. The advantages are that this is still quick, it tends to create only a small mess (but be aware that the rodent's bladder may let loose, and you'll have to clean that up too), and rodents still fall for these traps.
Poison baits and glue traps are examples of fatal traps that take a long time. These aren't recommended because first, they're inhumane. A rodent caught in a glue trap will starve to death if it doesn't die of fear; a rodent poisoned by bait will, well, be poisoned. Poisoned rodents can also die in your walls and stink up the house. If you do decide to use these, be sure you can handle them; it can be distressing to see the rodents caught in glue, and even more distressing to leave the bundle alone to ensure it's dead before you try to go near it.
Humane traps, which are the ones that leave rodents alive, are another story. These can be scary for the rodent for a short time, but the animals do emerge alive. Some traps are meant to hold several rodents, while others hold just one. They all tend to work on the basis of attracting the rodent inside with bait but then making it impossible for the rodent to escape until you let it go. Advantages: They live! Disadvantages: You have to travel far away from your home to release them lest they try to find their way back. That means transporting a box full of freaked out rodents.
You vs. Professionals
If cleaning up after dead rodents or holding a box full of scared critters isn't your style, then you may want to avoid the DIY route and call a pest control company. Disposing of rodents can be difficult, and leaving the trapping and removal of the animals to a professional pest company may be better even if it's not as cheap as a DIY method. Many pest control companies like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc. offer free evaluations, so contact them and let them know what you're dealing with.