10 Best Baits for Mousetraps: Find Out What Really Works


Mice are sneaky little opportunists who will take full advantage of any crack, hole, or gap in your home that they can squeeze their bodies through. They seldom travel alone, and before you know it, you have loads of tiny feet scurrying about your home, leaving trails of filth everywhere they go.

Not to mention the speed at which they breed, so it doesn’t take long for the numbers of tiny invaders to multiply.

The taste buds of the average mouse are always tickled by anything sweet, and the easier it is for them to nibble, the more they love it.

They also like nuts and seeds, which is why they fancy peanut butter. There are lots of other foods they are tempted by as well, but the rule of thumb is that if it is sweet, sticky, or fatty, they won’t be able to pass it by.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to evict these tiny creatures, and the sooner they are out the better.  Nobody wants them raiding the cupboards chewing on anything come in contact with, not to mention the disgusting trails of urine and feces they leave behind them.

An infestation of mice can be very worrisome, but the good news is that it’s not the end of the world. There are a variety of traps available, and different foods to try, so once you know what the best baits for mouse traps are, the task of ridding your home of mice will be easier and more efficient.

Can You Outwit the Ordinary Mouse?

Like any type of battle, you should learn as much as you can about your enemy, even if you are fighting a war against tiny animals. The intelligence of mice is not to be snickered at.

After all, they’ve managed to set up camp in your home where it’s nice and warm, dry, and has an ongoing food supply. Not only are they smart creatures, but they are also rather crafty and sneaky.

Mice have a heightened sense of smell, hearing, and vision, which can make trapping them a little challenging. To get the upper hand over your mouse problem, you need to try and outsmart them.

This is why you need to be clever about the baits you use in your traps, and make sure it’s the only food source available to them. Fat happy mice aren’t going to risk their necks by trying to steal food from a trap.

Not all types of bait will work for every mouse, so it’s a good idea to try a variety of baits to see what works best in your situation. Mice are cunning, and will often try and take the bait without setting off the trap.

They will also warn their fellow mouse friends if they think there is danger from the trap. Highly communicative animals, mice will ‘talk’ to each other and share their tricks of stealing bait, so it may take perseverance to take control over them.

Additionally, this infographic might provide some extra insight:

mouse infographic

10 Best Baits for Mousetraps

chocolate as one of the best bait for mice

To make it easier for you, here are the top ten best mouse baits to try.

  1. Peanut Butter (chunky works just as well as smooth)
  2. Bacon bits or bacon grease (raw or cooked bacon bits, it doesn’t matter they like them both)
  3. Small pieces of hot dog (raw or cooked)
  4. Chocolate (any type of chocolate)
  5. Maple syrup
  6. Crackers with butter
  7. Candies, especially soft ones
  8. Nuts or bird seed
  9. Cat or dog food (wet food works best)
  10. Soft cheese that has a strong smell

Mice have a very sweet tooth and are drawn to any type of candy or sticky sweet sauces. They are also particularly fond of chocolate, and you don’t need to use a lot, just a small piece at a time.

Any food that has a strong odor will tempt the mice as their excellent sense of smell will follow the scent. Foods that are fatty like bacon or high in protein such as the hotdog will also be hard for mice to resist.

Using peanut butter is clever in two different ways. Firstly, mice love peanut butter and are always drawn to it, and secondly, they can’t exactly grab it and make a run for it. Therefore, if they want to eat the peanut butter, they will be sitting in the trap longer which makes it easier for them to be caught.

Trap Bait not Working – What to do Next?

If at first, you don’t succeed in catching the pesky critters, you may need to try some of the other types of bait.

Sometimes, what starts out working can become less effective, in which case you should also try different baits. Here are some tips to try if your traps aren’t successful.

  1. Try the different types of bait in the trap and take notice of what gets nibbled and what doesn’t.
  2. There are a variety of mouse traps available, so you may need to try another type of trap. In fact, because mice are so sneaky, it’s a good idea to have more than one type of trap set up anyway.
  3. Your trap may not be in the best possible location. If you know where there is higher activity of the mice, set the trap up there. Alternatively, move the trap a short distance away from the high traffic area.
  4. If the trap hasn’t snapped shut but the bait has gone, a trap with a more sensitive trigger may be needed. One trick is to put a small nut into a lump of peanut butter and place it in the trap, so the mouse will have to linger on the platform longer to eat it. This will result in more pressure being placed on the trigger.
  5. Snap traps aren’t always sensitive enough to pick up the weight of tiny mice. Baby mice in particular weigh very little and may not set off the trigger. In this case, an electric mouse trap may be more successful as they are typically more sensitive.

You Must Consider These Things When Preparing Mouse Traps with Bait


Location is really important when setting up your mouse traps. Try to place them in the areas where you know there is high mouse activity or near their nest.

If you can work out their usual routes to and from the different areas in the house, place a few traps along those tracks as well. Countertops, cupboards, and even baseboards are common places where mice will travel.

Ensure that everyone in the household knows you have traps and where you have put them to prevent any accidental surprises!

Nothing worse than getting a finger caught in a mousetrap when you least expect it! It’s also a safety issue if you have little children who may think they can steal the food out of the traps, especially if you have used candy as bait.

Final Words on Choosing the Best Bait for Mousetraps

There are a lot of different foods that can be good mouse bait; it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones are going to work the best.  If the trapping isn’t successful, try another type of bait, and keep trying until you start to see results.

Once you have successfully trapped a mouse, try using the same bait for a while and see if it works for other mice. If it doesn’t, change it.

The bait options mentioned are proven to be successful, but it does depend on your situation and just how smart your mouse is. But never fear, there are always other baits to try and more traps that can be placed.

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