Traps, Poisons & other Methods

How to Choose the Best Mouse Traps? Useful Tips and Tricks

the mouse
Written by John Wells

Contents

There are many variations of mice traps which range from your usual snap traps to less common cage traps and glue traps. There isn’t a single mouse trap which stands out a lot more compared to others, so we can’t truly say which mouse trap is the best. However, each mouse trap has its own perks and negative sides. The choice itself is down to you and your preferences. As mentioned before, the most common mouse trap is the snap trap, due to its low cost and relative effectiveness.

But this shouldn’t deter you from trying other traps as well! The more traps you use and place strategically, the higher your success will be against mice. You can get rid of mice quite easily if you study the craft well and use all of the tips that you stumble upon. Otherwise, you could contact the exterminators and hire them to take care of a mice infestation. For more on the topic of Exterminators, click here.

Now, it’s our job to evaluate the traps for their positive and negative sides (cost, effectiveness, usability, etc.). This should help you understand all there is to know about some mouse traps and how to use them. What you learn here is easily implementable; all you need to do is follow closely and you’ll be able to take care of mice issues in no time. Let’s start, shall we?

How to Get Rid of Mice In the House: Some Tips

There are many different ways to get rid of mice in the house. The most notable ones are traps which are fairly universal in their uses. You might think that going for poison is a good idea (and in some cases it is), but it should generally be avoided, especially if you have small children or pets that could easily reach for the poison. Traditional traps are cheaper and safer, not to mention how effective they are. There’s a reason why everyone loves the snap trap – and while we’re at it, let’s look at all the factors that make a trap good or bad!

  1. Trap Number – What people often make the mistake of doing is placing far too little traps. Even if you have only one mouse, you should always use more than a couple of traps. In fact, the more traps you place, the better for you. It isn’t uncommon for people to only have one single mouse invading their home, but you can never be sure if it’s only one. Besides, they are quite the tricksters; mice are known to be cunning and adept at avoiding detection and traps. Even a single mouse should raise a couple of red flags. Don’t let your guard down and prepare yourself. You should always have a nice assortment of traps at the ready. Another great tip that will come in handy is to always place traps in pairs. That way, you’ll maximize the chances of actually catching something.
  2. Lures/Baits – Lures come in many shapes and sizes (as do traps) and they are quite easy to get. In most cases, they will consist of food which is appetizing to the mice. Usually, it’s food rich in protein, such salami, peanut butter, oatmeal, and other, similar foods. As with all small animals, you won’t need a lot of food to lure them. A pea-sized amount of bait will suffice and you should be able to get the mice to come to the traps. Also, keep in mind that if you have plenty of other food which is readily available to the mice (leftovers, bread crumbs…), they won’t necessarily want to check out what you’re ‘offering’ to them. If you suspect there is more than one mouse, using a variety of different food items for lures is recommended as this will increase your chances of success.
  3. Timing – It’s highly important to use the first night you bring home your fresh pick up of traps because that’s when they’ll be most effective. Once a couple of mice survive the first night (if there’s more than 1 mouse), they’ll learn where the traps are located and how they work. This is why statistics show that the number of effective neutralizations is higher for the first night compared to all others. Try your best to increase the number of traps you set during the first night.
  4. Location – Mice love tight spaces and they’ll often take the longer route if it means it’s tighter and more secluded. Strategic placement of traps is vital to the success of your ‘hunting campaign’. Take a good look at where the mice are moving and analyze their paths to optimally place the traps. High-frequency areas in your home should be ‘armed’ to the brim. The most effective locations where traps are usually placed are dark corners, along the walls, behind appliances and other objects in the house. If you have a lot of mice your trap placement should change as well. It all comes down to the mice population and how your home is made. If you have a lot of tight corners and dark pathways, the extermination of mice might be more difficult due to the higher number of mice and traps.

There are alternatives as well. Certain new products that utilize food items which mice love have become quite popular on the market. They have specially selected ingredients from a select combination of food items. It comes in multiple forms such as spray or drops. Some products even offer small bite-sized pieces of food.

One last piece of advice is to make sure all of your traps are nice and secure. You wouldn’t want the mice running away in the event of their capture. Keep checking out the critical areas where mice love to run around to see if you managed to achieve your goal of capturing mice.

A Couple of Mice Trapping Tips

If you don’t want your traps to fail (presumably, without explanation), then follow these tips which should cement your chances of eradicating the mice.

  • Before you start setting up your traps and preparing the ‘battlefield’, don’t touch any pets. This will leave a scent on your hands and the mice will sense it. Of course, it will then get transferred to the trap itself, which means that the mice will avoid it. Always remember this one since it’s vital to your success.
  • If you’re using traps that have some moving parts, it’s a good idea to oil them up with some odorless, pharmaceutical-grade oil (mineral).
  • Glue traps aren’t very effective during the summer mainly because the glue can melt. Another downside is that these traps can cause damage to your car if you leave the trap inside it. This is due to summer heat waves so try to take them out and keep them out during warm periods.
  • Traps with warped bases should be avoided at all cost. Even though they might seem like a good idea, they aren’t. The trap starts to wobble as soon as the mouse comes into contact with it, which in turn scares it.
  • Keep available food sources low so that the traps become more enticing to the mice. They’ll be ready to take greater risks in the search for food, which means you’ll be more effective in taking care of an infestation.

Never handle dead rodents and mice barehanded. Always wear disposable gloves to prevent the possibility of contracting diseases from the mice corpses.

Snap Trap Advantages Over Rodent Baits

 

Features/Type Mouse Trap Rodent Bait
Time to kill/capture Immediate/Quick Can take a couple of days
Toxicity None Toxic (Rodenticide)
Lifetime Long (don’t lose effectiveness over time) Short (less effective as time goes by)
Problems None Odor issues due to mice dying in walls; fly infestations; mice urine and feces due to long kill time

Top 3 Mouse Traps

Even though we said that there isn’t really any clear favorite (in terms of overall characteristics), these three traps are the most popular and affordable options available. They provide no hassle when setting up and are easily disposable. They’re cheap, a breeze to set-up, and they work quite well overall.

Snap Traps

Snap traps are your most usual traps that can be found in people’s homes. They’re very affordable and will most likely be perfect for your home. There are two great examples of proper snap traps. These examples are the Victor Snap Trap and Mini Rex Mouse Trap. Both have advanced (professional) versions and regular ones, but we advise that if you choose to purchase these products, get the improved ones as they are much better.

This is backed up by facts which came from studies on the topic of snap traps (specifically, these two models). They have shown that the professional versions have a 53% capture rate, compared to the 37% for standard versions. Escape rates are mainly the same for both types but another field in which the professional option is better is bait stealing. It didn’t occur at all with professional models, and standard models had a bait stealing rate of 16%.

The professional versions might cost a bit more but are well worth it. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of snap traps.

  • Pros:
    • Fast population cut
    • Can be reused
    • Can be used where rodenticides aren’t recommended
  • Cons:
    • Some skill required/Placement
    • Specific trapping locations (can’t be used around pets and children)
    • Slow reset time; trap can’t be used until reset
    • Can get dragged away by fleeing mice which had their tail/foot trapped
Glue traps; Trays and boards

Glue traps are becoming more and more popular, although they aren’t quite effective as snap traps. The main reason behind this is that there need to be specific environmental factors (as well as other, non-environmental ones) for them to work. They are ineffective in very cold and very hot temperatures because the glue changes its state and is less sticky. Also, any location that has a lot of water and/or dust is detrimental to these traps (since the glue is so sticky, the dust can get stuck to it, thus reducing its effectiveness. Water can wash off the glue).

They are generally used in capturing mice instead of rats, and in bigger infestations than usual. They aren’t useful in low numbers which is why you should always use multiple different mouse traps.

Glue trap placement is also different than with other traps. Since their nature is so unique, you’ll need to place them along mouse runways (the ones that have the most mouse traffic).

The advantages of glue traps are obvious, but what about the disadvantages? Let’s take a look!

  • Cons
    • Usage in open area near children and pets can result in them getting stuck in the trap
    • Considered not humane (mice get stuck for a long time in the trap)
Curiosity Traps/Multiple Mouse Traps

These traps have been created with the well-known mouse curiosity in mind. They rely on the curiosity of the mice in order to be effective. You could place some food inside but it’s not recommended as it hasn’t been designed for that. Some of these traps have been designed to have a low-profile, which makes them exceptional for placement in tight quarters. They have a couple of holes or a trap door, depending on the design. Once the mouse chooses to enter, there’s no getting out. They are also considered inhumane as the mouse takes long to die (due to either food deprivation or body heat loss).

If you plan on getting one of these traps, make sure that, if they are made from metal, they’re galvanized. This will prevent rusting and will prolong the trap’s life. These traps are most often used in industry and commercial buildings (most of which are related to food), but they can be very useful inside a regular home as well.

Conclusion

Whatever your style might be, whatever number of mice you have, these traps will always come in handy. Whether they belong to the well-known classics, such as the snap trap or they’re more advanced and new, the mouse traps listed here will do the job. Follow the tips and you’ll be well on your way to a safer and cleaner home!

About the author

John Wells

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