Common Mistakes in Dealing with Mice & How to Fix Them


Proper mice hunting (and catching) requires a little bit of extra knowledge and a tiny amount of skill (for starters). If you’re just facing your first mice infestation and you aren’t sure how to approach the problem, you needn’t worry. People often make rookie mistakes when it comes to catching mice.

Have you made a mistake? If you have and the mice aren’t going away, learn from it! People are where they are because of mistakes. Mistakes help us learn and improve ourselves in many ways. You’ve set up a trap but aren’t catching any mice?

There’s a possibility you’re using the wrong bait or you’re placing the traps in inefficient locations. Learn more about using the proper bait by visiting this link.

Let’s talk a bit about traps. There are various different traps that are used in different ways. Snap traps are simple; all you have to do is place the bait on them, prepare the spring, and – wait!

Other traps require a bit more effort but none are difficult to use or master.

Glue traps are painless and humane if you use them properly. For example, people often make the mistake of thinking that glue traps always work and don’t hurt the animal.

However, if the trap does catch a mouse, you’ll need to take the trap away from your home and release/kill the animal yourself. If you plan on releasing it, take it far away so you minimize the chances of it returning.

What this means is that it’s your job to check the trap often in the event of a mouse getting trapped. Leaving it out too long will cause death by starvation or dehydration, and then you’ll have to deal with a mouse corpse.

Also, glue traps aren’t always efficient and don’t always work. Depending on the conditions, the state of the glue may change. If the temperature in the room is too high or too low, the glue won’t work and the mice will easily walk all over it without any effect.

These are just some of the mistakes related only to traps. There are many more which might seem like a good idea but are not. This article will help you realize what exactly you’re doing wrong and not catching mice, and how to do the job better!

Common Mistakes in Dealing with Mice

Starting Small

One of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re on the hunt for mice is that they almost always start slow and small. Seeing one mouse in your home doesn’t mean that it’s the only mouse there.

Almost always, it means that there are at least a couple more (or even a fully-fledged mice family). One or two snap traps for a single mouse isn’t enough; not because that mouse won’t trap itself, but because there’s more than one.

Once you realize that you’re a victim of a mice infestation, you should buy multiple different traps. One type of trap is okay, but, as mentioned before, not all traps work all the time.

Try a combination of snap traps, glue traps, and traps that cage the animal (which are usually larger than regular traps and can fit more than one mouse, although you should empty the trap as soon as a mouse gets stuck in it). Think big from the start and you’ll have better chances at getting rid of the mice.

Low Number of Traps

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People often assume that a couple of traps set throughout the house will make a big enough difference. Remember that mice are cunning creatures that will surprise you with their resourcefulness.

An equally important fact about mice that render small numbers of traps moot is that mice reproduce very quickly. If you aren’t smart about getting rid of them, you’ll be facing a never-ending onslaught of young mice.

To combat this and keep their population at a steady decline, place traps next to high-traffic areas.

These locations are usually along walls and in hard-to-reach corners. The traps should be 2-3 feet apart from each other, and in the highest-trafficked places, your traps should be around an inch apart. It’s better to place more traps than fewer, but don’t place too many – the mice will figure it out and will avoid most of the traps altogether.

Setting the Traps In Wrong Places

Traps aren’t all-powerful devices that work anywhere you place them. You need to think hard and be smart about it. What good does placing a trap in the middle of the room do if the mice never run there? Study their movements and pathway choice, and when you finally get to a consensus, place the traps there.

This is usually next to the walls since the mice have a feeling of safety (as they’re out of danger on one side due to the wall being there). Most rodents have a fear of open spaces which is why they like to run around next to something; in this case walls.

Traps can also be placed at the backs of cabinets, stoves, fridges, and other secluded areas. Also, extra tip: Place the trigger and bait end against the wall. The mice will have to either avoid it altogether and go around the trap, or they’ll have to explore the trap and, ultimately, walk over it. If they do choose to walk over it – your job is done!

Results Don’t Come Instantly

Taking care of a mice infestation can be tedious. Get yourself a lot of patience as you’ll need it. Results don’t happen overnight (well, you might catch a mouse or two, but the main problem won’t be solved yet).

It can take several days and even a couple of weeks to completely rid your home of mice. This is why large-scale infestations should be taken care of by exterminators, as they are best at dealing with hundreds of mice.

As long as you are patient, the results will come and you’ll be happy with your work.

Keep checking on the traps relatively often so you’re sure that they’re working and placed in the right location. If you notice that none of the traps (or a low number of them) are catching mice, it might be time to re-evaluate the ‘battle plan’.

It’s your job to be diligent and vigilant as much as possible if you wish to solve the problem efficiently and all the way. Be patient!

Using Too Much Mice Bait

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Incorrect Amount of Bait

This is another common mistake that homeowners make due to the fact that they think the mice won’t want to risk coming close to the trap if there’s not enough food on it.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t need a large amount of bait for the traps to work as designed. Pea-sized amounts of bait are perfect; the mice will sense the bait and come to investigate.

Large amounts of bait aren’t recommended because they can steal some of the bait without triggering the trap and expose themselves to danger. You’re mostly going to need bait when working and preparing snap traps so keep that in mind as well.

Using Wrong Food as Bait

Cheese isn’t appetizing to mice no matter what you might believe. Sure, cartoons and even some movies have taught us that mice absolutely love cheese but the reality is very different. Cheese simply doesn’t work as bait.

Mice, as well as all other rodents, eat seeds and nuts. Cheese is a dairy product that they don’t need in their diet. Instead, use peanut butter. Peanut butter is great as it’s sticky enough to stay in the trap and the mice won’t be able to take it away from the trap.

Chocolate is another great option as it contains a lot of calories that the mice need to stay alive.

Also, if you’re experiencing an infestation during the colder months and winter, it’s a good idea to trick the mice into thinking that your traps have nest-building material. Yes, when it gets cold, the mice will do anything to get somewhere warm. This means that, if they enter your home, they’ll have to build a nest.

Since human homes don’t usually have viable building material, you can place cotton balls, twigs, and similar objects on the snap traps. Be sure to tie the twig (if that is your bait of choice) around the snapping mechanism so when the mouse comes to explore, he’ll have to pull and chew on the twig in order to get it, thus activating the snapping mechanism.

Ruining the Bait

odorless gloves

People do this accidentally, without really knowing that they’re the ones who can influence the effectiveness of traps. This happens due to the scent.

Mice have an excellent sense of smell and can sense humans. If you’re placing the traps with your bare hands, there’s a good possibility that they will smell you and completely avoid the traps.

To prevent this from happening, be sure to wear odorless gloves while setting up the traps. This is one of the most common mistakes people make since it’s so difficult to notice.

People have been known to get confused as to why their traps aren’t working whilst following instructions from professionals. The answer isn’t nearly as obvious as some others, but it’s still important to know.

Always wear gloves, or at least wash your hands with water, although this won’t help as much since you can’t wash away your human smell.

How to Properly Get Rid of Mice

Following the advice in this article and learning about all the mistakes you might be making, it’s time to learn how to stop a mice infestation. You’re going to need various different traps, some mice repellers, and your mind.

You’ve learned to place traps in strategic locations where the mice usually visit and run around them. Mice repellents work a bit differently but are great options for preventing an infestation from happening in the first place.

Mothballs, although useful, isn’t that good of an option as they are toxic to both humans and animals (so your pets and children are at a much higher risk of injury and poisoning than mice).

Use peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them around the possible entrances to your home. Replace the cotton balls as soon as you can’t smell the peppermint anymore. Ultrasonic pest repellers are recommended but just aren’t worth the money.

They rarely work properly since all the variables need to be perfect in order for them to work. There are many others, but these are the most common and successful ones.

So, what works is a combination of different traps such as snap traps and glue traps, a couple of mice repellers, and your knowledge of both the mice and the strategy of getting rid of mice.

If the problem goes out of hand, call the exterminators and let them finish the job.


Mistakes happen. You shouldn’t beat yourself over them and should instead learn from them. The mistakes we listed are the ones that happen most often and are easily solvable.

If you’ve been making some of these mistakes, it’s okay! Use the knowledge you learned from this article to improve yourself and become better at exterminating mice.

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