What could seem simpler than catching a mouse? It seems to be a piece of cake: install the traps and wait for the haul. In reality, things are much more complicated. Mice could ignore your traps or steal the bait from them. If you know nothing about these rodents’ typical behavior, you can make lots of errors and end up not catching any unwanted guests at all. For instance, did you know that rodents tend to send younger individuals-scouts to explore potential traps and make sure they are not dangerous? In this review, you will find out what kinds of mouse traps and baits exist, what their peculiarities are and which device you should pick.
What is The Best Mouse Trap? How Do They Work? Comparative Review of Different Mouse Traps Types
Despite the large number of designs and manufacturers, there are only four types of traps which we will focus on.
Snap Trap is the simplest trap type and we are all familiar with it from childhood and cartoons. A classic wooden trap with an iron clamp is the most cut-rate one. The bait is pricked on this rod and that’s where a mouse finds it. As soon as it tries to take some food, the clamp shuts and squeezes the victim. The rod is robust enough to kill an animal or harm a person who was not careful enough when handling it. Apart from wooden traps, there are plastic and metal analogues available on the market. Their exterior may differ from a classic option to a great extent, but its action is the same.
Live Catch Traps don’t kill mice but keep them in a small aviary instead. It is suitable for those who find killing an animal, even if it is a pest, unacceptable. A trapped mouse is released somewhere far away from home. Moreover, you can show it to your kids and teach them a humanity lesson by example.
Glue Traps are glued boards, trays or slats. They trap mice effectively but will hardly be able to retain a rat for a long time. Their main drawback is that a glued rodent will twitch and squeak nervously and noisily while trying to escape. The glue isn’t poisonous and won’t kill the rodent, but if it gets trapped at night, you will have to get up and do something about it, because you will barely be able to sleep hearing this squeaking. The experts from the University of California warn of yet another issue: Mice that become stuck on glue boards often urinate and defecate as they struggle to free themselves from the glue. When deer mice are captured in this way, the potential for contacting hantavirus is greatly increased. Therefore, avoid glue boards for controlling deer mice.
Electronic Traps are the most effective and cleanest ones. The advantages of this electronic device are obvious: a mouse or a rat runs inside such a trap in search of food and dies of electrocution quickly and painlessly. This method helps you stay away from mess and blood. Electric mouse trap are convenient and practical for spacious rooms and produce storages as they don’t need to be charged very often.
|Snap Trap||Very cheap||Doesn't kill|
|Live Catch Trap||Humane and cheap|| |
You must take the trap away and release the mouse
|Glue trap||Cheap|| |
A trapped mouse will squeak and die painfully for several days
|Electronic Trap||Fast death from high voltage, no blood and mess, catches dozens of rodents per battery charge||Expensive, do not use outdoors without any waterproof accessories|
How to Trap a Mouse
To trap a mouse, it is essential to understand where and from where rodents appear as well as their behavior. Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has devised four rules of mice trapping:
- Compared to rats, mice forage only short distances from their nest - usually not more than 10-25 feet. When food and shelter are adequate, their foraging range may be only a few feet. For this reason, traps and other control devices must be placed in areas where mouse activity is most apparent.
- Mice prefer to travel adjacent to walls and other edges - another critical point to remember when positioning control devices.
- Mice are very inquisitive and will investigate each new object placed in their foraging territory. If control devices are not initially successful, move them around to a different location.
- There should be plenty of traps. Mice are nocturnal animals and are able to go looking for food up to 30 times per night.
We’ll add one more important rule to this list. Make sure you wear rubber gloves when setting the traps and placing the bait. Mice have a subtle sense of smell which will not let them approach a trap that has a human smell.
How many traps do you need? Mice procreate rapidly, that is why the scientists believe it is necessary to have a dozen or more traps in order to get rid of the entire population.
How to Lure Mice into Your Traps?
Domestic rodents prefer grain, cereal and nuts. The University of Kentucky experts note that domestic rodents’ diet varies and cereal grains are a mere foundation of it. - Mice feed on a wide variety of foods but prefer seeds and cereal grains. They also are fond of foods high in fat and protein such as nuts, bacon, butter and sweets (an important point to remember when choosing bait for snap traps). Mice are "nibblers" and may make 20-30 visits to different food sites each night.
Peanut butter bait is popular among mouse trap users as its density makes it convenient to roll small balls or spread it on the sensor surface of the trap. Contrary to a popular myth, mice are not crazy about cheese and are as enthusiastic about it as they are about other products, so cheese is not always the best option.
As the above mentioned scientist Michael F. Potter jokes, you must "think like a mouse". It’s best if you use smoked ham or bacon. Unrefined vegetable oil will also be a decent alternative to peanut butter. Pour some oil on the white bread or place some roasted sunflower seeds or peanut hearts inside the mouse trap.
Top-7 Best Mouse Traps
We’ve picked the seven most popular trapping devices for you including classic cartoon snaps, glue, closed plastic houses for particularly sensitive homeowners, humane live-catch traps and the fastest electronic trap that kills by electrocution.
Snap-E Mouse Trap, 6-pack
This is a best seller among similar devices as it has already nearly 2 900 customer reviews on Amazon.com. It is a classic reusable trap with improved bait placement. The trap foundation is stainless plastic which doesn’t absorb any odors unlike wood. A pack of six units costs ~$10.51 and will serve you for ages. With this trap, you will also be able to catch chipmunks and other rodents.
Experienced customers claim that even the first night will yield first prey. You won’t have to touch a rodent’s corpse as the design allows for easy hands-free dead mice release. Snap-E traps have already helped catch thousands of the most invincible mice. Read all customer reviews to check for yourself.
Price: ~$10.51 Check the current price
Intruder 30442 The Better Mousetrap, 6-Pack
Do you need to catch multiple rodents? This ~$11.97 set by Intruder provides six traps. They are made of stainless steel and their exterior resembles improved classic wooden traps. These ones are more sensitive making any bait theft impossible. A mouse is hit and the trap’s plastic design ensures that asphyxiation is made without mess and blood. The product is popular with the customers, rated highly and awarded 4.3 out of 5 stars. Consumers observe super fast results as mice get trapped within a few hours of setting up.
Price: ~$11.97 (6-pack) Check the current price
Tomcat Mouse Size Glue Traps, 4-Pack
This is a simple and inexpensive option for those who have to deal with individual rodents. A pack of four traps is available for only ~$3.99, which makes a unit worth about a buck! Its sticky base traps mice and can be used against other unwanted pests, such as scorpions, cockroaches and small reptiles. The sticky traps will hardly catch large rats, so make sure it is mice that infested your house. The non-toxic formula of the product allows for its safe use near kids and pets.
Judging by the reviews, traps remain sticky for up to a fortnight after being set up. The most experienced users spread some peanut butter on their surface to make these traps additionally attractive for rodents. This must be quite a helpful tip given the mice’s fondness for this treat. Read over 500 customer reviews on Amazon.com to learn more.
Price: ~$3.99 (6-pack) Check the current price
D-Con Ultra Set Mouse Trap, 5-Pack
These traps are suitable for the most sensible users: they will have to neither touch nor see any dead rodents and as result, no dead rodent smell. A $17.38 pack contains five classic enclosed traps. They work just like regular ones but are additionally equipped with a house, i.e. a box that restricts any tactile or visual contact of a person with a trapped mouse. The most you will be able to see is a piece of tail sticking out. Once you pull the lever, you will release a mouse’s corpse. Follow this procedure with rinsing D-Con in warm water before placing new bait and setting the trap again.
Although the traps are reusable, some users complain of device breakages after one or several uses. That is why they will hardly do against a massive rodent infestation; they seem to be more appropriate for catching individual pests. Yet another advantage of an enclosed design is that a mouse won’t be able to feast on the bait and run as there is nowhere to run from D-Con.
Price: ~$17.38 (5-pack) Check the current price
Tomcat Kill and Contain Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
This is the most aesthetically pleasing mouse trap covered; it is available for ~$7.98 for a pack of two. A compact trap acts like an enclosed trap: a mouse enters it in search of food, gets into the white box and dies there. The product is equipped with a bar that drops once a mouse has been caught. You don’t have to open the trap to check which makes it convenient and sparing for sensitive users. It can be safely used around children and pets.
The reviews of the product are contradictory. The main claim is that the trap does not entirely kill the mice making homeowners listen to victims’ squeaking all night long. The manufacturer recommends improving the trap’s performance by setting it perpendicularly to the wall in rodents’ activity places only.
Price: ~$7.98 (2-pack) Check the current price
Victor Electronic Mouse Trap M2524
This unit by Victor for ~$19.98 is the best known electronic mouse trap. This black box of death has been tested over time and has collected over 2200 customer reviews on Amazon.com. The device electrocutes pests in five seconds. Four AA batteries are required to run it. This set will be enough to kill up to a hundred animals. The trap’s enclosed design provides for safety of use near kids and pests. The device is also equipped with a catch indicator: a green light means someone has been trapped, a red light means low battery.
Despite the many users’ complaints of this device not always catching rodents, it is very popular on Amazon.com. Keep in mind that it has been designed especially to fit a mouse; it is not suitable for catching rats. You will also have to check the catch indicator often as no mouse will enter the trap if it smells like another dead rodent.
Price: ~$19.98 Check the current price
A Humane Mouse Trap - Vensmile Humane Smart Mouse Trap, 2-Pack
This is a fundamentally distinguished product of our review. This ~$13.99 (2-pack) transparent flask is safe for kids and pets and is suitable for those who don’t want to kill any animals, including pests. Once a mouse is trapped, it stays there unharmed and receives oxygen through wall holes. Release a rodent by opening the door somewhere far enough from your house. Vensmile can be used both indoors and outdoors.
This humane device is not as popular yet as rival products, but it is rated higher with 4.4 out of 5 stars. Do you want to teach your child how to treat animals in a humane manner? You won’t find a better trap for this purpose.
Price: ~$13.99 (2-pack) Check the current price
Best Mouse Traps Comparative Chart
Snap-E Mouse Trap
|Snap||#1 best selling snap trap.|| |
Intruder 30442 The Better Mousetrap
|Snap||A kit for killing a large mouse population. The design is sensitive so that it is impossible to steal the bait.|| |
Tomcat Mouse Size Glue Traps
|Glue||For catching individual rodents. Very sticky.|| |
D-Con Ultra Set Mouse Trap
|Closed Snap||Allows avoiding tactile and eye contact with a dead rodent.|| |
Tomcat Kill and Contain Mouse Trap
|Closed Snap||It is lovely and compact, will fit even the least accessible places. Is equipped with a catch indicator.|| |
Victor Electronic Mouse Trap M2524
|Electronic||Electrocutes mice in 5 seconds, is equipped with a catch indicator.|
Vensmile Humane Smart Mouse Trap
|Live Catch||Humane pest catching.|| |
When Is Trapping Better Than Poisoning?
Rodenticides are of course simpler, faster and better than traps. You don’t have to regularly check them; you merely wait for the results after having spread the poison. This makes them especially convenient for use on large territories. They contain brodifacoum, chlorophacinone, diphacinone or warfarin. These substances prevent blood clogging making the victim die of internal bleeding. Several poisons lethally affect the rodents’ CNS, kidneys, heart and liver, hence the rodenticides’ biggest drawback in being hazardous for kids and pets. Moreover, the pests will die anywhere and exude an unpleasant putrid smell unless you remove them in time.
Traps are deprived of these disadvantages. If several mice have infected your house, don’t rush to poison them. When there are a few small rodents, try catching them with mouse traps. Set them along the walls where you have seen mice or their life activity traces. Locate a trap perpendicularly to the wall (though some manuals recommend parallel placement).
Sticky traps are also effective. When running along a familiar trap, a mouse would suddenly contact a sticky surface from which it cannot escape. If a board gets accidentally stuck to a human or a pet, it can be removed with some vegetable oil.
Electronic traps kill faster with high voltage. No blood. No squeaking. No mess. However, you have to check them more often as no rodent will enter it if it smells like a corpse. Rodents may be mistrustful of a new device. That is why you should keep the device turned off for a few days with the bait inside after you install it. Following this trial period, turn it on boldly and the catch won’t take long.