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Baiting Mouse Traps – Which Foods Work Best?

By Chris Williams on March 22, 2011.

Q. Recently, I’ve seen mice in my apartment. I think there’s more than one. I bought some wooden snap traps to try to catch the mice but I’m not sure what I should use for bait. Can you tell me what food will work best for catching mice?

A. Sure. First, some advice to make your trapping more effective. Purchase snap traps that have an expanded trigger. The enlarged bait trap provides a bigger area for the mouse to step on and makes it more likely that he will trip the trap. In fact, you can even catch mice in these large trigger traps without bait. Secondly, when you can, tie the bait on or melt it onto the bait tray so that mice have to work harder to get it off. They will be less likely to steal the food without tripping the trap if the bait is tied on. Dental floss works well for this purpose.

Now, for the bait. Mice are omnivores which means they will eat pretty much anything that people eat. If you know what the mice have been feeding on, say bread, then try pieces of bread in your traps. But offer the mice some new foods as well. You may have to experiment with a few different foods and keep track of which ones give you the best results.

mouseContrary to popular belief, cheese is not the best bait for mice. Peanut butter is often the standard bait for mice because they like it and they have to work to lick it off of the bait tray, making it more likely that they will be caught. Mice also like fruits and nuts. Raisins, bits of prunes, apple slices, pecans walnuts, and other nutmeats can be tied to the trap. Some other baits used successfully: gum drops, marshmallows (melt them onto the trigger), caramel corn, bacon, chocolate, cookies, hot dog slices, and cereal.

Bait doesn’t have to be food. Pregnant female mice have a powerful nesting instinct. You can take advantage of this by tying bits of nesting material such as cotton balls, yarn, soft string, or small strips of cloth onto the trap.

If your trapping isn’t successful or you find out you have more mice than you thought you did (a common occurrence!), remember that you can always call a pro. At Colonial, we’re experts at eliminating mouse infestations. Give us a call and we’ll give you a hand!

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