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What’s the Best Bait for Mouse Traps?

By Chris Williams on July 30, 2014.

We’ve been using wooden snap traps to catch the occasional mice around our house because we don’t like to put out poisons. Lately, I’m not having much luck. Often the bait is ignored but I can tell by new droppings that there are still some mice around. What kind of bait works best? M. A., Boston, MA

Your Bait Won’t Work if Easier Food is Available

food for mouse trapsNo matter what you use for bait, mice will ignore it if you are providing a more desirable food source somewhere else. In other words, if your mice have been happily feeding on that bag of high protein dog food in the corner of the garage, why would they bother to try to wrestle food from a new and unfamiliar source like a snap trap. Make sure mice do not have access to pet food, bird seed, grass seed, food crumbs, even pet poop, if you want your snap traps to work.

Try These Baits for Mice 

  • Peanut butter
  • Nut meats
  • Caramel corn
  • Hot dog slices
  • Molasses
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Peanut oil
  • Gumdrops
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins & other dried fruit

 Six Tips to Improve Your Trapping Success

  1. Use an expanded trigger or platform trap. The wider bait tray means the mouse is more likely to spring the trap.
  2. Overcome a mouse’s trap shyness by prebaiting traps. Bait the traps with the chosen food and smear more on the edges of the trap. Place the baited traps, unset, for a few days so the mice can get used to feeding from the traps. Then bait and set to catch mice.
  3. To prevent bait thievery without tripping the trap, use a sticky bait like peanut butter that can’t be carried off. Smear a small amount on both the top, and bottom, of the trigger. Or, tie the bait to the trigger with dental floss. Some baits, like marshmallows or chocolate can be melted onto the trigger using a long-reach lighter.
  4. Pregnant female mice may not be interested in food baits, but will readily scavenge for nest material. Tie cotton balls, dental floss, yarn, bits of string or fabric strips to the bait pedal.
  5. If trapping success drops off, switch to another bait. Don’t be afraid to move traps to new locations.
  6. Check traps frequently and replace missing or moldy bait.

…or, simply call Colonial Pest. Our technicians will inspect your home for mouse hot spots, nests, and entry points. We can set up an intensive trapping program to quickly rid your home of mice. More importantly, we can mouse-proof your home to keep mice out for good.

Photo credit: .martin / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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