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Why Mouse Traps May Be a Better Choice Than Baits

By Chris Williams on February 1, 2016.

I just read that you shouldn’t use poison bait for mice in your attic, that you should use traps instead. Why is that?

N. O., Greenland, NH

The main reason that mouse baits are not recommended in some situations is that mice that eat the bait might die in wall voids, or hidden in all the clutter in an attic, or in other inaccessible places in your home. Then you have a dead mouse but you will probably also have an odor problem as the carcass decomposes. Sometimes you can locate and remove the dead mice, but often you cannot.

Mouse Traps Mean No Dead Mouse Smell

The biggest advantage to using traps in rodent control is that traps hold the dead mouse. Yes, you then have to dispose of the carcass but that’s a better alternative than not being able to find the carcass. With traps, you know right away whether you were successful or not. With baits, the first indication that you were successful may be a foul odor that you can’t pinpoint. Besides the resulting odor, a dead mouse or two in a wall void can attract flies and other insects that feed on decaying animals…then you have a new pest problem.

In addition to problems resulting from a missing mouse carcass, other reasons to be careful about using bait are (1) the slight risk that a family pet or a nontarget animal like a bird or a squirrel could eat the rodent bait, (2) food-based baits may not be very effective if the mice have other competing food sources in the attic or nearby, and (3) uneaten rodent bait left in an attic can attract food insects like meal moths or grain beetles.

Just Let the Professionals Deal With the Mice

Of course there are issues when trapping mice, too. It’s always best to place traps inside tamper-resistant bait stations to keep pets and children away. And if you don’t check traps regularly, you can still have odor from a decomposing carcass. If you’d rather not deal with the mice in your attic at all, give Colonial Pest a call. We do pests so you don’t have to!

For more on baiting versus trapping mice, see these Colonial blogs:

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