How To Catch A Mouse

By Chris Williams on March 6, 2015.

mouse crawling around in houseJohn Maher:  Hi, I am John Maher and today I’m here with Scott Winsper of Colonial Pest Control. Scott is a wildlife technician and today we’re talking about how to catch and handle a trapped mouse. Welcome Scott.

Scott Winsper: How’re we doing today?

Where to Place Traps to Catch Mice

John:  Good. Scott where should I place my traps in my house in order to catch mice and how do I set one?

Scott:  Well first of all, my experience, I would set traps in the basement, attic and sometimes it’s garage areas. There’s other areas too you can look for, underneath your sink, if there’s any droppings or anything in that area, you can set traps there.

Other areas too, like a warm area, if you would pull your drawer out of your stove area. Pull the bottom‑most drawer out and look underneath, you actually probably see some droppings there, that’s a good area to put a trap too.

John:  Do they like under the stove because it’s warm under there?

Scott:  Yeah, they’re all after heat and warmth, that’s what mice want.

John:  Right.

Scott:  Warm heat.

John:  Attic, basement, your appliances and certainly any place where you happen to be seeing any droppings.

Scott:  Absolutely, or rub stains or rub marks, or anything — that kind of area, or an entry point where you can’t seal it. Say if it’s an area where it can’t be sealed but you know something is going on in and out of there, that would be a good area to put a mouse trap.

Food for Mouse Traps

John:  OK. What food should I place with a mouse trap? I know it’s always like on old cartoons you see a mouse trap with a piece of cheese, is that the best thing to use?

Scott:  Mice are not eaters, they’re grain eaters, so I prefer to mix my bait with peanut butter and sunflower seeds. Those are the most — thing that mice are attracted to for food sources, peanut butter and sunflower seeds. If you take those two and you mix them together, you get a good combination right there to put on your trap.

John:  Then you get a little scoop of that and stick around the trap.

Scott:  Remember less is more. Less is more when it comes to that. You don’t want to put too much on the trap where the trap is going to fall down. Less is more. You just need a little bit to attract, them not a lot.

John:  If there’s too much on there they might be able to sort of take it without setting off the trap even and be able to just drag it away.

Scott:  That’s the problem. You’ve got a pin there that’s set on spring trigger. What happens if you put too much on it, it weighs it down, sets it off and free meal for the mice. So less is more.

Different Kinds of Mouse Traps

John:  Right. What trap do you think is most effective? What are the different types of traps?

Scott:  Well there’re certain ways you can go about it. There’s snap traps, there’s glue boards and then there’s rodent‑proof tamper station, where we use a poison bait, where that helps control the birthing cycle for mice, because mice like to reproduce every 20 to 30 days.

Now when you get that kind of mouse population coming in, you want to use some kind of bait to regulate that and control that. Now the mouse trap comes in affect — is usually to help balance that out, where they might not go after that bait but might go after the peanut butter.

You want to put a combination of things in your house. You want to put the RTU stations — that’s a Tamper Proof Station. What I mean by Tamper Proof Station — that station is to help to keep animals from getting into it like your dog, your cats, especially your children. They’re all locked containers. Usually when we put these things, they are areas where they can’t get to.

But if it’s an area that they can get to we, secure them down. We lock them down, tether them down. Say if you have — in this situation in your garage, and mice are running in the garage, we will take those stations and we’ll put them in the corners where the garage comes open and so when the mice come in the stations are right there.

John:  The first thing they go to.

Scott:  Right away, but those stations need to be secure. You don’t want your pet grabbing them and taking off with them. You don’t want your kids playing with them. Those stations need to be secured near your garage doors.

John:  There’s some type of poison.

Scott: Yeah food based in a poison base. It’s a mixed base, that’s why your dogs are attracted to them. There’s some kind of food base in there and they’re attracted to it. That’s why you need to secure those down. But they work great. They are excellent products.

John:  Do they kill the mouse right away or is it a situation where it — again you said it’s sort of a birthing control thing — it keeps them from having more baby mice, etc — that sort of thing?

Scott:  Absolutely, every station can put different bait in it, it all depends what kind of bait. You’ve got fast acting, slow acting bait. It all depends, from the situations you’re having. If you’re overrun or you’re just a mild case, it all depends with what you have; it depends with what kind of bait you’re going to put in there.

John:  Right, good information Scott, thanks for talking to me today. For more information you can visit the Colonial Pests Control website at or call 1‑800‑525‑8084, that’s 1-800-525-8084.

Photo credit: Delfí / Foter / CC BY

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