Are Mice Smart Enough to Avoid Traps?

are mice smart enough to avoid traps

This is the question that bugs all of us that have problem with mice that are constantly escaping our traps. No, they aren’t, but you have probably set up the trap wrongly.

The scientists have researched mice’s behaviors and came up with several conclusions that might be useful for catching a mouse.

Forget the facts from cartoons like Tom and Jerry.  Firstly, they do not see the trap and understand how it works. Mice rely on their instincts, especially on their sense of smell, so they sees a trap different than we do. Knowing how they perceive the traps, we can prevent the avoidance of it.

Smelling the danger

If you touch a trap with your bare hands when you are setting it, you can transfer the smell of your hands onto the trap. The mouse will smell it and avoid the trap because it feels the threat. It just won’t bite it because of the smell.

They also can smell death. Yes, it sounds prophetic, but you should take it literally. Again, it is connected to their sense of smell.

As a matter of fact, mice can sense rotting flesh of another dead mouse, so it will avoid this area. So, if you set a trap you should check it regularly because if one pest had been gotten, the other won’t be.

If there is a dead mouse, you should throw it away immediately, and set a new trap. Only this way trap will work.

How should the trap be positioned?

You should set the trap near the walls. The mouse will never run across the whole room. To protect themselves, mice run just along the walls because of the danger that lies in the middle of the room. It is the space where humans and animals live, place where an eagle could catch him.

The mice evolutionary are set in the corners and angles. They are cautious by nature. Therefore, if you set the trap in the middle of a room, you won’t catch any mice. You should lay your trap in the corner or near the wall so the mice interact with it.

Do not deceive yourself and believe that mice will be attracted by the smell of certain food. No mice will run across the room under any circumstances, and there are no foods that smell that good to draw them into the middle of the room.

If you are not sure where the mice run, you can set the camera and observe it. This will probably reveal the number of them and their habitat. So if you want to try with some mice poison, you will be sure of where to put it.

DON’T MISS: Best Mouse Traps (Our Top 10!)

How big does the bait need to be?

It shouldn’t be too big, because the mice are too cautious. Even when they feed, they will stay on guard. So, if you put too much of the bait, the mouse will eat just a little and it won’t be enough to release the trap.

Remember, you are not putting up bait fora mouse to eat it. You are putting the bait so that the smell drives the pest into the trap!

There is also false prejudice that the mice adore cheese. Actually, they eat the cheese, but prefer nutty products. They will be lured with some peanuts, walnuts, cashews, or hazelnuts. You can use some industrial snacks that have the same odor as these products or have been made of nuts.

Setting multiple traps

It is something that you definitely should do if you are setting a snap trap. If a mouse activates it, the reaction of the mouse will be reflex. So if it escapes the captivity of the first snap trap, it won’t be cautious enough and will fall into another snap trap that has been set nearby.

Also, other kinds of traps work better simultaneously. It is because of their high rate of reproducibility. So, in just three weeks, the mouse family will be bigger for approximately six new mice. If you want to stop them fast, before they reproduce, you should attack severely. Put one trap on every 2 feet nearby the place you saw or heard mice and wait for wonders.

Humane Traps

With these traps, you should forget the part of fast disposal of a captured mouse. The mice can smell death, literally, but if your captured mouse is still alive, the smell of its urine will drive another mouse there. It is because the smell of the urine sends a message to the other mice that the surrounding is safe.

Maybe slower is better if you want to be humane. It has certain advantages. You can leave it without checking for a week, which is pretty useful if you aren’t present around the place where the pest appeared. You won’t need to explain to your child why the hamster that he/she has is a good thing, and the mouse is not. Also, if you are not seeing the mice as a pest, your conscience will be clear.

The only flaw is that for this type of traps you need more space than with the deadly type.

Using different types of traps

If you have a serious issue with mice, you should act even more severely. Therefore, you should use different types of traps for attacking with different approaches.

For instance, you can put together snap traps and glue traps. This will certainly catch even the most cautious mice.

Also, if you do not act radically in the first night of setting the traps, the mice will be more cautious. So, the most mice are caught during the first night, more than any of the following. So, if you want to eradicate them, you should get rid of them at the same time.

Hence, after the first night, the mice will be even more cautious, and you won’t easily disguise the smell of all killed mice, which will keep them on guard.


There are several reasons why the mice won’t go into the trap just after you set it.

One of the reasons is that they can be accustomed to the place and spend enough time in it to make the difference between a new and the old object in the surrounding. Therefore, you should be patient and wait without moving the traps, so the mice become accustomed to the traps and try the bait.

Also, it is scientifically proven through multiple experiments that mice can enhance their cognitive abilities. So, if the mouse escaped from one trap, it will be more cautious, and won’t be easy to catch.

As many traps it avoids, the chance for escaping is enlarged. On the other hand, they aren’t that bright to leave the household. Once they see the trap, they do not know that it is the intentional trap. They observe it just like any other obstacle from nature.

Protection while destroying

The aim is to “banish” the mice without destroying any other pet or do any harm to your household members. So, the best way is to use the traps that cover the bait, or the poison that cannot be reached by anything else except the mouse.

If you are still concerned, you should buy special covered traps, which no one bigger than a mouse can reach.

So, to finish!

The mice aren’t smart enough to recognize a trap as an intentional object that has been made and set to destroy them. Instead, they see it as an obstacle such as those they struggle in nature. Therefore, they follow the natural instincts that keep them safe in nature.

So, if you want to destroy them, you must both cooperate with their instincts and struggle with it. You must be especially cautious about leaving the smell around because the mice’s sense of smell is their strongest sense.

Comments are closed.