Best Bait For Mouse Traps [Mice Catching Tips!]

best bait for mouse trap

Ask anyone who’s had to deal with the problem of mice and they’ll all tell you all the things they tried which didn’t work. One big consideration is the bait you use. If you have the wrong bait, the mice won’t be tempted in to the trap.

One thing I learnt when trying to clear an infestation is that’s it’s not enough to just put bait down and hope for the best. I did everything wrong until I was shown the correct way to attract mice. Many good baits are items which you find in most homes, but there are also professional baits which have been specially designed to lure mice.

The right bait to use isn’t down to your personal preference – it’s down to what the mice want, and this can vary. There are, however, some good tried and tested baits which have had good results.

IMPORTANT TIP: Before you put any food or bait down, make sure all other foodstuffs are packed away where mice cannot get to them. If you leave any food accessible they may feed on that rather than go for the food in your traps.

Food Baits: Our Top 5

Many items found in the store cupboard make ideal baits for mouse traps. You don’t need to use a lot. Just something the size of a pea is usually enough.

1. Peanut butter

This one goes at the top of the list for a number of reasons.

  • It can be used with any type of trap as it will stick to the surface.
  • It has a strong smell which mice can pick up.
  • Mice love it! Peanut butter contains fats and proteins which are both essential for a mouse’s diet.

Most houses have peanut butter in the cupboard and a mouse won’t care whether it’s chunky or smooth. All you need is a peanut size piece placed on or in your trap and the mice will come to feed. When I used peanut butter I liked to keep a separate jar just for them. Even though you don’t physically handle the trap, I always felt it was a little more hygienic not to mix the jars up.

peanut butter

2. Bacon bits

If a food has a strong smell it will attract the mice to feed and when it comes to protein, you can use bacon bits, cut up hot dogs, beef jerky and even wet pet food.  Any meat which has an inviting aroma can go in your trap. Remember though, that you must use foods which won’t go off quickly if left out and you don’t need a large amount. Chopped hot dog is usually better than a whole one.

Wet pet food is designed to smell nice, otherwise your pets wouldn’t eat it. The advantage of wet pet food is that it is more likely to stay in the trap, whereas dry food may roll out.

3. Sugar and candy

Mice have a sweet tooth, and will be attracted to any sugary smell, and the good news is they don’t mind what sweet treats you leave out.

  • Honey and jam: These are a good choice for any traps because, just like peanut butter, they will stick to any surface. They also have a strong, sweet aroma.
  • Candy: Mice love jelly beans and candy but only use these in traps where they cannot roll off.
  • Chocolate: A small piece of chocolate can be used in a trap or chocolate spread will give you something which will stick to any trap.

4. Seeds

Nuts and seeds are what mice eat in the wild, so they will naturally be attracted by them.

Sunflower or pumpkin seeds are an excellent choice if your trap is enclosed or has a tray for bait. Similarly peanuts are a firm favorite with mice.

5. Cheese

A lot of people say that cheese is not a good choice of bait, but it all depends on the cheese you use. If you pick one with a strong smell, it is far more likely to attract the mice.

If you need a bait which will stick to a trap rather than risk it rolling off, you can use a strong cream cheese as well.

Professional Baits: 5 Proven Recommendations

If you prefer to keep your baits separate, you can also buy some good and effective professionally designed baits. These are all created to lure mice in to a trap and they are not poisonous or toxic.

1. Mice & Rat Super Attracting Bait (1, 2 oz.)

  • Non-poisonous
  • Works with all traps
  • Sweet smell
  • Also works with chipmunks and squirrels
  • 1oz, 2oz and 4oz packs

An easy bait to use is the Mice & Rat Super Attracting Bait. This bait comes in 3 different sizes and even the packs are mice proof.

The bait is non-toxic and doesn’t kill the mouse but simply lures them in to your trap.  It is a gel which has a sweet smelling odor to attract the mice and a sticky consistency which makes it a good choice for all types of trap.

It is easy to use and gets results.

2. Pro-Pest Rat and Mouse Lure (8 oz)

  • Non-poisonous
  • Works with all traps
  • 100% food grade materials
  • Can be used around animals and children
  • Non-allergenic

Pro-Pest Rat and Mouse Lure is another professional bait to help you attract mice, and there is no danger to other animals. The bait is non-toxic and non-poisonous and made from 100% food grade materials.

The bait can be used with snap traps and humane traps and as there are no toxins, it can be used in nurseries, hospitals and food processing plants.

The container is mouse proof so there is no risk of them getting to it when it is being stored.

3. Provoke Professional Gel for mouse traps, 2 Oz

  • Non-poisonous
  • Works with all traps
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can be used with any traps

Provoke Professional Gel can be used with types of mouse trap. The design of the bottle makes it easy to put the gel bait just where you want it and without having to touch it.

The smell is designed to encourage mice in to the traps and is it hypoallergenic and non-toxic, so it is safe to use around animals and children.

4. WCS Mouse Magnet Bait – 3 Tubes

  • Non-poisonous
  • Works with all traps
  • Includes aromatic nut oils
  • Can be used with any traps
  • 3 individual tubes
  • Also works with rats and chipmunks

The WCS Mouse Magnet Bait includes 3 Tubes of bait which can be used to squeeze a small amount on to a trap.

There are no harmful chemicals or poisons, and all ingredients are food grade. The bait is a mix of nut oils and other ingredients which lure the mouse to the trap to eat it. It is suitable for all types of bait and not harmful if used around animals and children.

5. Tomcat Mouse Attractant Gel (For Use with Mouse or Rat Traps)

  • Non-poisonous
  • Works with all traps
  • Can be used with any traps
  • Easy to use tube
  • Also attracts rats

Tomcat is a name you can trust when it comes to mice and the Tomcat Mouse Attractant Gel is no exception.

The long nozzle on the tube is ideal for placing the bait on to any kind of trap, whether it’s a snap trap, mechanical or humane trap, and the smell had been designed to work just as well as peanut butter.

Choose your trap

One very common error that people make when setting a trap is to use the wrong bait. This is something I did myself until it was explained to me.

The idea is not just to get the mice on to the trap, but to keep them there long enough for the trap to work. Some traps will have a well or enclosed holder for the bait, while some snap traps just have a flat base.

If you use a nut on a flat snap trap, there’s a good chance the mice could knock the nut off and eat it without having to go in to the trap.

Snap traps

  • If the trap is flat, use something sticky such as peanut butter, honey or a professional bait.
  • If the trap has a bait well, sticky baits still work, or you can use seeds or candies.

Electronic trap

These usually have an enclosed bait tray so you can use any type of bait as it will not be knocked out.

No-kill trap

  • Single catch: smaller no kill traps are designed to catch single mice. The design of these makes a sticky bait work better as the mouse has to go all the way inside the trap to get to it.
  • Multi catch: Larger humane traps are designed to catch multiple mice. These work with any type of bait, as the door is triggered as soon as the mice pass through.

Glue trap

Most glue traps are scented to attract mice to them anyway, but you can add bait too. If you use candy or nuts, they may not stick effectively. Smaller foods such as bacon bits are better, or a sticky bait is best.

Baiting tips to get results

Baiting the traps correctly is a big factor in catching the mice, and it’s easy to overlook some simple things.

  • Never handle bait with your bare hands. Even food such as a jelly bean could pick up your scent and deter mice from eating it.
  • Keep an eye on the bait and replace it if it starts to look moldy or old.
  • If mice aren’t eating your bait, try something else or re-site the trap. Traps should always be placed where you see signs of mouse activity, and always place your trap against the wall.
  • If you see a trap has been tripped and the food has gone, you’re using the wrong bait for that trap.
  • Don’t be afraid to use multiple traps and you can try using different baits on them to see which works best.

Happy catching!

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