If you have mice, you need mouse traps, ASAP. It’s as simple as that. Once mice deem your home safe and cozy, they will not leave on their own.
A few mice can quickly lead to a large infestation, and an infestation can quickly lead to an even larger, more sever infestation if you do not take immediate action.
Familiarize yourself with the trapping methods in this article to find a solution that best fits your preferences and needs.
Do I have a mice infestation?
Determining whether or not you have a mice infestation can be quite difficult, and you may actually not find the answer until you start placing traps. This is because mice are nocturnal, scared of humans, and typically elusive. Thus, it is rare that we ever see mice nests or large groups of mice because they hide themselves so well. However, there are a few signs that indicate the presence of an infestation:
- Multiple mouse sightings within a few days
- Lots of mouse droppings in your home
- Chewed on items in your home, such as food packaging, plastics, and recyclables (mice use these materials to build their nests and keep their teeth filed down)
- Lots of “mouse-sounding” activity coming from your walls and ceilings (gnawing, scurrying, etc.)
The far easier way to tell if you have a mice infestation is to start putting out traps. Generally speaking, mice traps work very well, so the amount of mice you initially trap usually indicates the severity of your mouse problem. For example, if you put out four snap traps and the next day you find four mice caught in them, this would be a strong indication that you have an infestation. On the contrary, if you are having little success with your traps, do not immediately rule out an infestation. Each trapping method has its own specifications, so it’s entirely possible that you could be using your traps improperly, and therefore not catching any mice.
Whichever trapping method(s) you choose to implement, it’s important to know the reusability and capacity of each type of trap. Reusable traps do exactly as the name suggests: you can use the traps more than once before discarding them.
Trap capacity refers to how many mice each trap can catch at once. Traps with high trap capacities have the capability of catching several mice in one night, which many people prefer. Although, it’s important to note that you can also catch several mice in one night with traps with low trap capacities by putting out more than one of them.
How do I lure multiple mice to a trap?
There are three main keys to luring multiple mice to a trap: location, bait, and maintenance
- Location, location, location.
- You should place your mouse traps in suspected areas of high mouse activity. Common locations include in the basement or garage, above ceiling tiles, and near cracks/holes in your walls. It may seem like common sense, but if you suspect mice to be concentrated in your basement, place mouse traps IN your basement and not on your first floor.
- Do NOT place mouse traps in areas that are not easy for you to reach because you will need to check on them and change them out frequently.
- Remember where you put each trap! The last thing you want to do is step on a snap trap while walking around your home barefoot. Also, if you forget where you put one, you won’t be able to remove the mouse (dead or alive) which can really stink up your home.
- Choosing the right bait for your traps can make a world of difference in luring mice
- Peanut butter is the gold standard of bait, and in my opinion, the best mouse trap bait
- Other popular, effective baits are milk chocolate, marshmallows, and candies (such as gum drops). In general, mice love foods with high sugar contents.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different baits. If you aren’t seeing success with one, try others until you get the best results.
- Maintenance refers to constantly checking up on your traps, removing caught mice, cleaning or changing out your traps, and re-baiting them.
- The most common maintenance fault is not removing caught mice (dead or alive) often enough. Traps with low trapping capacities should be checked on multiple times a day in the case that a mouse has been caught. Traps with higher trapping capacities can be checked on every day to remove all mice. For example, if you use glue traps, you should check on them at least once a day.
Top 5 Methods to Catching Multiple Mice
Electric traps are small, enclosed, battery powered contraptions that work by luring a mouse in with a bait, and then delivering a lethal shock to the mouse. Many of the electric mouse trap brands advertise these traps to be humane because they deliver a high voltage shock, and thus do not cause any pain or discomfort to the mice. Interpret that as you may, but know that these traps will kill your mice, not capture them. They are also generally more expensive than other types of mouse traps, but are very easy to use and maintain.
- Electric mouse traps can be used over and over again, so long as you keep them clean.
Capacity: low (max 1 mouse)
- The majority of electric mouse traps on the market have a trapping chamber large enough for just one mouse. But there are some that can handle multiple.
Repeater mouse traps are great traps for people seeking an effective and humane type of mouse trap. These traps are completely non-violent (they will capture mice without killing them), easy to use and maintain, durable, but can also be a little pricy compared to some of the other traps available. While these traps often don’t require bait, most users suggest using bait to lure in as many mice as possible. While glue traps are often considered to be the least humane trapping method, the repeater mouse trap is one of the most humane methods.
- All varieties of these traps can be reused.
- In terms of cleaning, it may actually be better to not clean these traps. This is because mouse urine is an appealing scent to mice, for it indicates the presence of other mice. When mice get trapped in a repeater mouse trap, they will urinate, and if you don’t clean the trap after you remove the mice, the scent will remain and lure more mice to the trap when you place it back out.
Capacity: low to high
- There are many different types and models of these mouse traps with varying trapping capacities.
This trap is one of the more unconventional types of traps out there, but still incredibly effective. You place a rolling log through the top of a 5 gallon bucket, bait the rolling log with peanut butter or the bait of your choosing (although peanut butter is the easiest to stick the rolling log), place ramps on two sides of the bucket, and fill the bucket with water (optional). Essentially, the mice will be lured by the bait, climb up one of the ramps, climb onto the rolling log to get to the bait, and spin off the rolling log down to the bottom of the bucket. Watch this video for a more detailed walkthrough.
If you choose to put water in the bucket, know that this will drown and kill the mice. If you do not put water in the bucket, know that there is a chance that your mice can climb out of the bucket, so be sure to set up some type of barriers inside the bucket preventing that from happening. If you want to really increase the size of your catch, place glue traps around the bucket.
- This type of mouse trap can be used over and over again.
- It’s important to promptly remove the mice that fall into bucket. If you are catching mice without using water, you want to be sure to remove them promptly so that they survive. If you are catching mice with water, you want to be sure to remove them promptly to prevent decay and a rotten smell, which can keep other mice away from the trap.
Capacity: high (dozens of mice)
- Due to size of a 5 gallon bucket, the mouse trap can catch large amounts of mice (dozens) in just one night.
Many consider snap traps to be the best mouse trap available. A snap trap is a spring loaded trap that is incredibly effective at getting rid of mice. Simply place some peanut butter or the bait of your choosing on the pressure plate, set the trap, and place it perpendicular against a wall with the bait side closest to the wall.
It’s important to note that while these traps are designed to instantly kill a mouse by snapping its neck, sometimes the tail or just a leg of a mouse can get caught in the trap if the mouse stands on the pressure plate in a strange way. If this occurs, the mouse will be stuck and suffer until it dies. So, it is important to constantly check on your mouse traps to both get rid of any dead mice and to see if there is a mouse that is trapped but still alive.
- Snap traps are reusable, but there are a few important things to note about this.
- You must promptly clean the traps if you want to reuse them. If you don’t, the dead mice scent will remain on the traps which will deter other mice from getting near them.
- Sometimes the crime scene of a snap trap can be quite bloody and messy. If this occurs, it’s best to just throw it out and use a new one.
Capacity: low (max 1 mouse)
- One snap trap can only catch one mouse.
- To compensate for this, buy in bulk.
- Only a small amount of bait is required. If you use peanut butter, just use a drop or two.
- Make sure you buy snap traps in bulk to use multiple at once.
- A snap trap is very powerful! Do not place them near locations where you walk or near areas that young children or pets go near.
Rat poison is the last method on this list to effectively get rid of mice. Rat poison typically comes in a small box or container. You place the container somewhere on the floor in your home and that’s it. Mice will be lured to it, eat some, go on with the business, and then die. Because the mice don’t instantly die when they eat the poison, they often die in places that you won’t be able to see or find them (but you will smell them).
The best way to determine if the rat poison is working or not, other than seeing or smelling a dead mouse or two around your home, is to check how much rat poison is left in the container.
While a glue trap and glue board will also effectively get rid of mice, they only kill mice, and do not catch them alive. Keep in mind that while glue traps and poison are highly effective, they are not the most humane ways of getting rid of mice.
- A container of rat poison can be reused in the sense that as long as there is still poison in the container, it can be used.
- Once the container runs out, you have to buy another one, or fill the container with more poison.
Capacity: high (dozens of mice)
- One container of rat poison can kill dozens of mice.
- Many people opt to buy a few boxes of rat poison and place them in different locations.