Mice. No matter if you live in a city, suburb, apartment, or old house, we can all agree that a mouse infestation is bad news. When it comes to traps, there are a lot of options out there, from the DIY to the store-bought bulk buys. All of them range from humane and inhumane, and they have their pros and cons—humane traps are easier to stomach but require more work to dispose of, and inhumane traps are seriously efficient yet a bit... violent. Read on to find out our favorites across the board — it might not be fun to talk about, but with winter approaching you know it's necessary.
The winner when I originally ran this post and again this week was this cute Smart Mouse Trap that looks just like a small green house. Clean, humane, and safe around small children and pets, it has more endorsements worldwide than any other trap.
This cute green little house has a door that snaps shut after the mouse enters and keeps him or her alive with bait and nice air holes. Ready to give him or her their freedom? When you take your trap outdoors there's a "Freedom Door" which has a cracker in it so that they can't leave until they chew through, giving you time to leave them and a snack "for the road."
HUMANE MOUSE TRAPS
Similar to the Smart Mouse Trap above (but decidedly less... cute?), the Authenzo trap is made of durable plastic and has a trap door contraption triggered by the mouse entering inside to get the bait. The mouse isn't harmed and won't suffocate while inside—all you have to do is release it, no touching required.
If you want to be humane but really don't want to see the captured mice, consider this Tin Cat trap from Victor. It's also larger than most traps, capable of holding up to 30 mice at once. As with the other humane options, the mice trigger a trap door which prevents them from escaping, and air holes prevent risk of suffocation. While it's efficient, it's not exactly discreet, so keep that in mind if you're planning on putting it out in the open.
Another plastic contraption, this trap is a bit larger than the Smart and Authenzo traps. It's an incredibly simple design—the swinging door only goes one way, so once the mouse gets to the bait in the back it can't get back out. One downside is that this one does not have air holes, so the mouse is at risk of suffocating if you don't remove it right away. Still, for the price ($25.99 for a 12-pack), this is a great, straightforward humane option.
ELECTRIC MOUSE TRAPS
From the experts over at Victor comes this electric mouse trap that delivers a high-voltage shock to kill mice instantly. It's incredibly efficient, capable of killing up to 100 mice per set of batteries, and is very easy to use. Once a mouse is killed you simply take off the removable kill chamber, which allows you to dispose of the mouse without touching or seeing it. The built-in safety switch, which deactivates the trap when open, protects children and pets from any danger, making it much safer than your average snap trap.
If you're looking for something a bit more heavy duty that is capable of killing rodents larger than a mouse (welcome to the wonderful world of rat infestation), this electric trap is a great option. It's very similar in functionality to the Victor trap above, though rather than removing the kill chamber for disposal, this one opens so you can slide the rodent out.
SNAP MOUSE TRAPS
An update to the classic wood snap traps, this pick found on Amazon is easy to use (as the name implies, just press and set) and is highly efficient. It's also a bit more convenient than other snap traps, with a grab tab that makes disposal much easier and less gross. Keep in mind though that while snap traps are great for getting ride of mice, they are not safe for households with kids and pets.
Probably the most recognizable mouse trap out there, the Original Victor is large and actually scary-looking. While not complicated to set up, the metal trip pedal requires a bit more work than the press and set bunch, but it's very much worth it. This trap has been around for over 115 years for a reason—it just works. It's disposable or, if you're not squeamish, can be reused, and is the most budget-friendly pick at $12.99 for a 16-pack.
Similar to the Tomcat but without the "jaws," the Snap-E trap has a wire bar that snaps down to quickly kill the mouse. It's easy to set up, and small and simple enough to be hidden around your house without much notice. One pro to using this trap as opposed to the wooden Victor is its resistance to stains and odors (especially if you plan on reusing it).
Mouse Trap Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
- Not wearing gloves when preparing the traps. Mice can detect human smells on the things you've touched, so use gloves when handling the trap and preparing the bait. And of course
—don't forget to protect yourself when handling a used mouse trap to avoid diseases! The golden rule with mouse traps: When in doubt, ALWAYS wear gloves.
- Using too much bait. Loading up your trap with peanut butter might seem like a smart way to attract mice and lure them in. In reality, using too much bait could allow the mice to nibble on some without triggering the trap. Aim for a pea-sized amount of bait that is enough to catch the mouse's attention, but not too much that it can steal some undetected.
- Setting traps in the wrong spots. Mice are naturally wary of open spaces and prefer to stick close to walls and other outer perimeters. Rather than placing traps in the middle of a room or garden, be more strategic and find dark, concealed spaces close to walls or fences.
- Starting slow. It's believed that the first night of setting traps is the most important one. Rather than slowly setting up traps in your home over time, start strong and set up multiple traps on day one. Even better: Set up a couple different traps close together, as mice tend to live in groups and reproduce quickly. Aim to catch as many mice as you can right away and you'll eliminate your problem that much faster.
- How to Catch a Mouse
- How To Get Rid of Mice That Don't Trigger Traps?
- How To Catch a Mouse: Our Biggest & Most Helpful Posts
- The 6 Best Mouse Traps to Buy in 2018 — The Spruce
- The Best Mousetrap — Wirecutter
- Mouse Traps and Trapping Mice — Do-It-Yourself Pest Control
Edited from a post originally published in October 2017.