How to Bait a Mouse Trap
A mouse infestation isn’t just inconvenient; it is also extremely unhealthy and dangerous.
Rats and mice are known to carry a number of diseases and they can easily spread to humans and house pets.
This is why finding the best trap for rodents is essential if you think you may have them in your home. And using mouse traps is the easiest and fastest way to do so.
However, this method of pest control is only effective when you know how to bait a mouse trap, regardless what type of trap you choose.
Mouse traps that aren’t correctly baited only provide mice with an easy access to food. There is also a chance that pets and young children can be injured from incorrectly set traps. If you feel like you need to brush up on your mouse trap-baiting technique, follow these steps and you will see the difference on how effective the traps become:
Step 1. Gather the materials
Before you can set up an effective mouse trap, you need to gather a few things. For the most basic mouse traps you will need just these four things:
- Standard snapping mouse trap, you can also consider a humane mouse trap if preferred
- Some form of artificial flavoring
- Gauze or cotton ball
Step 2. Bait selection
A very important step in setting up an effective mouse trap is choosing the right bait to lure in the mice. Mice, rats, and other rodents rely heavily on their sense of smell to get around. Add their intelligence to this sense of smell and they can learn to avoid the traps you set. A way to make your traps more effective is to move them around from time to time, but an even more effective way to lure mice into traps is by changing the bait you use often.
By having a variety of bait set on a trap, a mouse cannot detect the pattern and they are more likely to get caught. Choosing bait that mice and rats are naturally drawn to will also make trapping them a notch easier. It is proven that mice have a fondness for food that has a high fat and sugar content, and they also enjoy grains. Take this into consideration when choosing bait. Here are some suggestions you might want to try.
- Wheat cracker with some peanut butter
- Small candy bar portions
- Cooked or raw bacon or some bacon grease
- Nuts and dried fruits
Step 3. Setting the mouse trap
The most popular type of mouse trap is the spring or snapping trap. These are effective because they are very sensitive. When setting the trap, you need to be extra careful as this might be triggered and catch your fingers. Here are some good tips to consider when learning how to set a mouse trap:
- Do not put too much bait; too much bait may cause the trap to malfunction
- Tie a string to the bait, the tugging motion will trigger it and trap the mouse
- Wear gloves when setting the trap; mice can smell when you’ve touched the bait and trap
- To get mice acclimated, put unset traps with bait to lure them in before trapping them
- Be strategic with placement; put more than a few mouse traps within close proximity for a better chance at catching them
- Experiment with different bait combinations
- Don’t expect to succeed overnight
Step 4: Keep bait fresh
One major mistake many homeowners make when it comes to mouse trap bait is leaving it for a prolonged period. This can make bait turn rancid which will deter mice from getting caught. If through the night the bait has not attracted any mice, clean up and start fresh the following night. The effectiveness of a mouse trap can also be due to the type of bait you use. Try switching the bait from time to time to see if that makes any changes.
Sometimes mice are just too smart to fall for the bait and not everyone has the time or patience to reset a mousetrap every night. One technique to fool mice into taking the bait is to use cotton balls that have been dipped into sweet artificial sweet flavoring.
This has double effects because the scent stays fresh for longer and mice get caught in the fibers of the cotton ball making it difficult to escape. Be patient and creative. You will eventually get used to the many ways of how to bait a mouse trap and be rid of the infestation.