How to Catch a Mouse

Table of Contents

Mice are small, but they are fast and they make big messes. They destroy things made of paper, plastic, or wood. Their incontinence results in short circuits and damage to things that they walk over or through. They eat any food they can find. Even worse, there is rarely only one.

I Have a Mouse in My House. What Should I Do?

Mice spend most of the day sleeping and get active overnight. It is possible to see a mouse during the day occasionally. If you find yourself exclaiming, “I got a mouse in my house!” then you will need to get rid of them as soon as possible either with a trap or with pest control services.

Find Where the Mice are Getting in

The best way to start getting rid of mice is to close up any holes or openings that mice can squeeze through. Remember that mice can get through very tiny spaces. A gap the size of a pencil – a quarter inch – is enough, but if not, they will chew it larger.

Mice can also jump over a foot high and are good at swimming and climbing. A mouse can walk on wires and strings.

Look for Evidence of Them Being There

Since you need to set traps where the mice are for best results, you have to find the areas where the mice spend their time. These areas include nesting areas, eating areas, and pathways.

Look for Oily Residue

Mice are incontinent and carry food to their nests. The paths they use become oily from the residue of their urine and food remains.

Look for Droppings

Anywhere mice go, they drop poop pellets. These are black and about the size and shape of a grain of rice. There may be hairs they have shed in the same areas.

Look for Evidence of Chewing

Mice chew on everything. They chew to make room to get through walls. They chew through wrappings to get to the food. They chew to make nests. Watch for chewed areas on loose papers and books, walls, and food packages.

Set Many Mouse Traps

Because one mouse is rarely alone, setting many traps is highly recommended as a form of mice pest control. Traps come in several different types, so selecting the type that best works will depend on your household.

How to Catch a Mouse with Traps

There are many types of mouse traps. You should choose the one that best suits your needs.

  • Snap – The quintessential mousetrap: when a rodent touches the bait, the spring-loaded trigger releases the bar that injures or kills the mouse.
  • Poison – Either poison added to a bait food or a loose block of poisoned food placed where they will find it is then eaten and taken to the nest. Mice that ingest the poison die.
  • Glue – Sticky traps that hold very tight will keep most mice contained until they starve or until they are killed.
  • Live – A trap that does not kill the mice but keeps them to relocate. It’s considered more humane than the other types.

Where Should You Put Mouse Traps?

Put a trap where you see chewed materials or droppings. Mice usually stay within 20 feet of food sources and nests. Place the trap at a 90-degree angle to the wall, with the trigger toward the wall, so the mouse will trigger the trap where it runs.

What is the Best Bait for Mouse Traps?

Though cheese is the stereotypical bait, it is less effective than peanut butter. Peanut butter is more attractive to mice and it sticks to the trigger plate, making it more likely that the mouse will trigger the trap. A properly placed trap is how to catch a mouse in the wall.

Build a Self-Resetting Mouse Trap

After catching a mouse, the trap must be reset. An alternative is a trap made from a five-gallon bucket. Stick a dowel through the bucket sides near the top and the top and bottom of a beverage can. Have the can inside the bucket. Add peanut butter around the can for bait.

You can make it easy for mice to get in, but they will not find it so easy to get out. A few inches of water at the bottom will result in drowned rats, or without water, the live rats can be relocated.

Build Your Own Humane Trap

The trap described above is one option for a humane trap. You can also smear peanut butter inside a drinking glass – a large, heavy one, preferably – with one edge balanced on a coin that is set on its edge. When a mouse goes inside to get the peanut butter, the coin will fall over, trapping the mouse.

Use Multiple Types of Bait

One group tested a variety of mouse traps bait types to determine how to get rid of a mouse. They found that mice were most likely to be attracted to:

  • Bacon
  • Buttered crackers
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Hot dogs
  • Maple syrup
  • Nuts or birdseed
  • Peanut butter
  • Soft candies

Secure Any Food

If mice can get food, they will. Use airtight containers, preferably glass or metal, to keep the food from the mice.

How Do You Catch a Mouse Without Killing it?

There are a few different ways to capture a mouse to relocate instead of killing it.

Make a No-Kill Mousetrap with a Jar and a Nickel

Put peanut butter on the inside walls of the jar and balance it on a nickel’s edge. Mice will trap themselves by getting the bait.

Make a No-Kill Mousetrap with a Toilet Paper Roll

Balance the roll on the edge of a table or counter, after slightly flattening the bottom. Place a bit of bait at the outer end and a tall container below. A mouse will go through the roll to get the bait and fall into the container.

How Do You Know When All the Mice Are Gone?

There will be no new smells, no new gnawed holes, no new droppings. No more tripped mousetraps and no more mice seen or heard.

Hama Pest Control: Experts at Catching Mice

It is very difficult to be certain an infestation has been handled. Hama Pest Control has fifteen years of experience clearing out rodents and knows how to catch a mouse when traps don’t work.

Jake Garza
Jake Garza
Jake is the founder of Hama Pest Control, the preferred choice for pest removal and extermination in the Greater Toronto Area. With over thirty years of experience, Jake prides himself in bringing quality, knowledge, and care to Hama Pest Control's customers.
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