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Best Bait for Mouse Trap

February 28, 2021
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When rodents like mice enter the house, many homeowners depend on the ever-reliable mousetraps to get rid of them. But sometimes, people might find that their trap takes too long to catch mice. In most cases, it’s because they’re using the wrong kind of bait on the trap.

So what kind of bait effectively lures mice out of hiding? Peanut butter is the most effective bait because the strong nutty smell is enough to attract rodents. Other baits like chocolate, seeds and nuts, marshmallows and gumdrops, deli meat, pet food, fruit jam, and soft cheese are also effective in luring mice out.

What Kind of Bait Do Mice Like?

Mice are filthy creatures that cause structural damages to the homes they invade. They are also known carriers of different diseases, such as the plague, leptospirosis, hantavirus, and more. Because of these reasons, mice should be eliminated from a home using the safest methods.

In 2019, there were a total of 8,734 cases of rodenticide poisonings in the country. Because of this high figure, it’s understandable that many homeowners are inclined to utilize other poison-free methods like mousetraps to get rid of mice.

Whether it’s a snap trap or a live trap, baits play an important role in attracting and trapping mice on a property. Here are three main types of baits to use at home:

  • Food Baits – When using food bait to lure mice out of hiding, it’s better to choose sweet or fatty food. Sticky food like spreads and jam also work better than solids because the mouse is more likely to trigger the trap while attempting to remove it.
  • Nesting Materials – Yarn and cotton are also used to attract and trap mice. If the rodents are still building their nest inside the house, they’ll gather any nesting material they get their hands on.
  • Specialty Baits – If the usual food bait and nesting materials aren’t enough to attract mice, specialty baits might do the trick. These commercially available baits are specially formulated to lure mice out.

Peanut Butter vs. Cheese: Which Food Bait Attracts Mice Better?

Almost all cartoons and television shows portray mice as cheese-loving creatures. But in real life, cheese doesn’t do much when it comes to attracting mice out of hiding. Although they’re opportunistic feeders, cheese is far down the list of rodents’ preferred food.

On the other hand, peanut butter makes for an excellent bait. Its nutty taste is something that mice love. The strong smell is also attractive for mice. The little rodents are guaranteed to have a hard time trying to eat the peanut butter without getting caught in the trap.

8 Effective Baits to Use in a Mouse Trap

There’s no need to spend more on specialty mouse baits just to catch mice. Just pick out any of these food baits in your kitchen to save more money:

1. Peanut Butter

Mice love eating seeds and nuts, which makes the flavor of peanut butter attractive for them. It also has high calorie and fat content that the mice need when living inside houses. Hazelnut spreads are also a good food bait if there’s no peanut butter at home.

When using peanut butter as food bait, avoid spreading too much peanut butter on the trap. Just put about a pea-sized amount of the peanut butter on the trap to attract mice.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate is another high-calorie food that mice love. It also has a strong smell that attracts mice out of hiding. Since there are different varieties of chocolate, it’s important to find out which one works best when luring mice out of hiding. Most homeowners find that milk chocolate and regular chocolate do well in baiting mice.

3. Seeds and Nuts

Mice love eating seeds and nuts. These rodents wouldn’t pass up the chance to eat them if there are seeds and nuts in the house. When using seeds and nuts to attract mice, go for bird seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

4. Marshmallows and Gumdrops

Marshmallows and gumdrops are cheap options used as mouse baits. They work well in luring mice out because of their high sugar content. Just put a piece or two on the mousetrap and let it do its trick.

5. Deli Meat

Mice are willing to risk their lives for a few slices of deli meat like bacon and sausages. It doesn’t matter if they’re raw or cooked – the rodents take any deli meat that’s open for the taking. Some homeowners even use the cooked bacon’s grease because its strong smell lures mice out.

However, the main problem with using deli meat is that they spoil easily at room temperature. When using this kind of bait, make sure to check and replace it regularly.

6. Pet Food

Cats are useful in keeping mice at bay because they are the natural predator of mice. Their strong senses allow them to detect mice presence around the house. However, the pet food left in their feeding station attracts mice.

These opportunistic feeders like eating leftovers of pet food because it’s rich in nutrients that rodents need to survive inside the house. Although they prefer wet food, these rodents also eat dry pet food that’s scattered around the house.

If the cat in the house likes to leave out food after they eat, make sure to clean up after them. Other homeowners utilize this chance to catch mice. Instead of cleaning the leftover food, they place traps near the cat feeder instead.

7. Fruit Jam

Fruit jam is also effective in attracting mice for the same reasons as peanut butter and hazelnut spread – they’re sweet and sticky. Just make sure to only put the right amount of jam on the trap’s far end so that the mouse is forced to set off the device.

The downside in utilizing fruit jams as mousetrap bait is that it also attracts other pests like cockroaches and ants. Check the mousetrap frequently to make sure that the bait hasn’t been consumed by other pests.

8. Soft Cheese

Most kinds of cheese aren’t as effective in attracting mice as peanut butter is. But if you still want to use cheese as bait, it’s better to use soft cheese instead of cheddar blocks. Camembert, brie, and blue cheese have strong smells that effectively attract mice out of hiding.

What to Do When the Bait Isn’t Working

There are situations when the mousetrap isn’t catching mice as you’d expect it to. There are several reasons why this happens, but here are a few tips to ensure that the traps work better next time:

  • Use a Different Bait – Mouse traps are only as good as the bait used. If the device hasn’t caught a single mouse for days, it’s time to replace the bait with a new one. Peanut butter and chocolate work best in luring them out, but nesting materials are also effective during the infestation’s early stages.
  • Put Less Bait and More Traps – If there’s too much bait on the trap, the rodent might take some of it without triggering the device. A pea-sized amount is enough to attract mice and let them set off the trap. It also helps to put more traps in strategic areas to ensure that more mice are caught.
  • Switch to a Different Trap – Mice are intelligent animals. Some of them might recognize what a trap looks like and try their best to remove the bait without triggering it. If the snap trap has been used for weeks but hasn’t caught a single mouse yet, try switching to a live trap instead.
  • Use Traps with Sensitive Sensors – Mice are small and lightweight creatures. Their weight might not be enough to set off snap traps, which is why it’s better to try out other kinds of traps. Electric mouse traps are great for catching smaller and lighter mice because they have more sensitive sensors.
  • Place the Trap in Strategic Places – Many homeowners make the mistake of setting up mouse traps in the wrong room. Before deciding where to place traps, inspect different areas in the home to find signs of mice activity. Place a few traps in these areas to catch more mice. Other places like the back of cabinets, underneath stoves, and along walls are also good areas to put a mousetrap in.

Rodent Problems at Home? Let Positive Pest Management Help

Mousetraps are only effective when the mice population in the house is still manageable. But for more severe infestations, it’s better to call pest management professionals like Positive Pest Management. Our IPM-based services are guaranteed to get rid of mice in the property and keep them out for a long time.

Here at Positive Pest Management, we believe that our services must always exceed customer expectations. Our highly trained staff are experienced in handling all kinds of rodent exclusion situations. We also use the latest rodent control tools and techniques that are safe for the environment. For high quality and guaranteed extermination work for your NYC property, call Positive Pest Management at (800) 294 – 3130.

Learn more: How To Know If You Have Mice or Squirrel in the Attic