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How to Clean Reusable Mouse Traps

January 14, 2021
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Mousetraps are one of the most effective devices that catch mice and put a dent in the rodent population at home. Reusable traps are preferred by homeowners because they are cheap and cost-effective. But it’s crucial to clean the mouse traps before reusing them because even the dead bodies of mice are still carriers of different diseases.

So what’s the best way to clean a reusable mouse trap at home? Once the trap managed to catch a mouse at home, it’s time to clean the device by gathering the cleaning materials, disposing of the dead rodent, cleaning off the residues and leftover bait, and disinfecting the area where the trap was placed.

Reusing Mouse Traps at Home

According to the 2014 study by the National Pest Management, around 29% of households in the country experienced rodent infestation at least once. But before calling a professional exterminator, many homeowners attempt to catch mice on their own using mouse traps and bait stations.

Most types of mouse traps available in the market are reusable. However, there is still an ongoing debate whether it’s really a good practice to wash a mousetrap and use it again. The familiar scent of the mouse attracts more rodents to venture near the used trap, but others claim that the same scent serves as a warning for other mice to avoid the area.

Cleaning the Mouse Trap

Since mouse traps are already proven effective, reusing them a few more times helps save more cash. Just make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned to avoid the spread of mouse-transmitted diseases in the home. Here is a detailed guide to clean a reusable mousetrap:

1. Gather the Materials Needed

Before picking up the used mousetrap, it’s crucial to wear protective gear first. This prevents the bacteria and other pathogens from the dead rats from clinging to the clothes. Use gloves when picking up the mousetrap. Here are other protective gears and cleaning materials to prepare:

  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • HEPA face mask
  • Trash bags
  • Disposable sponge
  • Disinfectant (one part vinegar and ten parts water)

2. Dispose of the Dead Mouse

When setting up traps at home, be prepared to clean up after the rodent carcass it produces. Before removing the dead mouse from the trap, spray the surrounding area with a disinfectant first. Pick up the mouse carcass carefully from the trap while wearing gloves. Put the dead mouse inside a trash bag and seal it tightly.

State policies about the disposal of dead animals vary per location. Residents of New York City may dispose of the dead mouse along with their other trash, given that the carcass is inside two layers of plastic with a note indicating the contents of the bag.

3. Clean Off the Residues and Leftover Bait

After removing the dead mouse from the trap, you’ll find that the trap is covered with leftover bait, blood, saliva, any other bodily fluids. Rinse the trap with water and lather it with soap. Make sure that you’re still wearing gloves to minimize contact with the mouse residues. Scrub the device thoroughly with a disposable sponge. Once all the residues are gone, let the mousetrap dry before reusing it.

Leftover residues like the rodent’s body fluids affect the trap’s effectiveness in catching mice. Even if the trap doesn’t catch rodents immediately, it’s still essential to keep an eye on the bait and replace it every now and then.

4. Disinfect the Trap and its Location

Despite removing the dead mouse and cleaning the trap thoroughly, an unpleasant smell may still linger in its previous location. It’s tempting to just sweep or vacuum the area, but these practices only kick up the dust and pathogens in the air.

Spray the entire area with an enzyme cleaner and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the chemical to break down any biological material in the area. Wipe the site clean with disposable rags and paper towels to clean any fur or body fluids left by the mouse corpse. Spray the entire area once more with a disinfectant to get rid of the lingering foul smell.

The Benefits of Reusing Mouse Traps

Many people have conflicting opinions when it comes to reusing mouse traps. Some homeowners believe that these devices become less effective with continued use while others still trust a method that works well. If you’re undecided whether it’s alright to reuse mouse traps, here are a few benefits of reusing mouse traps to consider:

1. Cost-Effectiveness

You save money every time you reuse an item – this is also true for mouse traps. Most types of mouse traps found in the market are both reusable and disposable, giving customers the freedom to reuse the device or not.

2. Scent Familiarity

Mice have a keen sense of smell that allows them to find their kin. Used mouse traps maintain even a faint smell of mice that others may pick up. The familiar scent assures the other mice that the device is safe to approach. They are also likely to go near used traps instead of new ones that still have a human smell.

3. Reliability

There’s nothing wrong with using the same object that still works just fine. Homeowners tend to trust a used mouse trap that has caught several mice in the past rather than set up a new one that might not work as well. Just make sure that the trap is clean and fully functional before reusing it.

What Kinds of Mouse Traps Can be Reused?

Most mouse traps available in the market are reusable, but it’s best to choose one that only results in minimal bleeding. Live mouse traps are also great to reuse because they are easier to clean. Here are some of the best types of reusable mouse traps to utilize at home:

1. Snap Traps

This mousetrap is the traditional way of catching mice. Instead of choosing a wooden snap trap, it’s better to buy plastic snap traps because they’re easier to clean. Snap traps use a strong snapping force that traps and kills the mouse instantly.

However, snap traps aren’t a good choice for a home with pets and children. The strength of the snapping force is enough to cause injuries when the child or pet lingers too close to the mousetrap. Snap traps also require frequent monitoring because the snap is easily triggered by the slightest movement. It has to be reset first to catch mice.

2. Electronic Traps

These devices lure mice into a chamber and electrocute the rodents there. They are safe to use around pets and children because they were created with a no-see and no-touch feature. Most electronic traps come with a blinking light to signal that a mouse was caught inside.

Electronic mouse traps are quite expensive which is why it’s better to reuse them a few times instead of buying a new one every time. These devices run on electricity, so they need to be kept dry at all times. Avoid placing this device outside or in high-moisture areas because it may short-circuit.

3. Live Traps

If you prefer a more humane option of catching these pesky rodents, live traps are also reusable. Just place a good bait to attract them inside and the trap snaps the door shut. Remember that metal cages work better than tube-style live traps because they give the rodents enough room to breathe and move around.

The biggest drawback of utilizing live traps at home is that you must drive far away from the house before releasing the mouse in the wild. If they are released too close to home, they immediately return to their nest.

Leave Your Rodent Problems at Home to Positive Pest Management

You don’t need to worry about reusing mouse traps at home with Positive Pest Management. Our safe and effective rodent exclusion work ensures that the rodents are quickly eliminated. We also provide preventive measures to keep these pests from returning. Our extermination services are available for residential and commercial properties in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

Learn more about our IPM-based mouse control services by visiting our website. Contact us at 1-800-294-3130 to score a free estimate for your property.

Read more: What to Do About Rats Burrowing Under Driveway

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