I have been an RN for more than 20 years. I enjoy freelance writing, palliative nursing, and helping Americans retire with dignity.
There are a variety of methods used to catch mice. Let's face it. Nothing is worse than finding the occasional mouse in the house. We live in the country, and our home sits 1/2 mile from the road. We are surrounded by cornfields, brush, and woods. We really love it out here, but so do the mice!
Over the years, we have tried many different ways to get rid of mice. Some have worked better than others. I am going to share with you three of the most common ways for catching mice and the pros and cons of each. Happy hunting!
Option 1: Catch a Mouse with a Spring-Loaded Mouse Trap
The old spring loaded mousetrap is probably more famous from cartoon use than for actual mouse catching. There are lots of funny cartoons depicting a cat chasing a mouse and getting caught in a trap! Funny or not, these traps work. But you do need to know how to use them effectively because mice are very clever.
All spring loaded mousetraps have a small paddle for adding bait. Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not the best bait for catching mice. Bait your traps with a dab of peanut butter.
Another option for baiting your mouse trap is to use a small piece of a nut bound to the trap by thread. The thread should almost completely cover the nut (bait). The purpose of binding the nut to the trap is that it will cause the mouse to push and pull harder at the bait. This is helpful if you find that mice are eating your bait but not causing your traps to spring. As I said, mice are clever.
If you choose to use a spring loaded mouse trap, choose a safe location for it and be careful when you set it. Always hold the trap from the end opposite of the bait. This way if the trap springs, you will not get hurt. When placing your traps, be sure to consider traffic to the area and the safety of small children and pets. Mice caught in this trap will be dead and should be removed from the house immediately.
Recommendation: This is the best and most effective mouse trap I have ever used. It is quick to work and mice don't escape it. I give it two thumbs up!
Option 2: Catch a Mouse in Your House with a Glue Board Trap
Safer by far than the spring loaded trap, the glue board is a good alternative. We have used these at times to catch mice. The only real downfall of this trap is that it is also safer for the mice! Mice have landed on these traps in our home but have been able to pull themselves free! We know they have been there because of the fur and droppings left behind. YUCK!
If you choose to use a glue board trap for catching mice, place them along baseboards, in dark closets, and anywhere you believe mice are moving about in your home. Be careful not to step on them yourself because they are really sticky.
Another thing about the glue board mouse trap is that the mouse is alive (usually) when caught and needs to be removed from the home in this live state. DOUBLE YUCK! Once outside the mouse can be killed or allowed to die on the trap. YUCK, YUCK, YUCK!
Recommendation: Not the best choice for a mouse trap. Mice can be caught and later escape. But if you have small children, can tolerate removing the mouse from your home while it is live, and don't mind taking a little longer to get rid of your mouse problems, it could be for you.
Option 3: Get Rid of Mice with Poison
The last method we have tried to eliminate mice is poison or mouse bait. You can find this in any store where pesticides are sold. There are many different varieties. All of them work essentially the same way.
Mouse bait contains a drug called warfarin. Warfarin is a blood thinner. When the mice eat the bait, the warfarin goes to work thinning their blood. Mice then bleed to death internally.
The upside to this method is that mice do like the bait and will carry it back to the nest and can rid your home of entire communities of mice. The downside is that the mice will die wherever they land—under your house, in the walls, and in your A/C duct work. The smell of dead mice can linger for 10 days to 2 weeks. Another YUCK!
Be especially careful of where you place mice bait as it is just as harmful to humans and pets. Small children and pets should be kept from it at all times.
Recommendation: Using mouse bait (poison) is going to cause a smell of dead mice that can last up to 2 weeks. If you are using it at a home that you do not live in all of the time, it is probably a good idea. However, it is risky for children and pets. I would not recommend this method due to the risk involved for pets and children and the residual smell. Two thumbs down!
Summary and Review of Common Mouse Traps
|Mouse Catching Method||Pros||Cons||Our Rating|
Spring loaded mouse trap
Quick and foolproof
Some danger of springing the trap when setting or on accident;mouse is dead when removed
Glue board mouse trap
Mouse can escape; mouse must be removed from house live; takes longer due to mice escaping
Mouse bait (poison)
Eliminates full communities of mice
Causes an odor of dead mice that can last up to 2 weeks; dangerous to pets and small children
How a Spring-Loaded Mouse Trap and Glue-Board Mouse Trap Work
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Ellie on May 04, 2016:
I have cats. They catch any mouse before I realize it's here! They're the best.
Teresa Sanderson (author) from Rural Midwest on July 30, 2013:
Great option, Robin. Thanks for sharing!
Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on July 30, 2013:
We actually have a rat zapper, which I think is the best way to catch mice. You put a piece of food in the zapper (we use almonds) and the mouse or rat will be electrocuted instantly - no pain, suffering, or poison. We can then throw the mouse out our backyard (we are on a creek) and it's poison free for the critters to eat. :)
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 13, 2013:
Ha! Funny, I have a mouse in my house as we speak, so I am going to get a springboard trap tomorrow. Thanks!