What is the best bait to trap a house mouse?

Mice eat most anything. While technically called omnivores, they are extremely opportunistic eaters. Often people having a mouse problem want to know what the best bait is to trap a mouse. For centuries old wives tales have told us that mice love cheese. This is not necessarily true. While they don’t dislike cheese, they have other things they enjoy more. Obviously pest control companies have their own ideas since they manufacture baits with flavors that they assure us “mice will love”. Many of these are peanut butter flavored. Some rodent bait are flavored with meat like bacon. Others are a compilation of nuts and seeds captured in something sticky or gooey. Some people swear by chocolate or a chocolaty candy bar with a nut or nougat filling as a sure fire bait while others claim that sweetened cereals are the way to go.

Some folks believe you should bait your traps with whatever food the mouse is eating in your house. This plan is not a reliable meter to gauge what will entice them into a trap. The best way to determine what bait to use is by learning what drives a mouse to eat. Mice have an extremely high metabolism, and a overwhelming need to consume a large amount of calories. They have a keen sense of smell, and are very fond of odiferous foods- meaning things with strong or almost stinky smells. They also have front teeth that grow constantly, and so they must keep chewing to control this problem. When baiting a trap for mice, you should look for food stuff that has a strong odor, is made to be chewed, and has a high caloric content. It does not have to be expensive, or purchased commercially. It can be made from things you probably already have on hand. It should be easy to handle, and have the ability to be stuck or molded to the switch plate that activates the trap. If the mouse can pull it off the plate, or remove it from the side of trap, it is virtually useless as bait. If it meets most or all of these qualities, you are almost guaranteed to catch your mouse. We suggest some of the following:
Any nut butter with more nuts and seeds stuck into it.
A chocolate candy bar with a nut or nougat filling
Any “stinky” cheese with nuts or fruit pushed into it
A yeasty smelling piece of bread with peanut butter on it
A stick of celery filled with nut butter and seeds or chocolate chips

Any of these sticky, chewable, smelly, and high caloric treats should attract any mouse. You will probably have to reapply the bait after each successful trapping if you want to reuse the trap. No matter which bait or traps you choose, please check them often so that no animal suffers needlessly. If you are unsure about these suggestions, we suggest that you contact your local agricultural agency, or call a local animal control service for their advice.

Go back to the How to get rid of mice in the attic home page. You might also want to read about how to kill mice and why the use of snap traps is better than mouse poison. Read an analysis of the different types of traps and how to use them on the how to trap mice page. Learn why bait is not as important as trap type, placement and location. Also read a full analysis of mouse repellent to understand why it never works. If you see droppings and want to identify them, read the mouse poop page. If you need to hire professional help, read about how much does mouse removal cost? or you can read this site to learn how to do it yourself. Feel free to email me about What is the best bait to trap a house mouse?

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