Mouse Proofing 101: How to Catch a House Mouse

April 2019

Catching a house mouse requires a bit of skill. You’ll need to place a number of traps with right kind of bait along the rodent’s trails. You’ll also need to properly dispose of the mouse (or mice). Learning how to find entry points, set traps and choose bait will help you catch mice in your home.

Mice Cause Damage in Houses

House mice are skilled at finding ways into homes as they search for food and water. These rodents can squeeze through holes as small as a pencil—or about 1/4 inch in diameter.

This makes it difficult to completely protect your home from invading mice without professional help. If they’ve gotten inside, it’s important to catch and control them as quickly as possible—these pests can cause costly damage and contaminate eating surfaces as they build nests in walls and search for food in the kitchen.

How to Catch a Mouse

Successfully catching mice in your house requires a bit of learning. To do it correctly and efficiently, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the best type of mouse trap or bait

  2. Pick effective locations

  3. Set multiple traps

  4. Choose the correct bait

  5. Properly dispose of mice and traps

1. Choose the best type of mouse trap or bait

Mouse traps and baits are different devices for capturing mice. Traps capture the rodent—often alive—when it comes for the bait placed in the trap. Bait, on the other hand, contains poison that, when eaten, kills the mouse after it has gone back to its hiding place.

Snap traps are the classic mouse trap design that snaps closed with a mouse triggers it. Glue traps are an alternative type that uses glue to capture a mouse when it tries to eat the bait. Glue traps are one-time use devices while snap traps can often be reused.

Both types of traps are extremely dangerous to pets and children and must be kept far out of reach of them.

Poisonous bait might seem like an easier solution since it doesn’t require repeatedly setting a number of traps around your home. But if several mice eat the bait and die in a hiding place that’s out of reach, disposing of them will become another problem.

2. Pick effective locations to set the traps

Optimal placement of traps is essential to successfully catch mice. These rodents naturally avoid open spaces, so you should position traps along walls and in corners.

If you’ve found droppings or grease stains anywhere in your home, that is an ideal location for a trap or bait. Mice follow pheromone trails, so they’ll frequent the same routes to food and water. You can do some detective work to find signs of their pathways and use their habits to your advantage.

3. Set multiple traps

You should always set multiple traps at the same time—even as many as a dozen for one mouse (or more, if you’ve seen several mice). These pests reproduce quickly, so it’s important to eliminate the infestation as quickly as possible.

4. Choose the correct bait

Cheese isn’t actually a mouse’s favorite food; they prefer seeds and nuts. One of the simplest and most effective baits is peanut butter. You can also try using nesting materials, including shredded paper, a cotton ball or string as bait in a trap.

Only use a small amount of bait; too much might let the mouse eat some without triggering the trap.

5. Properly dispose of mice and traps

Always wear disposable gloves when handling mice or used traps. You should also wear gloves when cleaning up a mouse nest or droppings. Mice, whether they’re alive or dead, can transmit a number of diseases to humans. Use caution when removing living or dead mice from traps.

How to remove a dead mouse from a trap

Use gloves to remove the mouse from the trap and place it in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and put it and the gloves in the trash. Wash your hands before and after disinfecting the entire area with spray. Then, change the garbage bag and keep the used bag away from your home until it’s collected.

How to remove a living mouse from a trap

If you’ve caught a mouse in a glue trap and would rather release it than wait for it to die, transport the mouse and the trap far away from your home (several miles is not too far; you don’t want it to find its way back).

Release the mouse as far from other people’s homes as possible. When you’ve found a safe area, pour vegetable oil onto the mouse and the trap to release the animal from the glue.

How to Prevent Mice

The best option is to prevent mice from entering your home. Some minor changes to your habits can help make your home less attractive to rodents and other pests.

Look for signs of mice

Mouse-proofing your home starts with a careful inspection for entry points and potential food and water sources. Look for scratch marks and droppings around these areas and inspect cabinets where you store food. Pet food is also an easy target.

If you have a dog or cat, they might alert you to mice by suddenly sniffing specific areas or otherwise acting strangely.

Seal cracks to eliminate entryways

Sealing even tiny cracks and holes around your home can eliminate potential entryways for mice. They can gnaw through many common materials, including wood and plastic, so sealing holes requires stronger materials. Use steel wool, copper mesh or strong caulk to block any cracks or holes larger than a dime.

Clean thoroughly and regularly

Regular cleaning habits are one of the best ways to avoid attracting mice. Sweep and vacuum as often as possible and limiting yourself to eating in one room to reduce the amount of space you need to clean.

Cover your garbage can with a lid and change bags frequently. Don’t forget to wipe counters and stovetops, too. Mice are skilled climbers and might contaminate cooking surfaces.

Don’t forget to clean outside

It’s important to keep your lawn and landscaping clean and trimmed. Thick shrubs and tall grass provide hiding places for mice looking for ways indoors. It’s also best to avoid hanging bird feeders near your home since bits of feed will drop to the ground for mice and other pests to eat.

Call Aptive Environmental for Effective Mouse Control

A mouse infestation can quickly grow out of control. If you’ve seen mice in or around your home, the best solution is to call Aptive Environmental. Our pest professionals have the effective tools and expert knowledge to control infestations of any size. We’ll tailor a treatment plan for your home to catch mice quickly and keep them out. Take a step toward peace of mind by calling Aptive for a free quote today.

Protect your home by calling your local Aptive Environmental branch today.

Recommended Reading

How to Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans

Depending on where you live, you may be familiar with managing pest-ridden garbage cans. What many city-dwellers and suburbians don’t realize though, is how easy it is for their own trash cans to become home to opportunistic pests. Allowing bugs to live in your...

Oct 20, 2022

What to Do After a Pest Control Treatment by Aptive

Most homeowners know the importance of receiving routine pest control treatments each quarter, but not all know that the actions you take immediately following a treatment can directly determine its success. As the homeowner, make sure you’re taking full advantage...

Sep 15, 2022

Do You Need Pest Control in the Winter?

Pest control is a successful way that millions of people reduce bugs in their homes. It’s common to use pest services during warm months, but it’s just as important to stay protected and prepared during the winter. Many people actually notice an increase of...

Aug 22, 2022

What Insect Stings Hurt The Most?

Stinging insects are the worst. While you likely remember being stung by a bee or bit by a fire ant, you might be surprised to hear that these insects are on the lower end of the insect sting pain scale. In this article we’ll explore which insects have the most...

Jul 11, 2022

Is a Yellow Jacket a Bee?

Yellow jackets and bees have a lot in common when it comes to physical appearance. This can make it difficult to tell them apart, especially when one or the other is buzzing around your head. However, knowing the difference could be useful in encouraging the right...

Jun 3, 2022

Why Do Snails and Slugs Come Out After it Rains?

If you have a garden, you might know the hassle of slugs and snails eating your precious plants. While they aren’t dangerous to humans, they can slowly wreak havoc to your garden and potentially start an infestation in your home. In this article, we’ll take a...

May 25, 2022

Can Humans Get Fleas?

A common concern among pet owners is that their dogs or cats will pick up fleas. However, it's not just pets that are at risk; humans can actually get fleas too. Fleas will jump onto any animal or person that it can reach to feed on the blood it needs to survive....

Apr 23, 2022

Will My Cat Keep Mice Away?

Will mice stay away if you have cats? It’s a common belief that cats will take out any mice in or around your home. Before you run to an animal shelter to adopt a cat, read this article to learn more about the potential dangers, how cats could make your mouse...

Mar 21, 2022
DIY Pest Control Pros and Cons

DIY Pest Control Pros and Cons

When you’ve asked other people about what they do for their home pest control, you've probably had a lot of mixed responses. It seems like there are more people doing DIY pest control than ever before, and you're starting to wonder if it's something you...

Jul 19, 2021
5 Surprising Spider Superpowers

5 Surprising Spider Superpowers

Spiders can be scary creatures, but they also have special abilities that make them seem like eight-legged superheroes. In fact, they're truly marvels of nature. Even if you'd rather not have them in your home, it's easy to respect their fascinating...

Jun 10, 2021

Take back your home from pests today.

Pin It on Pinterest