to Account
Call Us

(855) 948-5816


Find Service Area

Mouse Proofing 101: How to Catch a House Mouse

Written by Aptive Environmental April 15, 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 catch a house mouse requires knowing how to find entry points, set traps and choose bait.

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.

Curated articles for you, from our pest experts.

Close-Up Of A Black Ant On A Green Leaf With Water Droplets.

Pest Control: The Lifecycle of Pests

Pests are a nuisance to homeowners, and can cause a lot of damage to property, as well as health risks to humans and pets. To effectively control pests, it is important to understand their lifecycle and behavior. In this article, we will explore the lifecycle of...

Feb 17, 2023
A Variety Of Pumpkins And Gourds In Different Shapes, Sizes, And Colors Are Arranged On The Steps Of A Front Porch. The Steps Are Terracotta-Colored, And The Porch Is Flanked By Green Leafy Plants.

How to Keep Pumpkins from Rotting

Nothing says fall like newly-picked pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. These festive vegetables provide the perfect front door decor and after-school activity for kids. Unfortunately for homeowners, though, carved pumpkins will often last between just one to two weeks...

May 8, 2024
An Aptive Pest Control Specialist Waves To Two Children From Outside A House Window, With An Aptive Van Parked In The Background. The Children Are Sitting At A Table Inside, One Waving Back While The Other Is Drawing.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Pest Control

It’s easy to recognize the need for pest control when we find a wasp nest next to the front door, or when a roach scuttles across the kitchen floor, but some issues may not be as visible. Sometimes a single ant on a countertop or a tick crawling up a pant leg can...

Feb 20, 2024
A Close-Up Of Two Mating Black And Orange Lovebugs On A Green Plant With Small White Flowers, Set Against A Blurred Green Background.

Lovebugs: Facts, Identification, and How to Treat Them

Lovebugs: these small insects may seem harmless, but they can quickly become a nuisance in the southeastern United States. With their unique mating behavior and rapid reproduction, lovebugs can swarm in large numbers during certain times of the year. But what...

Feb 12, 2024
A Close-Up Of A Norway Rat Eating Food Scraps From A Dirty Plate In A Cluttered Kitchen Sink.

The Rodent Riddle: A Guide to Rat Control and Identification

In the corners of homes and urban landscapes, rats lurk as stealthy intruders, capable of causing damage and spreading disease. Recognizing the signs of a rat infestation and understanding effective control measures are crucial for maintaining a more pest protected...

Feb 5, 2024
A Close-Up Of A Deer Mouse Sitting On Green Moss With A Blurred Leafy Background.

How to Treat Mice in the Home

Mice, those elusive yet troublesome creatures, have a knack for infiltrating our living spaces and turning a minor annoyance into a full-blown infestation. Understanding their characteristics and behavior is pivotal in effectively controlling these invaders....

Jan 29, 2024
Close-Up Of A Yellow Jacket Wasp With A Black Body And Yellow Markings, Perched On A Small, Gray, Hexagonal Paper Nest.

Understanding and Controlling Paper Wasps

In the intricate tapestry of nature, paper wasps play a crucial role, contributing to the balance of ecosystems by preying on various pests. However, when these buzzing architects decide to build their intricate nests in and around our homes, they can quickly turn from fascinating insects to potential pests.

Jan 8, 2024
A Cozy Living Room Interior With A Light Beige Sofa Adorned With Various Pillows, A Wooden Coffee Table With Decorative Vases, And Large Windows Showcasing A Snowy Outdoor Scene With Trees Covered In Snow.

Why You Need Pest Control in the Winter As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, many people tend to believe that pests die off during winter. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. In fact, winter can be a time of heightened pest movement as...

Dec 4, 2023
A Heat Map Of The United States Showing Pest Activity Levels Across Various Regions From March 10, 2021, To April 28, 2021, With Higher Activity Indicated By Brighter Colors.

Data, Patterns, and Pest Control

As a leading pest control provider, Aptive service professionals encounter all kinds of pest activity across the country. Our ability to monitor this pest activity has provided valuable insights into understanding the prevalence of specific pest types at different...

Aug 1, 2023
How To Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans

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

Take back your home with pest control today.