How to Catch Mice When Traps Don’t Work?

Home » How to Get Rid of Mice » Mice Trap » How to Catch Mice When Traps Don’t Work?

Mouse infestation is more common than we would like to admit. While there are different ways to catch mice and eliminate them, one of the most efficient ways for mouse control is to set up mouse traps. Unfortunately, sometimes traps simply do not work.

In this article, we will share with you common mouse trap mistakes and how to catch a mouse when traps don t work.

Why mouse traps don’t work? 6 common mouse trap mistakes

If your trap has not worked, then you should check whether your trap was set up correctly. There are a few reasons why mouse traps do not work:

1. You are using the wrong bait

The trap will only work if it can lure these creatures. This happens if in the trap there is a bait. Right bait should be food because eating bait is essential for catching mice.

peanut butter - bait for mouse trapsCheese is a good bait for pest control, although not the best one. Peanut butter or a hazelnut spread is quite effective baits. They both stick to the surface, and it is harder for a mouse to simply eat it and run away without being caught. You can put peanut butter on cheese and set up mouse traps.

Furthermore, you can use “nest material” as a trap. This includes household items such as dental floss and yarn.

2. Leaving human scent on a trap

Mice have an amazing sense. This is why it is very challenging to set up a good trap. They can detect a lot of things through their noses including humans. According to The New Yorker article, mice get stressed when they smell humans, especially men. Therefore, when you set up a trap you want to make sure it does not have a human smell.

To avoid this mistake, do not set mouse traps with bare hands. Instead, wear gloves( the ones you use while washing dishes) for the whole time: when you pick the bait and put it on the trap. This way, you can remove the smell that would repel rodents and make your trap ineffective.

3. Choosing a wrong location

The right location can make all the difference when you place traps to remove mice. Avoid placing traps in open spaces. Think strategically and contemplate where mice go. These creatures like walking along the walls where you can set up traps. Additionally, check their nests and food sources. You can put traps on their way to their home or to the food source.

4. The amount of bait

Too much bait does not increase the efficiency of the trap. Just a pea-size amount of peanut butter should be enough to attract a mouse. If you put too much bait, the mouse will be able to get it without being trapped. Mice are very quick; therefore, they can get away easily.

5. Number of mouse traps

One trap will not solve the mouse problem. First of all, the chances of catching a mouse will be lower, secondly, mice reproduce extremely quickly hence, you need to be ready for anything.

The best strategy is to choose the correct location next to the wall and set up more traps with a small distance between them.

6. Sticking to one strategy

In the beginning, you may be able to catch a single mouse. However, mice reproduce very quickly. They may produce six to seven babies in around three weeks. So, you are going against a big force. If mice associate danger with traps, they will eventually avoid it. Additionally, if some of the mice will get caught, more mice will eventually emerge. This is why changing a location and bait can be very helpful.

Catching mice without a trap? DIY methods

Catching mice with a trap is no picnic but it gets even worse if you do not want to use a trap. A lot of people want to get rid of mice without harming them, and there are some DIY solutions for this issue. Traditional traps snap and kill rodents on the spot, while other methods deal with pests in more humane ways.

All the methods depend on creativity and, quite surprisingly, balance. Most DIY traps use peanut butter as bait. You can also use hazelnut spread or even chocolate; however, peanut butter has proved to be the most efficient.

Cardboard ramp + bucket

This is a trap that works quite well. Its advantage is that the mouse will not be killed, it may be distressed but still alive. So, here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a toilet paper tube or any other paper tube that can work as a tunnel. You can also use a piece of cardboard but mice love tunnels, so you have a higher chance of trapping them.
  2. Put a bait – peanut butter in the “tunnel” and put this paper roll with bait on it on the edge of a bucket.
  3. Make a ramp from cardboard so that mouse has a road to the bait.

The trick is that once the mouse gets to the bait, it will fall into the bucket because it will eventually lose its balance. The bucket should be tall enough that a rodent cannot climb on its walls.

Given the right resources, these live traps are very easy to assemble and teach you the basic principles of setting up a trap.

Spoon + Bucket

This works the same way as the previous one. Put a spoon on the edge of a counter with a small amount of peanut butter. Place a bucket under the spoon on the floor. So, when mice get to its treat it will trigger a “trap”  and the mouse will fall into the bucket.

Mouse Cube

Check out mouse cubes traps that use humane ways to catch rodents and protect the house from pests. These devices catch mice effectively while keeping them physically safe.


get rid of mouse using catOne of the best ways to fight mouse infestation is to have pets. You can get rid of a rodent using a cat or dog.

Frequently asked questions

Why mouse is ignoring my traps?

The common mistakes include the wrong kind of bait, not choosing the right place, and putting too much bait. Mouse traps should be designed to attract mice and rats. Every small detail can make a big difference.

How effective are glue traps for mice?

Setting glue traps in a house sounds easy, but it does not protect you against mice effectively. Especially in dusty or hot places.

What is the top 3 bait to catch a mouse?

Best mouse trap bait is peanut butter, followed by bacon bites, maple syrup, and candy. These are baits that will make sure that mice do not avoid traps. Remember, these rodents crave protein-rich food with a distinct smell.

How long will it take to catch a mouse in a trap?

Overall, people need to wait from several hours to several days to check if a mouse trap is effective.


Getting rid of rats is very important in pest control. Mice may create health care issues for your family. Additionally, rodents are very good at damaging a house. To solve a pest problem, you need to be creative. Mice are intelligent, and they do not get caught very easily. For these rodents, you need to set up traps that contemplate their behavior and use various strategies.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published*