There's nothing more infuriating than checking your mouse trap only to find that your mouse has eaten the food you used as bait without triggering the trap. Some mice are adept at removing food without setting off traps; others just get lucky. Now that you've encouraged the mouse to eat from the trap, you may need to make it harder for it to get your bait to allow the trap time to do its job.
It's Not a Balancing Act
Sometimes, mice can remove food from traps without triggering the snap mechanism because of the way you bait the trap. For example, if you simply balance some food on the spike or place it in the general trigger area, a mouse may be able to pull it off easily, allowing it to snatch and run. It's better to push the food firmly down on the trap's spike. This means that the mouse has to work to get the bait off the spike, which may keep it in position long enough for the trap to work.
Make Things Stick
You may find that your traps work more effectively if you bait them with sticky foods. These foods are harder for mice to remove from the trap quickly without setting it off. Although mice will eat cheese, and a cube of cheese will stick on the trap's spike nicely, this isn't typically their favourite food, and you may see better results with sweet or meaty bait.
For example, peanut butter is an effective bait. Mice are attracted to its fat content and smell, and it sticks very effectively. If you don't have any peanut butter handy, the following foods may work as well:
Tip: If mice are ignoring the food you use on the trap, think about what they've been eating in your kitchen. If you know they like a particular food, use this to bait the trap. Some foods, such as cereals, may not stick easily to the spike. If this is a problem, make a small peanut butter ball and roll it in the cereal.
Tie Things Up
If your mouse continues to sneak food off the trap, even after you've spiked it down, try tying the bait to the spike with a piece of string or thread. Hopefully, the action of tugging will set off the trap while the mouse is on it.
Mice aren't just looking for food; they also usually want nesting materials. If you aren't having any luck with edible bait, try using materials as an alternative. For example, you could try tying one end of a piece of string around the spike and then looping the rest of the string around it. Trying to unravel the string may keep the mouse on the trap. Alternatively, tie a cotton wool ball to the spike.
If you're still not catching mice with these methods, contact a local pest control company like Statewide Pest Control for assistance.
Hello, my name is Frieda, and I have a small phobia of bugs and mice. As a result, I have learned everything possible about keeping these critters out of my home. As I have had all of my old pets artfully positioned by taxidermists, I have also learned niche skills such as keeping pests out of the fur of taxidermy animals. In this blog, I am going to put together the best of everything I know along with some tips from the pros. I hope you find the info you need to live a happy, healthy life in a bug and pest-free home. --Frieda