Summary: Here is the scoop on how to catch a mouse with a snap trap or glue board. Learn the proper method of setting a mouse trap and save yourself hundreds of dollars in professional pest control service fees.
You have discovered some half-eaten food in the pantry and have determined that your teenaged son is not the culprit. You know for sure because you have also found little black droppings nearby and you can hardly blame those on your kid. You need to jump into action so you drive to the hardware store and purchase two packs of Victor Mouse Traps, a well-known brand.
Armed with your mini arsenal you set your traps near the scene of the crime and wait in anticipation for the next morning to arrival to claim victory over the unwanted intruders. However, upon rising at daybreak, throwing open the cabinet where you placed your traps, you are whole-heartedly disappointed to find the traps empty and apparently unvisited. What went wrong?
Here is what I advise do-it-yourself pest controllers regarding catching mice. With snap traps you need to pre-bait, pre-bait, pre-bait. You need to let rodents get use to something you put in their territory before loading the trap. Mice are naturally curious and show less caution then do rats. Even so, they will not jump onto a trap until they have achieved some level of comfort. So, put the traps out in the exact location you think there is mouse activity. Leave the traps sit without setting the spring bar. Put some morsel of food on the trap trigger just to help you determine if the trap has been visited by the mouse. Try to use the same food they have been eating from your cabinets. If the bait has been taken, repeat the process one more day. If the bait has not been taken, move the trap to another location and repeat the process.
Once the trap bait has been taken two consecutive days, set the spring bar and re-bait the trap with the same morsel of food as the previous two days. The third day will bring you positive results. Glue boards don't require pre-baiting, as a rule.
Now, placement of the trap is critical to success. Mice are wall runners, using their body fur and whiskers to guide them along walls. When you set your snap trap you must place it so that the trigger is directly against the wall. Place the trap perpendicular to the wall (like a T), not parallel (=) to the wall. If you place it parallel the trap will not catch mice coming from the rear of the trap. If you place it perpendicular, a mouse can approach from the left or right side of the trap and still be exposed to setting off the trigger. Get it? Glue boards are placed parallel to walls. Just make sure there is no space between the glue board and the base of the wall.
Let's also talk about the number of traps to set. Mice have a œhome range of fifteen to twenty-five feet. You might know which room the mouse activity is in, but you might not know exactly where they are coming from. Place a dozen traps out inside cabinets, drawers, along baseboards, behind refrigerators and ranges and any other possible hiding place. Traps are cheap when compared to all the food contamination a mouse can do in a day or two.
There are no big differences in trap quality. I mentioned the Victor Mouse Trap because it has been around for such a long time. There is also the T-Rex trap that can be set without fear of snapping off a finger or two. There is the Victor Quick Kill trap that is also finger-safe and is supposed to kill more humanely, what ever that means. Of course, there are also numerous brands of glue boards that work well with mice. If using glue boards be sure to euthanize the mouse once captured. Or, you can release outside by applying vegetable oil to the trap. This will dilute the glue and allow the rodent to go free.
If killing the mouse makes you a bit queasy there are also ways to catch and release the little fellas. (This goes totally against my instincts as a pest control professional. I see mice as disease carriers that urinate and defecate on food and food preparation surfaces.) Set up a toilet paper tube on a table. Flatten one side so it sits flat on a table. Put a dab of peanut butter at one end. Then, hand the tube perilously close to the edge hanging directly over a tall kitchen waste basket. When the mouse goes into the tunnel of the tube (which they love to do) the tube falls into the trash bin and you can release the vermin at your leisure.
So there! I'm not totally heartless. I wouldn't do it for a mouse in my house, but you can follow your own inclinations.