Instructables
"Build a better mouse trap..."

Well you don't need to build a new mouse trap.  The old standard works great with a slight modification and the proper use use bait.

Once you have your trap modified and baited properly, there are three things that are very important to catching mice: location, location, location.

 
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Step 1: The trap

Picture of The trap
mouse_8615.jpg
There are many different types of traps you can purchase to catch mice.  Some are kill traps and some are live traps.  If you chose to use a live trap, ask yourself why?  If it is to be nice to the mouse or you can't deal with a dead mouse keep this in mind.

If you release the mice back into your yard, they will come back in!  They don't want to be out in the cold when they know your house is nice and warm and stocked with yummy food.  There are also live traps that may keep the mouse alive but to what end!

There is that sticky paper type where the mouse sticks to the trap.  I have not used them but I have seen the results of their use.  The mouse will not like being stuck to this and they will get themselves free.  I have seen what they leave behind, stuck to the paper.  I won't go into that here.

As un-PC as this may sound, just kill the mice.  Get a good old spring trap, bait it, set it, kill the mice.  Normally, where it one, there are several.

There are some fancy kill traps that are easy to set, easy to clean, etc...  But they do not work as well as the good old fashioned spring trap.  If you want catching mice to be easy, hire an exterminator to come in and take care of the problem.  If you want to catch mice, you will have to do a little work and get your hand dirty.

If you don't like getting your hands dirty, wear gloves!
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VyT1 month ago

It seem that the basis snap mouse trap is still the best one. In recent years, the people start using the electronic mouse trap made by Victoria. They seem be the most successful mouse trap manufacturer.

cschinsky VyT1 month ago

VyT, I think you mean Victor mouse traps. :) www.victorpest.com

Vyger2 months ago

I used to have this trap that was built like a tunnel. It had a runway through the middle with a spring trigger in the floor. Mice love to go through spaces like this so you put it next to a wall and they would run through it, set off the trigger and the whole tunnel rotated and chucked them into a catch bin. Once there was one in there it attracted others and in very short time you had the whole family.

So now what. Well I got the cats and we sat down and played peek a boo. I slide the lid back and a mouse would pop out and the cat would snatch it, crunch it and wait for the next one. Then one time I was gone for a week and when I checked my trap it only had a few live ones but the remnants of several more dead ones. With no food they turned on each other and ate each other. Then the smell attracted more. So it became like a cage grudge match ultimate fight with the winner eating the losers. Mice are not cuddly, they kill and eat anything they can even each other.

Mr_Liss3 months ago

I've had pretty good luck just using peanut butter as bait on unmodified mouse traps. The mouse can't lift the PB like it can with a piece of cheese or whole peanut. Because PB is sticky (also smellier than a whole peanut) the mouse will move the plate the PB is on when eating the PB, and die.

fisherman19 months ago

I had a problem with rodents and birds eating the dog food outside of my house. Using a rat trap and super gluing dog food to the trap worked very well!

imcgowan111 months ago
I have also found chocolate is very popular with the furry little fiends. Although i have to be careful using it as there was a nasty incident with the wife resulting in sore knuckles for her and me. Pmsl
lime3D2 years ago
I like to hot glue a peanut (in the shell) to the trigger. The mouse HAS to move the peanut to get into it, then Whammo!
AT (author)  lime3D2 years ago
That is a great idea! The nut always comes out when the trap goes off. I have tweaked mine so much that they will just go off from the smallest vibration. Sometimes just setting them down in place will trigger them. I am going to have to give the hot glue a try.

I wonder if they make peanut scented hot glue?
Eurober3 years ago
I found by experience that once the trap is set, one should remove the human scent. Using the end of a gas torch flame, one should “brush” briefly the trap so that the scent is eliminated. This works particularly well in area where the rodents are getting diffident about the human presence
Dr Qui3 years ago
Its the second mouse that gets the peanut butter. If you catch a mouse and the bate is gone its best to reset the trap.

You are so right about the cheese thing so many people that came into the hardware store I worked thought cheese was the best bait, we always advised peanut butter. 

Cheese on traps is a cartoon myth and is planted in our subconscious by Tom and Jerry cartoons.

I prefer the new plastic false teeth type traps as they are more sensitive to small mice, I have had several cases where a small fast mouse was quick enough to dodge the trap, the retaining bar flicking up give a fast mouse enough of a warning to flee.  Ive even had tiny mice that where to small to trip the plastic traps and had to resort to glue traps as a last resort.

PS if you have a cat let it eat the dead mouse, it will give it a taste for mice and it will maybe do its job properly next time a mouse comes around.
I've found that rubbing a thimble full of peanut butter works really good, or an even better option is to melt a bar of Hershey's chocolate onto the metal.  With the chocolate, we caught 10 mice in 2 hours out in the garage.  ;)
AT (author)  EagleScout3165 years ago
That sounds like a target rich environment!  You can catch them without any bate in those cases just by placing the trap in their paths (along walls and such.)  But I love the idea of coating the trigger with chocolate!  They could lick it off but are likely to bite it.  Another option might be to put some peanut chunks in with the chocolate.  When it hardens, it would hold thing in place.  But that is starting to sound too good and I might want some for myself and well.... SNAP! 

AAAAA!  My tongue!
arirang777 AT3 years ago
I wish I could have read this In'able before: End of last winter got a huge rat eating left overs from the bird feeder and hiding in the garage. I got the OEM trap no modifications though, covered with a cut-off bucket (I didn't want a cat or kid getting it) and used some bacon strip as bait. That night I heard it go off, then a huge commotion. I kept sleeping with a grin on my face.

Next morning I went to check it out: Bucket thrown away, empty trap, blood and a lot of fur stuck to the spring wire but no rat. Haven't seen the rat or its feces since then. Hair trigger and the claw is a terrific idea. If I were to use it, I am sure I'd have a rat head-trophy hanging by the chimney by now.

I thought about adding some upward spikes in the strike zone to basically impale the rodent, but then and accidental snap on my finger (it happens) would be costly. Great Idea, AT!!!
anibioman4 years ago
marshmallows work well
Kiteman5 years ago
Another very good bait (in my experience) is chocolate.
Marcos Kiteman4 years ago
Yes! Works great. Exotic food for the varmints, but it seems to do the trick.

I break off a small piece of chocolate, then carve a small notch on opposing sides, then tie it to the trap with a shortened wire twisty. It works quite well, especially when your local pests have developed tood bait-snatching skills.

I've had pretty good luck with letting a slice of cheese dry until it's hard, then tying it on the trap, though lately, (it is indeed mouse season) I've been using chocolate and/or peanut butter. I had a mouse within half an hour of setting the trap. After I returned the "humane" trap, which barely got sniffed at for over a week.
RadBear Kiteman5 years ago
I've found most rodents dig peanut butter.
my dad finds that a bit of bread coated in peanut butter works. only a 1cm bit of bread though with a 5mm coating of peanut butter. if your intrested in trying it out.
AT (author)  the DEVIL5 years ago
That is a good idea.  Peanut butter seems to be a great bate but mice lick peanut butter and that won't set off the trap.  Putting it on maybe a crust would be a great alternative.  That would get the mouse to have to do some chewing.   This would be more likely to set the trap off.
AT (author)  RadBear5 years ago
Peanut Butter is great but I have found that it can be licked off without setting off the trap.  That is why I have moved to peanut alone.  Seems to work just as well but a little more work to get on the trap.
underwhelmed AT5 years ago
I use peanut butter, but I apply it to a bit of cotton ball and place that in the metal bait jaw.

Using this method, the mouse will try and take the food/nesting material and be killed 100% of the time.

On another note, a co-worker recently flattened a mouse in or break room using a dead fall trap and an old aluminum vacuum form tool. The tool was about 2 foot by 10 inches and 2.5 inches thick. He made a figure 4 trigger and used some peanut butter. Very effective, flat mouse.  I let him clean it up.
HMMMMM this could make a good airsoft mine
mr. clean4 years ago
what i do is snot the peanut butter all over the claw part and the trigger this helps lubricate the trigger and the mice will lick the trigger it almost never fails u could also add peanut butter to the peanut u jam in the claw as peanut butter aroma will most likely carry further than just a plain peanut.
xXInmateXx4 years ago
I got a mouse in a trap once, and it was still alive its back was broken and we let it got. The thing started crawling with its two front paws. And Its back was squashed like that one in the trap.
mice run along walls and next to tall objects to give themselves cover. leaving a trap in the open will catch fewer mice, if any.
Marble has it right, i use unbaited snap traps with the ( large plastic) trigger 90 degrees to the wall or 45 degrees to a corner. i work in pest control and it is now mouse season 
5in1.jpg
i bet they're competing for the food
Whoah, that's a lot of mice!
makerboy1124 years ago
Peanut butter works best.
icecoldcelt4 years ago
I've gotten mice to run 3 feet into the open in broad daylight with 2 humans present with bits of cream-cheese pound cake. I left crumbs where they would sample it and get addicted first.
PyroTeen2135 years ago
thats one dead mouse
Typical kill method of a spring trap. Breaking the back or neck Its fast, humane and effective.
Silence4 years ago
Mice love fat off frying pans. Bacon fat works well as an alternative to peanutbutter, nuts or chocolate.
Toxicity4 years ago
*sniffle* all he wanted was some food. *waaaahhhhhh*
AT (author)  Toxicity4 years ago
That may be true but there is plenty of food outside.
Toxicity AT4 years ago
haha, I guess you're right.
gomas2114 years ago
poor mouse
ive found that if you remove the spring and heat it up with a propane torch, stove, or and high heat items until it is red hot, repeat this a few times, the heat with case the metal to harden making the lever to come down harder because sometime the poor mouse doesn't die it just lays there squealing
limpach5 years ago
Curious why this is under pets. But always good for suggestions.
AT (author)  limpach5 years ago
Well, the category is Home & Pets.  So this was more for the home part even though I did have a pet mouse when I was in Jr. High.
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