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Mouse Baits

Once you've learned how to trap a mouse, it's important to become familiar with the baiting process. Successfully baiting a live mouse trap requires selecting an enticing bait and positioning it carefully inside the trap. Below, Havahart® provides suggestions as well as baiting techniques to help you properly bait your trap.

Best Mouse Baits

A mouse's diet consists of mainly seeds and grains, but mice are even more attracted to foods high in fat, protein and/or sugar. Because live mouse traps are small and have sensitive triggers, it's important that you use lightweight baits.

The best mouse baits include:

best mouse baits

How to Bait a Mouse Trap

After selecting a bait, carefully place or apply it to the inside of your trap in a way that will facilitate a full capture. In order to do so, it's important to understand the trigger-and-close mechanism of your particular trap:

  • Steel Cage Trap: A metal trigger plate found in the center of the trap balances the two doors open. When weight is applied to the trigger plate, the doors close and lock into place.
  • Plastic Trap: This trap relies on gravity and balance. The trap is set with its weight forward and the door open. The door closes when weight is applied to the far end of the trap, tipping it backwards.

The best bait application will:

  • Lure the mouse all the way into the trap.
  • Cause the mouse to apply weight to the trigger: the metal plate of a cage trap or the back end of a plastic no-see trap.
  • Avoid weighing down the trigger on its own, prematurely closing the door(s).
  • Take into consideration the trap type (see below):
STEEL CAGE TRAP - Position bait at CENTER steel cage trap

When using a 2-door cage trap, place or spread the bait directly onto the trigger plate.

PLASTIC TRAP - Position bait at END plastic trap

When using a closed trap, place or spread the bait at the back end of the trap.

Expert Baiting Tips

  • Place a crumb of bait at the opening(s) of the trap to entice the mouse to enter. Mice eat very little in one feeding, so be sure that this sample is much smaller than the bait inside. Do not create an entire trail of bait, which can fill up the mouse before he enters.
  • Wear gloves at all times when handling or baiting your trap. A mouse will be less likely to enter your trap if it carries any trace of human scent.
  • Baiting your mouse trap is just one critical step that one must follow when trapping a mouse. Learn more trapping guidelines and tips by reading How to Trap a Mouse »
  • For more baiting tips, read How to Bait »

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