Pest Control Blog

Mouse Trap Training

October 29th, 2019 by Rove Pest Control in Rodent

Stories abound of mice outsmarting the trapper. It seems some people only deal with mice who have graduated with a BA in Human Trap Evasion. It turns out there is a significant amount of strategy in battling these educated mice. Here is the mouse trap training you need to successfully rid your home of mice.

Best Traps

While there is not a single best trap that will solve all of the mice problems in the world, there are mouse traps that are best for given situations.

Snap traps

Snap traps have been around for ages. The old wooden base with a spring-loaded mouse slayer bar still holds its own against years of innovation. Many of the new traps have included more sophisticated bait traps that allow for easier cleaning and refilling. They also tend to require less skill in setting the trap without losing a finger or two. Other trap improvements have made the teeth just as lethal to mice while removing the threat to small, unknowing fingers that find their way inside.

Snap traps are tried and have proven over and over again to work. They work well against the wall, in somewhat small places, and even fit well inside protective stations. They do not work in areas with smaller clearance than they need to complete the snap. Also, they can be a time drain in areas with a lot of debris flying that can set off the trap before the mouse gets there.

Glue Traps

Glue traps tend to get a bad reputation because of common mistakes. Oils will interfere with the stickiness of the glue trap. So, avoid oily baits and proximity to oily substances when catching, but pour vegetable oil on a glue board that has caught a neighbor’s pet or child. Also, glue traps can be temperature sensitive. Very cold weather can stop the glue from acting as intended. Areas with a lot of dust will end up coating the glue rendering the trap ineffective. Test glue boards in their intended environment before relying on them. In addition, it is important to understand that glue boards do not immediately kill a mouse as a snap trap will.

With all the potential negatives of glue boards, there are some big advantages.

  1. Glue boards work well for monitoring other pest activity. Many people have set out to catch a mouse and find out there is an insect issue brewing that needs attention.
  2. Glue boards can go where other traps cannot. Glue boards can go in the tightest of places where mice may go. By laying one flat, it can slide under anything a mouse may travel beneath.
  3. Glue boards are customizable. They can lay flat, be folded into a box, be joined together, cut in half, folded into a triangle, and even custom molded to odd shapes that a room may require.
  4. A glue board has the potential to catch more than one mouse.

Multi Catch Traps

Multi catch traps are based on the principles of progressive trapping. As a mouse enters one part of the station, a door closes and another opens. This may be 2 steps or more, but it allows for more than one mouse to be caught at a time. In some cases, this allows for a lower profile than a snap trap but still offers multiple catch opportunities. These are also helpful for large populations, sets near doorways where multiple passes of a small or medium population occur, and sets where they need to continue to function despite less frequent visits.

Best Baits

If we go off of what is shown in movies and cartoons, we just need a bit of cheese to get the job done with mice, but dialing in your bait is key to effectively and efficiently taking care of rodent intruders. In some cases, cheese might be the way to go. Oftentimes, peanut butter will outperform the cheese (keep in mind the oil from peanut butter can interfere with glue stickiness). Another approach utilizes something inedible but useful for nest building such as a cotton ball may be the most attractive to a mouse.

Mouse trap training includes bait choice

The tickets to choosing the best bait are observation and trial & error. What have the mice been feeding on? If they are eating the chocolate candies meant for the visitors, put some chocolate on the trap. If they are nibbling on the fruit bowl, use fruit for the trap. Whatever you do, remove the food source before baiting the trap. Mice aren’t likely to venture away from their known food source until they are forced to. Having a similar food in a slightly different location will be more likely to venture over for a try than if it is a new type of food in a new location.

Placement

A well-placed trap is more valuable mouse trap training than the type of trap or the bait in the trap. Mice tend to run lines and like to feel the edge of a wall with their vibrissae as they run along. A trap placed in their path can catch them even if they are not looking for its bated contents.

Orientation

Ensure that the mouse can enter from either direction along a wall or other border. Also, keep in mind that mice are not necessarily floor-oriented like humans are. Those small pipes running above your head in the basement or crawl space can be a hiding place as well.

Set

In most cases, it is ok to bait and set the trap on the first attempt with mice. If some of the mice prove more cautious, it is wise to pre-bait the traps and allow the mice to get a free treat without the trap being set. Once they have taken the bait a few times, they will be less cautious and less likely to set off the trap without their body in the crosshairs. Situation specific mousetrap training includes gleaning information from when the mice take the bait and how much they consume.

Double it up

Mice kinetically memorize the layouts of buildings rather quickly. This allows them to run and bound at high speeds without running into things. A mouse crushing along a wall may bound or jump over a single trap. Adding two or three traps in a row will make it less likely that the mouse will clear the set.

Continued Education

Even the most experienced mouse catchers can run into challenging situations regardless of previous mouse trap training. Don’t worry, the mouse catching experts at Rove Pest Control have the experience and know-how to get you through whatever you face. Whether you need some tips, different traps, or simply want to turn it over the hassle, we are happy to help.