A Better Mouse?

I have been periodically putting down mouse traps (Victor snap traps) in my garage over the years, and have had no problem catching mice. Until now.

Since we live next to a national forest small critters of varying types often look for a warm place to hang out during the frigid winter months. There is no food source in the garage that I am aware of, and the mice apparently have no trouble finding their way inside.

The garage is large, so I end up putting 4 or 5 traps in various places and normally I catch at least one mouse and often two in a single night. I use a dab of peanut putter as bait, and the traps are so sensitive that I often have trouble just putting them gently on the ground without setting them off.

Over the past few nights I’ve noticed something strange. When I go to check the traps in the morning they are licked clean, and they are still spring loaded, meaning a mouse has eaten all of the bait and didn’t set any off. I have seen this before with an odd trap here or there, but this mouse has been able to do this 4 nights in a row.

Can a mouse be so smart that it can eat the bait and avoid setting off a snap trap with a hair trigger? What can I do to catch this particular mouse? Sticky traps don’t work and I doubt he would fall for a live trap even if I had one… and don’t ask me to get a cat.

I have had success with this:


are you sure its a mouse? and not a squirrel ect ?

Put down a layer of chalk or something, and use that to determine where they’re coming from (by looking for footprints) and block off the entry holes?

I’ve always had the best luck using the large plastic rat traps like this. But in any case, whatever you use, they work better if you put something like a butterfinger or something else that’s sticky on it. Peanut butter can be licked off, you want something that they need to get in there and pull on.

I doubt they’re smart enough to avoid setting off the trap. They probably light enough and/or just didn’t hit the bait tray correctly to trip it.

I was getting outsmarted by a mouse or two that was doing the same thing, so I tried super gluing a sunflower seed to the bait lever so the mouse couldn’t help but spring the trap when it tried to carry the seed away. Takes a bit more effort than the peanut butter, but works well.

Put poison in the Peanut Butter. If you don’t snap him, you still cap him.

I use the simple, cheap snap traps, with various kinds of bait. Since I can usually reuse traps, peanut butter can get pretty grungy over time, so I use bread, cracker bits or hard cheese that don’t make such a mess.

Sure, often the traps have been cleaned without being sprung. I just chuckle and say to the air, “Wait til next time,” then re-bait. I think the trick is to (1) use multiple bait pieces, and (2) see if you can wedge some into the clip so the mouse has to tug a bit to remove it. The multiple pieces insure that eventually, they will trip up and trip the trigger, and the tugging makes it even more likely. Work on averages and don’t expect a kill each time.

I don’t recommend poison. It’s not bad to find a mouse in a trap that you can quickly dispose of, but a dead mouse may produce a smell that you can’t find, in a place you can’t reach. Besides, I worry that a half-dead, poisoned mouse would make a good target for a fox, and the fox might be harmed by the poison after mouse ingestion.

An exterminator told me that poison isn’t harmful to a dog or cat eating a mouse/rat carcass, but I don’t believe it. Even if you do believe it, a dead rodent in the walls is awful, especially in summer. Literally nothing to do besides wait out the stench and the flies. Unless you want to start tearing apart your house.

I use a little piece of flour tortilla to wrap up the peanut butter into a tiny “taco”, which is then tucked into the little clip in the bait area. The tortilla dries out and gets a little leathery, and the mouse must tug on the tortilla to get at the peanut butter.

I’ve always wanted to give this type of mousetrap a go, but we don’t have enough mice to merit setting one up.

I’ve heard of people wedging a chocolate chip into the trigger clip.

I’ve had just terrible success with the Victor mousetrap with metal bait station. I had a few that I’d set in the garage and mice would clean them up night after night without tripping them. I’ll only use the kind with the plastic bait station, and I’ve found TomCat brand to be the best. I also find you want to really get that peanut butter smeared on the station so the mouse has to kind of dig at it, don’t just dab it on loose.

I’ve not had any success with poison. If there does happen to be another food source nearby, they’ll ignore the poison altogether.