No one is particularly happy to find out that they have a rodent infestation at hand in their home. This is why knowing how to deal with such an occurrence is extremely important. But the first thing to do is to figure out what type of rodent you are dealing with.

When it comes to tapping mice, there are multiple options available such as snap traps, glue traps and curiosity traps. However, to be successful in your mice trapping endeavors, make sure that you are investing in traps that are specifically designed for mice and not other types of rodents.

Pest control is a most demanding job that requires immense patience and determination. If you are looking to be truly successful, you can never rush these matters. Pests and rodents can be ridiculously crafty. While catching mice might appear to be extremely easy, it is anything but. You cannot simply have a few traps laid out and expect to get the job done. The task requires meticulous precision and skills. But before diving into the nitty-gritty of things, one important clarification that needs to be made is that rats and mice, although similar in appearances and character traits are in fact not the same.

How to get rid of mice
House mouse

Knowing Your Rodents

One might imagine that traps and preventive measures would work the same regardless, but to be truly successful in removing the pests, it is prudent to understand the differences between mice and rats. The disparity lies not only in their size but also in their eating preferences and behavior. Knowing the distinction makes it simpler to catch and remove the problem because while some actions might be effective for rats, the same cannot be used to eradicate mice. Which is why great insight is needed before the actual implementation of the pest control protocol. You are more likely facing a mice infestation if you find the creature sitting on hind legs and nibbling away at whatever food it has found.

Relatively speaking, both are rodents and possess similar physical attributes such as the snout and whiskers, and of course the tail. But that is where the similarity ends.

  • Size Matters

The most obvious disparity lies in their size; while a mouse is small and tiny, a rat is figuratively larger. For the purpose of catching mice, you would, therefore, invest in traps that are relatively smaller so that if the trap is set off, the mice are completely confined. Otherwise, if the trap is significantly bigger, the mice would conveniently escape through the trappings.

  • Behavior

An interesting aspect to consider is that mice and rats have different instincts when it comes to many things. While rats are known to be cautious in that they are more likely to avoid investigating new avenues and would prefer to remain hidden, mice are less sneaky. Their innate sense is such that they are quick to respond to new things to satiate their curiosity.

This information comes in handy when setting traps. With mice, you can entice them out of hiding by simply leaving the bait in places where you expect the rodent to be. And soon enough, they would be lured out to prod and explore, thus leading to their capture.

  • Eating Habits

Another distinguishing feature to help aid you in catching mice is to familiarize yourself with the food that they prefer. While mice and rats would eat just about anything, mice are more inclined towards plant-based food materials such as cereals and nuts, whereas rats prefer meat products. This comes in handy when choosing the appropriate bait to attract specific rodents. While many would believe cheese to be the most effective bait, peanut butter is the one that works to the best advantage.

It also comes as no surprise that mice are likely to build a nesting area close to such a food source. One way to scope out the nests of mice is to inspect the food storage area to check for nibbled remains and scraps. After such a discovery, the traps are strategically put into place.

  • Other Facts

Some mice attributes you should know are that they are incredibly wily creatures. Not only are they expert swimmers, but they can also climb surfaces with considerable ease. Add to it that they are quite fast, it can be very troublesome to run after the rodents in hopes of catching them. For this very reason, entrapments are required to keep them in place so that one can dispose of them with ease. Other significant details to consider are that mice are nocturnal animals. They stay away during the day and wander out at night in search of food, which serves as the perfect time to be on alert to catch them.

Typical Mice Traps

Many varieties of traps are available, some designed to kill the rodents while other incapacitate them long enough for you to get rid of them. However, if utilizing live traps, you might wish to dispose of the rodent somewhere far away from your house unless you want the mice back in your house. The preference depends entirely on you and the details on some frequently used mice traps can be found below.

  1. Snap Traps

The most common mouse trap is the snap trap, which is very cheap and easy to come by and instantly kills the rodent as the bar comes down. However, if not set with proper care, they can simply maim the creature, leaving it to suffer through the injury.  

  1. Multiple Traps

Also known as curiosity traps, these are the traps that can house multiple mice at once. Since mice are known to be curious, especially of new things, they are prone to investigate just such a trap and once they enter through the hole, they cannot come back out. And where one mice goes, others are sure to follow. These are actually preferred more by commercial and large establishments, as opposed to homeowners.

  1. Glue Traps

Glue traps are better used for mice as opposed to rats and when used in conjunction with other modes of mice control they can produce quick results. They are, however, very ineffective in extreme temperature conditions, and are more successful when dealing with young mice as the older ones steer clear of sticky surfaces.

After choosing your trap of choice, the place is where it is most likely to be triggered. Inside walls and under cabinets are some places to consider because mice prefer to stay out of the light and use these dark crevices as their pathways. Similarly, feeding areas of the mice, particularly where you store your food, is another good place for the trap to be placed. Experts generally instruct you to leave the traps near the walls and to use a decent amount of traps, because the more you use, the higher chance you have of being successful.

Precautionary Measures

Although there are not many things to be mindful of, there are a few things to consider when catching mice. With your arsenal of knowledge regarding mice, choose the proper bait such as nuts and seeds to draw them out. With a heightened sense of smell, mice can tell where you have been. So, when you lay out the bait and traps, do so with protective gloves on so as not to leave behind any incriminating scents. The next thing to consider is the placement of the trap. It is best to place the traps against the walls and in enclosed spaces such as cabinets where there is likely to be more pest activity.

Homemade Traps

Although not nearly as effective as the traps available in the market, one can still craft a makeshift trap and deal with a mice infestation. If you are looking to save money or are simply an enthusiast when it comes to doing things yourself, then there are designs and traps available that you can use to make your own traps. Some very ingenious creations that use cans, bottles or plates can be designed into traps that can work almost as great as the commercially sold ones. Instructions and ideas can be found here.

Regardless of the methods that you employ, try to use humane practices and if all else fails and things escalate out of hand, get in touch with an exterminator to deal with the problem.

Dusty Showers has been in the urban nuisance wildlife and pest control field since 1993. Taught by Garon Fyffe, a pioneer in humane nuisance wildlife management, Dusty has a passion for finding humane solutions to human & wildlife conflicts. Dusty was the only individual invited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission in the lat 1990's to help write legislation for legal protection of Florida bats. With an instinct for solving wildlife, Dusty found pest control to be an easy "add-on interest". Dusty started his first business "Animal Instincts Wildlife & Pest Management" in the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 1995. Eventually selling Animal Instincts in 2002, Dusty went on to start Creepy Creatures Termite and Pest Control in 2009, which he still owns and operates today in Palm Harbor, Florida.