There are many different types of mouse traps on the market & I think by now I have tried almost all of them. All will catch mice, but there are differences depending on your level of comfort interacting with the dead mice and your budget. If you are looking for the best mouse trap, check the pros and cons to see which is most appropriate for your home.
Which is the Best Mouse Trap for you?
Here are the pros and cons of the six most popular mouse traps to get rid of mice in your home.
1. Electric Mouse Traps
These traps are one of my favorite ways to catch mice quickly. To be successful, you should use several of these traps. You want to kill the mice as fast as possible! Placing three or more of these units in strategic locations is a very effective strategy. And it is cost-effective since they are reusable.
Victor M250S wins our vote for the best electric mouse trap.
Victor Pest control makes one of the best electric mouse traps on the market. We have used the Victor M2524 Electronic Mouse Trap with good success. The upgraded version by Victor is the M250S pictured above.
What I like about the Victor electronic mouse trap above is it comes with a removable kill chamber for easy cleaning. This helps to ensure the electric components do not get wet. There is also an indicator light that flashes green when you have caught the mouse and red when it is time to replace the batteries.
The Rat Zapper Classic is another favorite and has been getting great reviews (it works for both mice & rats). Click here to see more electric mouse traps.
HOW IT WORKS:
First, you add batteries then open the lid and bait the trap with peanut butter, muffins or a sweet treat. Be sure to select a bait with an enticing aroma to attract mice. The bait station is normally located in the back of the unit, so the mouse is forced to fully enter the trap.
Once the mouse steps on the sensor, it triggers a high voltage electric current which electrocutes the mouse in seconds. It’s over quickly, so the mouse does not suffer.
Then you simply turn the unit over, flip the lid open & empty it into the trash. Re-bait the trap and you are ready to catch the next one.
- Electric mouse traps have a very high success rate. I have never found missing bait or a wounded mouse inside this type of mouse trap. It kills quickly.
- These types of traps are reusable. Each one can last for years. These are the best mouse traps for long-term use.
- The unit is enclosed in plastic, so you don’t have to see or touch the dead mouse if you don’t want to.
- The price of each mouse trap is a little more than the disposable type. However, since they can be reused, after the initial cash outlay, you should be good for a long time.
- Since the components are electric, you need to be careful to keep them dry. This includes during the cleaning process. If too much moisture gets in the mouse trap, it can short-circuit the electrical components.
TIP: Don’t wait more than a day or so in between kills to empty the trap. Remember mice live in groups, if you see one mouse, you probably have 5-6.
If you are using just a single trap, it could be a week before you catch all the mice. From my experience, that is simply too long. If you only want to buy one or two electronic traps, just make sure to empty them as soon as possible and consider upgrading to one of the electronic mouse traps that can kill many mice at one time.
2. Plastic Snap Traps
Almost everyone is familiar with the original wooden snap traps. They were cheap, but hard to set & you had to throw them away. The pest control companies have a much-improved version now that is made of hard, durable plastic that can be reused.
The Snap-E Mouse Trap is one of these new improved models & is one of the highest-rated mouse traps available.
Best Easy to Set Snap Trap
The snap traps are my second favorite type of mouse trap since they are easy to set, very effective and an affordable way to kill mice.
HOW IT WORKS:
The snap trap has a small bait cup where you can place the bait which is perfect for a tiny dab of peanut butter. You pull the metal lever back to just 90 degrees. Once the mouse steps on the plate, the metal lever is released and snaps closed catching the mouse in the process.
Since the metal snap bar is placed at just a 90-degree angle instead of 180 degrees, it closes much faster & catches more mice. This is an improvement over the design of the old-fashioned wooden mouse trap that would sometimes close on only part of the mouse, causing them to suffer. When trapping a mouse, we want to make the ordeal as painless as possible.
The Snap E Mouse trap, in particular, was designed with a larger paddle that can catch mice from several different angles increasing the likelihood of a quick, clean kill.
- Very easy to set & release, since the metal bars are nice & sturdy.
- The release bar is positioned so you don’t need to touch the dead mouse.
- They are reusable, made from hard plastic & steel.
- Quick, humane kill
- Low cost – this is one of the most affordable reusable mouse traps
- You still will see the dead mouse. (There were so few cons with this trap, it was hard to find one)
PRO TIP: Set the traps out for a few days before baiting them. Mice are naturally a little skittish to new objects placed in their territory. By letting the mice smell and explore the unset mouse traps first, they will be much more likely to take the bait. It will also give the trap time to take on a familiar odor rather than fresh plastic which can scare them away.
See more about the Snap-E brand in our detailed review.
3. Plastic Enclosed Snap Trap
There are many varieties of plastic mouse traps on the market. I have found the plastic enclosure traps to be very effective and I like that it is safe to use around pets or children.
Best No touch snap mouse trap
HOW IT WORKS:
The design of these snap mouse traps is to have a hard plastic shell on the outside. There is a compartment inside the plastic to set the bait. Similar to other snap traps, peanut butter is the suggested bait of choice.
After baiting the snap trap, you will press a lever or turn the trap until it clicks & is set. The mouse will enter through a small hole, step on the sensor, then whammo!!, the spring snaps shut with the captured mouse inside. Then you toss the whole thing in the trash.
- They are very clean. The best thing about these traps is you don’t need to see or touch the dead mouse. If you are squeamish, then this is the best mouse trap for you.
- Safer for pets and children. Since both the baiting station & the spring-loaded trap are enclosed in plastic, there is no danger of anyone besides the intended victim getting hurt.
- The traps are not re-usable.
- It could get expensive if you have a recurring problem.
- Kills only one mouse at a time.
The trick with this type of mouse trap is to bait it correctly. The trigger isn’t quite as sensitive as in some other models, so if you have very small mice, sometimes they steal the bait without getting caught.
Use just a small amount of peanut butter or sticky substance in the bait door, then push a little tidbit of food into it like a raisin, piece of chocolate or a nut. This forces the mouse to stop long enough for the trigger to snap. This method works like a charm.
***Tomcat also makes a version of the plastic snap traps, the Tomcat Press ‘N Set that gets high ratings from their customers. These traps are reusable and a more cost-effective choice if you don’t mind seeing the mouse after it’s caught.
4. Catch and Release Mouse Traps
These traps can be used to catch the mouse then release it back into the environment. When using this type of trap it is important to empty them often and release them far away from your home. If you are looking for the best humane mouse traps, be sure to read our comparison of the top 3.
HOW IT WORKS:
There are 2 main types of Catch and Release mouse traps: Metal Cages or Plastic Tubes.
You will bait the trap with some enticing treat to attract mice. Then you set the trap so the entry door is open. Once the mouse enters the trap, a trigger will snap the door shut. The mouse will be caught inside the trap.
We prefer the metal style cage trap over the small plastic tubes. The deciding factor here is the trap needs to be large enough for the mouse to live for several hours without getting overly stressed out or suffocating. There needs to be sufficient room for the mice to turn around and enough holes so they get plenty of oxygen.
I have tried the smaller tube style trap and unfortunately found the captured mouse inside sweating and panicked. When I released it, the mouse could barely walk. That was in no way a kind way to get rid of mice.
In my opinion, the smaller plastic tube traps are much less humane than using a snap trap. The metal traps are also more durable.
The Havahart Two-Door Mouse Cage Trap is one of the most popular live mouse traps available. It is made of a wire mesh casing that securely traps the mouse while allowing it a little room to move around & breathe while he is waiting for you to release him to another location.
This is a very humane mouse trap to use and comes highly recommended. The only drawback is that it is a little large for use in some homes. Read our review on the Havahart Mouse Trap here.
Our vote for the best indoor live catch trap.
A better option for inside the home is made by Victor – Model M310SSR. This trap has a slimmer design and is easier to place in tight areas. Suitable for catching multiple mice – it is large enough to allow the mouse room to breathe while waiting to be released.
- No-kill, humane way to catch mice. If you simply can’t bear to harm a living creature, then this is one of the best mouse traps for you.
- The ability to catch many mice at a single time.
- You need to monitor the trap more often since you are catching a living creature. Don’t leave them in the trap too long before relocating them back outdoors.
- You have to handle the little guys, put them in your car & drive them to a release location.
TIP: If you release the captured mice too close to your house, they may return to the nest, and you will be fighting a losing battle. I will drive about a mile away when using this method, I don’t take any chances that they may return.
5. Ultrasonic Pest Control Units
Personally, I did not have success with this method of getting rid of mice. However, I learned later than I did not use it correctly.
To be successful you need to make sure you buy the right type of unit for the size of the room. If you get one that only covers an area of up to 100 feet, you can’t put it in a 300 square foot room & expect it to repel mice.
The two brands we prefer are T3-R Pest Repeller and Neatmaster. The T3-R Triple High Impact Rodent Repeller has a great reputation and customer service is on top of their game. They also have 15 years of experience in the industry, so if you have any questions, they can certainly help.
The Neatmaster UltraSonic Pest Repeller gets good reviews on both repelling mice and insects. It is also sold in several multi-packs which can save you a bit of money.
Keep in mind reviews with this type of product are all over the board – some people swear by them & others don’t believe they work at all – it all depends on how the units are set up in the home and how bad their pest problem is.
HOW IT WORKS:
The Pest Repeller is plugged into the wall. An ultrasonic wave is released which will drive the mouse away. These are really more of a mouse repellent than an actual trap.
- There is no work involved in using these types of mouse traps. All you have to do is plug the unit in.
- Last a very long time.
- The best alternative if you don’t really want to kill the mice, but rather keep them away.
- If you have a very large house, the ultrasonic waves may not reach all the areas where mice are living.
- Repellers are not as effective if you already have mice in your home.
- Not all ultrasonic traps are created equal. There are definitely some good products on the market, but there are also others that simply don’t work. Do your research before you buy.
Read more about ultrasonic pest control units in this article ==> Ultrasonic Pest Repellers: What You Need to Know Before Buying
6. Glue Traps
This is the only variety of trap I have not used. Removing the mouse from the glue trap is not something I wanted to try and disposing of the trap with the stuck mouse intact seems rather cruel to me.
HOW IT WORKS:
These work by trapping the mouse on a sticky surface. Once you see the mouse is stuck, you pick up the entire trap & throw it away.
- There is no snapping mechanism that could hurt little fingers or noses.
- They don’t always work. Sometimes you will just see a little fur on the trap.
- In my opinion, this is not a humane method of killing rodents. The glue doesn’t kill the captured mice, it just works to keep the mouse stuck on the pad, then the mouse will slowly die since it has no access to food or water.
Frequently Asked Questions
First, select a good mouse trap! Then place the mouse trap close to the areas where mice enter and exit your home. This will give you the best chance to get the mouse to enter your mouse trap and take the bait.
A few good examples are peanut butter, chocolate, seeds, and candy. See our article on the best mouse trap baits to use here.
Yes! Sometimes the mice will avoid the traps we set out for them, especially when they are brand new and smell like humans or plastic.
To get around this, place the unset mouse trap in the location where you have seen mouse activity and suspect the mice are getting inside. They will take on the scent of the surrounding area and let the mice become comfortable with the look and feel of the traps. After some time has gone by, then add your bait and set the traps. Using this little tip will improve your success rate dramatically!
Our Summary of the Best Mouse Traps
Selecting the best mouse trap type to get rid of the mice in your house will depend on the features most important to you. Use the following list to make the right choice based on your personal preference.
- Looking for a long-term efficient solution & don’t mind putting out a little more cash initially? Get an Electronic Mouse Trap.
- Need an economical solution to trap mice fast? Use the Snap-E Plastic Traps.
- Don’t want to see or touch any part of the dead mouse? The Plastic Enclosed Snap traps are the best mouse trap for you.
- Need a no-kill mouse trap? Choose the Catch and Release Mouse Trap.
- Looking for a no-mess solution without the need to set traps? The Ultrasonic
plug intype mouse repellent is for you.
When you make your selection, just remember that the best way to get rid of mice is to do it fast. Our goal is to trap the mice as fast as possible before they have a chance to really dig in and make a mess in our homes.
To discover even more ways to solve your mouse problem, visit our home page at How-to-Get-Rid-of-Mice.com.