Are you looking for the best place to put a mouse trap for maximum effectiveness? If you are having a hard time catching the mice in your home, it could be that you are making mistakes with trap placement.
In this article, we will go over recommendations for where to place a mouse trap and how many of them to put out.
We will take a look at what real-life exterminators and experts have to say so that you can maximize your chances of catching mice fast. Plus we’ll show you show real-life examples of where to place mouse traps in different rooms of your house.
How to Be Successful When Placing Traps
1. Place Traps Where You Find Signs Of Rodents
The first step is always an inspection of your house. You need to place the traps where you see the most evidence of rodent activity.
Check for mouse droppings. They measure approximately 2-5mm in length. Once you have learned to spot them, they will be easy to recognize.
You also can check for evidence that mice have been chewing on surfaces nearby. You might find damage on furnishings, for example, or even items that have been shredded for nesting materials.
Sometimes the damage may be subtle; other times, it may be quite dramatic, depending on the severity of the infestation.
2. Inspect Outdoor Buildings On Your Property
A good tip from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is to also place mousetraps in outbuildings, garages, or sheds. Any building close to your home may serve as an unintended safe haven for mice.
This helps to ensure you take care of the entire population of mice and don’t suffer a second infestation.
3. Place Traps In Covered Areas Where Mice Feel Safe
Some people make the mistake of putting traps out in open spaces.
Mice don’t like to be out in the open; they know how dangerous it is. They prefer to edge along walls or behind or under furnishings. They know predators are less likely to spot them if they stay hidden.
Take a look at the image above. If this was my garage, I would place at least 4 or 5 mouse traps. Here are the locations I would consider and why.
- In the corners near the garage door. This will trap the mice on their way from the outside into your garage, a common travel pathway.
- Behind the trash cans. Mice will be attracted to the smells of the trash cans, even when they are empty. The mice may think they are getting lucky and a piece of food fell out of the can. An easy meal in a safe place.
- Behind the refrigerator. The motor of the refrigerator will generate warmth, another attraction for mice. A likely location for the nest will be in this type of warm and safe location.
- Along the radiator – another source of warmth that offers a little protection overhead along a travel pathway.
- Next to the bags of soil or fertilizer. There may be something edible for a rodent that attracts the mouse. Or they may use it for bedding material.
- In the back behind the bikes and buggies, especially if they don’t get moved very often. There is protection since it is against the wall, and if left undisturbed, the mouse will feel safe enough to let its guard down long enough to make a meal of your bait.
- Near the inside door. I would also find the door to the inside and place a final trap between the garage and any entry point into the house.
Do you see a common theme? Travel pathways and quiet areas where the mice feel safe enough to stop and take the bait in your trap.
Here are some other examples of good mouse trap placement around the house.
- Behind or underneath furniture against the wall
- In the back of a storage closet
- Behind boxes in an attic
- In sheltered corners
- Along the walls of a crawlspace
- Under garage cabinets
- Behind tools in a corner of the shed
- Along any walls to and from the outside
These are some of the best locations for your mouse traps.
Even in rooms that you do not use often, place traps along the walls and behind furniture. In the picture below, if you saw a mouse run out from the couch to the door, you still want to place the traps along the back walls, never out in the open.
4. Use Perpendicular Placement
It isn’t just where you put your traps that matters, but also how you orient them.
The folks at Lloyd Pest Control say that if you are using a snap trap, you should put it at a perpendicular angle to the wall.
The reason is so that a mouse approaching the trap from either direction can reach the bait. It is also recommended to position the bait closest to the wall, not at the far end of the trap.
If you are using a live trap, the entry holes should be in line with the wall. This way they will hopefully keep running right along the wall into your trap.
5. Set Traps In Quiet Locations
If you have an especially busy house, place traps away from the rooms where you spend most of your time. If your family spends 80% of their time in the living and dining rooms, skip these rooms.
And be mindful of children, pets, or other visitors to your home.
It isn’t necessary to place traps in every room where you have seen mice. Focus instead on the quiet areas where the mice may be nesting. Or on their way to and from a source of food or water.
When I had pest control experts come to my house, they never placed a trap in areas where there was a lot of human activity. Not once did they put a trap in my living room or bedroom.
They always placed the majority of traps in the attic, garage, or crawl space. In one house, we put traps under the refrigerator. In this case, the kitchen was right next to the garage where the mice were coming in. It was on their pathway from the outside to their food source.
Once you know where you need to place the traps, there are two more important tips for success. The number of traps your set and the timing of their placement.
6. Setting Multiple Traps
Another common trap placement mistake is simply not setting out enough traps in the beginning. And by multiple, we don’t mean 2 or 3 traps. I typically set a minimum of 5, and possibly up to 10.
A lot of people just put out a trap here or there throughout their house, hoping that will solve the problem.
But actually, you need to put out multiple traps. In most cases; you are dealing with more than one rodent.
In fact, there is a really good chance you are underestimating the mouse population in your home. These critters breed incredibly fast.
So, always err on the side of setting up more traps than you might need, not less. If cost is a factor, pick up a dozen of the inexpensive wooden traps to supplement your trapping efforts.
According to Victor Pest Control, the best strategy is to place the mouse traps 2 to 3 feet apart along the wall where you’ve seen signs of activity.
And in high-traffic areas where you’ve actually seen mice or noticed a large number of droppings, you can set pairs of mouse traps up to one inch apart.
7. Put Out As Many As You Can On The First Night
Last but not least, how you time the placement of your traps also can have an impact on their effectiveness.
Western Exterminator Company explains that it is a mistake to set out a few traps, to begin with and then scale up from there.
Why? Because the first night you set out traps, you will likely have the greatest success.
It seems that rodents tend to catch on after a while. They become wary of the traps and start to steer clear.
So, you should put out a large number of traps on the first night if you want to catch as many mice as possible. You will catch more of them off guard that way.
Starting small to test the waters and adding more traps on the following nights will not be as effective.
Yes, that may mean a larger outlay of cash early on before you know a particular type of trap works, but it may be worth it.
Optimal Trap Setup Will Help You Catch More Mice Quickly
Now you know some common mistakes that homeowners make when setting mouse traps.
Avoid placing traps in open areas, and don’t just set out one or two traps on the first night.
Instead, place the traps along walls and under and behind furnishings, especially in areas where you spot droppings or signs of gnawing.
Each house will be different, consider where the mice are getting inside, where they are nesting, and their food source. To and from these common routes is the best location for your mouse traps.
Then when you are ready to set the traps, put out as many as you can on the first night. and orient them correctly along the walls. Don’t take any half-measures; be aggressive.
Hopefully, you will catch a large number of mice fast. Good luck, and continue exploring our site for more strategies, tips, and tricks for getting rid of mice.