Not everyone can tell the difference between rats and mice. Mice are far smaller, so chances are the rodent in your house is a mouse. And traps are the easiest way to catch these mice, whether you want to relocate them or destroy them. So let’s look at the 10 best mouse traps.
Snap traps are the commonest kind of mouse trap. They’re also the cheapest, so you may think they’re the most effective type. But as household pests adapt to humans, some of them have gotten really good at dodging our traps. That’s why d-Con’s most effective trap – by their own admission – is tweaked to avoid escape. It has a one-way door and a narrow body.
This design means the mouse can’t sneak along the sides and grab the bait without triggering the trap. The snap bar itself sits inside a covered section of the trap. This means you won’t have to see the trapped mouse or even touch it – you can easily open the cover and dump the mouse without touching or looking at it. It’s a mess-free kill so you can rinse and re-use it.
But if you’re super squeamish, look elsewhere because you will see the dead mouse’s tail poking out. Setting the trap is easy though because the dome at the front can be lifted to position the bait and release the mouse. The dome has a lock mechanism that’s sometimes stubborn though, so you may have to tap, turn, and press the dome to ensure it’s cinched.
If you look closer at the product label, this Tomcat is described as dog/child-resistant, which isn’t the same as being dog/childproof. Because the snapping bar is enclosed, your beloved can’t inadvertently set off the trap. But they can still sniff around it or pick it up and play with it. This means they could unlock the dome – especially with that tail peeking out…
The d-Con re-usable snap trap has a covered dome so you won’t see the mouse and it can’t be accidentally triggered by pets or kids. The pack has two traps and a money-back guarantee.
Traditional snap traps are getting less and less popular. Partly because the wood causes splinters and isn’t environmentally sustainable. And partly because advertisers told us mice can do chin-ups and escape the trap. Especially if you bait it with Nolan’s cheddar, so it’s a good thing this trap is designed to work with Tomcat Attractant Gel. And it’s a one-touch trap.
This essentially means you put a drop or two of attractant gel then snap the trap shut – it’s that easy. The trap has jagged teeth that will hold the mouse in place. The spring and teeth are strong enough to hold a rodent. And if the bait is tempting enough and is secured firmly to its anchor, you might even catch multiple mice. But only if the mice attack simultaneously.
This is an open trap, so you’ll see the tail and rear end of the trapped mouse, and you can see its little dead eyes peeping through the grab tab. Tossing the dead mice is easy because you can hook your fingers into the grab tab and shake the mouse out. But you’ll be touching the mouse and dealing with its carcass, so don’t buy this trap unless you’re ready to get messy.
Plus, the way the mouse is positioned, its lower half is exposed. So you’ll have to check the trap often because after it’s caught a mouse, it becomes a tempting snack for your cat, dog, and even wild rodents or snakes. You may end up dealing with bigger pests that you can handle, and because the trap was baited, the poisoned mouse may hurt the pet that eats it.
Depending on where you set your Tomcat trap, you can snag a mouse or two with a single trap. It’s a one-touch trap and can be used more than once, but only if you handle it gently.
The trap is extremely easy to set.
It works well with Tomcat gel.
The grab tab offers convenient disposal.
It’s sold as a re-usable trap but it barely survives three or four uses.
What exactly makes the ‘better mouse trap’ better? Well, its spring mechanism is stainless steel, so it won’t rust or stain. And its springing power is 30% more powerful than typical snap traps. Visually, the trap looks like a paper punch with cute writing on top. This can be psychologically soothing because it doesn’t resemble that standard mouse executioner.
The unusually eye-friendly design could work against it though, because kids may think it’s a toy and play with it. But because it’s a closed trap, it’s unlikely to harm curious cats or kids. And it’s a no-touch trap so you can empty it without looking at or physically handling the deceased rodent. It’s easy to use the trap. Pinch the lid to position the spring and set the bait.
Once the mouse gets trapped, the cover snaps shut, sealing the mouse in. Rather than breaking the mouse’s neck or spine, the trap suffocates the mouse below the lid. Press the lid down and squeeze gently to release the dead mouse. Then you can rinse the trap and set it afresh – as long as the bait wasn’t too sticky or messy. But residue will lure the next mouse.
Also, while the spring has hair-trigger sensitivity, it doesn’t kill mice 100% of the time. It all depends on how the mouse approaches the pad. If the trap snaps its head inside the trap, the mouse will die. But if the mouse came at the trap from a sideways angle, it might get its tail, paws, or whiskers trapped but it won’t necessarily die. So check the trap often to be sure.
Even if the Better Trap doesn’t succeed in going ‘off with its head’, the trap is too heavy for mice to drag (8.1oz) so just check the trap regularly and release any partially trapped ones.
The spring is 30% stronger.
Its plastic is scent-free.
It has a cute design.
The spring is sensitive enough to be triggered by a cotton ball, so place it in a sheltered spot to avoid ‘false positives’.
4. Catchmaster Mouse + Snake Glue Trap (Our Top Pick)
Glue traps can be convenient because they’ll catch anything that walks past. And this particular one is multi-functional, catching rodents, reptiles, and insects. But before you set a glue trap, be sure you’re ready for that gruesome mess. Because depending on where you set the trap, you may have to deal with the dying cries of a trapped animal, especially a mouse.
Catchmaster – like other glue traps – doesn’t kill mice. It keeps them stuck so they can’t run off for food or water. So they’ll die of starvation and dehydration rather than poison or broken bones. For furry pests like mice, they can also hurt themselves as they try to pull their fur off. But if you’re setting the trap in a barn or granary, you can leave it out for a day or two.
Reason being these are areas where you don’t visit a lot, so you can leave the trap set and come back after a week or so to dispose of the deceased mice. Catchmaster has a strong adhesive and a flexible surface, so you can fold or curl the glue pad and slip it into a vent, pipe, or mouse hole. After all, the trap needs to be in a spot the mice routinely walk past
This glue trap has two setting options – tray and board. The board raises the trap slightly off the floor and is useful for damp areas such as basements and sinks. The raised surface stops moisture from weakening the glue. When you take the glue pad out of the box, it has a protective film. At first, set the trap without removing the film so the mice get used to it.
After a few days, you can peel off the film. The mice will think it’s still safe to run across the Catchmaster and now you’ve got them! Dispose of the mice before they die – it’s less messy.
The trap is effective against bugs, rats, and snakes as well.
It comes pre-baited.
You can fold it to fit tight spaces.
It can slip under furniture and onto narrow ledges, but it doesn’t work well in corners.
A lot of wooden mouse traps are plastic. But if you still want wood, then Victor snap traps are a good choice. The wood used in these traps is green and environmentally conscious because it’s certified by FSC. And the trap may tickle your nostalgic bones because it’s built using the traditional mouse trap formula. It’s open and re-usable, so it’s not ideal for the squeamish.
On the other hand, if you’re a paid exterminator (or even a kid trying to make a few extra bucks), it’s a treasure because it leaves visible evidence, so your grandma or client can see exactly how many mice you’ve caught. It can be especially handy for kids and teens who may get paid a few cents or dollars per mouse. And they can even feed the deceased to their pets.
The success of Victor’s snap traps depends on how carefully the bait is positioned. The bait needs to be firmly fixed and centrally located so that the mouse has to struggle to dislodge it, which makes the mouse more likely to get snagged. So watch a few videos to see the best way to set the bait. You can always rinse and re-use the trap if you need to, or just toss it out.
The bait you use isn’t poisoned (peanut butter and softened toffee work especially well), the trap is safe for pets and kids. They might trigger the trap, but the kill-bar is mouse-sized, meaning it will annoy pet snouts and human fingers, but it won’t do any meaningful physical damage. This pedal trap is built on US soil so you can easily call their customer care center.
Victor snap traps are neat, clean, and effective against mice. They’re cheap enough to dump after one use, but you can just as easily reset them. They work both indoors and outdoors.
The traps are made of sustainable wood.
It leaves proof for commercial mouse catching.
It’s a clean kill.
The design sometimes allows mice to grab the bait and run without getting caught.
You’d think ethical traps would be a straightforward thing, but it’s not quite that clean-cut. After all, quick-kill and no-kill traps are both categorized as humane because the mouse will die instantly and ‘feel no pain’. But CaptSure is a safe trap because it captures the mouse but doesn’t kill it. This can be useful if you plan to trap and release the mice somewhere else.
On the other hand, if you intend to keep the mice for yourself, you may find yourself dealing with a touch of mousy PTSD. How so? Well, this trap is translucent. You can see through the sides, so you’ll know when the mouse is caught. But the mouse can see you too, so there’ll be running around in a panic while you loom outside. And that adds to the stress of the bait.
The bait sits in a separate compartment, so the mouse sees it and enters the trap, causing the door to snap shut behind it. So now the mouse is upset because it’s seeing food it can’t touch … and claustrophobic because it can’t get out. The chamber is small, so the mouse might find part of its tail stuck outside the trap, or it might chew its tail off trying to get free. Not nice.
While the trap does have vents to let the mice breathe, you’ll need to check the trap every hour or so because the mouse will be locked in, sweating nervously, probably peeing itself, and struggling to escape, so if you’re trying to be gentle with these pests, release them as soon as possible (but as far as you can) so they don’t suffer further but they won’t come back.
CaptSure live-catch traps are well constructed and easy to use. They’re safe for kids and pets, and they’ll let you release the mouth without touching it. You can still see the mouse though.
The trap works on other small rodents in addition to mice.
It won’t harm kids or pets.
It’s a genuinely human no-kill option.
The tight fit sometimes stresses the trapped mice.
If you’re a fan of reality TV, you know what happens when you lock humans in close quarters. Sooner or later, the claws come out, especially if there’s fame or fortune involved. And animals aren’t that different. Whether it’s chickens crowded in a coop or rats confined in a cage, eventually, they turn on each other. And wild mice without food or water will attack.
This is a downside for the Kness Ketch-All because this is a live trap. So the assumption is you don’t want the mice to die. And since the Kness doesn’t use bait or power, it can sit outside indefinitely. The trap has a large capacity so you’ll need to remind yourself to check it and empty it before the mice turn on each other. The trap is waterproof and weatherproof.
For the most part, this trap is ethical. In a few rare cases, the mouse gets its tail, head, or paws stuck when the door snaps shut, or as it tries to slip back out. And of course, for those who want to use it as a kill-trap, you can buy a Kness drowning attachment separately and flood the metal box. But it’s the safest choice for kids and pets because they can’t get into it.
The Kness Ketch-All is a sturdy metal box that catches multiple mice and leaves them room to run around. It works with or without bait but check it often if you want the mice alive.
Baiting a mouse trap is often the trickiest part of any mousing expedition. You may want a spreadable bait like peanut butter or marshmallow fluff. But you might also worry that smarter mice can angle themselves to lick off the bait without getting snapped into the trap. Snap-E accounts for that by using a ‘bait cup’ instead of a ‘bait hook’. The cup is a small hole.
You can easily slip a tub of peanut butter or even a piece of Reese’s in the cup, allowing you to re-use the same bait to trap multiple mice. The polystyrene plastic used on this trap is hardy, sturdy, and weatherproof so you can set the trap indoors for mice or outdoors for chipmunks. The trap has other tweaks that make it more effective than wooden snap traps.
For one thing, the vertical setting bar is made of steel, and it’s shorter than the ones of wooden traps. It’s actually half the size of a wooden kill-bar, so its effects are more lethal. At the same time, the kill-bar is longer and is shaped in a way that doesn’t just trap mice from the front, it can also catch them at the back and sides. This makes it easier to trigger the trap.
With the reinforced kill-bar going all around, it’s tougher for the mouse to sneak and grab the bait, especially if it’s sitting snug in a cup inside the bait hole. And the way the trap is built, you can release and dispose of the mouse without touching it. It most commonly grabs the mouse’s head so there’s no mess or broken skin, but you still have to look at the deceased.
Snap-E traps are easy to set and easier to use. The shape and construction of the trap make it unlikely that the mice will escape with the bait. And it’s big enough to catch chipmunks too!
It’s an open trap so there’s visual evidence.
The trap can be used outdoors.
It has a customized bait cup.
It’s technically reusable but isn’t as effective after the first time.
When you started hunting for mouse traps, you probably thought glue traps were gentler and kinder. After all, something in your human nature reacts to the tactile snap of a pedal trap. Plus, glue traps don’t kill or maim animals – at least not immediately, so they seem less cruel. But as you’ve seen, glue traps are effective but cause slow, painful deaths in the end.
That said, Tomcat glue traps have a rich history and a firm reputation. This particular model is stickier than its competitors because it’s laced with Eugenol. And it’s a slim trap so you can squeeze into tight, inaccessible spaces. You could even slip it into a mouse hole, but be careful because if the mouse gets stuck and dies in that hole, how will you ever get it out?
The Tomcat trap is pre-baited and refillable, with each baited pad catching a dozen mice before it needs topping up. But you’d have to remove each mouse as it gets stuck. You can do that with cooking oil, and you can even release the stuck mouse and let it go before it dies. But while oil makes the trap slick, it can survive rain, harsh weather, and outdoor conditions.
Tomcat Glue Traps are potent and effective. Plus, if you attend to the traps regularly, no rodents have to die. It’s laced with attractant gel but you can add extra bait if you like.
The traps have eugenol to make them extra sticky.
They have no pesticides so they’re safe for pets.
They can also catch cockroaches, spiders, and scorpions.
If you want the mice alive, you’ll need to watch the trap religiously.
What’s your least favorite part of dealing with mice? For most of us, it’s handling the deceased. Apart from the possibility of pests, parasites, and pathogens, the physical process can be unpleasant. Not to mention the messy clean-up. Catchmaster glue traps don’t have the problem. The pack contains over thirty flat board traps that you can set up anywhere.
The pads have a peanut butter aroma that will attract your prey. And once the mouse is stuck, you can pick up the sides of the glue pad, fold them around the mouse’s body, then either dispose of it or oil the pad and release the mouse. Like other glue traps, it can be smart to position it without peeling off the film for a few days. Let the mice run safely over the pad.
Then later, after you remove the protective film, the mice will be used to the trap so they won’t slip around it or try to dodge it. But remember, glue traps are only gentle if you remove the mouse or bug before it skins itself or starves. But if you’re doing it as a summer job, you can prove how many mice you’ve caught to guarantee your payment, so that does help.
Catchmaster glue traps are long-lasting and easy to set. If you have a large infestation, empty the entire pack and litter the floor with glue traps. But don’t eat before you check the traps!
It folds around the mouse for neat disposal.
The glue remains potent for a year.
It’s non-toxic for children and pets
That peanut butter scent may attract nosy kids and pooches.
Mouse traps range from wholesale options at the dollar store to intricate high-tech versions. They can be mechanical or they can be powered by batteries, and many mouse traps have ethical variants for trap-and-release scenarios. Let’s check out the shopping criteria you should consider as you hunt down the best mouse trap for your rodent needs.
Type of Trap
The four main types of mouse traps are:
Live traps – they can be baited or not and they ensure the mouse doesn’t die
Snap traps – they have a spring-loaded section that snaps the mouse’s neck
Electronic traps – they lure and electrocute the mouse
Glue traps – they have built-in adhesives that keep the mouse stuck until it starves
Live-catch traps are considered humane because the mouse gets to go free. Electronic traps are also said to be human because the mouse dies quickly with minimal pain. Some say snap traps are humane because the mouse dies instantly. Death by glue trap is slow and cruel.
Electronic traps are the most expensive while live traps are the most labor-intensive – you have to get the mice out of the trap and either release them or euthanize them, and that’s all extra work. Electronic traps are also the cleanest – there’s no messy mouse to deal with.
You can place a snap trap or live trap anywhere – they’re safe for use both indoors and outdoors. But if you have pets or kids, snap traps can be risky because the children may accidentally trigger them as they play. Cats or dogs might also hurt themselves as they try to get the bait or play with a trapped mouse, so they’re best used if you can isolate their position.
Electronic traps are safe from children and pets, but the current might be activated by rain or rough weather. So you can only use them indoors and in dry areas – no electronic traps in the kitchen, bathroom, or balcony. Also, if you plan to bait your traps, the traps would have to be in a hidden position to avoid accidentally poisoning non-target animals and even kids.
You know the stereotype – a mouse appears and someone (usually a woman) will jump on a chair screaming. And you know these (sexist) tropes are not the whole truth. That said, not everybody wants to touch those fluffy, furry mice. They may have parasites or diseases, and they can scratch and bite while you handle them. Plus, they’re probably wild and quite dirty.
So if you don’t want to get up close and personal with that rodent, you may prefer a closed trap. It reduces direct contact with the mouse, so while you might hear or smell the mouse, you won’t have to physically engage with it. But if furry tails don’t bother you, you could buy an open trap with see-through surfaces that let you observe and even hold the trapped mice.
When the Cat’s Away…
Yes, cats are a good way to control mice. But if you’re allergic to kitties or have a pet-free lease, mouse traps are your only alternative. You need a trap that’s easy to set up, use, and dispose of. And in our opinion, Catchmaster is the best mouse trap. Here’s why:
The brand has over 65 years of heritage.
It’s infused with peanut butter flavoring.
It can fold flat for convenience.
You get 36 pieces per pack.
You can use the same glue trap for up to 12 months.
Have you tested any of the traps on our list? Or do you have another favorite that we forgot to mention here? Tell us about your mouse-trapping experiences in the comments section!