Humane Mouse Traps v Snap Traps Compared

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

Not sure whether to go for a humane Mouse trap or a standard snap trap?

Both options have benefits, and both options have some drawbacks too. But there are so many devices to choose from; which one is the best mouse trap option?

You must consider the pros v cons when deciding, so I will take you through the criteria I use when deciding which Mouse trap to use.

Let’s begin with a short description of both Mouse trap options.

Snap Trap

mouse snap trap
A snap trap will look to kill the mouse instantly!

These are the standard mouse traps that most people already know.

They have a base, a trigger, and a jaw that snaps shut when the trigger is fired.

As soon as a mouse steps on the trigger (loaded with some of the best mouse bait), the jaw slams down. Hopefully, catching the mouse, breaking its back or neck.

If you want a quick kill then snap traps are what you should go for.

Humane Mouse Trap

Mouse humane trap
A humane Mouse trap will ‘live capture’ the mouse.

Most humane mouse traps are not designed to kill mice but to ‘live capture’ the mouse.

Once you have caught the mouse, you need to release it back into the wild (far away from your home!)

The design is simple. Humane mouse traps are usually rectangular and plastic. The idea is that the mouse is attracted by the mouse bait and strolls through the door.

As the mouse enters the trap and reaches the bait, the trigger slams the door shut and traps the mouse inside.

It is your job to release the mouse back into the wild without the mouse being hurt.

Humane Mouse Traps v Snap Traps

Size of Mouse – Why it is important

mouse size important
When deciding between humane v snap traps, consider the size of the mouse!

Mice come in various sizes. How can you ensure that you catch them when you are not sure how big they are?

Snap traps are awesome for an immediate kill, there is no doubt about that.

However, if you are unsure how big the mice are, how can you be sure that your snap trap will trap them?

Ultimately, you cannot.

This is where it is more benficial to use a humane mouse trap.

Most humane Mouse traps have a door where the mouse enters to pick up the mouse bait you left for it.

As soon as the mouse enters and triggers the closing mechanism, the door shuts, and the mouse is trapped.

It doesn’t matter how big the mouse is, as long as if fits through the door!

Recommended reading: Best traps for small mice.


humane trap v snap trap effectiveness
How effective are both Mouse trap options?

While both trap options are effective for catching mice, it depends on your goal.

A snap trap is effective for killing mice instantly, so if that is what you want to achieve, then go for a snap trap.

A humane mouse trap is effective at keeping the mouse contained for you. You simply need to dispose of it after capture.

Having used both options in the past, I can vouch for both options. However, both have drawbacks, and it depends on which traps you choose!

I mentioned above that snap traps are good if the mouse is big enough to be trapped.

Some Mice are tiny, and the trap may trigger and completely miss the mouse! There are some excellent trap options for small mice which you can consider.

The only drawback of the humane trap option depends entirely on the way the trap is built. Mice heads are small. If their jaw is small enough to fit into a gap, the mouse could begin to chew a hole big enough to escape.

Mice can chew through plastic, by the way!

Chances of Escape

chances of escape from a mouse trap
Humane traps v snap traps for mice, are they easy to escape from?

This has been covered above but deserves its own section.

A snap trap is more difficult to escape from IF it lands on the mouse.

For a start, it is likely to kill the mouse instantly. Not only that, but the traps are so tight that even if it grabs a foot or a tail, there is little chance of escape.

It does leave you with a live mouse to contend with though!

Humane traps enclose the mouse within the trap, which is excellent unless a gap has been left when the trap with assembled or is part of the design.

Mice can chew through plastic, so it will not be much of a challenge to eat away at the plastic until it has a hole big enough to escape!

Cleaning Up After Capture

cleaning up after catching a mouse
The worst part is cleaning up after you catch a mouse. Humane traps are much easier!

While using a snap trap is my preferred method of catching mice, I do not look forward to cleaning up the mess afterward! It is fair to say that snap traps can leave a mess, not just on the trap!

You will need to prepare some equipment before clearing up the dead mouse. Here is a list of things I suggest you prepare for the cleanup:

Cleaning up after humane mouse traps is easy, as the mouse is still alive!

You will have to clean the local area thoroughly, though, because mouse droppings can be a hazard to your health. Hantavirus can be transmitted through the air and physical contact.

Do not forget your rubber gloves and respirator mask!

After cleaning the local area, you will need to dispose of the mouse before cleaning the trap for future use.

Environmental Considerations

consider the environment
You must consider other animals when you are setting your mouse trap!

If you are placing a mouse trap outside (to stop mice from reaching your home), you must consider the environment.

Specifically, other animals or pets. The last thing you want to do is catch your cat in a snap trap.

Not when your cat is doing an awesome job keeping the mice away!

I suggest you use a humane mouse trap if placing your Mour trap outside. If another animal strolls into the mouse trap, you can simply release it back into the wild unharmed.


dangers of mouse traps
You must always consider the dangers of both mouse trap options!

When deciding whether to use a snap trap or a humane mouse trap, consider your life circumstances.

I never put snap traps in a place where small children are likely to play. I always consider the best places to put a mouse trap to ensure a toddler will not stumble upon it!

It is not just children that you need to be concerned about. Anybody can stumble upon a snap trap without expecting it to be there.

Even you!

Trust me! It is going to hurt if you get caught in a snap trap!

If you need to place a mouse trap in an area where children will be playing, you should always go for a humane mouse trap.


cost of mouse traps
Both mouse trap options are very similar in terms of price.

Humane mouse traps are slightly more expensive than their snap trap counterparts.

Many snap traps are purchased in packs of 6, which makes them more cost-effective.

Humane mouse traps are usually bought as a single item or in packs of 2.

Both options are easily affordable in terms of price, and the best thing is you can reuse them repeatedly!


Now that we have compared snap traps v humane mouse traps, it is up to you which one you decide to go for.

It is important to consider all the reasons you should go for one over the other, especially as every situation has different needs.

Many people will look at the price of both options and decide, but it is not the only thing you need to consider. Both options are reasonably priced. It will not make a difference which option you go for.

When you have chosen which mouse trap to go for, it is important to know exactly where to put mouse traps for a successful capture.

Good luck catching your mice, and stay safe!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

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