To be successful at catching mice, one of the most important things you must know is the best mouse bait to use in your traps.
Without that knowledge, your chances of catching mice are low!
I’ve lost count of the number of mice I have caught over the years, but what I haven’t lost is the list of bait I use to catch these rodents time and time again.
In this post, we will take a look at the best bait for mice, so you can be successful in getting rid of mice around your home.
By making the food tempting enough, mice will not think twice about stepping onto your loaded trap to take a bite.
Let’s cut to the chase…
Best Mouse Bait – Our Top 10 Food Items To Catch Mice With
1. Peanut Butter
There is ‘good bait for mice,’ and then there is the best and most successful!
Peanut butter is the most successful.
It has worked repeatedly for me when I set up mouse traps, and it is my go-to product when I need to catch them! It is one of the most common and well-known mice baits to use and is easily available at nearly all stores.
Obviously, you need to ensure that nobody with a peanut allergy will be in contact with the traps before choosing this bait!
Mice have an incredible sense of smell which means you only need to use a small amount to tempt them.
Mice have a sweet tooth, which certainly makes chocolate a good bait for mouse traps.
Add a piece of chocolate to the trap before setting it. I have found in the past that heating chocolate up and pouring a little bit of it on the trap works better than just adding a chunk of chocolate.
By adding a chunk of chocolate, you risk the bait being stolen, falling off, or being taken by the mouse if it is clever enough.
Melting chocolate before applying means it is stuck to the trap and extra force is needed to remove it, which results in more successful trapping.
3. Cat/Dog Food
Mice trap bait doesn’t have to be the good stuff that we humans like to eat, too (peanut butter, chocolate). Wet cat or dog food is an excellent choice for mouse bait. Not only do you have the chunks to attract them, but they will also want to lick the mouse trap clean afterward!
Again, you do not have to add a great deal of food to the trap. Add a small amount.
When considering what to use on mouse traps, you have to consider what mice eat in the wild, right?
Mice eat nuts in the wild, so why not use them as bait for a mouse trap?
Before setting the mouse trap, break the nut into pieces and squash it onto the trap. This will ensure the nut will not roll off before the mouse gets to it!
5. Hazelnut Spread
Hazelnut spread is nutty and chocolaty! A fierce combination of scents that will attract mice straight to the trap.
Like the rest of the options on this page, you only need to add a small amount to the trap to attract mice.
Ensure that you go for the full-fat version, do not be tempted to go for a reduced-calorie hazelnut spread.
Like peanut butter, please do not use it if anyone in the house has a nut allergy.
Caramel on its own works perfectly well, but it works even better if it is inside some chocolate.
Grab yourself some caramel and place it on the mouse trap!
Not only is it delightful and attractive to mice, but it also sticks to the trap and increases the chances of a successful capture.
7. Soft Cheese
I must admit, I have not had much success in the past with hard cheese, but I have had a lot of success with soft cheese.
It does not have to be the smelliest cheese either; any soft cheese is perfect for the job. The soft cheese will stick to the trap, increasing the chances of a successful capture!
The stickier the mouse bait, the more force is needed to take it off the trap. Even traps that are not very sensitive will trigger, catching, or trapping the mouse.
The only drawback with cheese is that if you leave the traps too long, the odor gets stronger and stronger.
Mice eat meat too, and I have had success in the past when I have used cuts of hot dogs and other meat.
Bacon is a great option, and although you can use cooked and uncooked, my preference is to place cooked bacon onto the mouse trap because it reduces the risk of spreading bacteria.
Chicken, turkey, ham, and beef are great meat options for trapping mice.
Like cheese, meat is an option that I use to catch mice; however, it is worth remembering that you need to check on the traps regularly and ensure you swap over the meat before you smell it!
9. Mouse Food (Seeds)
Take a trip to the local pet shop and purchase some mouse food. When you have mice as pets, this is the food they live on.
Mouse food is mostly made up of seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, but it can also contain maize, wheat, and oats. All of these ingredients will tempt mice onto the trap.
10. Gumdrops/Gummy Bears
Gumdrops are sticky, sugary, and can even be covered in chocolate. Perfect for catching mice!
Buy some cheap gumdrops and push them onto the mouse trap before setting it. I have caught mice before when using gumdrops on a mouse trap.
Not only are they appealing to mice, but they also stick nicely to the trap, which means the mice need to apply some pressure to eat them.
When pressure is applied…SNAP!
My Mouse Trap Bait Is Being Stolen, Help!
If your mouse bait is being stolen, it is likely to be due to the incorrectly placed traps. It would help if you always looked to place mouse traps in the best locations. They should be tight against the wall with the trap closest to the wall, leaving the mouse in a restricted position.
Sometimes, it is not just the bait that disappears, it can be the entire trap!
We have written a post covering the things you need to do to stop your mouse trap from disappearing, which is worth a read!
Rules For Baiting Your Mouse Traps
When setting your traps (includes instructions for how to bait a mouse trap), you must remember to set the traps correctly and safely.
Always apply the bait before you set the trap, and already ensure you are wearing gloves to avoid getting your scent on the trap. That is a pro tip for attacking your mouse problem.
If a mouse scurries up to the mouse trap and senses human scent, it may avoid taking the bait.
When setting bait onto mouse traps, the best options are those that stick to the trap. Anything that can roll off (whole nuts, for example) can result in a mouse grabbing the food and walking off without a care in the world!
Use more than one mouse trap too. The bad news is that if you hear mice, you are likely to have more than one. There is an old saying:
The second mouse gets the cheese
That saying is very relevant when setting mouse traps. One mouse will try for the bait and get caught, but how does that stop another mouse from grabbing the bait and having a nice feed?
With more than one mouse trap, you can increase your chances of ridding your house of a family of mice. Check the traps regularly to dispose of any dead mice and reload the bait on the traps until you are sure all the mice are gone.
You might also want to consider using humane mouse traps or even multi-catch traps. Then you can catch lots in one hit, and you are ramping up your rodent control techniques.
Ultimately, there are lots of different types of traps:
- Electronic mouse traps
- Snap traps
- Multi catch
Baiting them will be slightly different for each type.
I have 6 mouse traps in my attic at all times, because you never know when one might stroll in and try to set up a family home!
Are Mice Smart Enough to Avoid Traps?
The simple answer is no. A mouse is not smart enough to know that it is walking into a trap. If that were the case, then no traps would work.
Whilst the above is true; there is a caveat to that statement. Mice have a tremendous sense of smell, and they may actively avoid a trap if it smells too much of a human. After all, mice are scared of humans.
I always wear gloves when setting traps for mice and other rodents because I do not want the scent to be passed from my hands when I set mouse traps or a bait station.
If you have set the snap trap (or whatever you are using) and worn gloves, then it will work well the catch a mouse.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you change mouse trap bait?
We recommend changing bait every 2-3 days. Take 1 day off for when using meat or pet food to bait your mouse traps.
How much bait should I put on the mouse trap?
You should only put enough to fill the bait bucket in the trap you are using.
Do not overload your mouse traps with bait as it may cause the trap to malfunction at a critical time (i.e. when a mouse has its head in it!)
Where can I buy mouse trap bait?
Any food store has exactly what you need to bait your mouse traps. Take a look at the options on this page and then head out to the shops! You will find peanut butter, cheese, meat, and pet food. All of these items can be considered the best food for a mouse trap.
Do mice like cheese?
YES! You do need to be selective though. In my experience, you should only be using stinky, sticky cheese if you want a high success rate.
Hard cheese does work too, but not as well as the soft varieties.
Do mice like peanut butter?
Peanut butter is my go-to mouse bait option. It works. Period.
Do not use too much though. Just enough to fill the bait cup is what you need to use.
Above are 10 of the best mouse bait options to ensure you get a successful capture in your bid to have a mouse-free house! Every single option on this page effectively catches mice, whether you are using snap traps or humane traps.
Mouse bait is one of the key drivers in how successful you are going to be. Setting a trap without one of these bait options may lead to frustration and you giving up on your DIY rodent control quest!
For the best results, use one of the options on this page.