Mice are tiny. That makes it difficult to find them, difficult to see them, and difficult to catch them.

When you are looking to get rid of mice in your home, you need to know some of the most common mouse trap mistakes, so you can avoid making them!

When you learn not to make these mistakes, then the chances of successfully catching mice are much higher!

This knowledge will help you in your goal to have a mice free home!

Common Mouse Trap Mistakes

7 Common Mistakes People Make When Setting Mouse Traps

mistakes people make with mouse traps

Mistake #1: Mouse trap not sensitive enough

Maybe you have gone for a poorly made trap. Or maybe you are simply using a mouse trap that has seen better days. If you are using a mouse trap that is not sensitive enough, you are limiting your chances of a successful capture. This is a mistake, but one that can easily be rectified!


Corrective Action:

If you are using a mouse trap that is not sensitive enough, you need some new mouse traps! It is as simple as that.

We have put together a post that identifies the best mouse traps for your home. Each of these traps has been tested, and are extremely effective at cathing mice!

Having a mouse trap that is not sensitive enough is one of the most common mistakes!

Mistake #2: Not setting the mouse trap correctly

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful capture is to set the trap correctly. Many folks simply think that placing the trap on the floor is ok. Whilst it is eventually going to catch a mouse, you need to raise the chances of catching a mouse more in your favor.


  • No capture
  • Reduced effectiveness
  • False triggers
  • Stolen bait

Corrective Action:

Place the mouse trap facing a wall (if it is a snap trap). Alternatively, place the trap in a confined space, which allows no space for the mouse to escape.

All traps should either be in a confined space or right up against the wall to increase your chances of catching a mouse.

Mistake #3: Not wearing gloves

When setting mouse traps, we always wear gloves. Every. Time.

Why? Because if you are touching the mouse trap or bait with your fingers, you are telling the mouse that a human has interfered with his piece of equipment.


  • No capture
  • Mice avoid the traps

Corrective Action:

Wear gloves when handling mouse traps, or mouse bait.

Also – remember to wear gloves when cleaning up after your trap has caught a mouse. Mice can carry diseases such as Hantavirus, so for the sake of your health, wear gloves!

Mistake #4: Not placing the mouse trap in the best places

You need to know where to place mouse traps. Believe it or not, your success depends almost entirely on where you put the mouse traps!


  • Reduced success rate
  • More time for mice to breed

Corrective Action:

Learn where you should place mouse traps around your home. Consider laying some traps in these places even if you are confident that your home is mouse free! You never know when a mouse will find its way back into your home.

Mistake #5: Not using the correct bait

If you re not using the correct mouse bait, then you are setting yourself to fail! A mouse needs to be attracted to the bait that you use, or it will not go anywhere near the trap.


  • No capture
  • More mice in your home

Corrective Action:

Use peanut butter, meat, pet food, nuts, seeds, or berries to bait your traps. If you need more options, check out this page for the best mouse bait to use.

Mistake #6: Not using the correct size mouse traps

Mice can be very, very small. If you are using mouse traps that are too big, you will not have much luck catching mice! It is as simple as that.

If a mouse is too small for your traps, it is possible that the trap bar will slam down and the mouse will stroll away care-free!


  • False triggers
  • Mouse bait disappearing
  • No capture

Corrective Action:

Consider buying mouse traps for smaller mice. Most humane mouse traps will do the job just fine too.

Mistake #7: Using too much bait

It is very tempting to load up the mouse bait because you think ‘the more bait, the more likely they are to take it’, right?

To be honest, yes that is right! But… it does not mean you are in for an easy capture!

If you are using too much bait, the trap may get stuck, or may not come down far enough, or with enough force to successfully kill the mouse.


  • Faulty traps
  • Difficult to clean traps
  • Mouse still alive

Corrective Action:

Use just enough mouse bait to fill the bait cup, no more.

Avoiding the most common mouse trap mistakes

We all learn from our mistakes, right? From using a mouse trap not sensitive enough to be triggered, or by applying far too much bait, I have made all these mistakes.

Over time, I have learned that by avoiding these mistakes, I increase the chances of catching mice.

If you find that you are not having much success in catching mice, you should check over these common mistakes again just to confirm that you are not making them.


Catching mice can sometimes be challenging, especially if you are not experienced. In this post, we have looked at the 7 most common mouse trap mistakes that people make!

All of which can be avoided, simply by following the corrective action shown underneath each common mistake on this page.

Let’s not forget one last mistake the people make! It is a common one, and it involves hurting your fingers…

That’s right, I’ll finish this post with a reminder to watch your fingers when setting mouse traps.

Catching your fingers in a trap hurts, I know, I have done it a few times now!

Good luck!

About the Author

Rodent Guide

Man v Rodent! I've been tackling Rodent infestation issues for over 20 years. Now I want to use this website to pass over the tips that I have learned over that time to help you take these Rodents out DIY style!

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