7 Common Mouse Trap Mistakes To Avoid

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.

Mice are tiny. That makes it difficult to find them, difficult to see them, and challenging 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 to avoid making them!

When you learn not to make these mistakes, 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

When using mouse traps, it’s essential to bait them appropriately and place them in the right spot. However, if you make some common mistakes, you may not be successful in trapping the mice.

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 limit your chances of a successful capture. This is a mistake, but one that you can easily rectify!


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 is extremely effective at catching 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 think that placing the trap on the floor is ok. While it will eventually 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? If you are touching the mouse trap or bait with your fingers, you tell the mouse that a human has interfered with it.


  • 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

Another critical thing to remember when using mouse traps is to place them in appropriate locations.

If you place the traps in inappropriate locations, you may not catch any mice, and you may set the traps off yourself.

Place the traps near where you have seen the mice or near their suspected entry points. You should also place them out of the reach of children and pets.

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, the trap bar may 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 use 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.

Check the Traps Regularly and Dispose of Captured Mice Humanely

If you’re using mouse traps, it’s essential to check them regularly and dispose of any captured mice humanely. If you don’t check the traps regularly, the mice may become trapped for an extended period, leading to injury or death.

Likewise, if you don’t dispose of the mice humanely, they may be subjected to inhumane conditions or cannibalism. To avoid these problems, check and empty your traps regularly.

Avoiding the most common mouse trap mistakes

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

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 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 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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