Updated On

December 31, 2023

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    The purpose of this guide is to clear up any confusion you might have and help you out before you rush and purchase what you think “might” be a good trap for your home or office.

    Our aim for this article is to provide a resource for those people who need a reliable (and more importantly, unbiased) source of information to kill those mice in your house. Let’s get into the details…

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    What Types of Mouse Traps Are Available?

    For the first section of our guide, we wanted to provide an overview of the trap types on the market so you know what your options are. As a consumer, you have three main types of mouse traps to choose from. Those are:

    These use snapping mechanisms to catch rodents and are better for smaller infestations (2 or less rodents on the premises).

    These traps use chemicals to create a sticky adhesive holding your rodent in place. The issue with glue traps is that it doesn’t actually kill your rodent. We’ll cover this a bit more later in the guide.

    These are the final types of traps on our list and are the preferred method of trapping for professionals.

    If you’re reading this and think that traps might be too much for you or want to try a more subtle approach first. We’d recommend checking out our ultrasonic pest repellers buying guide. These devices use high-frequency noise to drive away pests rather than lethal snares and poisons.

    Top 5 Best Mouse Trap Picks

    Out of all mouse traps we reviewed, below are top 5 favorites.

    1. OWLTRA Electric Mouse Trap (Our #1 overall pick)
    2. Catcha 2 Humane Mouse Trap (Our #1 humane pick)
    3. Victor Mouse Traps
    4. Kness Snap-E MOUSETRAP
    5. Tomcat Spin Trap For Mice

    Snap Traps To Kill Mice?

    There are two types of snap traps for mice. Bar snap traps and clam snap traps. They are similar in mechanics, but there are differences you should be aware of.

    About Bar Snap Traps

    Bar snap traps are spring-loaded devices that are designed to attract mice with food. Bar traps are designed to slam down before the rodent can escape breaking the neck or crushing the skull. These powerful traps are best employed for getting rid of mice in attics and other less-accessed parts of the home, where they are less likely to harm children and pets.

    Not a pretty image, but extremely effective. There are many brands on the market composed of different materials, sizes and shapes but they all work pretty much the same.

    The below video should give you an idea of how to set and place a snap trap.

    What Are The Best Bar Snap Traps?

    Here are my picks for the best “bar” mouse traps on the market. Take a quick look at my pros and cons for bar traps as well.

    Snap traps, in general, are extremely inexpensive and easy to manage
    Bar snap traps produces (in almost every case) a quick kill, not pretty by any means but a very quick kill
    Snap traps are easy to dispose of due to the inexpensive price you can just toss out the trap with the dead rodent
    Relatively safe to use around pets and children
    Versatile against other pests, including roaches
    Bar traps are hard to look at when they have caught a mouse due to the mess it makes after the kill. Not a pretty sight.
    Bar traps can injure pets and children if they encounter or trigger the bar on their fingers or paws. A strong bar mouse trap could do serious damage. Placement of any mouse trap must be in areas where children and pets can’t access
    Bar traps have the nasty habit of “biting” the hand that feeds them, in other words, be careful when you load the bait that it does not trigger on you
    The wood bar trap does not hold up well if placed in moist areas.

    Clam Snap Traps To Kill Mice?

    About Clam Snap Traps

    Clam traps are like the bar trap mechanism however, the actual death is suffocation. A lot of homeowners prefer this method of removal because it tends to be less messy.

    Take a look at the below video to get a better understanding of how these traps work and where they fit in a removal plan.

    What Are The Best Clam Snap Traps?

    Here are my top picks if you want to try out a clam trap. Take a look at my pros and cons for clam traps as well.

    Clam traps, while more expensive compared to most bar traps, are still inexpensive
    Clam traps produce a kill within a couple of minutes, not as quick as bar traps but much less ugly
    Clam traps are easy to maintain, they can be re-used by simply pinching the back and releasing the dead rodent in the garbage
    Clam Traps are not as hazardous around pets and children as the bite is not as sharp
    Clam Traps are not as hazardous around pets and children as the bite is not as sharp
    Clam trap failure (rare) is normally due to rodent acceptance or placement

    How To Bait Bar And Clam Traps?

    Both the Clam and the Bar trap require “baiting” to attract the mouse to the station for the final coup de grace. The bait (food) should be what the mouse has been feeding on in your house, dog food, meat, cheese, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, etc.

    A small amount of bait works better and prevents licking and nibbling which at times will not set off the trigger. For meat or cheese people have tried securing the bait with a piece of dental floss to prevent “stealing” the bait. Mice are crafty, and they are known to steal the bait without setting off the trigger.

    How To Place Bar And Clam Traps?

    This is critical, and these traps should only be placed around areas of activity and close to the walls and structure where you are seeing feeding, droppings or rub marks.

    The direction of the trap is also important. Make sure to place the baited end next to the wall so the rodent following the normal path against the wall will not have to detour around the trap.

    Glue Boards To Kill Mice?

    Glue boards have evolved to a point, where they are overused and became a focus of attention with many animal rights groups.

    While we all would agree to the extent that mice can’t co-exist with humans for many reasons (disease and food contamination), the method and how we eliminate them will still raise issues.

    The method of operation is simple, find areas of activity bait the boards with seed or peanut butter and place into action out of the reach of children, pets or other non-target species.

    Mice will attempt to address the food and become stuck on the board often with vocal and violent gestures as they struggle to free themselves. There have been cases of rodents chewing off limbs to free their bodies.

    Very few other than excellent monitoring devices for insects
    Inexpensive and disposable
    Easy fit to difficult access areas
    Many feel this is an inhumane treatment which the evidence agrees with non-target attachment, kids, pets, birds are constantly getting stuck in this. If this happens, grab the WD-40 the reaction will free the capture
    Cannot be used as a stand-alone treatment. When glue boards are used, they are used in conjunction with other treatment options like traps or baits, never alone

    Multi-Catch Traps To Kill Mice?

    About Multi-Catch Mouse Traps

    Most of them are used in commercial kitchens and industrial sites. They don’t have to baited, the mice simply enter the device out of curiosity and a trap door shuts them inside.

    Other traps drop the mouse into an area below or behind where they entered. Both methods can be opened for disposal, cleaned out, and reused.

    What Are The Best Multi-Catch Mouse Traps?

    Multi-catch traps tend to be more expensive than other traps, but at the same time, they are a more “humane” approach to killing mice. Here are my top picks for multi catch traps:

    Effective where other traps fail
    Good around food establishments where the use of rodenticides are not recommended
    Good where bait competition is a factor and mice are not attracted to the bait
    More “humane” approach to getting rid of mice
    More expensive than the snap traps
    If not placed or managed correctly they become quickly ineffective
    Needs to be monitored and dumped every day to reduce odor
    Can be an eye sore around your house

    What About Newer Mouse Traps?

    Electronic Mouse Traps

    While the idea sounds bizarre, like “Old Sparky” for the rodent world, a lot of these devices are hitting the market.

    Basically, the station is powered by normal “AA” batteries, the rodent enters the station, which is baited as the other traps are, and the rodent gets electrocuted. These are reusable and safer than rodenticides.

    No blood, no fuss no mess
    Fairly safe, low charge generated by low impact flashlight batteries
    Need more time to see how effective it is in infestations
    While it can be reused, it still must keep it cleaned after use

    Trapper Hidden Kill Mouse Traps

    As someone who’s been in the industry for 20+ years, this trap has my attention.

    Manufacturer Bell Labs posted a press release on October 18, 2016 singing praises for this new mouse trap.

    The device is clean, effective, can be used in sensitive areas such as office buildings, a doctor’s office, homes or other areas where other traps can’t be visible.

    The mouse enters a pre-baited compartment, concealed on the bottom of the station. The entry slams shut, killing the rodent and trapping it inside.

    The indicator on the station will show if the station recorded a false reading or if there is an actual mouse inside. At that point, the entire station with the dead mouse can be tossed.

    When looks matter this station may be your best bet. This is a bit new on the market to pass judgement, but I cannot see it failing. The price point surprisingly low enough for the typical homeowner. I would say that this is not for industrial work on heavy infestations, but it does certainly has its niche.

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    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Ed Spicer

    Ed Spicer

    Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management.

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