Mousetraps are easy to buy but these aren’t exactly easy to set for a first-timer, even for people who’ve used them several times. Here are mistakes that you may be making with these pest control products.
In order to get rid of rats, mice and rodents, you just have to set the mousetraps per the manufacturer’s instructions and let them be until the pests are caught. Sounds easy-peasy, doesn’t it? Well, not really because you may be making mistakes that result in less effectiveness and efficiency!
Take a look at these mistakes that you may or may not be making when using mousetraps and their simple solutions.
#1 Using the Wrong Bait
Many people who grew up on the old Tom and Jerry cartoons may still believe that mice loves to eat cheese and, thus, cheese cubes are the best bait for mousetraps. Well, it simply isn’t true, a case of art not exactly imitating art!
Keep in mind that rodents, such as mice and rats, like nuts and seeds. As such, among the best baits are hazelnut spread and peanut butter, which both emit a strong scent and nutty flavor. You can spread either hazelnut spread or peanut butter on a piece of sliced bread and then place it on the mousetrap.
Tip: Bits of chocolate can also attract rodents because of their need for calories.
But it isn’t just food that rodents are attracted to! During the fall and winter season when the temperatures drop, these domestic pests will come inside and build their nests in the nooks and crannies of your home. You can lure them to the mousetraps with building materials, such as dental floss, cotton balls, and twine, even yarn.
Tip: If you’re setting up snap traps, you should warp or tie the dental floss, yarn or twine around the trap’s trigger. This will force the mice to either gnaw or pull on the bait and, thus, springing the trap.
#2 Handling the Bait with Your Bare Hands
Did you know that mice have an excellent sense of smell? As such, they can detect a wide range of scent on baits including the ones you’ve handled with your bare hands. You’re essentially telling them to avoid the bait and, thus, the mousetraps because they know it’s been set for them; mice are intelligent creatures in their own right, too.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to it. Before handling the bait, you should wear gloves in both hands so as not to leave your scent in it. You can use gloves used in healthcare, for food preparation and for washing dishes, even the thin plastic ones, for as long as your hands are covered.
Be sure to wear gloves, too, when handling a mousetrap with mice trapped in it. You have to protect yourself from diseases that rodents like rats and mice carry with them. You should also just dispose the gloves, if possible, so that you don’t have to touch their possibly contaminated surfaces; otherwise, just thoroughly wash them in an outdoor sink (i.e., not in your kitchen sink).
#3 Using Too Much Bait
Remember that when you’re setting up mousetraps, you want the mice to actually get caught in the trap instead of escaping from it. You may be putting large amounts of bait on the trap so the rodents can nibble on the outside parts without actually getting caught. Think of it as feeding the pest instead of catching it.
The easy solution here is to place a pea-sized bait on the mousetrap. No, it isn’t too little for many reasons, such as the fact that mice have small mouths and paws anyway. Yes, it’s just enough to attract the mice but small enough that they can go for it and spring the trap in the process.
#4 Setting the Traps Away from Walls
Mousetraps are only as effective as the places where these are placed – and it’s easy enough to place them in the wrong places! You may, for example, place them under the table in the center of the room.
Keep in mind that mice avoid open areas because these are places where they can be easily sighted, among other reasons. Instead, rodents scurry close to the walls, in the dark recesses, and the perimeter of rooms, which allow them to navigate through their whiskers. For this reason, the best places for mousetraps are along the walls where the rodents are wont to travel.
When placing the mousetraps, check that their trigger end are facing the wall. This way, the mice will likely explore the mousetraps and get caught in it, not walk around them.
Tip: Place the mousetraps in concealed areas, too, where mice are likely to hide while escaping from human contact. Examples include behind the stove and cabinets.
#5 Placing Just a Few Mousetraps
Fast and furious – that’s the way mice reproduce! Every female mouse can actually give birth to 6-7 babies in a litter in as quickly as three weeks. You may not want them to reproduce so quickly but it’s the way of nature so you may be living with more mice than you ever dreamed of in your nightmare – you just don’t see them.
Since you don’t want a mice invasion, you should place as many mousetraps as possible even when you’ve only seen one or two, perhaps three. You want a quick elimination lest you find yourself with a mice colony in your home.
What to do then? Place several mousetraps every 2-3 feet along the walls where there have been signs of rodent activity. But in places with high mice traffic, setting mousetraps as close as an inch apart makes good sense.
Even when you’ve avoided these mistakes, you may be making another mistake: You may be expecting near-instant, if not instant, results. Mice have a natural wariness of strange objects in their frequently visited areas and, as such, will likely avoid the new mousetraps.
You can even consider getting of those multi-catch humane mouse traps which can catch 3-5 mice at a time. Mr. Mouse Trapper has a guide that shows the best humane mouse traps on the market.
You must then give the rodents time, so to speak, to become acclimated to the mousetraps. Your first step then is to place baited mousetraps but without the trigger for a few days, just to make them comfortable with the objects. You can then set the traps with their triggers when you see their baits being taken from the rodents.