How to Catch a Mouse

Mice may be small, but they pose a big nuisance. They eat your food, chew your furniture and books, and can even destroy your household appliances. Since they're so small, they can get into openings that are no larger than ΒΌ inch (6.35 mm) wide. Mice come out at night and eat the food in your cabinets. If you want to be sure that you have a mouse problem, sprinkle some powder in the suspected areas and see if there are tracks in the powder the next morning [source: New York]. Catching mice involves setting up traps in the areas where the mice are roaming.

Here's an overview of the different types of traps available, and how to use them:


  • Snap traps Place a snap trap where you suspect the mouse is hiding, with the opening directly in the path you think the mouse will take. Bait the trap to attract the mouse. Mice seem to like peanut butter, although other foods can also be used [source: Maryland]. When the mouse steps on the trap a spring is triggered that causes a metal bar to snap over the mouse, either killing or injuring the mouse [source: Orkin].
  • Poisoned baits If you're dealing with a large infestation, you will have to resort to poisoning your baits. This will involve putting poison in the food that you're using as bait [source: Maryland].
  • Glue traps Place glue traps where you suspect the mouse walks around. The glue trap has a sticky adhesive surface, so when the mouse steps on the trap it will stick to the surface and become immobilized. The mouse will eventually die from starvation or dehydration.
  • Live-catching mouse trap If you don't want to kill the mouse, use a live-catching trap. This is a box with a door that snaps shut when the mouse enters. You can then release the mouse some distance from your home. If you release the mouse near your home, you may find that the mouse returns to your house [source: Orkin].

If you'd rather not try to catch your mice on your own, you can always call in a professional exterminator.