Generally, mice cannot resist the lure of food, whether it is a freshly cooked meal, leftover scraps, or food debris. You can then leverage this weakness to use the best food to catch mice. When mice enter your home, they can quickly become a problem. Apart from leaving droppings around, they can damage your property, cause a bad smell, as well as potentially spread diseases.
The solution is to use mousetraps to catch them, and this means using attractants to persuade these critters. However, sometimes these traps take a while to work because you used the wrong bait.
Best Food to Catch Mice
Trapping is just one of the many ways to catch mice. Just that trapping is common, whether it is the humane bucket trap or controversial ones such as the snap trap. Whatever mousetrap you use, you need the right food to lure in mice. So, this section of the post reveals the best food to catch mice.
1. Peanut Butter
Mice like to eat seeds and nuts, so they are drawn to the taste of peanut butter. It has lots of calories and fat that mice want when they are in houses. If you do not have peanut butter, hazelnut spreads are also good bait. If you are using peanut butter as bait, do not use too much of it. Just a bit the size of a pea on the trap is enough to get mice interested.
In comparison to cheese, peanut butter works better than most cheeses to attract mice. If you prefer using cheese, go for soft ones like Camembert, brie, or blue cheese. These have strong smells that can draw mice out. Typically, in cartoons and TV series, tend to prefer cheese. In reality, however, cheese is not the real deal. Mice eat different things, and cheese is not their favorite. So the best food to catch mice is peanut butter. Mice love its nutty taste and the strong smell.
Chocolate is another high-calorie and best food to catch mice. Its strong smell brings mice out of hiding. Since there are different types of chocolate, you need to figure out which one works best for getting mice to come out.
Lots of homeowners find that milk chocolate and regular chocolate work well. I like using tiny peanut butter cups or other mini chocolate candies for mice bait.
3. Pet Food
Mice have a special preference for your pet dog food, and they even eat dog poop sometimes. Animals such as dogs and cats can help keep mice away because they naturally hunt mice. However, the food leftovers for pets can be used to catch mice.
Mice are opportunistic feeders, so they eat whatever is available, including your pet food. Pet food also contains important nutrients that help these critters. Even though they like wet food more, mice also eat leftover dry pet food.
If your cat leaves food out after eating, remember to clean it up. Some people use this as a way to catch mice. Instead of cleaning the food, they put traps near the cat’s food bowl.
Meanwhile, if not being used as bait, follow these steps to keep mice away from dog food.
4. Nuts and Seeds
If there are seeds and nuts in your house, these mice will want to eat them. Therefore, you can attract mice using seeds and nuts. Bird seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds make up the best food to catch mice.
If you feed the birds in your garden, the bird seeds and nuts could be used in your mouse trap to lure in the critters. Mice eat seeds and nuts in the wild, so they will not hesitate to come in contact with the trap when you use them as bait.
5. Gumdrops and Marshmallows
You can use marshmallows and gumdrops as mice bait. These are inexpensive bait options. Also, gumdrops and marshmallows are sugary, so mice are drawn to them. Simply place a piece or two on the mousetrap and let it work its magic.
6. Sliced Deli Meat
Mice are quite daring when it comes to getting slices of deli meat such as bacon and sausages. They will happily take either raw or cooked meat if it is available. The scent of cooked bacon grease is especially appealing to them, making it a reliable food to catch mice.
But, there is a challenge with using deli meat—it spoils quickly when left out. So, if using this bait, remember to check and change it often to keep it fresh and effective.
Mice don’t usually eat meat all the time, but they like it because of protein. You can alternatively catch mice with pieces of meat such as summer sausage, beef jerky, or cooked bacon to attract mice.
7. Sapphire Grain 25
If you are looking for the best food to catch mice that are also poisonous bait for your bait station or bait box, consider Sapphire Grain 25. Sapphire 25 is made in the form of oat grain and is poisonous to mice.
Although the sapphire grain will immediately kill mice after exposure, it does not guarantee that the critter will be eliminated instantly. This is the reason you need a bait station so that the mouse does not leave the station and die elsewhere. With a bait station. you do not have to worry about getting rid of a dead mouse smell when you can’t find the critter.
8. Fruit Jam
Fruit jam works like peanut butter and hazelnut spread to attract mice because it is sweet and sticky. Just put a little jam at the end of the trap so the mouse has to trigger it to get to the jam. However, fruit jam as bait can bring in other pests such as cockroaches and ants. So, check the trap often to ensure pests have not eaten the bait.
Reddit’s Suggestion on Best Food to Catch Mice
So, I have also compiled the top suggestions by Redditors. These suggestions come from the personal experiences of Reddit users.
- Peanut Butter – It’s irresistible to mice and has the added advantage of being sticky. Therefore, mice cannot just grab it and leave; they have to stay at the trap site.
- Frosting – Some users have found frosting to be very effective, with peanut butter being a close second.
- Sweet Items – Candies or other sweet things can be used. However, make sure that the bait does not come off the trap easily. Otherwise, the mouse might just lick it and walk away.
- Bacon – Its strong smell can attract mice, and it’s hard enough that they have to work the trap.
- Nutella – Another sweet and sticky option that mice seem to find appealing.
- Hummus – While not as commonly mentioned, some users have found success with hummus.
- Jerky – Beef jerky or any other type of jerky can be effective.
- Home Made Soap – An unconventional choice.
- Nutritious Foods – Foods that are densely nutritious, and packed with fat and carbs, can be attractive to mice.
What to Do When the Food Isn’t Attracting Mice
Sometimes, the mousetrap does not catch mice like you want it to. There are a few reasons for this, but here are some tips to make the traps work better next time:
1. Try Different Bait
The trap works well when the bait is good. If it has not caught any mice for a while, put new bait. Peanut butter and chocolate are great for attracting them. Also, during the early stages of an infestation, nesting materials can work too.
2. Use More Traps and Less Bait
Don’t use just one trap. Put out many, like a dozen or two. A single female mouse can have 6 or 7 babies in three weeks. If you don’t have lots of mice now, you will soon. Since they make babies quickly catch them all.
When there is too much bait, the rodent might eat it without triggering the trap. A small amount, like the size of a pea, is good to attract mice and make the trap work. Also, put more traps in smart spots to catch more mice.
3. Try a Different Trap
Mice are smart. Some can figure out traps and take the bait without getting caught. If the snap trap hasn’t worked for a while, use a live trap instead.
4. Pick Traps with Sensitive Sensors
Mice are tiny and light. Sometimes, they’re not heavy enough for snap traps. So, use different traps. Electric ones work well because they’re good at catching small and light mice since their sensors are extra sensitive.
5. Put the Trap in Smart Spots
Some people put traps in the wrong room by accident. Before deciding, check different parts of your home for signs of mice. Put traps in those spots to catch more mice. Also, good places are behind cabinets, under stoves, and along walls.
Put traps about every 18 inches in busy spots. For the best results, put traps 2 or 3 inches apart all along paths where you’ve found mouse droppings, urine (seen with a black light), or that yucky sludge mice leave when they all use the same path at night.
6. Don’t Handle Mousetrap with Bare Hands
Don’t touch the bait with your hands because your smell can make it unattractive to mice. They see human scent as a danger. Wear gloves when dealing with bait to keep its smell good and the trap working well.
Make sure to always change the bait to keep it fresh. Mice might not like old food as much. Also, if one bait does not work.
The best food to catch mice is peanut butter. However, make sure not to apply excessive peanut butter.
Mice learn quickly. If they escape traps one night, they will avoid them the next night. Find where mice go and let them get used to their snack before using many traps with different baits. But on the first night of setting mousetraps, give them different food choices like a buffet. It’s okay to put out a bit of bacon, cheese, cold cuts, or hot dogs during this time.
Ultimately, if you face severe mouse infestation, you should involve a pest control professional to permanently remove these critters from your property.
Read also: Best Mouse Trap for Home with Pets