Buyer’s Guide: Mouse Traps
Stop marauding mice from spreading germs throughout your home with one of these top-rated traps.
Though small in size, mice can be big trouble when they invade your home’s garbage cans, cabinets, crawlspaces, and other areas in search of food—chewing through interior structures you’d think would deter them but don’t. Even the most ardent animal lover should take active steps to be rid of mice, because they may carry Hantavirus or Salmonella bacteria, which cause respiratory disease and diarrhea in humans, respectively. And relying on your house cat to control your mouse problem won’t work: Not all cat breeds hunt, and those that do can get fleas, ticks, or other parasites.
Commercial mouse traps provide a safe means of removal, but there are various types on the market, some more humane and effective than others. Read on for a rundown of trap types—and don’t miss our top picks among the best mouse trap options available today!
- BEST GLUE TRAP: ALAZCO Glue Traps
- BEST SNAP TRAP: Tomcat Press ‘N Set Mouse Trap
- BEST CATCH-AND-RELEASE TRAP: Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
1. Pick Your Approach
Choose kill or no-kill traps depending on which method you’re most comfortable with.
- Kill traps exterminate mice at the time of capture, eliminating the need to manually release a live mouse into the wild. Today’s humane kill traps strike so swiftly that a trapped mouse generally won’t suffer for long.
- No-kill traps capture live mice, giving you the option of later releasing them outside. To be truly humane, the onus is on you to regularly check the traps and release mice; those left too long will die inside the traps from starvation, stress, or injury. You may also need to physically handle the mice when you release them, and they can return if you don’t unload them far away enough from your house.
2. Decide How Much Mouse You Want to See
If you’re squeamish at the sight of mice or comfortable with visible rodents, you’ll choose between open or closed traps.
- Open traps let you clearly see if you’ve caught your quarry, because they’re easy to monitor for mice. That way you’re sure to dispose of or release the rodents in a timely manner. Wearing gloves is recommended when picking up any type of mouse trap and is imperative with open traps, as you’re more likely to come into physical contact with a mouse.
- Closed traps have walls or shells that fully or partially hide captured mice from view. Closed traps with opaque lids or doors keep mice completely out of sight, while those with clear or tinted lids or doors provide some visibility into the trap to let you monitor for mice.
3. Settle on a Trap Type
Exploring the pest control aisle of your local home center, you’ll find four main types of mouse traps with different mechanisms and costs.
- Glue mouse traps immobilize mice that scurry over their glue-covered cardboard or fiberboard surfaces. The cheapest of all traps, glue traps don’t technically kill mice but are considered the least humane because they can cause the creature’s fur to tear or allow the mouse to die of stress or starvation if not released soon after capture. Plus, the release process is messy and unappealing, requiring you to glove up and manually free the mouse from the glue with vegetable oil.
- Snap Mouse Traps are kill traps featuring a metal or plastic base and either a spring-loaded metal bar or serrated teeth that come down on the neck of mice when they take the bait. While the traps are among the least expensive, they kill more slowly, and if not set properly, can injure mice, prolonging their pain.
- Electric mouse traps send a surge of electric current through mice that make contact with electrodes. The high kill rate and swift speed at which the battery-operated traps electrocute mice makes them the most humane kill trap, but the technology that goes into these plastic-and-metal traps also makes them the most expensive. Fortunately, because they’re reusable, they may prove a worthwhile investment if you have a significant rodent problem.
- Catch-and-release mouse traps are usually reusable metal or plastic traps with a lid or door that closes as soon as a mouse steps inside, without killing or injuring it. There are two types of catch-and-release traps: singles, which ensnare one mouse and suit a small rodent problem, and multiples, which can catch anywhere from five to 30 mice and are the best mouse traps for serious infestations. While catch-and-release traps are the most humane, they’re on the pricey side and you must regularly monitor and empty them, as mice will die if neglected for too long.
1. BEST GLUE TRAP: ALAZCO Glue Traps
Pinched fingers are never a problem when you enlist this single-use glue trap to corral critters ranging from mice to insects in a non-toxic glue that’s designed to provide a grip that never gives up. Each trap can be laid flat to keep trapped mice in plain view or folded into a box to keep your pest problem a secret.
2. BEST SNAP TRAP: Tomcat Press ‘N Set Mouse Trap
This reusable trap sports two rows of plastic teeth that clamp down on mice that nibble the bait set in the well of the trap. Reviewers praise the Press ‘N Set for its no-fail trap-set bar that pulls down and clicks to tell you when it’s ready to be laid.
3. BEST CATCH-AND-RELEASE TRAP: Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
This plastic mouse motel features a spring-loaded trap door that shuts after a mouse touches the bait in the bait compartment. Ventilation holes give a critter ample fresh air until you release it.