The Best Mouse Traps to Keep Your House Rodent-Free

Stop marauding mice from spreading germs throughout your home with one of these top mouse traps.

Best Overall

2 Iiwey Humane Mouse Traps on a white background

Iiwey Humane Mouse Trap

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Best Bang For The Buck

6 Feeke Indoor Mouse Traps on a white background

Feeke Indoor Mouse Trap

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Best Glue Trap

Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap on a white background

Catchmaster Max-Catch Glue Traps

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Even animal lovers should take active steps to get rid of mice because they can carry bacteria, which in turn can infect humans. Exposure to mice carries the risk of respiratory disease and salmonella, which can cause diarrhea. Relying on just your house cat to control your mouse problem probably won’t work, and cats can get fleas, ticks, or other parasites from the rodents.

Commercial mouse traps provide a safe means of removal. However, there are various types on the market, and some are more humane and effective than others. Keep reading for a rundown on trap types—and don’t miss our top picks and tested insights for some of the best mouse trap options available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Iiwey Humane Mouse Trap
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Feeke Indoor Mouse Trap
  3. BEST GLUE TRAP: Catchmaster Max-Catch Glue Traps
  4. BEST ELECTRIC TRAP: Victor M250SSR-2 Indoor Electronic Mouse Trap
  5. BEST SNAP TRAP: Tomcat Press ’N Set Mouse Trap
  6. BEST HIDDEN TRAP: Owltra Indoor Electric Mouse Trap
  7. BEST CATCH AND RELEASE: Catcha 2-Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
  8. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Victor M310GB Tin Cat Mouse Trap
  9. BEST INDOOR/OUTDOOR: Owltra In-/Outdoor Tunnel Snap Mouse Trap
  10. BEST FOR RATS AND MICE: Victor RZC001-4 Rat Zapper Classic Rat Trap
Gray house mouse caught in modern transparent mousetrap
Photo: istock.com

Before You Buy a Mouse Trap

A mouse infestation can crop up suddenly. Combating the problem effectively can be difficult, so employing a pest control expert often might be the better solution than trying to handle a mice problem alone.

For regular mouse problems, the animal must be dealt with, and some of the realities involved with catching a live animal may be unpleasant. Obviously, kill traps leave a dead mouse, and even the best humane mouse trap can sometimes stress the animal so much that it doesn’t survive. The latter must be checked at least once a day, and some animal charities recommend twice that, or the mouse can starve.

If kids are in the house, consider how much education they should receive on this subject. Again, a pest control professional might provide a more discreet answer, though cost is also a consideration when hiring a pro.

How We Chose the Best Mouse Traps

In farming, mouse traps are in everyday use, and the traditional wooden snap trap is still popular. Since humane mouse traps are seldom considered in this environment, additional research was necessary. We looked at both traditional and modern solutions to produce a balanced review.

The effectiveness of these devices can vary depending on location and conditions. Professional pest controllers frequently use more than one method. It was therefore important to select as wide a variety as possible to give shoppers the maximum information and the best possible chances for success. Value for money is always a key issue, and fortunately, most mouse traps are fairly inexpensive.

To get some expert guidance that might help inform our choices, we consulted Dr. Jim Fredericks, board-certified entomologist and senior vice president of the National Pest Management Association. He says, “Rodents are known to reproduce quickly, so a small problem can turn into a big issue overnight if left untreated.” He also explains that mice “will often change their established runways.” So traps may need to be moved from time to time. However, their territory “is frequently no larger than 4 to 5 feet.”

Our Top Picks

Let’s look at some high-quality examples. The following are what we consider to be some of the best mouse traps of each type currently available.

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Product Specs

  • Type: No kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Because it’s larger than other no-kill traps, it can trap a greater variety of mice and rats
  • Catch-and-release design makes it among the most humane traps available
  • Completely safe for kids and pets, and offers potential educational benefits

Cons

  • A few buyers report faulty triggers, which can allow mice to escape

Those who are keen on catch-and-release may want to check out this humane mouse trap from Iiwey. There are a number of this type of trap on the market, but this model has the advantage of offering a larger capture area. In addition to the common house mouse, it can accommodate the roof rats and Norway rats that can also infest homes.

The extra depth means that tails are seldom pinched, which can be a problem with other humane mouse traps. While the main construction is plastic, the door is metal to prevent rodents from ruining the trap by chewing their way out.

While other humane traps are often transparent green, these are clear. It gives the opportunity for kids to be introduced to the animal and shown its natural color before no-touch release.

Get the Iiwely mouse trap at Amazon.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 6 traps

Pros

  • More efficient than the traditional wooden mouse trap at a very affordable price
  • Latching mechanism keeps fingers away from the jaws when loading
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel spring with easy-to-clean plastic body and bait cup

Cons

  • Death may not be instantaneous, and remains can sometimes be bloody

Snap traps have been popular for generations. They are usually effective and cost very little. The Feeke indoor mouse trap takes the traditional wooden trap and improves on it in several ways while still keeping costs low.

Rather than a steel bar, the Feeke mouse trap uses a serrated jaw. It covers a larger area, with more lethal power. One common problem with the older types of traps was that mice could often eat and run. With a trigger sensitivity of just 0.4 ounce, even the smallest house mouse will be caught.

Setting is quick, easy, and safe thanks to a removal bait cup and a latching mechanism that keeps fingers out of harm’s way. The plastic construction makes it easy to clean, though people may prefer disposing of the whole trap once a catch is made.

Get the Feeke mouse trap at Amazon or Walmart.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 36 traps

Pros

  • Efficient and affordable peanut butter–scented glue mouse traps that mice find irresistible
  • Made in the U.S. and easy to use either flat or folded
  • Can trap a variety of other pests and lasts up to a year (indoors)

Cons

  • Little chance of freeing a rodent after it is caught
  • Shouldn’t be placed near kids or pets for safety reasons

Catchmaster’s Max-Catch glue traps come in a pack of 36, and in spite of their low cost, are still effective traps when placed correctly. The peanut butter–scented adhesive is

attractive to rodents

.

To maximize success, the manufacturer recommends placing the traps in pairs. They can be laid flat or folded over to fit in tight spaces. They also can trap mosquitoes and other insects.

While some may think that glue mouse traps are humane, these traps from Catchmaster have a very strong adhesive with no realistic chance of release. Although nontoxic, the glue strength is also the reason they are not recommended for use around pets or children.

What our tester says: Katie Nolan, Bob Vila’s senior editor of Audience Development, had this to say about these mouse traps: “I’ve had two other types of traps, and these have been the most successful. Setting them up is a piece of cake—just be careful not to catch your clothes on them because they are super sticky.” Get the Catchmaster mouse trap at Amazon.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: Batteries work for up to 100 mice
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Easy to set up and delivers a rapid, humane, high-voltage shock
  • Clear kill indicator with separate chamber for no-touch body disposal
  • Built-in safety switch so the trap is safe for kids, cats, and dogs

Cons

  • The required 4 AA batteries are not included
  • This mouse trap cannot be used outdoors

The Victor electronic mouse trap is initially more expensive than many other solutions, but it has an effective design with several user-friendly features. Each unit is capable of killing up to 100 mice per set of four AA batteries, so in the long term, it’s also cost-effective. A red light indicates when to change or charge the batteries.

Advanced circuitry identifies when a mouse enters the trap and delivers a lethal high-voltage shock. As it is one of the “no-see” electric mouse traps, a green light indicates when a kill has been made. The trap can then be opened and the body disposed of without touching the dead rodent, and the trap can be reused.

Get the Victor electronic mouse trap at Amazon or The Home Depot.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • An affordable and durable model that uses an efficient spring-loaded design
  • Quick and easy to set with 1-touch button for body release
  • Can also be used outdoors in sheltered areas like porches, garages, and sheds

Cons

  • Not for use near children or pets, and the corpse can be messy

This pack of two reusable traps has two rows of plastic teeth that clamp down on mice that nibble the bait in the well of the device. The Tomcat Press ’N Set is easy to use, with a trap-set bar that pulls down and clicks to signal when it’s ready.

Each of these classic mouse traps contains a built-in grab tab for easy disposal and no contact with the mouse. Tomcat backs the devices by a guarantee, which means that if the trap is ineffective, purchasers can get their money back.

What our tester says: John Coyne, the general manager of Bob Vila, notes the following about this mouse trap: “Tomcat’s Press ’N Set gets the job done, reliably and effectively, plain and simple. This is basically an improved modern version of the classic pedal-style mouse trap. The design is user-friendly, setup is straightforward, and each trap can be reused dozens of times—we’ve never had one break. And just as important (for the squeamish among us) is how easy it makes disposal and cleanup.” Get the Tomcat mouse trap at Amazon or The Home Depot.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 1 trap

Pros

  • Green capture light means the mouse body stays hidden until disposal
  • Delivers rapid lethal shock but has dual infrared sensors for kid and pet safety
  • Can kill up to 60 rodents with each set of batteries (4 AA)

Cons

  • Some reports of traps not working suggest quality control might be hit and miss

It’s understandable that many people don’t want to see a mouse corpse lying around the house, and hidden traps are particularly popular if there are children around. Owltra’s indoor electric mouse trap is almost completely enclosed, so the only time the body is seen is when the magnetic lid is removed for no-touch disposal.

An electrical charge of up to 9,000 volts is strong enough to kill mice almost instantly, yet thanks to DualSync infrared sensors, the Owltra electric mouse trap is safe for kids and pets. Operation is simple. Just load four AA batteries (which will kill up to 60 mice), add bait, and position. A green light indicates a kill, and a red light shows when batteries need to be replaced.

Get the Owltra electric mouse trap at Amazon.

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Product Specs

  • Type: No kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Clear plastic body makes it easy to see when rodents are caught
  • Spring-loaded door provides secure closure and allows 1-touch release
  • It’s easy to clean, can be used multiple times, and is safe around children and pets

Cons

  • Occasional injury to trapped mouse is possible
  • Traps must be checked regularly to avoid starvation of trapped mouse

This plastic mouse “motel” is one of the most humane mouse traps available. It features a spring-loaded trap door that shuts after a mouse touches the bait. Ventilation holes give the rodent fresh air until it’s released.

Each set includes two traps that are easy to set: Place bait in the compartment and open the spring door. The mice are caught alive and unharmed, after which they can be released into a secluded area.

Get the Catcha mouse trap at Amazon.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill and no kill
  • Humane: Depends on use of glue boards
  • Capacity: Up to 30 each time
  • Included: 1 trap

Pros

  • Low-profile design can fit into relatively confined spaces yet offers high rodent capacity
  • Galvanized steel body is durable and rust-resistant for use inside or out
  • Can be used with bait only or optional glue boards for more secure trapping

Cons

  • There’s no visual indicator when rodents are trapped so it needs to be checked regularly

With a capacity of up to 30, this Victor mouse trap is the ideal solution for heavy mouse infestations. Made of strong rust-resistant galvanized steel, it can withstand harsh environments. Despite its size, the trap is easy to use: Just lift the lid, add bait, and position.

Glue boards are included, and they provide extra security for captives, though these are more likely to lead to injury or death.

Get the Victor M310GB mouse trap at Amazon or The Home Depot.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Fully enclosed snap trap means it can be used indoors and out
  • Clear tunnel design plays to mouse curiosity and prevents small fingers from reaching trap
  • A touch-free release mechanism makes it easy to dispose of mouse
  • The trap’s plastic body is washable and reusable

Cons

  • May not kill instantly, so not a humane choice
  • Is a little more awkward than some to clean

Mice are curious creatures, and this clever design from Owltra plays on that trait. It also encloses the trap and bait, so it can be used indoors or out.

It is based on the popular types of traps that snap closed, but it has a tunnel entrance that encourages the mouse to investigate. That temptation is reinforced by the bait inside. Once lured in, a strong steel spring powers the serrated jaws that despatch the mouse. A release mechanism allows disposal without touching the body. The plastic casing is washable so the trap can be reused. The spring is stainless steel so it will not rust.

Get the Owltra indoor/outdoor mouse trap at Amazon or Walmart.

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Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 (up to 20 rats per set of batteries)
  • Included: 1 trap

Pros

  • Delivers a 2-minute shock that’s lethal to mice and average-size rats
  • Green light identifies trap is ready, and blinks when rodent is killed
  • Hides the dead body from sight and offers no-touch disposal

Cons

  • It’s comparatively expensive and batteries are extra
  • A few buyers report reliability issues

Standard electronic traps deliver a quick, high-voltage shock that’s sufficient to kill mice. However, rats are not only bigger and stronger, but they can survive modest voltages by restarting their heart. To combat this ability and ensure a high kill rate, Victor’s Rat Zapper device delivers a continuous current for 2 minutes.

Setup is straightforward. Just fit batteries, add bait, and turn on the switch. A red LED shows the unit is working and flashes after the trap catches a rat or mouse. The required four AA batteries can last for up to 20 kills.

While the Rat Zapper is not a budget solution, it’s an effective answer to a rat’s natural resilience.

Get the Victor Rat Zapper mouse trap at Amazon or The Home Depot.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Mouse Trap

Professional preparing trap for rats, mice, for pest control
Photo: istock.com

There are additional features to consider when choosing the best mouse trap for your purposes. Different types of traps are available that use a certain type of bait or allow visibility of the captured rodent. Also consider the trap’s safety features, especially if using it around kids or pets.

Types of Mouse Traps

At the local home improvement or hardware store, four main types of mouse traps, each with a different mechanism and cost, are typically available.

Kill Traps

Kill traps exterminate mice at the time of capture, eliminating the need to manually release a live mouse. Today’s humane kill traps strike so swiftly that a trapped mouse generally won’t suffer long.

  • Snap traps are the classic mouse traps that most people recognize. They feature a metal or plastic base and either a spring-loaded metal bar or serrated teeth that come down on the neck of the mouse when it takes the bait. While they’re among the least expensive, they kill more slowly, and if not set properly, they can injure the mouse, prolonging its pain.
  • Electric traps send a surge of electric current through the mouse when it makes contact with electrodes. The high kill rate and swift speed at which a battery-operated trap electrocutes mice ranks them as the most humane mouse trap. The technology that goes into making these plastic-and-metal traps also makes them the most expensive. Because they’re reusable, they may prove a worthwhile investment for significant rodent problems.

No-Kill Traps

No-kill traps capture live mice, allowing the option of releasing them outside. To be truly humane, the onus is on the user to regularly check the trap and release the mouse; if left too long, it will die inside the trap from starvation, stress, or injury. The mouse also must be handled physically upon its release, and it can return if not taken far away enough from the house.

  • Glue mouse traps immobilize mice when they scurry over their glue-covered cardboard or fiberboard surfaces. The cheapest of all traps, these products don’t technically kill mice but are considered the least humane mouse traps, since they can tear the creature’s fur. Plus, the release process is messy and unappealing, requiring the user to glove up and manually free the mouse from the glue with vegetable oil.
  • 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. Single traps ensnare one mouse and suit a small rodent problem, while products designed for multiple rodents can catch up to 30 mice. While catch-and-release traps are the most humane, they’re on the pricey side. Moreover, they must be monitored regularly and emptied.

Open vs. Closed

Shoppers also must choose between an open or a closed trap.

  • Open mouse traps provide a view of the quarry, making them easy to monitor for mice and dispose of or release the rodent in a timely manner. Wearing gloves is recommended when picking up any type of mouse trap, and it’s imperative with an open trap.
  • Closed mouse traps have walls or shells that fully or partially hide a captured or dead mouse 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 monitor for mice.

Bait Type

One of the most important aspects of baiting a mouse trap is often overlooked: human contact. Touching the bait or the trap means that the mouse can detect human scent, so always wear gloves throughout the procedure. Professionals recommend the following types of bait:

  • Peanut or hazelnut butter. Mice typically eat seeds and nuts, so these two are some of the best bait for mouse traps.
  • Gumdrops or marshmallows. Mice have a sweet tooth. Pieces the size of a garden pea are sufficient.
  • Soft cheese. The cartoon image of mice eating hard cheese is misleading, though they might go for soft cheese.

Safety

In any trap, a trapped mouse may well defecate or urinate, so handle the trap with gloved hands after capture as well as before. Additionally, a live mouse might bite, and while the wound itself may not be serious, it carries a high risk of infection.

Mouse poisons serve as an alternative to traps or can be used in conjunction with them. These present their own challenges, which we explain in our useful mouse poison guide. Most mouse poisons are what are called “broad spectrum” toxins, meaning they also can be harmful to pets and people. They must be handled with great care.

FAQs 

The information about the different kinds of mouse traps and how they work can be helpful, but more questions may arise. Plus, during our research, a number of questions fell outside the scope of the above, so we answer those here.

Q. Are mice good for the environment?

In the wild, they do little harm, and they serve as an important food source for birds of prey, coyotes, and other predators. Indoors, they can pose a health hazard and damage property.

Q. How can I mouseproof my house?

It can be challenging. Keep food sources sealed, particularly pet food and birdseed. Place bird feeders away from the house because seed will fall to the ground and attract mice. Don’t stack firewood or building materials against the house, since it provides shelter. Check for potential entry points and block them when feasible.

Fredericks recommends the following: “Install door sweeps on exterior doors as mice can squeeze through a ¼-inch gap; screen vents and openings to chimneys.”

Q. What kinds of mouse traps do professionals use?

A number of factors influence the type of trap pest control professionals choose, but they frequently use a combination of traps and poison to cover all eventualities.

Q. How effective are glue traps for mice?

They can be very effective. When used singly, it’s easier for mice to avoid a trap, so they work better when used in pairs. They also need to be changed regularly as dirt and dust can reduce adhesion.

Q. How do you set a mouse trap?

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the trap anywhere you find droppings or see mouse activity. They usually follow regular paths.

Q. Where is the best place to release a house mouse?

Pest control experts recommend releasing a mouse at least 2 miles away, though always check local rules. Some areas require captured mice to be euthanized or released in the immediate area, though this can lead to their return.

Q. How do you know when all the mice are gone?

The two common indicators of the presence of mice are droppings and an ammonialike smell from their urine, so look for their absence. However, the smell may persist after the mice have been eradicated. Cleaning with an odor neutralizer usually helps.

Why Trust Bob Vila 

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

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Manasa Reddigari has tackled topics ranging from computer software to home remodeling in her more-than-a-decade-long career as a writer and editor. During her stint as a scribe, she's been featured by leading outlets in the real estate, home improvement, and lifestyle niches such as Trulia, Stikwood, and Brit + Co. Her design philosophy is, if you can dream it, you can DIY it! Connect with her on her website, copyhabit.com, or LinkedIn to find out what she's been writing about lately.

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