Best Mouse Bait. What To Put In A Mousetrap?

The best rodent trap in the world is useless if you don’t have the best mouse bait in the trap. You can try to identify the best bait mouse traps through trial and error, or you can allow science and the experience of others to help you identify the best bait for mouse trap to catch mice.

A Rodent’s Sense of Smell

best mouse bait

Many rodents have poor eyesight. They hunt and travel by taking advantage of their sense of smell.

Rats have the ability to detect not just average scents, but they have the ability to detect changes in the atmosphere and in the emotions of others via smell. Rats have two smell organs, one being the vomeronasal organ that allows them to smell pheromones.

Since smell plays such a powerful role in determining a rodent’s diet, the best baits are those that are high in protein and that have a powerful smell. Peanut butter probably the best bait for mice.

Understanding Their Diet

The next thing to understand when determining how to catch a mouse is, what do mice like to eat? Mice and rats are omnivores. They are opportunists that will eat whatever food presents itself. This is underscored by the fact that in times of extreme duress, a mouse may consume its own tail.

That being said, mice prefer grains, fruits, and seeds. Rats, on the other hand, are carnivorous.

Mouse Bait UsefulA common belief is that mice like cheese. However, the truth is they prefer foods that are high in carbohydrates. For this reason, a piece of chocolate with a dab of peanut butter is going to be a more powerful attractant to mice than cheese.

Effective Non-Food Baits

Food is not the only effective bait. Mice and rats are hoarders, and they are constantly on the lookout for materials that they can use to build a nest.

A good non-food option would include things like dental floss, cotton, or strips of cloth.

Understand the Purpose of Bait

When selecting mouse or rat bait, remember that the goal is not solely to get the rodent to eat the food. It is to draw them into the trap.

As we have established, rodents are guided by their sense of smell. So you want to find something that has a strong enough scent that it will make the rodent curious enough to ignore its natural aversion to new thing, and walk onto or inside of the trap.

Usually, foods with a high fat or protein content have a powerful aroma. Rats and mice, like many of us, have an insatiable sweet tooth. You can use this to your advantage by using things like candy, chocolate, and sweets as bait.

Selecting the Right Bait

Now that you have a better understanding of how a mouse or rat finds food and the types of foods they like, you can begin to build a composite list of bait options. Here are our top 10 mouse/rat baits:

1. Peanut Butter (Smooth or Chunky, Mice Don’t Care)
2. Bacon Bits, Raw Bacon, Bacon Grease (Avoid the Artificial Bacon Bits Sold in a Jar)
3. Cheese (the Stronger the Smell, the Better the Results. Softer Cheeses Are Preferable)
4. Real Maple Syrup (Canadian or Virginian. It Doesn’t Matter. Rodents Love Either One)
5. Small Pieces of Sliced Hot Dogs
6. Chocolate
7. Pet Food (Mice and Rats Seem to Be More Attracted to Wet Cat and Dog Food As Opposed to Dry)
8. Bird Seeds or Nuts
9. Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms, or Other Soft Sweet Candies
10. Dried Bread Dipped in Butter

Selecting the Right Bait

Mice Are Cautious

Mice are attracted by their strong sense of smell to food, but a mouse or a rat’s desire to survive often supersedes their desire to investigate a new food source. This means that they may look at a trap that is in a particular area multiple times before approaching it.

Keep your traps in the same place, even if you do not get immediate results.

Mice have good memories. If they go near a trap and it is triggered, but they are not caught in it, they will avoid the trap next time. For this reason, it is recommended that you bait electronic traps, but leave them off for the first few nights.

This allows you to decide what to put in a mousetrap, and it also gives mice and rats a chance to get accustomed to eating food out of your trap. Once they get used to it, they will go into the trap with confidence one after another to their demise.

Also, remember that you could use the best food to catch mice, but the bait will have little to no success if you do not put the traps in areas that mice frequent. The best location for your trap is long counter tops, baseboards, and inside cupboards.


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What If the Bait Is Not Working?

  • When determining what to put in a mousetrap, it is good to remember that mice and rats are intelligent, and they can get bored with the same meal. So do not be afraid to try various baits in your trap.
  • Or it could be that you’re using the best bait for rats or the best mouse bait, but you are not using the right trap. Experiment with multiple styles of traps, maybe even using multiple traps in the same location to see what works best.
  • It could be that the bait you are using is perfectly fine, but the location where you have the mousetrap is either in a low traffic area or in an area that mice and rats are avoiding for some reason. If you don’t catch anything after a few days, move it to a different location.
  • If you are finding that your bait is gone but the trap is not triggered, then you know the bait is working, but you just may need to review how to set a mousetrap with sufficient sensitivity to be effective.
  • A good trick and I think the best bait for mouse traps is to take a little bit of peanut butter and put it in the middle of the trap. Then take a piece of candy, a nut, or something else and stick it in the middle of the peanut butter. That way, the mouse needs to exert force and will trigger the trap.

What If the Bait Is Not Working?Some Parting Words

Finding the best mouse trap bait can be a challenge, especially if you do not immediately see the results you had hoped for. However, using the above information can help.

Remember, mice and rats do not see well. Use this weakness against them. Select baits that have a powerful scent, making it easier for them to be attracted to the trap.

Pick a good location, preferably along a wall or a baseboard. The best mouse trap bait will be ineffective if the mouse or rat never finds it.

Finally, the best bait for rat traps is the same food that most people like. This includes foods that are high in protein, sticky, and sweet. Choose only the best bait for mice.