5 Reasons Why Mice Will Not Go Near Your Traps or Bait

The reality of having mice in your home is quite a shocker for most people even though mice invade millions of homes every year. So now you have your traps and your bait, and you set it all up, but then nothing happens, right? The mice simply will not touch your bait or go into your traps.

There are several reasons for this. Let’s examine some of the most important ones, shall we?

1. Mice Are Getting Food Elsewhere, So They’re Not Hungry

The first one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do not get it. If your mice has access to easy food elsewhere, why would they risk the unknown to go into your traps?

I’ve had this problem myself. I kept banging my head against the wall trying to figure out why they’re evading my traps like they’re going to explode.

Then one day as I was getting food for my dog out of her big dog bag, I noticed a chewed up corner on the bottom of the bag that allowed food to go through.

So this mouse was literally going to the big bag of dog food and feeding on it as it pleased. No wonder it didn’t want to go into my fancy mouse traps.

2. The Traps Are Placed in Bad Locations

The next reason is probably because your traps are placed in bad areas. Although everyone recommends putting traps against the wall, baseboards, or other edges, some mice are really comfortable in your home that they’ll run across the center of the room quite often.

You’ll have most luck placing the traps where you find mouse droppings, however, you might have to experiment a bit with angles and locations.

Try placing parallel to the wall, but also try perpendicular to the wall. You never know what your mice like.

3. The Traps Have Too Much Human or Old Mice Scent on Them

Your traps might have human scent on them so the mice are more cautious around it. Even though it seems like they have no problems eating all the crumbs and pieces of food you’ve touched that fell under your couch, sometimes they do avoid things that have heavy human scent.

When you’re putting bait on the trap and setting the trap, you should at least wear gloves to eliminate as much of the human scent as possible.

The next thing is if you’re using a re-usable trap (such as one of these humane mouse traps), and you’ve caught a mouse with it already, you should wash the trap before reusing it. 

This also depends a lot on the smarts of your mice. Some mice will go near objects where other mice have been, while others will not. However, trapped mice can release alarm pheromones which can warn mice in the future about the dangers of your traps.

So just wash the mouse trap really good each time after catching a mouse so that you do not have any unwanted scents over it.

4. The Bait is Not The Right Type

Perhaps your mice are not fond of the bait you’re using. Even though everyone says to use peanut butter, it is possible that your mice are using to eating something else.

My mice were most comfortable eating dry dog food because that’s what they were used to. And although they would eat peanut butter on occasion, I didn’t have as much luck getting them in my traps until I started using dry dog food dipped in peanut butter so that it sticks better.

If your bait is a few days old, then you should consider re-baiting your traps. Old bait means your mice has probably sniffed it by now and is either cautious of it or is simply not interested in what you have to offer.

5. The Traps Are Not The Right Type

And finally, maybe the traps you are using are not the right type. I’m not necessarily talking about snap traps. vs. glue traps vs. humane traps, but rather the design, size, or structure of the trap.

In my experience, the best traps were the ones that seemed open and inviting. I never had much luck using the boxy plastic traps. Whereas once I switched to metal wire traps with holes, I started finding more success.

The best way to test this is to get several different traps and see what you have the most luck with.