Why Aren’t Mice Responding To My Mouse Traps?

Sure, mouse traps seem like a quick and easy fix to a mouse problem and while they might work for a bit, oftentimes mice stop taking the bait. If you’ve found yourself in this type of predicament and are wondering why the mice in your home aren’t responding to the mouse traps you’ve set up as they did at first, we have a couple of thoughts on the matter. 

mice on a kitchen floor in new jersey feeding off food left on floor

You’re reusing old traps

The issue with reusing old mouse traps is two-fold. First, there’s probably old bait dried or caked on it and just as you wouldn’t eat off a dirty plate, they’re not going to eat off a dirty trap. Secondly, they’re keen sense of smell warns these rodents away from old mouse traps. More on that below.

You’re handling mouse traps with bare hands 

You might think that the smell of peanut butter on the trap would override your smell but mice will pick up your scent no matter how strong the bait is. As you can probably imagine, they aren’t going to even try to take the bait if they’re picking up human scent. That’s why it’s best to use gloves when loading bait. 

The smell of dead mice repels them 

Smelling dead mice on a trap will also deter mice from coming too close to your mouse trap. Once they realize it, they’ll start avoiding areas where they know you’ve rigged trap(s) up. Removing dead mice as soon as they’ve been caught and setting a new trap is one way to avoid this particular problem. 

You’re putting too much bait on the mouse trap

Too much bait on mouse traps will not help you win the battle against mice. In fact, it will become a stumbling block. You see, too much bait allows mice to feed without activating the trap AND you’re providing them with the sustenance they need to survive. To be effective, a mouse trap only needs a small amount of bait and it must be placed in the right spot to trigger. 

Are mouse traps an effective solution then?

Mouse traps can be an effective tool in the fight against mice but there’s more to it than you might think. You must consider how quickly a mouse population grows when determining the number of traps you need. As we’ve touched on in previous blog posts about mice, a single adult female mouse can give birth to 12 babies per litter and is capable of producing multiple litters each year. If you’re only setting out a few traps, you’re probably not keeping pace. 

No matter how many traps you set, they won’t stop the problem if you don’t fix how they’re getting inside. In order to eliminate mouse activity in your home, you cannot ignore how they’re getting in. If you don’t seal off every and we mean every hole that they can fit through, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing on the inside. 

Is there a better way to get rid of mice?

While mouse traps have merit, the best way to get rid of mice is to contact a licensed pest control company. Here at Arrow Pest Control, we offer effective rodent control services in Essex Fells, Roseland, Caldwell as well as throughout Essex County and several other New Jersey counties. When you contact us for help exterminating your mouse (or rat) problem, we will: 

  • Inspect your home to determine if rodents are present and identify any conditions that attract these pests to your home
  • Target existing rodent populations using mechanical rodent control devices
  • Seal up holes that mice use to enter
  • Monitor your property for rodents by setting up exterior bait stations as well as interior ones if necessary
  • Let you know if we have any recommendations on how to make your property less attractive to rodents 

For homeowners who find mice are a year-round struggle in their homes and garages, Arrow Pest Control offers home pest control services that not only take care of insects but also rodents who wander in no matter the season. Compare residential plans and pricing below or give us a call to discuss your pest problem!

Home Protection
Starting at
$37/mo
*some exclusions may apply
What's included:
  • Year-Round Pest Protection
  • 3 Seasonal Services
  • Covers 30+ Pests
  • Free Emergency Service
  • Carpenter Ant Control
    (Includes Carpenter Ants, Pharaoh Ants & Acrobat Ants)
  • Termite Monitoring Advantage
  • Termite Control
Home Protection Plus
Starting at
$52/mo
*some exclusions may apply
What's included:
  • Year-Round Pest Protection
  • 3 Seasonal Services
  • Covers 30+ Pests
  • Free Emergency Service
  • Carpenter Ant Control
    (Includes Carpenter Ants, Pharaoh Ants & Acrobat Ants)
  • Termite Monitoring Advantage
  • Termite Control
Arrow Premier
Starting at
$67/mo
*some exclusions may apply
What's included:
  • Year-Round Pest Protection
  • 4 Seasonal Services
  • Covers 30+ Pests
  • Free Emergency Service
  • Carpenter Ant Control
    (Includes Carpenter Ants, Pharaoh Ants & Acrobat Ants)
  • Termite Monitoring Advantage
  • Termite Control
**initial fees may apply
Lisa M.

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‟Tom is amazing! Arrow is the best company! Love their services. They truly care about their clients. ”
Lisa M.
Port Monmouth, NJ
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