Seeing mice in your house can be stressful. In addition to causing fear, “Rodents can spread disease, trigger asthma and allergy symptoms and cause costly property damage,” says Cindy Mannes, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association. But many products can alleviate the problem quickly and safely.
After speaking with Mannes, we evaluated the most popular choices to find the easiest to set, remove, and clean that can keep your living space vermin-free.
Here are the best mouse traps you can buy.
Victor Electronic Mouse Trap
LED indicator light
No visual or tactile contact
4 AA batteries not included
Electronic mouse traps use high-voltage shocks to deal with mice quickly and efficiently. When we home tested this product, we found it easy to use and clean, and we appreciated its squeamish-free removal. In fact, we found this to be one of the easiest traps to set compared with spring-loaded traps we’ve used.
"The simplicity of baiting it and turning it on made the process quick and easy, and we didn’t have to worry about snapping our fingers in the tension bar," our home tester reported. And the manufacturer has been a prominent name in pest control since the late 19th century.
To use it, you bait the built-in bait cup inside a chamber, which is removable for easy disposal, and hit the “on” switch. The presence of a rodent causes the lethal electric shock, powered by 4 AA batteries (not included). The manufacturer claims the product kills 100 percent of unwelcome visitors.
We also like that this is a no-see device: A blinking green light alerts you that a mouse is trapped inside. And we appreciate that a built-in safety switch deactivates the trap when it is open, helping protect children and pets.
Handily, this product also includes suggestions for simple food lures such as cheese and peanut butter. You can buy this trap as a single or in sets of one, two, three, or four.
Price at time of publish: $25
Type: Electronic︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 6.3 x 3.2 x 1.8 inches︱Weight: 7 ounces
Motel Mouse Humane Mouse Trap
Simple to use
Can be used indoors and outdoors
Can be used around pets and people
No pesticide baits
Hard-to-remove bait container
You can catch mice without killing them by using a product such as the Motel Mouse Humane Mouse Trap. We found that these humane traps work amazingly as promised, and that it's impossible for mice to escape once they're inside.
This reusable trap, which comes two in a pack for under $15, captures mice alive, and you can then release them outside without having to touch them. Not only is this kinder to the animals, but the traps do not rely on pesticide baits and do not have any snapping mechanism. The traps come in two sizes, and the larger size seems big enough for most common mouse varieties.
To use this trap, you simply place bait, such as peanut butter or other foodstuff, in the food compartment and open the spring door. When a mouse enters the tunnel-like trap, the door closes behind it, but don't worry— air holes ensure it can breathe. We also like that the trap cleans up with just soap and hot water and comes with a cleaning brush.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Humane︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Rats, Mice︱Dimensions: 6.69 x 2.44 x 2.56 inches︱Weight: 11.2 ounces
Victor Metal Pedal Mouse Trap
Can set up multiple in one area
Can be hard to set
Cannot be used around kids and pets
If you want to spend little money on traps (or just prefer old-fashioned wire snap traps), the Victor Metal Pedal Mouse Traps are the way to go. The classic trap—the manufacturer says they have produced them for 120 years—is extremely budget-friendly, typically costing around $2 per item. (You also can buy them in sets of 4.) Or buy a set of 64 for under $35.) They also are made of wood from responsibly managed forests, according to the manufacturer. But they do require a steady hand to set up.
With this trap, you place a little bit of bait on the pedal, then pull back the bow and engage it with the locking bar. You can then place the trap with the bait pedal facing the wall, and when a mouse steps on it, the bar snaps.
Although this trap is amazingly effective and reusable, keep in mind that it can be hard to set and that you have to deal with the victim.
Price at time of publish: $2
Type: Snap︱Material: Wood︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 1.01 x 4.08 x 10.25 inches︱Weight: 0.8 ounces
Best Bait Trap
Tomcat Mouse Killer I
Includes bait refills
See-through lid to check progress
Bait is toxic
The Tomcat Mouse Killer is a station you fill with the brand’s bromethalin-based bait. The unit comes with the refillable station, as well as sixteen 1-ounce bait blocks, which kill mice within 24 to 48 hours after they ingest it. The manufacturer says each block kills up to 12 mice.
This refillable bait station has a see-through lid, so you can monitor how much bait is left. To fill it, you simply load the bait into the removable cartridge, located at the bottom of the product, and push it into place. Mice can enter through either side of it.
The unit is designed to be tamper-resistant to protect children and pets, but keep the trap away from your family members, as the bait is toxic, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Price at time of publish: $27
Type: Bait Trap︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 4 x 8.75 x 10.50 inches︱Weight: 16 ounces
JARMINERO Mouse Trap
Easy to set
Kills rodents instantly
Not pet friendly
Snap traps are some of the easiest to use and maintain, and the JARMINERO Mouse Traps do not disappoint. These traps come in a set of 12, and they are easy to set, thanks to removable bait cups. You insert the bait cup through the bottom of the trap, then pinch the end to set it. This differs from other snap traps in that the bait loads easily, and you don’t have to place your fingers in range of the snap jaw.
The sensitive pressure plate is triggered by just a few ounces, and it snaps closed, killing rodents instantly.
We also like that it’s easy to dispose of the entire trap, or just the contents, without having to contact the invader. Also, this trap is reusable; you may not even have to add more bait to get the next mouse.
As with all snap traps, the JARMINERO should be kept away from children and pets.
Price at time of publish: $17
Type: Snap︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 3.1 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches︱Weight: Not listed
d-CON No View, No Touch Covered Mouse Trap
Alternatives can cost less
If you are trying to avoid putting your eyes on mice but still want them out of your home, consider the d-CON No View, No Touch Covered Mouse Trap. Resembling an oversize hockey puck, with a hollow interior, this product comes with six packs of two disposable traps (12 total).
Each covered trap snaps lethally when the rodent enters. You throw the whole unit away without ever seeing the contents. We also like that the larger size should accommodate even the largest house mouse.
You insert bait through the bottom of the trap, then twist the trap to set it. From here, all you must do is place it in an area where you have seen rodents; an indicator shows in a “Mouse Caught” label, letting you know when a mouse is within. Plus, the covered design keeps dangerous components away from curious pets and children.
While the price may seem higher than other products, these traps do come in packs of two, and you can purchase them in six-packs, alleviating the cost.
Price at time of publish: $31
Type: Covered Trap︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 9 inches︱Weight: 2.05 pounds
Tomcat Glue Traps
Simple to use
Large surface area
Can trap flying & creeping pests
Requires manual disposal
We like glue traps because they’re inexpensive, refillable, and don't use pesticide. Tomcat Glue Traps are some of the best you can buy. Each pack contains six traps that are effective against mice, as well as other pests such as insects and scorpions.
These glue traps contain eugenol, a naturally occurring flavoring item found in common food items, which is also used in some pesticides. Rodents get stuck to the trap when they walk across it. But you have to dispose of the trap and its contents.
The manufacturer says this product is tamper-resistant, but we’ve noted that rodents are capable of moving the trap across the floor and into areas you’d prefer they not inhabit.
Price at time of publish: $6
Type: Glue︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Mice︱Dimensions: 3.63 x 10 x 7.88 inches︱Weight: 5 ounces
Best for Rats
Tomcat Rat Snap Trap
Simple to use
Can be used indoors and outdoors
Holds pests in place
Removable bait cup
Not to be used around kids and pets
Often when you have mice, you have rats too. If that’s the case, you need larger traps to deal with them.
The Tomcat Rat Snap Trap is hefty enough to kill even the biggest rats, and can be used inside your home and outside in places where mice frequently live, such as in a garage or barn.
This reusable oversized snap trap has a removable bait cup to make setting it easier, and it has interlocking teeth for a more powerful snap. You can set the traps with a hand or a foot, and they’re effective for catching mice and rats, as well as squirrels.
Price at time of publish: $8
Type: Snap︱Material: Plastic︱Target Species: Rats, Mice︱Dimensions: 3 x 8.63 x 5 inches︱Weight: 6.4 ounces
Best For Multiple Mice
Victor Tin Cat Live Mouse Trap
Easy to use
Large enough to catch many
No toxic baits
Victor makes the list again, this time with its M310S Tin Cat design, which can trap up to 30 mice at once. It’s low-profile, making it ideal for placing it under furniture.
This metal product is a catch-and-release-type trap, with an easy-open lid. But with such a trap, you have to have at least visible contact with the rodents. The M310S features a cutout window that lets you see when a mouse is inside.
We liked that the traps worked best with peanut butter instead of treats that are easy to grab and run such as bread or cheese. The traps are reusable, but rather bulky in design.
Price at time of publish: $23
Type: Multiple Mouse Trap︱Material: Metal︱Target Species: Rats, Mice︱Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.2 x 4 inches︱Weight: 3.2 pounds
If you are looking for an alternative to snapping traps, we recommend the Victor Electronic Mouse Trap. It uses a high-voltage shock to kill mice in seconds, has an LED light to indicate there’s a mouse inside, and comes apart, so you can empty the trap without ever touching the body. For a slightly more affordable option, the Victor Metal Pedal Mouse Trap is a more traditional choice, with a simple, effective design. For a no-kill option, we recommend the Motel Mouse Humane Mouse Trap.
What to Look For in a Mouse Trap
The size of the mousetrap you choose needs to match the space you’re trying to target. Since many mice run along baseboards, inside cupboards, and in other tight spaces, you might want to consider slimmer, streamlined traps that fit the mouse-infested areas in your home. On the other hand, bigger traps may be a better choice for larger mice, or if you have a spacious area (such as a barn or basement) you’re trying to rid of rodents. The Victor Tin Cat Live Mouse Trap is low-profile, making it ideal for placing it under furniture while capable of trapping up to 30 mice at once.
Many people are skittish about setting mouse traps, since they don’t want it to snap closed on their fingers. If that’s how you feel, there are several different types of traps that are easy to set and feature finger-friendly mechanisms. We've found the JARMINERO Mouse Traps easy to set, with a removable bait cup that keeps your fingers out of range of the snap jaw.
Most mouse traps kill rodents with spring-loaded mechanisms that catch them by the head or neck. But several alternatives exist—which are especially useful if you don’t want to see the dead mouse in the trap. You can choose to kill the mice for fast population control, or you might opt for a catch-and-release trap to relocate them to another area (far away). The Motel Mouse Humane Mouse Traps don't rely on pesticide baits, have no snapping mechanism, and come in two sizes, big enough for most common mouse varieties.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for a mouse trap to catch a mouse?
If you locate your mouse trap where mice are evident, such as where their droppings abound, and place a reliable bait within, you should expect to see results in a few hours to at least several days. Some good places for mouse traps are at the bases of walls, under appliances, and in the back of cabinets.
Which mouse trap bait works best?
Since mice enjoy eating, nuts, peanut butter is an effective bait because of its aroma. Bird seed also works well. When setting bait, consider using something that occupies the mouse's attention, so they linger, and give the trap more time to work.
Should every mouse trap use poison?
The Centers for Disease Control recommends using poison or other toxic bait only if a large infestation exists. If you need to use these products, be sure to follow label directions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publishes good guidelines for using poisons in mouse traps.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Amanda Rose Newton, a freelance writer for The Spruce. To make this list, Newton consulted with Cindy Mannes, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association, and personally tested each product over a one-month period. She evaluated each product for application/setup, positioning, and disposal methods.