While you might have put some time and thought into where you set your mouse traps and what you bait them with, you may well still be disappointed when you check your traps. Sometimes your traps won't just be empty of mice — they may also have lost their bait. How can you bait your traps more effectively to prevent mice from stealing the bait and escaping unharmed?
Make Things Tricky For Mickey
Mice are tricky little creatures who often show signs of cheeky intelligence. For example, if your bait has disappeared but your trap hasn't sprung, a mouse may well have been able to simply get the bait off the trap's spike without triggering the snap mechanism.
Typically, this happens if you've simply balanced a piece of bait on the trap without making sure that the food is firmly attached to the spike. You may also have missed a trick by using bait that is easily pulled off such as dry foods. The mouse may have been able to reach the bait and get it off the spike without putting any pressure on the trap.
To avoid this kind of scenario, you should make sure that the bait you use is pushed firmly onto the trap's spike. This means that a mouse will have to put more effort into tugging off the food to get at it or may be more likely to walk onto the trap to eat the bait. It's also a good idea to use a sticky bait that is harder to remove, such as peanut butter, a gummy sweet or a bit of soft cheese.
Use Minnie Portion Sizes
If you notice that a mouse has eaten some of the bait on a trap without triggering it, then you may be being over generous with your portion sizes. If you put a large amount of bait on a trap, then a mouse may be able to eat around the edges without going on to the trap or setting off the central mechanism.
Bear in mind that mice are very small and they don't need to be fed generously. A tiny pea-sized amount of bait on a trap's spike will attract a hungry mouse just as well as a large portion. Keeping bait size small makes it more likely that a mouse will have to step on to the trap to get to the food; hopefully, this will be enough to snap the trap and solve your mouse problem once and for all.
If you continue to struggle with mice and traditional traps, it might be time to call in a pest control professional.