Question: Several months ago, mouse droppings were found along my walls, so I bought a few baited traps and place them up against the wall in the hidden area(make sure my child and pets cannot access). A few weeks later, I didn’t find any new droppings, but I am not sure they are gone. Therefore, I continuous placed baited traps. To my surprise, all the baits disappeared and there was not a mouse that was captured. I also tried many types of baits, like cheese, block baits, pellet and peanut butter, and I also tried many types of traps, like snap traps, live traps, or glueboards). However, the bait also disappeared and all traps caught nothing. Are the mice in my home so smart or are there other animals that stole the bait?
A. The bait disappeared for many reasons. However, according to your situation, the most probable reason is that other pests may eat your bait. This depends on the specific type of traps used and the specific bait placed on the trap.
Rats – Rats are larger than mice, so they can circumvent traps and glueboards that are especially designed for mice. And they can easily snatch the bait without triggering the trap.
- Insects – There are many insects that may eat the bait without being been caught. These insects include crickets, slugs, cockroaches or ants. These tiny insects are smaller and lighter than mice. Therefore, they can easily get in and out of no-sticky traps, like snap traps and live traps. Ants, as well as crickets are very common invaders. If you find slimy trails left on the trigger or trap, it is probably the slugs.
- Small wildlife – Some small wildlife may steal the bait, like opossum, squirrels, etc. It is known that many small wildlife steal bait or food from mouse glueboards and traps without being captured.
- Large wildlife – Large wildlife (like rabbits, deer,etc) may steal the bait if the bait is attractive and easy to access.
- Mice – Mice are very clever and they may learn how to eat the bait without being caught.
And if the bait is not placed properly, the success rate will be very low. Some useful tips for baiting are as follows:
Don’t place peanut butter directly on the trap, but wrap a piece of gauze in the bait and around the trap’s trigger. If the mouse tries to drag the peanut butter, it will snap the trap because its teeth will embed in the gauze.
- Place more food bait – If more food is placed to attract mice, the mice will not take it all but get a full meal, which can probably help snapping the trap.
- If you use a trap designed for mice, it is not suitable for rats. Therefore, don’t try to use a trap designed for mice to capture rats.
- The bait should be hung toward the back of the trap in a live trap, which can reduce the chance of insect accessing.
- Nesting materials are also attractive to mice, so you can use these materials (like cotton, string) instead of food bait.
Evidence of Mice and Other Pests
Because new mouse droppings were not found may be mice have gone and your problem may be solved if there is no other evidence of mouse presence. If so, you’d better reanalyze the evidence to find a good way to solve this problem. Mice or other pests may cause this problem. For example, cockroach and cricket droppings are similar to mouse droppings. If you are not sure, you can ask a professional for help. The professional can distinguish them. It is important to identify the pest, because this can determine the best way to control.
If no pest presence is seen or the problem is solved, it is no need to continue the baiting and trapping efforts. If not and you don’t know what type of pests is, hiring a professional is a very good idea.