How Long Does It Take To Catch a Mouse in a Trap?

Posted by Rowan Burgess on

The last thing any homeowner or business wants to deal with is a mice infestation. Thankfully, there are multiple solutions at your disposal to deal with the problem quickly and effectively. One of the most common and efficient ways is using mouse traps.

But how long does it take for traps to work, and is there a way to speed up the process? If you're asking yourself that question, you're in the right place. 

How Quickly Do Mouse Traps Usually Work?

Answering this question isn't as straightforward as you may initially assume. There is no firmly agreed-upon time-frame for how long a mouse trap should take to work. This is because numerous factors impact a trap's effectiveness. These include the specific type of trap you use and how you use it. We'll go into more detail on this further down. 

However, if you want a vague approximation, here are some time-frames broken down by type:

  • Snap Traps: should work within 24 hours
  • Glue Traps: should work within a few days, depending on mouse activity
  • Electric Traps: can provide results in as short as a few hours

Remember, these are only approximations, and there are many more traps available than the three listed above. There are multiple factors at play here. 

Are Traps Effective in Catching Mice?

In most cases, yes, which is why they remain such a popular removal method. Discovering an infestation can be a stressful experience and may happen frequently. In the United Kingdom, the most common infestations include insects, mice, and rats, none of which you want in your home. Thankfully, you can take numerous steps to counteract this, including the use of traps. 

Why Aren’t My Traps Catching Mice?

If you've started using traps in your home or business but aren't seeing any meaningful results, don't panic. There are numerous reasons why your traps may not be working as effectively as you want them to. Though this might be a hard pill to swallow, sometimes your own actions can sabotage the efficacy of your traps. Let's walk you through some examples. 

Tampering With the Bait

Mice have exceptionally sensitive noses. This means if you tamper with the bait or touch it too much, they'll detect your smell and instinctively know to stay away. The best way to prevent this is by wearing gloves so your scent doesn't interact with the bait. It's also wise to wear gloves when handling a trap after it's caught the rodent, to avoid the transmission of diseases.

Using Too Much Bait

It's easy to fall into the trap (pun intended!) of thinking that using more bait will increase the likelihood of success. After all, what mouse could refuse such a banquet? Unfortunately, if you pile up the bait too high, mice can simply take from the pile without triggering the trap. They're much smarter than they seem. To ensure the best results, only use a tiny amount of bait. 

Expecting it to Work Instantly

Traps take time to work, and this time varies enormously. If you expect instant results and continuously check your traps, you're only going to indicate to the mice that that isn't an area they should be visiting. Take a step back, measure your expectations, and let the trap work its magic. 

Putting Your Traps in the Wrong Place

Knowing which trap to use and how long to wait before seeing any results is one thing, but knowing where to place your trap is a whole other level to consider. Mice love to scurry around the perimeter of a room rather than directly into it, so the best place for your traps to go is along the walls. Try to ensure the bait and trigger of your trap are facing the wall rather than away from it, as this will tempt the mice to walk through it rather than around it. 

5 Solutions To Catch Mice Quicker

Although we've discussed the virtue of not expecting instantaneous results, sometimes the process can get a little frustrating. It's a waiting game, but if you feel like you've been waiting for much too long, there are steps you can take to speed up the process. Let's walk you through them.

1. Utilise the Best Traps

This may seem obvious, but if removing rodent infestations from your home or business isn't something you're experienced in, you might find it difficult to know which traps are most effective. 

The easiest to use is the classic snap trap, like the Big Cheese Wooden Mouse Trap, but these can prove problematic if they're in reach of children. Electric traps are a solid option, but they shouldn't be used outdoors. Weigh up your options before purchasing, and don't just opt for the first trap that catches your eye.

2. Allow Time for the Mice to Trust the Traps

Mice may have tiny brains, but that doesn't mean they aren't intelligent. They're very aware of their surroundings and will pick up on a disruption in their routine, which certainly includes placing a trap in their way.

Leaving a trap unset but still baited is a great technique for building necessary trust. As the mice take food without consequence, they won't expect it when you finally do set the trap. 

3. Don't Rely on One Kind of Trap

If your mice are particularly resilient, it might be time to diversify your trap arsenal. Don't rely on only one kind of trap - branch out! Opt for a mixture so that the mice don't get used to your techniques and learn to avoid them. Also, remember that mice reproduce quickly, so just because you've already caught a few doesn't mean you're out of the woods. Keep setting traps. 

4. Use the Most Effective Bait

Not all baits are created equal. Despite what countless cartoons may have told us, cheese isn't the epitome of bait for all mice. In reality, mice are not picky eaters. They'll try to eat almost anything in front of them, but they especially enjoy nuts and seeds due to their high fat and calorie content. Peanut butter is also an excellent option at your disposal. These foods are affordable and easy to acquire, so they make for perfect bait options. You can also purchase specialised baits for even more effective results. 

5. Check the Traps Regularly

We understand this goes against our advice about not expecting instant results. However, we aren't talking about checking your traps every hour, on the hour. Even once a day could be excessive, though still acceptable.

The point here is to make sure you aren't setting your traps and leaving them without checking whether they've gone off or not. If a mouse is left to sit in a sprung trap for days, others will notice, and they'll plan new routes to avoid your traps. The scent alone will tip them off. Make sure you're keeping an eye on the success of your traps. 

Looking for Rodent Control? Shop Dalton Engineering!

If you're currently struggling with a rodent infestation in your home or business, don't wait around before taking action. The problem will only worsen if left untreated, and that is not a position you want to put yourself in. 

At Dalton Engineering, we provide a variety of rodent control solutions to put an end to your infestation problem, including traps and preventative measures to reduce the risk of this happening again. Shop our full collection today and see for yourself why we're a popular solution for so many.


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