A mouse has appeared in my house and is apparently hiding inside the washing machine. I tried to shake it out and turn it on but the little varmint still didn't come out. So now I am going to use a mousetrap to catch it. What I would like to know now is:

What is the best bait to use on a mousetrap?

I don't want any kind of poison since I have domestic pets.

  • 2
    Having been terrorized by a single, genius rat for the past 3 months, I'd Jump on the opportunity to drag the washer outside for a few hours and be free of him.
    – Mazura
    Feb 15, 2015 at 22:13
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    Note that most types of mouse traps may seriously injur your domestic pet due to mechanical damage alone.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Feb 15, 2015 at 23:42
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    @Wrzlprmft you're right. But I can control the access of my pet to the mousetrap, making sure that he can't reach it. On the other hand, the most popular kind of poison are liquid, dust or some kind of little snacks, and this things are easily spread by the wind, getting out of my control. Still, your comment is very pertinent. Feb 16, 2015 at 0:19
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    We live in the country, so it is not uncommon that either in the spring or beginning of winter that we have a mouse or 2 that finds their way in. Glue traps work great for me because I can't deal with the blood and guts and don't have to worry about the pets. You need rat size even if you are dealing with a mouse. I use bird seed that contains sunflower seeds. Just make sure the seeds are pressed into the glue just enough to stick and are in the middle of the trap. Uncooked elbow macaroni also works. Like others, I haven't had much luck with peanut butter.
    – Dunk
    Feb 18, 2015 at 18:15
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    – user22124
    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:51

14 Answers 14


Peanut butter is the best because they can't remove it from the trap: they have to crawl up there and WHAM they're gone.

Needless to say, position the trap along the wall or wherever else they usually scurry.

Another idea is, if you see the thing, use a shop-vac to suck it up.

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    I had mice working their way into my house. Kitchen drawer, gross. Peanut butter on classic spring traps did it. 5 times. I am now mouse free for one month, I get my chip at tomorrow's meeting. Feb 16, 2015 at 19:37
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    @J.Musser Just empty is outside...
    – Mooseman
    Feb 16, 2015 at 20:15
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    +1 for peanut butter with one caveat: make sure you use Skippy or Jif or some other brand with added sweeteners. Natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt) doesn't work as well.
    – Dan C
    Feb 16, 2015 at 21:53
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    @mc0e I've used cinnamon to deter mice...
    – Mooseman
    Feb 18, 2015 at 20:14
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    I've recently been dealing mouse-like critters that aren't actually mice. Still this may apply to mice also. It seems to make a very big difference whether the peanut butter is fresh, and even if it's not taken, it's worth replacing the bait every day or two.
    – mc0e
    Sep 3, 2018 at 11:27

Orange Marmalade. Really. maybe it was just those mice, but peanut butter or cheese took days. Marmalade I had one when I turned the lights off. Also placement is key. Mice like to travel against borders, edges of walls and appliances.

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    It's not just putting the trap near the wall either. You want the mouse to approach the trap from the right direction, so put it about 10-15 cm away from the wall with the business end pointing to the wall.
    – mc0e
    Feb 18, 2015 at 15:36

I am a fan of oatmeal and peanut-butter. a single oat flake glued to the trap with peanut-butter has never failed to get the mouse during the cold months. It usually works year round in urban areas, but is less effective in rural areas where there is crops during the growing season. On a farm I recommend a cat.

  • I recommend a few cats. After catching a few mice, he may become a ball of fur that only purrs and sleeps all day instead of hunting. Feb 16, 2015 at 18:46
  • By the way I use old style peanut butter that is just peanuts. Some mice don't like the smell of jiff and friends.
    – hildred
    Feb 16, 2015 at 21:43

We usually us chicken feed at my house. But, I know not everyone has chicken feed...

You can also use cheese (the very commonly shown one), granola (works very well) or dog food. Bread, crackers, and peanut butter also work well.

The UK Telegraph says that chocolate would also work... I've not ever tried that though so I can't say how well that one works.


Slim Jim's have been catching the mice and rats in my garage.


Chocolate always worked well for us.


I've had pepperoni work best for me. Cheese and peanut butter were not touched even after leaving them out for days. Then we tried pepperoni and caught it within hours, during the day. I think that the common thread I am seeing between my experience and others answering here is the smellyness of the food. If it has a high amount of odor, it can be smelled, and thus attract mice, from farther away.


Have tried cheese, chocolate and marmalade without success.

So I use a piece of apple. Works very well.


A slice of mars bar and a dollop of peanut butter. Have caught literally dozens of mice like this (in humane traps), in comparison to other methods. I'd recommend handling the bait with gloves to reduce any scent mark.


Nutella worked well for me. Similar consistency to peanut butter but sweeter.


While I was in a rough time (I was living in an abandoned house), I've noticed something.

This might seem idiot, but it may work very well.

It did for me, the mice ate the food all the time!
We had a closet and we tied it to the bar. The mice would do everything to try to get up there.

Basically, put stuff with sauce. No, really!

You grab a piece of bread and put some delicious sauce in it.
Avoid artificial stuff. If you fry some meat, run a piece of bread in the frying pan and stick it in the trap!

This worked great! (Left me without food a few times)

Also, as mentioned in some answers, the placement is very important.
But make sure that they feel the smell of the sauce.


i used white chocolate (nestles milkybar) 1 cube on a standard mouse trap the type that snaps shut and over the course of one week i eliminated 6 pesky mice one each day from the butchers shop i'd been working in. i used the same piece of chocolate all week and it worked great. i put the traps on the ground under units i used two but it was the same one which i caught them all with.


Raisins work well for us.

I put three traps against the wall in a V-formation with the raisins inside the V like this:


Use a rodent attractant such as this: http://us.tomcat.com/smg/goprod/tomcat-mouse-attractant-mouse-traps-tomcat/prod11150028/

I used some of this (a different brand, though) along with a live-capture trap, and the mice didn't go for it with much enthusiasm, but with a snap trap, plus a little peanut butter, I caught three mice within five minutes. No sooner than I'd emptied the trap, reset it and sat down, there'd be another snap...

This has the advantage that it is non-toxic, so if your pet mouse escapes, use this along with a live capture trap.

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