The Best Way to Catch a Mouse in Your House

By HomeAdvisor

Updated January 20, 2021

mouse cage

The best way to catch mice is by using traps. While snap and glue traps are often the easiest and quickest ways to catch a mouse, multi-catch traps are a more humane way to catch mice if you’d prefer not to kill your unexpected visitor. Below, learn about more types of traps you can use to catch mice in your home, plus where to set them up for optimal effectiveness.

When you want the best way to catch mice, you have a choice of different methods to use for residential pest control. Whether you opt for mechanical snap, glue boards or multi-catch, weigh their pros and cons to find the solution that’s best for you.

On This Page:

  1. Mechanical Snap Traps
  2. Glue Boards
  3. Multi-Catch Mouse Traps

1. Mechanical Snap Traps

In a snap variety, the mouse is caught when it triggers the trap. You’ll need to place bait on the trap to lure the mice. Peanut butter and soft cheese are the most effective bait for luring mice. Other great options include gumdrops, marshmallows and beef jerky.

Smear a dab of peanut butter about the size of a pea on the trigger to attract a mouse. For safety, be sure to place the bait first before setting up the trap.


  • Most effective way to catch mice in areas where chemicals and poisonous baits are unsafe or undesirable
  • Quickest way to catch a mouse
  • Best for avoiding decomposing odor
  • Reusable
  • Inexpensive and easy to use


  • Risk of getting exposed to germs as you have to open it with your hand to release the dead mouse
  • Might need several
  • Can easily snap your fingers
  • Requires time and monitoring
  • Requires resetting every time a mouse triggers the trap
  • Mouse is likely to escape or suffer if trapped by its foot or tail
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2. Glue Boards

Glue boards are essentially trays coated with a sticky adhesive. Once the mice come in contact with the board, they’re caught and stuck there. They eventually die due to starvation and suffocation.

Once the mice get stuck on the board, you’ll have to dispose of both the mice and the trap. You’ll need several glue boards if you have a large infestation.

Unlike snap traps, glue boards pose little threat of harm to your pets, children or fingers. Your kids or pet can get stuck to the board, but you can gently pull off the board.

These options are available in peanut butter scented options to attract the mice as well as unscented options if you prefer not to have the smell in your home. Some boards come pre-baited, allowing you to set them up right away. Even though glue boards are non-toxic, non-poisonous and cheap, some people believe they are the cruelest option due to the slow death of mice.


  • Inexpensive and effective
  • Non-toxic
  • Easy to use


  • Ineffective in hot or cold weather
  • Dust, water and dirt affect the boards
  • Can adhere to your pet or child
  • Inhumane

3. Multi-Catch Mouse Traps

If you want to catch multiple mice at the same time, multi-catch options may be ideal for you. Also known as “curiosity traps,” they are available in two types: low profile and wind-up.

The low-profile types offer the best method to catch mice in a humane way. They have a trap door, which allows the mice in, but they can’t come out once they’re in the box.

The wind-up varieties have a spring-loaded platform, which flips mice over into a holding cavity once they step on it. The trap often stuns the mice while flipping them over.

Mice are curious rodents, and multiple mouse traps exploit this trait to capture them. Once one mouse enters the trap, others are likely to follow. The difference with them compared to snap and glue options is that the mice don’t die. You have to release them far from your home so they don’t find their way back.


  • Effective mice and rat control without creating a mess
  • Catches several mice at once
  • Humane
  • Available in different options


  • Requires emptying once the mouse is in the trap
  • Requires regular inspection and monitoring
  • Metal varieties prone to rusting
  • Proper placement necessary to capture mice

Final Thoughts

Using mousetraps is the best way to catch a mouse in the house. Choose snap, glue boards or multi-catch, or try all of them. When placed in safe areas, they are great options for controlling mice while posing little to no risk to your pets and kids.

Unlike toxic baits, using traps means you’ll not have to deal with the odor of decomposing mice. The potential drawbacks are that you’ll need to keep monitoring them and dispose of the mice. Whichever you choose, it’s advisable to set up several traps in your home.

If these options don’t work for you, call in a professional mice exterminator near you. They conduct an extensive pest inspection in your area and provide the best way to catch mice in your home.

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