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What are the Different Types of Mouse Traps?

Niki Acker
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you have a mouse in your house, you have two major options for trapping it. Mouse traps can be classified as kill traps or live traps. The most common of all mouse traps, a snap trap, may be familiar to you from movies or Tom and Jerry cartoons. This trap consists of a wooden board with a spring loaded metal bar or toothed trap. After baiting the trap with cheese or another tempting food, you set the trap to respond to the mouse's movement. When a mouse tries to eat the bait, the trap is released and captures the mouse.

Another type of kill trap is the glue trap, or glue board. These mouse traps are similar in concept to a fly strip. Edible bait can be placed onto the trap to lure the mouse. When the mouse steps onto the sticky surface of the glue trap, it becomes permanently stuck.

A third type of kill trap is an electronic trap, which uses battery power to electrocute rodents. This trap looks like a large box. Food bait is placed near the rear of the trap. The electronic trap can sense when a mouse enters and immediately administers a lethal electric shock. A light on the outside of the box will let you know if any rodents have been caught. Electronic mouse traps can be emptied and used again.

If you prefer a more humane approach to your mouse problem, you can opt for a live trap. Live mouse traps can sometimes malfunction and kill the mouse if they are wound too tight, but the mouse survives a great majority of the time. If you use a live trap, you can later release the mouse outside.

Live mouse traps are all variations of a box which allows the mouse to enter but prevents it from escaping. Like the kill traps, live mouse traps are most effective with the use of bait. Some live traps accommodate only a single mouse, while some can trap up to thirty mice before needing to be emptied. Live mouse traps can also be used repeatedly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By anon33907 — On Jun 14, 2009

Mouse traps are also effective at trapping hamsters.

By soccerd890 — On Jan 15, 2008

What are the different brand names in the mouse trap industry?

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of...
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