If there are pesky rodents sneaking around the house, garage, or shed and you've decided to use a traditional wooden snap trap as your trap of choice, be sure that you have what it takes to catch them. Today, we are going to go through the basics of how to set a mousetrap. Getting ridding of mice does not have to be overly complicated or dangerous to you. Follow these essentials for success in mouse trapping with a snap trap.
What Does an Effective Mouse Trap Do?
When you go to the hardware, grocery, or home improvement store to make a selection of mouse traps, you have to know what will work. Not every mouse trap is built the same. Results will vary, so choose wisely.
There are a few things that you should expect out of a mouse trap for your money. Primarily, an effective mouse trap will do three things:
This first two points flow into one another. Your personal safety is critical. Though snap traps are not geared to do serious damage to adults, these can injure you and cause pain. If your selection is a good one, it will bait safely. This means the securing arm will hold the snap wire in place without slipping off too easily. If it is too “hair triggered” it can snap you while you are preparing to place the snap trap.
You'll know you've found a good mouse trap if the bait stays on the trigger without throwing the trap or getting “stolen” by the mouse. This means your snap trap has an appropriately tensioned spring trigger and a securely fitting lock bar that fixes on the hook of the trigger. Besides being a safety issue, this can be the difference in effectively catching the mouse or just providing it with a free meal. If the trap will not go off when needed, the mouse escapes. If it goes off before the pest arrives, again, you've furnished a harmless meal for the mouse.
Another important aspect is a quick kill. When determining how to set a mousetrap, lethality has to be at the top of your list of requirements for your trap. Even though mice are vermin that can spread disease and destroy wiring and insulation, causing mice pain is not the mark of a good trap.
Besides the obvious (minimizing the mouse's suffering) it is also important to get an instant kill for another reason. If the trap delivers a blow that is not immediately lethal, the mouse could hide in your furnishing, storage, or wall and die. The smell will be horrible as the mouse's corpse decays.
What You'll Need to Trap Mice
In order to trap mice, you'll need only a few basic things.
The first element is a common sense element: time. It may seem frustrating, but mice run on their own timetable. They eat when they want and sometimes go for days without eating.
It could be that they have found another source of food. Sometimes, the trap just doesn't go off and you come back to an empty trigger. Maybe they don't like the particular bait you're using (more on this later.) Don't lose hope if you don't get them on the first, second, or third try. Wait them out and let time take its course.
Patience comes to play both with the wait mentioned above and when setting the mousetrap. When considering how to set a mousetrap, patience will be a number one ally. If you rush the process, it could mean pain to you or failure in your goal. Take your time and get it right.
You will obviously need a trap. Picking the right one is critical to success, as mentioned. Get the right trap and then go on to the final step in the process.
Bait will draw the mouse in. There are many suggestions on what is best to draw mice. Peanut butter, cheese, and bacon are our top three recommendations, though many people also swear by bird seed. If you fail with one, switch to the other until you achieve success.
How To Set a Mousetrap Properly
Prepare the Trap
To begin with, remove the trap from the plastic packaging. This first step is required to get your mousetrap open and ready to be baited. Many traps are sold in a plastic sleeve. Tear away this plastic to expose the trap.
Most mousetraps come with the snap wire secured down to the wooden trap body. This is often a staple that you'll need to take off. To remove this, use a screwdriver, pliers, or some other force multiplier as this is too strong for your fingers.
Bait the Trap
Now that your snap wire is free, you are able to bait the trigger. Spread or teether on your bait. Place your bait on the end of the trigger that is farthest away from the mouse trap's spring. Put on enough to make the mouse have to manipulate the trigger to get it all, but be sure that you don't put on so much that it will trigger the snap wire automatically. It may take a few tests to get this right.
Prime the Trap
You are ready to pull back the snap wire. Pull this back and squeeze it tightly as you prepare for the next step. Be sure that you set the lock bar onto the top of your trap's snap wire.
Next, set the lock bar under the hook on the trigger. This can take some practice in order to best find the fit. When you get this set into the trigger's hook, slowly release your grip on the snap wire so the tension will hold the lock bar onto the hook of the trigger. As the snap wire presses upward on the lock bar the trigger will be suspended off the wooden body of the trap. The mousetrap will now be in the “set” position.
By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
- Edmund Burke
Place the Trap
Finally, you must place the mousetrap. The last step may have felt like the most nerve wracking, and now that it's over you feel relieved. But your job is not over. Carefully set the trap in position. Don't rush this step or you'll be back at step two. If there's too much impact with the ground or if the trigger is accidentally touched, it will trigger the trap to snap.
Important Points for Fine Tuning
Please note when you are learning how to set a mousetrap that you may need to trigger your trap and change baits if your mouse won't eat what is currently baited on your trigger. From there you'll need to start again from step two.
Regarding the final step from above on the placement of the mousetrap, we would offer three important points.
When determining placement, we suggest that you place the trap on the floor along a wall. Be sure that your snapping action will go toward the wall. Mice naturally prefer the security of traveling along walls, so this will put the trap along their natural pathway.
Children and Pets
With that said, however, keep in mind small children and pets. If these are present in the home, choose a secluded place that can't be reached by either a child or a pet. Put the trap behind an appliance or another out of the way area.
If you find that the mouse won't visit your selected location, it may mean you have to move your trap. Don't become too impulsive and move it every few hours or every day. Give the mouse time to find the food.
The mousetrap is a very simple machine. At the same time, it is not necessarily self explanatory. Trying to understand how to set a mousetrap can feel intimidating, but if you familiarize yourself with the parts of the trap and practice just a bit, you can succeed without issue.
Regardless, you might find yourself failing the first few times out. About 99% of how to set a mousetrap comes down to patiently working with the device and bait until you get it right. There are no real short cuts to trapping mice. You just need to test the steps and alternate your bait until your mouse likes what's on the menu. It could mean a few minutes or a few weeks. Keep trying until you get your unwanted house guest.