The Best Mouse Traps of 2022

Stop marauding mice from spreading germs throughout your home with one of these top mouse traps.

By Manasa Reddigari and Bob Beacham | Updated Jun 3, 2022 1:33 PM

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Best Mouse Trap Options for DIY Pest Maintenance

Photo: istockphoto.com

Even animal lovers should take active steps to get rid of mice because they can carry bacteria, which in turn can infect humans. Exposure to mice carries the risk of respiratory disease and salmonella, which can cause diarrhea. Relying on your house cat to control your mouse problem won’t work, and those that do can get fleas, ticks, or other parasites from the rodents.

Commercial mouse traps provide a safe means of removal, but various types are on the market, some more humane and effective than others. Keep reading for a rundown on trap types—and don’t miss our top picks for the best mouse trap options available. Each of the top picks below was selected after an in-depth review of the market and thorough product vetting.

  1. BEST GLUE TRAP: Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap, 36Count, White
  2. BEST ELECTRIC TRAP: Victor No Touch, No See Upgraded Indoor Mouse Trap
  3. BEST SNAP TRAP: Tomcat Press ’N Set Mouse Trap
  4. BEST HIDDEN TRAP: d-CON No View, No Touch Covered Mouse Trap, 2 Traps
  5. BEST CATCH AND RELEASE: Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
  6. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Victor M310GB Tin Cat Mouse Trap with Glue Boards, 2
  7. BEST FOR RATS AND MICE: Rat Zapper RZC001-4 Classic Rat Trap
The Best Mouse Traps Option

Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Mouse Trap

A mouse infestation can crop up suddenly. Combating the problem effectively can be difficult, so employing a pest control expert might be the better solution.

For regular mouse problems, the animal must be dealt with, and some of the realities in catching a live animal may be unpleasant. Obviously, kill traps leave a dead mouse, and even the best humane mouse trap can sometimes stress the animal so much that it doesn’t survive. The latter must be checked at least once a day, and some animal charities recommend twice that, or the mouse can starve.

If kids are in the house, users also must determine how much education they should receive on the subject. Again, a pest control professional might provide a more discreet answer.

Types of Mouse Traps

At the local home improvement store or hardware store, four main types of mouse traps, each with a different mechanism and cost, are available.

Kill Traps

Kill trapsexterminate mice at the time of capture, eliminating the need to manually release a live mouse. Today’s humane kill traps strike so swiftly that a trapped mouse generally won’t suffer long.

  • Snap traps are the classic mouse traps that most people recognize. They feature a metal or plastic base and either a spring-loaded metal bar or serrated teeth that come down on the neck of the mouse when it takes the bait. While they’re among the least expensive, they kill more slowly, and if not set properly, they can injure the mouse, prolonging its pain.
  • Electric traps send a surge of electric current through the mouse when it makes contact with electrodes. The high kill rate and swift speed at which a battery-operated trap electrocutes mice ranks them as the most humane mouse trap. The technology that goes into making these plastic-and-metal traps also makes them the most expensive. Because they’re reusable, they may prove a worthwhile investment for significant rodent problems.

No-Kill Traps

No-kill traps capture live mice, allowing the option of releasing them outside. To be truly humane, the onus is on the user to regularly check the trap and release the mouse; if left too long, it will die inside the trap from starvation, stress, or injury. The mouse also must be handled physically upon its release, and it can return if not taken far away enough from the house.

  • Glue mouse traps immobilize mice when they scurry over their glue-covered cardboard or fiberboard surfaces. The cheapest of all traps, these products don’t technically kill mice but are considered the least humane, since they can tear the creature’s fur. Plus, the release process is messy and unappealing, requiring the user to glove up and manually free the mouse from the glue with vegetable oil.
  • Catch-and-release mouse traps are usually reusable metal or plastic traps with a lid or door that closes as soon as a mouse steps inside, without killing or injuring it. Single traps ensnare one mouse and suit a small rodent problem, while products designed for multiple rodents can catch up to 30 mice. While catch-and-release traps are the most humane, they’re on the pricey side. Moreover, they must be monitored regularly and emptied.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mouse Traps

There are additional features to consider when choosing the best mouse trap for your purposes. Traps are available that use a certain type of bait or allow visibility of the captured rodent. Also consider the trap’s safety features, especially if using it around kids or pets.

Open vs. Closed

Shoppers also must choose between an open or a closed trap.

  • Open mouse traps provide a view of the quarry, making them easy to monitor for mice and dispose of or release the rodent in a timely manner. Wearing gloves is recommended when picking up any type of mouse trap, and it’s imperative with an open trap.
  • Closed mouse traps have walls or shells that fully or partially hide a captured or dead mouse from view. Closed traps with opaque lids or doors keep mice completely out of sight, while those with clear or tinted lids or doors provide some visibility into the trap to monitor for mice.

Bait Type

One of the most important aspects of baiting a mouse trap is often overlooked: human contact. Touching the bait or the trap means that the mouse can detect human scent, so always wear gloves throughout the procedure. Professionals recommend the following types of bait:

  • Peanut or hazelnut butter. Mice typically eat seeds and nuts, so these two are best bait for mouse traps.
  • Gumdrops or marshmallows. Mice have a sweet tooth. Pieces the size of a garden pea are sufficient.
  • Soft cheese. The cartoon image of mice eating hard cheese is misleading, though they might go for soft cheese.

Safety

In any trap, a trapped mouse may well defecate or urinate, so handle the trap with gloved hands after capture as well as before. Additionally, a live mouse might bite, and while the wound itself may not be serious, it carries a high risk of infection.

Mouse poisons serve as an alternative to traps or to use in conjunction with them. These present their own challenges, which we explain in our useful guide. Most mouse poisons are what are called “broad spectrum” toxins, meaning they also can be harmful to pets and people. They must be handled with great care.

Our Top Picks

Let’s look at some high-quality examples. The following are what we consider to be the best mouse trap of each type currently available.

Best Glue Trap

The Best Scorpion Killer Option: Catchmaster 72MAX Pest Trap
Photo: amazon.com

Catchmaster’s 72MAX pest traps come in a pack of 36, and in spite of their low cost, the traps are effective when placed correctly. The peanut butter–scented adhesive is attractive to rodents. To maximize success, the manufacturer recommends placing the traps in pairs. They can be laid flat or folded over to fit in tight spaces. They also can trap mosquitoes and other insects.

While some may think that glue traps are humane, these traps from Catchmaster have a very strong adhesive with no realistic chance of release. Although nontoxic, the glue strength is also the reason they are not recommended for use around pets or children.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 36 traps

Pros

  • Peanut butter–scented glue
  • Trap lasts up to a year (indoors)
  • Indoor and outdoor use

Cons

  • Not for use near kids or pets
  • Little chance of freeing trapped rodent

Get the Catchmaster mouse trap on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best Electric Trap

Victor No Touch, No See Upgraded Indoor Mouse Trap
Photo: amazon.com

The Victor electronic mouse trap is initially more expensive than many solutions, but it has an effective design with several user-friendly features. Each unit is capable of killing up to 100 mice per set of four AA batteries, so in the long term, it’s also cost-effective. A red light indicates when to change or charge the batteries.

Advanced circuitry identifies when a mouse enters the trap and delivers a lethal high-voltage shock. As this is a “no-see” electric mouse trap, a green light indicates when a kill has been made. The trap can then be opened and the body disposed of without touching the dead rodent, and the trap can be reused.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: Up to 100 mice
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Rapid, lethal charge
  • Easy setup
  • No need to touch dead mouse

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Not for outdoor use

Get the Victor mouse trap on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Best Snap Trap

Tomcat Press ’N Set Mouse Trap
Photo: amazon.com

This pack of two reusable traps has two rows of plastic teeth that clamp down on mice that nibble the bait in the well of the device. The Tomcat Press ’N Set is easy to use, with a trap-set bar that pulls down and clicks to signal when it’s ready.

Each of these classic mouse traps contains a built-in grab tab for easy disposal and no contact with the mouse. Tomcat backs the devices by a guarantee, which means that if the trap is ineffective, purchasers can get their money back.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No; kill may not be instant
  • Capacity: 1 mouse, but multiple uses
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Quick and easy to set
  • One-touch release
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not for use near children or pets
  • Corpse can be messy

Get the Tomcat mouse trap on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Best Hidden Trap

d-CON No View, No Touch Covered Mouse Trap, 2 Traps
Photo: amazon.com

The d-CON brand has been helping consumers deal with pest-control problems for more than 60 years. These mouse traps are simple to use: Just lift the tab, insert bait, twist to set, and place where needed. They are safe for use around children and pets.

When a mouse enters, the concealed mechanism breaks its neck instantly. A red indicator then advises “mouse caught.” The rodent body is sealed within the trap, so there’s no chance of contact. Simply dispose of the entire trap. The d-CON hidden mouse traps cost more than some alternatives, but few offer more all-round ease and convenience.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: 1 mouse
  • Included: 16 traps

Pros

  • Just add bait
  • Clean and convenient
  • Child and pet safe

Cons

  • Not the cheapest solution
  • Indoor use only

Get the d-CON mouse trap on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Best Catch and Release

Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
Photo: amazon.com

This plastic mouse “motel” features a spring-loaded trap door that shuts after a mouse touches the bait. Ventilation holes give the rodent fresh air until it’s released. Each set includes two traps that are easy to set: Place bait in the compartment and open the spring door. The mice are caught alive and unharmed, after which they can be released into a secluded area.

Product Specs

  • Type: No kill
  • Humane: Yes
  • Capacity: 1, but multiuse
  • Included: 2 traps

Pros

  • Easy to see when rodents are caught
  • No-touch release
  • Safe around children and pets

Cons

  • Mice may damage traps
  • Occasional mouse injury or death possible

Get the Catcha mouse trap on Amazon.

Best Large Capacity

Victor M310GB Tin Cat Mouse Trap with Glue Boards, 2
Photo: amazon.com

With a capacity of up to 30, this Victor mouse trap is the ideal solution for heavy mouse infestations. Made of strong, rust-resistant galvanized steel, it can withstand harsh environments. Despite its size, the trap is easy to use: Just lift the lid, add bait, and position. Glue boards are included, and they provide extra security for captives, though these are more likely to lead to injury or death.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill and no kill
  • Humane: Depends on use of glue boards
  • Capacity: Up to 30 each time
  • Included: 1 trap

Pros

  • High rodent capacity
  • Well-made and durable
  • Use inside or out

Cons

  • Must be checked regularly
  • No indicator

Get the Victor mouse trap on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Best for Rats and Mice

Rat Zapper RZC001-4 Classic Rat Trap
Photo: amazon.com

A standard electronic mouse trap delivers a quick, high-voltage shock that’s sufficient to kill mice. However, rats are not only bigger and stronger, but they can survive modest voltages by restarting the heart. To combat this ability and ensure a high kill rate, the Rat Zapper device delivers a continuous current for 2 minutes.

Setup is straightforward. Just fit batteries, add bait, and turn on the switch. A red LED shows the unit is working and flashes after the trap catches a rat or mouse. The required four AA batteries can last for up to 20 kills. While the Rat Zapper is not a budget solution, it’s an effective answer to a rat’s natural resilience.

Product Specs

  • Type: Kill
  • Humane: No
  • Capacity: Up to 20 rats
  • Included: 1 trap

Pros

  • Lethal 2-minute shock
  • No-touch disposal
  • Blinking light identifies catch

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Comparatively expensive

Get the Rat Zapper mouse trap on Amazon and at The Home Depot.

Our Verdict

The Catchmaster 72MAX glue trap is the most effective mouse trap for the money, but the power of the adhesive means it’s not as humane as some. To catch and release mice, the Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap is ideal for indoor use. We recommend the Harris Catch and Release trap for outside use.

How We Chose the Best Mouse Traps

In farming, mouse traps are in everyday use. Since humane versions are seldom considered in this environment, additional research was necessary. We looked at both traditional and modern solutions to produce a balanced review.

The effectiveness of these devices can vary depending on location and conditions. Professional pest controllers frequently use more than one method. It was therefore important to select as wide a variety as possible to give shoppers the maximum information and the best possible chances for success.

Value for money is always a key issue, and fortunately, most mouse traps are inexpensive. While we focused on budget solutions, we also looked at models at a full range of prices.

FAQs 

The information here should have provided valuable information about the different kinds of mouse traps and how they work. However, during our research, a number of questions fell outside that scope, so we answer those here.

Q: Are mice good for the environment?

In the wild, they do little harm, and they serve as an important food source for birds of prey, coyotes, and other predators. Indoors, they can pose a health hazard and damage property.

Q: How can I mouse-proof my house?

It can be challenging. Keep food sources sealed, particularly pet food and birdseed. Place bird feeders away from the house, because seed will fall to the ground and attract mice. Don’t stack firewood or building materials against the house, since it provides shelter. Check for potential entry points and block them when feasible.

Q: What kinds of mouse traps do professionals use?

A number of factors influence their choice, but they frequently use a combination of traps and poison to cover all eventualities.

Q: How effective are glue traps for mice?

They can be very effective. When used singly, it’s easier for mice to avoid a trap, so they work better when used in pairs. They also need to be changed regularly as dirt and dust can reduce adhesion.

Q: How do you set a mouse trap?

Always read the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the trap anywhere you find droppings or see mouse activity. They usually follow regular paths.

Q: Where is the best place to release a house mouse?

Pest control experts recommend releasing a mouse at least 2 miles away, though always check local rules. Some areas require captured mice to be euthanized or released in the immediate area, though this can lead to their return.

Q: How do you know when all the mice are gone?

The two common indicators of the presence of mice are droppings and an ammonia-like smell from their urine, so look for their absence. However, the smell may persist after the mice have been eradicated. Cleaning with an odor neutralizer usually helps.