Mousetrap 101 What to Put on a Mousetrap for Bait

Mousetrap 101: What to Put on a Mousetrap for Bait

If you are looking to catch a mouse, then one of the keys to doing this quickly and effectively lies in your bait selection. There are some other considerations too that have a big impact on outcomes such as the type of trap you select and where you place it.

Broadly speaking though, it is the bait selection that has the greatest contribution that is why we will be taking a look at what to put on a mousetrap for bait. We’ll also give an idea why they are great choices.

What to Put on a Mousetrap for Bait

Below are eight of the most popular bait options that have been used by people for a long time.


If you picture a mousetrap in your mind, then we bet you it is baited with a piece of cheese, right? Well, it can also be an effective kind of bait in the real world because it is a fermented product and has a long shelf life even at room temperature. It also has a pleasant aroma that can help attract mice and other rodents into the trap.

Preserved Meat

Never use fresh meat because it will rot too quickly, and start to smell so bad that even a mouse won’t be interested in it. Instead, keep an eye out for things like preserved meat like Bologna and luncheon meat. Since these products are both already cooked and contain a lot of preservatives, they can survive at room temperature for quite a while before they need to be replaced.

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What to Put on a Mousetrap for Bait


Sausage meat has all the pros of preserved meat that we mentioned above but with one extra advantage. Cook the sausage before you place it in the trap (needless to say, let it get cold first), and it has a stronger aroma than regular deli meat. What we are really looking for, in case it’s not yet obvious, is bait with a pleasant strong smell to lure the mouse in and a cooked sausage definitely brings that.


This is a prevalent bait food and, when you look at its pros, it’s pretty easy to understand why. For one, it has a very strong smell that is going to attract mice. It also has a very sweet aroma, and sweet scents are very attractive to mammals (like mice) as they are instinctively recognized as high-calorie food. They also have an excellent long shelf life and can happily sit in the trap for extended periods until they need to be replaced.


Another food with a very long shelf life is seed. If you are searching for a mouse bait that doesn’t need to be checked or replaced regularly, this could be a winner for you.

They are perhaps not going to have quite the smell that food items like cheese or sausage bring to the table, but they are more in line with the mouse’s natural diet. This means that when they do smell the seeds, they are incredibly enticing. Good seeds to use are pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Commercially Available Mouse Food

Commercially Available Mouse Food

Don’t forget that many people actually keep mice as pets. If you go to a good pet store, you should be able to find a range of mouse food for sale and much of which will usually be in the form of pellets. Since they are formulated to be part of a mouse’s diet, they are going to have a decent aroma that mice should find appealing.

If the mice have been living around humans for a while though, they may be used to eating scraps of human food. In that case, simple mouse food may not have the same appeal as something like cheese or sausage.

Sugar Cubes

Another bait that is both long-lasting and attractive to mice is sugar cube. If you place a sugar cube into or onto your trap, the chances are, you’re only going to need to replace it once the trap has been activated.

If the trap lies unused for a prolonged period, it can be a good idea to (carefully!) pick the cube up and rub off any dust. Also, consider crumbling the cube slightly between your fingers. This will break down some of the sugar granules on the surface, helping the cube to spread its aroma a little further.

Peanut Butter

Another classic, and probably the bait we recommend above any others is peanut butter. For one thing, it drives mice wild! It also has a lot of other pro points that help explain just why it is so popular.

First, it has a great odor, which mice can smell from quite a distance. Second, it’s also nice and sticky, which means the mouse can’t just grab the bait and run away; they need to stick around that bit longer to eat the peanut butter, giving the trap a little bit more time to activate correctly.

It’s also very long lasting, so once you’ve placed it, you won’t have to worry about replacing it for a while. Finally, it’s very cost-effective. In fact, a jar can set you back maybe a dollar or so, while still providing you enough bait to supply hundreds of traps for a prolonged period.


When it comes to deciding what to put on a mousetrap for bait, you must always go the traditional way since its effectiveness has been proven. Just remember, choose those that smell great and won't get stale easily.

2 Replies to “Mousetrap 101: What to Put on a Mousetrap for Bait”

  1. Hey, I’m a long time fan and reader of your blog, first time commenter. Just wanted to say this post really hit home with the stuff I’ve been looking into. Thanks!

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