What to Use for Mouse Bait The Factors to Consider

What to Use for Mouse Bait: The Factors to Consider

If you’ve decided to buy a mousetrap to help tackle a rodent infestation, then the next decision you must make is what to use for mouse bait. There really is a wide range of options out there, especially since many experts have different opinions on what makes the best bait.

Instead of simply mirroring the discussions out there, we thought we would try something different. 

As such, we’re going to look at the various factors that go into deciding just what it a great bait, as well as provide a few examples. In that way, we hope that you will have the knowledge you need for you to decide what is the best bait for your mousetrap.

Choosing What to Use for Mouse Bait

Factors in Choosing What to Use for Mouse Bait


Possibly amongst the most critical factors when considering foodstuffs suitable for bait is the smell. The mouse, after all, is relying on its sense of smell to find food. If mice have taken up residence in your property, then they have already found a food source of some kind.

Hence, whatever food you are putting down as bait needs to compete and defeat whatever food source the mouse is already used to eating in your home. After all, if you can’t get that mouse into the trap, then you won’t be catching it.

Here are some examples of baits with a good smell profile:

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  • Cheese: Yep, it’s not just in cartoons that cheese makes excellent bait for mousetraps. It also has a great aroma that can overcome other food items, drawing that mouse into your trap.
  • Peanut Butter: Mice love peanut butter, and part of the attraction is definitely the smell. Again, just like cheese, it has a powerful and rich smell that that can overpower whatever drew the mouse to your property.
  • Dog Food: This product is designed to appeal to dogs, but it also appeals to mice because it has a very strong smell. It’s so strong that you should really only put down a minimal amount as bait.
Cheese makes excellent bait for mousetraps


Lifespan is also a significant factor. By lifespan we mean the amount of time that the bait can be left in the trap before it starts to smell bad or loses its ability to attract the mice to the trap. A long lifespan is useful for you as it prevents you from re-stocking the trap with fresh bait regularly.

Baits with a good lifespan include:

  • Seeds: Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are very appealing to mice as they mimic their natural diet. What is better is that they have a very long lifespan. In fact, they can sit there for days without needing to be changed, though you shouldn’t leave them forever, as even a mouse isn’t going to go crazy about stale seeds.
  • Peanut Butter: This classic sandwich spread has a pretty long lifespan, and it’s very sticky, which means that if a mouse does go for the bait, it can’t grab it and run off. One small part of butter can surely last quite a long time.
  • Sugar: Sugar in any form is food that makes for great long-lasting bait. Sugar cubes, for example, are really good as they both have a pleasant, sweet aroma and can also last for a considerable time without going stale. Sugar cereal can be a good bait too, and is easy to measure out; usually, just a couple of frosted flakes will be enough to bait a trap. Candy is also an excellent option for sweet bait with a long life.


The final consideration is price because frankly, you don’t want to be laying out a gourmet meal for your unwelcome guests! Also, fresh food is often not the best bait as it goes off faster, while cheaper, more processed food usually contains preservatives that keep it fresher for longer.

Some good, cheap food items include:

  • Bird Seed: Take a look above at the entry for seeds to see why they are a good choice. The added advantage of going for birdseed is to keep the overall price down. As a foodstuff that is not designed for humans, it is not subject to the same high standards, meaning you get a lot more for your buck; in fact, you can buy a huge bag from the pet store for a few dollars.
  • Peanut Butter: It’s back again! Peanut butter is affordable, and any large store will have a range of brands available, including some generic brands that will give you a considerable amount of product for a small amount of money.
  • Dog or Cat Food: Yeah, we’ve seen it already, but it’s also a good value option too. When you’re feeding your pet, just take a little extra and top up the mousetrap at the same time.


There we have it! The main factors that you should be considering when picking your mousetrap bait. By the way, did you happen to notice that peanut butter showed up in every section? Trust us; we’re not on commission from the peanut butter board, it just makes a very appealing mousetrap bait.

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