Mouse & Rat Bait: Best Food Baits for Catching Rodents Quickly

Mice Control

Over the years, the traditional mouse and rat traps have served homeowners well when it comes to catching small rodents scurrying around the house. As curious creatures, mice are attracted to most types of food baits you lay on the traps but some may work better than others. In this article, we provide recommendations on the best food baits to use for catching rodents quickly.

The Best Baits for Mouse and Rat Traps

In no particular order, here are the food items we suggest you try laying on the traps to catch the mice or rat as quickly as possible. Note that it isn’t just the bait that’s important for the success of the mouse trap. Where you place the trap is also important as well.

Peanut Butter

Mice are natural seed eaters so food items like peanut butter work well as bait. Inside the house, mice are particularly attracted to fatty and high-calorie foods. You can also use other types of nut spreads as an alternative like hazelnut spread or even Nutella. One mistake people make when using peanut butter is to dab a huge amount on the trap trigger. Actually, you only need to place a tiny amount (about the size of a pea) for the trap to be effective.


Most species of house mice will be enticed by a small piece of chocolate. You can try both regular chocolate and milk chocolate and see what works better.

Bird Seed

You can try using bird seed on its own or mix it into the peanut butter for a super-attractive bait for catching mice and rats. Homeowners with a bird feeder may already know how much rodents like squirrels and mice love stealing bird seeds from the feeder.

Fruit Jam

Another sweet and affordable food item you can use as mice or rat bait is fruit jam. Dab a small amount of jam on the far side of the trap lever. This will force the curious mice to push the lever up and set the trap off. Like some of the other baits, one downside of using jam is that it may attract other unwanted household pests like roaches and ants.

Pet Food

You have already won a big part of your battle against rodents if you have a cat or dog at home, but if the mice are still scurrying around like the pets are no big deal then you could try using wet pet food as bait for mouse traps.

Nesting Material

Sometimes, it’s not just food that works well as bait. During nesting season, mice may also be attracted to household items that they can be used to build their nests. This could include old newspaper, yarn, and other fabric materials.


Cheese is depicted as a popular meal for rodents in our favorite cartoons and shows but that isn’t necessarily the case in real life. As we mentioned earlier, mice are primarily nut eaters so while they might be attracted to cheese, it probably won’t be as effective as trying other food items you come across in the household.

Cheese also doesn’t always work well because the mice can easily take it away from the trap without setting the trigger.

Immediate Mouse and Rat Catching Solutions

If you are looking for an immediate mice and rat eliminating solution that requires little preparation then consider getting the Pestrax electric rodent trap. This trap is non-toxic and mess-free as it uses electricity to shock and eliminate the mice.

Other Tips for Using Mice Traps

One important tip when using any of the above baits is to wear a glove when placing them on the trap trigger. The trap loses its effectiveness if the bait has the slightest of human scent. Rodents like mice and rats already view as major predators so they will feel less inclined to explore the trap area if they can smell our scent.

Also, if you have seen one mouse in the house then there’s a likelihood that there are more hidden ones. This makes it important that you place more than one trap around the house. We suggest placing them along the wall for better success. Mice aren’t likely to wander into open space as that leaves them way too prone to predators.

Are Mice and Rats Smart Enough to Avoid Traps?

You have already placed multiple traps around the house but you have found situations where the mouse has taken the bait without triggering the trap. This isn’t necessarily because the mice are smart enough to avoid the traps. They may have escaped for other reasons.

For example, they may have realized the trap is surrounded with human scent so the bait poses more of a risk than an opportunity. The bait may also have been too light or positioned in an area that allowed the mice to avoid the trigger. In any case, this stresses the importance of experimenting. It’s more normal than you think to not trap any mice on your first try.

Also, if you are using the type of traps that kills the mice then it’s important to dispose the dead mice as quickly as possible. Other mice in the house may become less attracted to the food bait on the trap if they already become aware of other previous mice that got killed.

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