Are you not having any luck using your mouse traps? Try these top tips!
1) Not Using Gloves
Mice have a highly sensitive sense of smell. 1% of their DNA is dedicated to their olfactory receptors and they have around ten million olfactory sensory neurons. Mice also have a second ‘nose’ located in their nasal cavity – it is called a vomeronasal organ and it’s used to smell pheromones!
When you handle a trap with your bare hands, it leaves a faint smell of ‘human’ which can stop mice from approaching it. Wearing a pair of plastic or rubber gloves will stop your scent from being left on the trap.
Make sure you also wear your gloves when you dispose of any rodents that get caught in your traps to protect yourself from any disease that they might be carrying.
2) Choosing the Wrong Bait
Did you know that mice are able to sniff out high-calorie, high-fat foods? A study on how eating a high-fat diet affects mice showed that they eat high-fat foods when they are not normally hungry so picking the right foods can tempt your pests even when they’re not peckish!
Forget Tom and Jerry! Some rodents might have developed a taste for cheese, but rats and mice mostly eat nuts and seeds. Try using a highly attractive nut butter like peanut butter or hazelnut butter on the bait point. Don’t double-dip into your jar if it’s a jar that you eat from! You don’t want to contaminate your family’s food – either use a separate jar or use a clean spoon every time!
Make sure you don’t use too much of your chosen bait. A pea-sized amount is perfect – it will attract the rodents but not enough to eat the bait without springing the trap.
When the temperature falls, mice begin to build comfier, cozier nests to keep them warm throughout the wintertime. It might be worth using nesting materials, such as cotton balls, string, or scraps of fabric to entice them. Wrap the nesting materials around the bait holder so that they have to pull at the material to get it free.
3) Putting The Traps In The Right Place
Rodents are naturally hesitant creatures. It’s an evolutionary trait that has kept them safe from predators. As rodents are nervous, they have a fear of open spaces and tend to stay around the outside of the rooms and buildings.
Place traps along the walls, with the bait holder pointing towards the wall. This will ensure that the mice explore them instead of just walking around them. Try putting the traps in hidden areas, like behind feed bins or around machinery to target where they naturally congregate. If you still aren't having much luck, try putting two traps around 6 inches apart - this will catch any mice that try jumping over the traps!
4) Expecting Instant Results
When you first put the traps down, leave them for a few days so that the mice can get used to them being in their environment. Once you can left them for a few days, bait the traps but don’t set them. Not only will it encourage the rats to take the baits, but it will also let you know if your traps are in the right place.
5) Going Too Slowly
It can be so tempting to just start off with just one trap and to ‘see how it goes’ or to try and save money by only putting down a few traps.
This slow approach can cause bait shyness which is when the pest learns to avoid the traps. For 2 mice, it’s recommended that you use at least 6 traps.
Once the rodents are confidently taking the bait (Tip 4), you should set all of the traps on the same night for maximum effect. This will have the maximum effect on controlling your rodent population.
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