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How Far Should You Space Mouse Traps Apart?

Updated on: November 26, 2021

Mice, despite their tiny stature, may be a huge nuisance when they get into cupboards, crawl spaces, garbage cans, and other places around your house. More than just an inconvenience, these rats pose a health risk by dispersing disease and causing property damage. Because of this, the usage of mouse traps to control mouse infestations in homes has grown in popularity. Although these traps are made to be simple to set, many homeowners make the error of not doing it strategically, like not spacing mouse traps apart far enough.

So how far should you space mouse traps apart? It’s best to install one mouse trap every 2 to 3 feet along the wall where you have noticed activity. Set mouse traps in pairs as close as an inch apart, especially in high-traffic areas. This space allows for more chances to effectively get the mice captured and have as many of them to get trapped as possible.

Learn More: Are There Any Humane Mouse Trap Substitutes?


Why You Should Be Spacing Mouse Traps

When it comes to setting out mouse traps, one of the most common mistakes people make is using too few. No matter how many mice you have, 6 traps are not enough. This is because rodents can produce 6 to 7 offspring in a litter every 21 days or so.

So even if you don't know how many there are in your home, it's safe to assume there’s more than one of them there. You'll need more than a few mouse traps to get rid of a rodent infestation. In order to catch mice, it’s best to install one mouse trap every 2 to 3 feet along the wall where you have noticed activity. Set mouse traps in pairs as close as an inch apart in high-traffic areas.

It’s also recommended that homeowners place up to 3 traps for every rodent that they encounter. So, say you have 10 mice running around in your attic, you'll need to set up as many as 30 snap or glue traps in order for them to be effective.

Where You Should Be Placing Your Traps

Equally important is where the traps are placed. Place your traps in areas where mice and rats are known to forage and feed in order to increase your chances of achieving quick success. Rats normally look for food and water within 150 feet of their nests, whereas mice seldom travel more than 25 feet from their nests to get food and water.

Keep an eye out for indicators of activity, such as droppings and nibbling, as well as nesting debris and dispersed food, which can help you estimate where rodents are likely to return. When mice and rats travel around, they tend to keep near to walls and edges, creating runway-like trails along baseboards and shelves.

2 traps behind the stove, 2 traps behind the refrigerator, and 2 traps under the kitchen sink are common household setups. In most cases, mice are caught the first night they are in the house.

It’s also important to remember that the first night you set out mouse traps in your home is the most productive, with more mice being caught than on any subsequent nights. Begin by placing mouse traps everywhere you notice signs of mice activity. Be sure to utilize a variety of mouse traps and at least a few different types of mouse trap bait to make your campaign a rousing success on the first night of its operation.

Do Mice Learn About Traps

mouse playing with electric wire

Mice are inquisitive creatures who are fast to study new things, which includes traps. They'll eventually figure out how to dodge your traps. So even if you believe you've exterminated every mouse in your home because your traps are no longer catching anything, it's possible that the infesting rodents have simply learnt to avoid those traps or those areas.

Mice will always maintain their wary demeanor, even when food is present. Their senses are on high alert when they consume their food. Some mice are able to dodge snap traps that attempt to catch them in the middle of their meal as a result of this. 

When the trap is set, the mouse reacts in a fraction of a second. When combined with the hesitant way a mouse nibbles on food, this elevated state of alertness assists the mouse in avoiding being captured. As a result, you should set out mouse traps in groups rather than individually. If a mouse replies to the one on whom they’re preying, the likelihood that they’ll be caught by another mouse increases.

How A Mice Sense of Smell Helps Them Be Wary of Dangers

Mice have an excellent sense of smell as well. This ability allows them to stay alive in dangerous situations, such as when they are caught in traps. Mice are quite aware of our odors. If they detect our scent on or around a trap, they’ll avoid that trap entirely. It’s for this reason that gloves should be used when putting mouse traps in place.

Mice utilize their sense of smell to detect hazards in a variety of different ways as well. Animals will avoid regions where they may detect the scent of dead mice left in traps because they believe they’ll meet their demise in those situations. That’s why it’s a good idea to remove mice that have been trapped in traps so that their bodies do not decompose.

Read More: Do Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents Hurt Dog Ears?

How to Set Up Traps

Knowing now how mice react to traps and how you should strategically place traps, here are a few more pointers to set up traps effectively that will help you catch those pests scurrying around in your home.

Add Bait

Baits are what attract mice to the trap. The size of the piece is important here. You want to use just enough bait to peak the mouse's interest, but not so much that the creature grabs the bait and runs away with it. A portion the size of a peanut is exactly right. Spread the bait on the trigger pedal or plate of a wooden mouse trap to attract mice. Place it straight into the baitwell of snap traps or press-and-set traps to ensure that it is properly set.

Set the Trap

Mice are excellent snoopers, especially when it comes to investigating something new. As a matter of fact, they will identify and avoid alien objects, such as traps. Introduce a baited-but-unset trap to trick them into thinking they've won. 

Place it next to a wall or in areas where you've observed or suspect mouse activity to maximize its effectiveness. The spacing between traps should be no more than a few inches or a couple of feet apart, but no more than 6 feet apart from the first trap. Keep an eye on the trap to watch whether a mouse (literally) comes in and takes the bait. After a few days, when the mice have become accustomed to the trap, proceed to the following step.

Re-Bait and Reset

Because mice prefer new food, any old bait should be removed and disposed of. Fresh bait should be placed on the trigger plate or in the baitwell in a portion the size of a peanut. Using the spring bar, set a wooden trap and carefully close it with the clasp. 

To set a snap trap, gently press the trap open until it’s fully functional. Using your finger, press down on a spring-loaded tab until you hear the click sound that indicates the trap has been set, then release it. Place the baited but unset trap in the same area as the trap you used previously.

Check Traps

Mice feed at night, so check on the trap first thing in the morning. In the event that you have a mouse, proceed to the next step. If not, let it take a day or 2 more to work its magic. After three days of no mouse activity, re-bait and set up the trap again, this time transferring it to a different spot. 

Mouse activity can be identified by greasy rub marks or droppings, which indicate the presence of a mouse. For those times when you're not sure where to put it, consider dusting it with a little flour, cornstarch, or talcum powder and placing it against the wall. There will be footprints or tail impressions in the powder, indicating the presence of mice in the vicinity.

Dispose and Disinfect

Because mice can transmit diseases that are harmful to humans, it is important to wear gloves when handling any trap or rodent. To dispose of both items simultaneously, pick up the trap and its contents with a gloved hand and a plastic garbage bag, then turn the bag inside out. Close the bag and dump it in the trash can outside. Dispose of or disinfect your gloves, and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after each use.

If you want to reuse a trap, you'll need to empty the contents into a plastic rubbish bag first. Lift the spring bar on a wooden trap to release it; squeeze the trap on a snap trap to release it; and press to open a press-and-set trap to release it. The dead mouse should be placed into the plastic bag, which should then be sealed and thrown into the trash outside when it has been released.

Disinfect the trap with a good disinfectant. After disinfecting a wooden trap, you may wish to pat the wire section of the trap dry to help prevent rusting from occurring. Dispose of or disinfect your gloves, and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after each use.

Best Practices in Setting Mouse Traps


The location of mouse traps is critical to their success. To get a sense of how active the mice are, first look about. Traps should be placed in areas where there is a lot of activity. It's common to see people working in the shadows, behind walls and appliances, and in gloomy corners. It may be possible to cover the entire area with mouse traps that are placed at a certain distance, but this method isn’t guaranteed to catch the mice.

Place mouse traps in areas where the rodents are active, such as in a mouse's home. Place the traps in areas where mice are most likely to cross over them. With the trigger end practically touching the wall, place mouse traps at an angle to the wall. The triggers should be positioned such that mice approaching from either direction can be stopped. The larger the population, the more traps you need.

Use Enough Traps

While baiting mouse traps, some people fail to place enough traps on their first night of baiting or to start big enough and go all out, instead opting to pace themselves with their resources.

In order to get the most out of your first night of baited and armed traps (glue and snap traps, peanut butter and chocolate, and poison baits), you should begin with a wide variety of traps and baits.

Mice are quite intelligent, and if one of their relatives doesn’ return to the nest, they’ll be able to figure out what happened. Mouse trap bait will be less appealing to them if they suspect something's up, so they'll scavenge more cautiously.

Trap Variety

The most important guideline in pest control is to use a variety of tactics and solutions to get the job done. There are many people that make this error. To get the best results, you should use a variety of traps instead of only snap traps.

Because they can only catch one mouse at a time, snap traps are ineffective in dealing with significant infestations. Use glue traps, snap traps and poison bait and repellent if you want long-term results while dealing with an infestation.

Proper Baits

A small amount of bait is all that’s required. It's a good idea to tempt a mouse using a protein-rich bait like peanut butter. It all relies on how much other food is available and what the animals are accustomed to eating, so the success of the lure might vary dramatically. Mice prefer fried bacon, oats, pet food, and chocolate in addition to peanut butter. 

Multiple mice traps with a variety of baits would be ideal if there are a large number of mice in the area. Using food lures that aren't readily available in the area is an excellent tactic. Meat can be used as a persuasion tool in a flour mill, for example.

Read More: How Often Should You Change Mice Trap Bait?

Hire The Pest Control Experts at Permakill Exterminating for Your Mice Control Needs

professional pest control team

When you've gone to great lengths to get rid of rodents and they keep returning, it can feel like a never-ending battle. Our rodent control professionals at Permakill Exterminating can help you avoid having to meticulously cover every square inch of your floor with snap traps.

Permakill Exterminating not only provides pest control for mice, but also has services to eliminate bed bugs, insects, and pests. Our team is committed to providing you with outstanding services in the form of a tranquil, secure, and pest-free environment. Call now for a one-time service or seasonal plans that will leave you with a peace of mind.


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