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How Often Should You Change Mice Trap Bait?

Updated on: November 29, 2021

It’s common for many homes to rely on mousetraps to get mice. But the problem is that these traps necessitate the use of bait to capture mice. Bait made from peanut butter is the most effective because of its distinct nutty scent. In addition to chocolate, seeds and nuts, marshmallows and gumdrops, deli meat and fruit jam and soft cheese are also excellent in drawing mice out of their hiding places.

So how often should you change mice trap bait? Bait usually starts to go bad after 3 days, but there are cases when it lasts longer. Changing the bait around twice a week would be ideal. If your mouse traps aren't picking up any mice or you notice the your bait is already forming mold on it, you might want to switch out your current baits for new ones.

Learn More: Are There Any Humane Mouse Trap Substitutes?


Changing Mouse Trap Baits

Make Sure the Baits are Always Fresh

The bait should be kept fresh because mice are drawn to strongly scented fresh food. Replacing it more frequently in hot weather may be necessary compared to changing it less frequently in cooler weather. 

In any case, don’t keep bait out for an extended period of time if there is no activity detected among the mice in your space. Otherwise, the bait will go bad. Check your traps on a daily basis to avoid the bait turning stale. Replace it if it’s been sitting in the trap for more than a few days with no activity from the mice. Changing the bait around twice a week would be ideal.

But this is dependent on the bait you use to entice the mice to come to the trap. For the most part, you should replace the bait anytime it becomes dry or loses its smell.

Because the rodents you’re up against have an extremely keen sense of smell, you should double-check that the bait you’re using is still fresh.  When your bait is fresh and new, the scent becomes stronger.This makes it more likely for you to successfully trap mice. 

For instance, if you’re using peanut butter, it’s recommended that you replace it after the third day because it will become dried out after that. As a result, the frequency with which you need to change the bait in your mousetrap will be determined by the type of bait you employ.

Read More: How Far Should You Space Mouse Traps Apart?

Change The Bait When A Mouse Has Been Caught

It’s also wise to replace the bait after each mouse that is caught with it. It's likely that the mouse nibbled on part of the bait before the trap mechanism was activated, but it's impossible to tell.

Other mice may be able to sense this, and while it is unlikely that they will be deterred, it is ideal if they are supplied with fresh bait on a consistent basis.

It’s also critical that your mouse trap is of high quality. In contrast, no matter how effective your mouse trap is, it will be rendered ineffective if the proper bait is not placed in it to entice the mouse into the trap. It is unlikely that your mouse trap will be as effective as it should be if the bait is not the proper one.

In many instances, the bait that has been placed in the mouse traps has been left unattended. In other instances, they are abducted by the enigmatic perpetrators who vanish into thin air.

Using the Right Bait

Successful fishing is primarily dependent on the usage of the proper bait, and in the case of capturing mice, if you do not use the best bait for the job, you may not capture any mice at all. 

It is true that mice will be drawn to almost any type of food, but when you utilize the best bait, you will catch a significantly greater number of mice. Typically, they are the most effective food baits for attracting those pesky rats.

Peanut Butter

Mice enjoy eating seeds and nuts, which is why the flavor of peanut butter appeals to them, as is the texture of peanut butter. It also has a significant amount of calories and fat, which the mice require when they are living in housing. If you don't have any peanut butter on hand, hazelnut spreads are also a good alternative.

To attract mice, just spread a small bit of your spread bait on the trap, roughly just the size of a pea.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a favorite snack of mice. If there are nuts and seeds around the house, these rodents will take the opportunity to eat them. When it comes to using nuts and seeds to attract mice, bird seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are the best choices.


Although peanut butter is good at attracting mice, most types of cheese are not as effective. When using cheese as bait, it's preferable to make use of soft cheeses rather than cheddar blocks. Some mouse-attracting cheeses include camembert, brie, and blue cheese have powerful aromas that draw them out of hiding.


Chocolate is yet another high-calorie food that mice eat in large quantities. It also has a strong smell, which draws mice out of hiding when they are around. Because there are so many various types of chocolate, it's crucial to figure out which one is the most effective at drawing mice out of their hiding places. Milk chocolate and normal chocolate, according to the majority of homeowners, are effective mouse baits.

Deli Meat

In exchange for a few pieces of deli meat, such as bacon or sausages, mice are willing to put their lives in danger. It makes no difference whether the meats are raw or cooked; the rats will devour any deli meat that is available for consumption. Some homeowners even use the grease from the cooked bacon since the pungent smell deters rodents from entering the house.

However, the biggest disadvantage of utilizing deli meat is that it spoils quickly when left out at room temperature. Ensure that you inspect and replenish your bait on a regular basis if you’re using this type of bait.

Fruit Jam

For the same reasons as peanut butter and hazelnut spread, fruit jam is also efficient at attracting mice. It’s sweet and sticky, just like peanut butter and hazelnut spread. Just make sure you only apply the appropriate amount of jam on the trap's far end, so that the mouse is compelled to activate the device by accident.

The disadvantage of using fruit jams as mousetrap bait is that it attracts other pests such as cockroaches and ants as well as mice and rats. It is necessary to check the mousetrap on a regular basis to ensure that the bait has not been consumed by other pests.

Pet Food

Mice are also drawn to the pet food left in feeding stations of pets. Leftover pet food attracts these opportunistic diners, who take advantage of the high nutritional value and easy availability. Rodents, despite their preference for wet food, can also be found munching on dry pet food that has been left around the house.

Make careful to clean up after your cat if they tend to leave food out after they eat. Mice can be caught by other homeowners taking advantage of this opportunity. Instead of removing the food from the feeder, they set traps nearby.

Gumdrops and Marshmallows

Marshmallows and gumdrops are both inexpensive options that can be used as mouse bait. Because of the high sugar content in them, they are effective at luring mice away. Simply place a piece or two of cheese on the mousetrap and allow it to do its work.

Learn More: Do Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents Hurt Dog Ears?

Tips to Bait Mice

Set Many Traps and Use Small Amounts of Bait

If there is an excessive amount of bait on the trap, the rodent may be able to take some of it without setting off the device. A small amount (about the size of a pea) is sufficient to attract mice and allow them to set off the trap. More traps strategically placed throughout the house will help to ensure that more mice are caught as well.

Have a Variety of Baits and Traps

Mice are highly intelligent creatures. Some of them may be able to detect the appearance of a trap and will make every effort to remove the bait without setting off the trap. If you've been using a snap trap for several weeks without catching a single mouse, you might want to consider upgrading to a live trap.

Mouse traps are only as effective as the bait that’s used in them. If the device hasn't caught a single mouse in many days, it's time to swap out the bait for a fresh batch of bait. Peanut butter and chocolate are the most efficient lures for drawing them out, but nesting materials are also beneficial during the early stages of an infestation.

Place Traps Strategically

It’s common for homeowners to make the error of placing mouse traps in the wrong area of the house. Before determining where to install traps, look about the house for indicators of mouse activity in order to make a more informed decision. In order to catch more mice, place a few traps in these regions. Other suitable spots to place a mousetrap are the backs of cabinets, below stoves, and along the walls of a room.

Use Traps with Sensitive Triggers

Mice are small and lightweight rodents that live in limited spaces. The fact that they may not be able to trigger snap traps indicates that they should experiment with alternative types of traps. Elevated mouse traps are particularly effective in catching smaller and lighter mice due to the increased sensitivity of the sensors used.

Hire Professional Pest Control Like Permakill Exterminating for Your Mice Control Needs

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Whatever type of bait you use, it’s  only effective when you have well-built mouse traps and attractive bait to succeed against the mice you have at home or in your workplace.. If your mice infestations are more severe and serious, it should be handled by pest control specialists like Permakill Exterminating.

Permakill Exterminating not only provides pest control for mice, but also deals with other insect and pest infestations. Our team is committed to providing you with thorough and comprehensive services, leaving you with a  secure and pest-free environment. Call Permakill Exterminating now.


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