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How To Keep Birds Out Of The Mouse Traps

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Although mouse traps are an effective rodent control solution, some types are not completely humane and can put other non-target animals in danger. The risk for unintentionally harming other wildlife is high when you’re placing traps outdoors where backyard birds and owls can land into them. 

So what can you do to keep birds away from mouse traps? As much as possible, place mouse traps only indoors to avoid birds coming in contact with them. If you want to do outdoor rodent control, make sure to install mouse traps that have a sturdy cover or enclosure system which large birds cannot easily pry open with their beaks. You can also secure snap traps inside metal cages or containers before placing them in the garage where you want to catch mice. 

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

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How To Avoid Birds From Landing On Mouse Traps  

When dealing with a rodent infestation, mouse traps are the first solution that comes to mind. Without a doubt, they’re effective, cheap, and a safer alternative to rodenticides and poison baits when it comes to getting rid of mice and rats. However, using bait traps also has the possibility of attracting birds especially when you use seeds and grains which they also love to eat. 

Traps are best used for capturing mice that are already roaming around your home. But if you’re planning to set up outdoor mouse traps as your defense to prevent them from entering your property, here are a few reminders to ensure that they’re bird-safe and pet-safe: 

1. Install rodent traps at night when some wild birds are not as active 

Mice are most active at night when they come out of their nests and hunt for a food source. On the other hand, with the exception of wild owls, most birds are not nocturnal and they often like to perch in their trees to rest and avoid other predators. 

You can set up mouse traps in the evening since it’s likely that you don’t have any birds flying around in the yard. However, make sure to hide the traps near bushes where the birds will not be able to spot them once they fly during the day. 

2. Avoid using sticky traps and glue boards 

A bird’s safety is most compromised when you use glue traps for mouse control. Although they’re non-toxic, the surface of the glue traps is covered with a strong adhesive that can instantly stick to their bodies and feet. Not only will the birds have a hard time escaping from the trap, but the glue can also harm their eyes, beaks, legs, and wings. Birds stuck on glue traps can get injured or eventually die of exhaustion and dehydration. 

3. Secure traps by placing them inside crates or enclosed containers

Don’t just put mouse traps and baits out in the open around your yard or garden. Doing so will invite non-target wildlife and household pets, and if you’re using poison baits, you may accidentally kill unwanted prey. So to prevent eliminating or catching other animals, place traps inside cages or containers with small entrance holes that mice can easily squeeze into. 

You can also create a makeshift trap bucket by placing traps under overturned boxes. Make sure to leave a small space where the rodents can enter and secure the top of the box with a heavy object so that it won’t get knocked over by the wind. Birds are wary of dark and tight spaces so they are less likely to try to get to the trap. 

4. Place the traps away from bird feeders

If you have bird feeders in the garden, having mice take away the seeds can be a frustrating occurrence. But instead of setting up rat traps close to the feeders and birdcage, place them a couple of feet away on the ground. This way, it’ll be out of sight and reach from the birds and mice can easily come across it when they are on their way to the feeders. It’s also best to install the traps next to walls and baseboards since that’s where rodents like to move along. 

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

Best Mouse Traps To Use That Won’t Harm Birds and Other Wild Animals 

Snap traps and glue boards are two of the most common methods of rodent control. However, they’re not entirely safe for birds, pets, and especially around children. Here are the best types of mouse traps that reduce the risk of endangering other animals:    

Mouse Trap Type What To Know About Them How Do You Use Them 
Live mouse traps A humane, no-kill trap option for getting rid of mice and controlling their population. 
They’re basically plastic or metal containers that are intended to imprison rodents without harming them. 


Setting up live mouse traps is not complicated. You just need to prepare the right food attractant, usually peanut butter, inside the box. 
The door of the trap is connected to a spring so that it will automatically snap close once the rodent comes into contact with it.  
You have to regularly check and monitor your live traps to see if a single mouse has been captured. Afterward, you should take the trap away from your property and release the rodents into the wild. 
Multiple catch and release traps It works similar to the live trap but it features more than one opening to catch multiple mice. 
You can use the wind up style trap, which features a spring-loaded platform that will immediately throw the mice into a chamber once they step on the entrance of the trap 
The other type is the low-profile trap that features a single entryway for the mice. It works because once the rodent has entered the trap, other mice will follow and they won’t be able to escape. 
Multiple mouse trap devices also use the catch and release system for rodent control. 
When handling traps with live rodents, make sure to take caution and wear disposable gloves to avoid exposing yourself to viruses and bacteria. 
Electronic traps A battery-powered rodent control device 
They can be considered bird-safe since it features a closed chamber where the rodents will be contained 
Unlike the live traps, the electric types can instantly kill rodents upon capture 
Electronic mouse traps work by releasing an electric current that shocks the rodents to their death. 
These kinds of traps are reusable but make sure to properly dispose of the dead rodent. You should also clean the metal surfaces of the trap with a damp cloth to erase any residue 

Learn More: Do Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents Hurt Dog Ears?

What To Do If Birds Gets Caught In The Mouse Trap  

When you spot a live or dead bird caught in the trap, be careful not to touch them immediately. Put on a pair of gloves and prepare the supplies that you will need to take them off safely. Some of the things that you need to get ready are a paper towel or damp cloth, cornstarch, cooking oil or baby oil, and a plastic container. Then, you should follow these steps to remove the bird from the trap: 

  • Gently put a towel over the bird’s head to protect them from inhaling the cornstarch powder or oil 
  • If the bird was caught in a glue trap, sprinkle a few amounts of cornstarch powder on the exposed parts so that the bird won’t further stick itself on the surface 
  • Pour a small amount of oil on the areas where the bird is stuck and lightly massage it from the front to the back of their bodies to free them from the trap. You may also use a cotton swab to carefully apply the oil to the bird. 
  • Slowly lift its body to free the bird and quickly take the trap away from the animal. Cover its surface with a paper towel to avoid trapping other animals. 
  • Place the bird in a secure container before transporting them to a vet for medical attention. Make sure to transport them carefully to avoid shock and stress. 
  • If a live bird is caught in the traditional snap trap, contact your nearby pest control company to handle their release. 

How To Discourage Mice From Going Near Bird Feeders Or Bird Cages

Mice are likely to go anywhere near with an abundant supply of food so there’s no wonder that you can sometimes find them nibbling on your bird feeders. Here are some ways you can keep mice and rats from going near bird feeders:

  • Install a squirrel baffle or barrier that can deter mice from climbing up the feeder platform. 
  • Regularly clean and sweep the area to prevent the buildup of spilled seeds or food debris that can attract mice.
  • Use metal bins or plastic covered feeders which are durable enough to withstand the chewing and gnawing of rodents. 
  • Hang the bird feeders on platforms that are at least 8 feet from the ground so they have a hard time reaching them. 
  • Don’t overfill the feeders or bins with seeds to avoid leaving leftover food for the mice. Just out the right amount of bird seeds that can be consumed within a day. 
  • Place all bird seeds and pet food in airtight containers in your storage areas to prevent rodent access.
  • Position the bird feeders away from your garage or windows so as to also avoid mice looking for entry points to your home. 

Get Rid of Rodents and Other Pests with Permakill Exterminating 

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Mice and rats aren’t the only animals that could be roaming around your property. So when you’re planning for rodent control, you have to consider that your tools won’t put other birds in harm’s way. Trust the experts at Permakill Exterminating to come up with safe solutions and treatments to get rid of your mice and pest infestation. 

Permakill Exterminating is a locally-owned and operated company that offers quality pest control services. Our team uses the best techniques and equipment to guarantee a safe and effective removal of rodents from your home. Reach out to us today to schedule a free home inspection with our experts.

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& LIVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
CALL THE LOCAL GUYS - WE WORK AND
LIVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

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