What Should You Put on a Mousetrap for Bait?

Mice enter buildings and homes in search of food, shelter and warmth. They can enter a crack the size of a standard pencil, so it is difficult to keep them out of many buildings. Once they invade, they can bring many diseases, so you must remove them as soon as possible. Mice reproduce quickly, so set the traps at the first sign of a mouse's presence or you may end up with larger infestation than you expected. If one bait fails to capture the mouse, try something different until you capture your pest.

Apple Slices

Mice, rats and voles carry a host of diseases that can infect humans.

Mice are drawn to the sweet fragrance of apples. Cut the apple slices into small pieces and place only one or two of the pieces directly on or in the trap. You must monitor and replace the apple slices daily. The main drawback of using apples is the speed at which the apples break down. With other types of bait, you can leave the same bait in place a few days if you do not catch the mouse the first day. Apple slices will also attracts flies and ants to the area.

Oats and Seeds

In the wild, mice rely on grains for sustenance. Provide for this need with rolled oats or bird seed. You can sprinkle the loose oats or seed directly on the trap in small quantities, or create a paste to place on the trap. Mix a bit of water with the oats to create an oatmeal paste, and mix peanut butter or spray cheese with the seed to create a paste. The paste stays in place on some traps better than dry ingredients, but it is not necessary.

Peanut Butter and Cheese

Apply peanut butter or spray cheese directly to the trap to lure a mouse into position. If you prefer, you can use a small piece of cheese cut from a block or slice, but spray cheese is easier to apply and remains in place if you must move the trap. Peanut butter has a strong scent that is irresistible to many mice and it can remain on the trap for a few days if necessary.


Mice are also attracted to pet food, so place your pet's food in an air-tight, inaccessible container and place a few pieces on the mouse trap. If the mice are not attracted to food baits because other foods are abundant in the area, try luring them with cotton balls or other nesting materials. Even if the mouse is not hungry, it is always searching for nesting materials.

About the Author

Chasity Goddard has been writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction since 1996. Her work has appeared in "Backspace" magazine, "Sepia Literary Magazine" and the "Plowman Press." Goddard holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a specialization in women's studies from the University of Tennessee.