Should I Change the Location of Mouse Traps Periodically?

Mousetraps are often a homeowner’s first choice when it comes to eliminating mice infestations. While they’re highly effective, many homeowners fail to catch mice in the first few days because of careless mistakes – like leaving the mouse traps in the same places for too long.

So should homeowners relocate their mouse traps periodically? Yes they should, because house mice are adaptive creatures that use their keen senses to detect dangers around them. They eventually learn to avoid the mouse trap if it’s left in the same place for too long. Some of them might even move into the other rooms in the house to avoid getting caught. 

Learn More: Could Mouse Bait Traps Draw Mice to Your House?

Why Should You Relocate Mouse Traps Regularly?

Mice infestation is a common pest problem for millions of Americans every year. According to the United States Census Bureau, about 14.8 million residents saw mice and other rodents running around and infesting their homes in the previous year.

Using mousetraps is an easy yet effective way of putting a dent in mouse populations in a property, but homeowners should remember to relocate the traps regularly to maximize their effectiveness. Here’s why it’s crucial to change the location of mouse traps on a regular basis when there’s an infestation at home: 

Mice Might Learn to Avoid the Trap in the Area

Mice are smart and adaptive creatures. They always make sure to avoid anything unfamiliar and possibly dangerous for them, allowing them to survive even in the harshest conditions. Although traps are new to them at first, they’ll eventually know what it does and find different ways to get the bait while avoiding it.

One of the ways that mice do this is to run along walls. This is a natural behavioral response that helps them avoid traps and escape unharmed. They also have quick reaction time that allows them to dodge the metal bar when making their move around mouse traps. Their senses tell them when and how to move out of the way and avoid getting caught in the trap.

Mice and How They Detect Danger

Mice have poor eyesight, but that doesn’t make them easy to catch. Instead of their eyes, these pesky critters use their incredible sense of smell to assess their surroundings and detect danger when cornered. They know how humans smell, so they’ll avoid anything in the area that has the scent of humans.

Aside from the traces of human smell, mice also detect the scent of a dead mouse on a reused trap. This repels them from even coming near the trap unless the bait is too enticing for them to take. When reusing mouse traps and placing them in another location, make sure to clean both the trap and the area thoroughly to eliminate leftover blood, urine, or other bodily fluids of dead rodents. 

Mice Might Be Nesting in Other Rooms

If you see one mouse scurrying around the kitchen or other parts of the house, there’s a huge chance that you have at least a dozen of these pests. An adult female mouse births about 8 litters per year, with each litter including an average of 6 pups. These pesky rodents reproduce quickly throughout their life span, which means one nest isn’t enough for all of them.

Mice create nests to keep themselves warm, store food, and take care of their pups. Many spots in a house provide them with all these necessities, which is why there’s a huge chance that there are lots of nests in different parts of the house. If you think you’ve eliminated all the mice nesting in one room but there are still signs of mice activity, then there’s a chance that they might have relocated or made another nest nearby. 

What Do Mouse Nests Look Like?

Mouse nests are usually dome-shaped with a single exit hole. However, each nest might be different because of the nesting space and availability of nesting materials nearby. These rodents scavenge different materials around the house to make the nest comfortable for their offspring. Some of the common materials you’ll find in a mouse nest are food wrappers, strings, scraps of fabric, and stuffing from pillows and mattresses. 

When to Change the Mouse Trap Location

For homes that have serious mice infestations, it’s important to always check the traps if it still has fresh bait or if it caught a mouse. Mouse traps that are left in a single place for too long become familiar for mice, so they do their best to avoid them. Try changing its positions around the room every few days. Just make sure that they’re still close to the wall instead of leaving them in open spaces.

Another sign to change the location of mouse traps is if there are signs of mice activity in other parts of the house. There’s a huge chance that the mice have relocated and built a new nest in another room, which is why the traps in the previous locations aren’t working well anymore.

But aside from changing the location of the mouse traps, you should also replace the bait or type of trap used in a room. This allows you to find out which rodent baits and mouse traps work best in certain locations. 

Read More: Can You Use Mouse Trap and Mothballs at the Same Time?

How Many Mouse Traps Do I Need Per Area?

One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when using mouse traps is the lack of traps in an area. Even if they manage to find the best areas to use a mousetrap in, they don’t use enough mouse traps to catch mice. They only put 2 to 4 mouse traps in an area, but mice are smart enough to evade these traps.

Placing multiple traps adjacent to each other and along the walls increases the chances of catching these critters. If the mouse narrowly escapes from the first trap, it’ll likely get caught in the next trap once it flinches. The most effective mouse trap or bait placement is leaving a mousetrap every 2 to 3 feet. Add more mouse traps and put them close together if the mice infestation is severe.

Aside from measuring the spaces between traps, another tip from professional pest exterminators is to use up to three snap traps or glue traps per mouse in the area. For example, if there are about 10 mice scurrying around the kitchen to get to a source of food, then about 30 humane traps are needed to take them out. 

How to Find the Next Ideal Location for Mouse Traps

After deciding that the mouse traps and bait stations need to be relocated, the next thing to consider is where to place them. Here are a few useful tips when you’re deciding on the next location of the mouse traps: 

  1. Look for Signs of Mice Activity

Different signs of mice activity confirm the presence of rodents in the property. They even give you an idea of how bad the infestation is in some situations. They also show that a certain location is frequented by rodents, increasing the chances of catching mice using a trap. Here are some of the common signs of mice activity to look for in an area:

  • Scratch and Gnaw Marks
  • Scratching Noises
  • Mouse Droppings
  • Foul Smell or Musky Odor
  • Track Footprints
  • Dead Mice 
  1. Check If It’s Close to Food Supply and Water Source

Mice cautiously stay close to their nest when looking for food sources. If a mouse is spotted in the kitchen, then it’s a sign that their nest is nearby. Mouse nests are usually found about 5 to 30 feet from the spot of mouse sighting.

Aside from being close to the nests, mice also frequently return to certain areas when foraging because it’s already familiar to them. Place a few mechanical traps around these familiar mouse runways and wait for a while to see if they successfully caught mice. 

  1. Let Your Pet Find Mice Nests

Cats have incredible eyesight, noses, and sense of hearing which allows them to find mouse nests with ease. Their natural predatory instincts are useful when deciding on different locations to place mouse traps in – if they bring you a dead mouse, follow them and observe their actions until they lead you to the mouse nest.

Although dogs don’t have the same senses or organs that allow cats to detect mice, their curious nature is also useful in pinpointing mouse nests. Certain breeds of dogs like terriers were even bred to catch small rodents.

However, it’s crucial to remember that you shouldn’t rely on the pets alone to find the mice nest. Mice aren’t as aggressive as rats, but they still fight back and harm the pet when cornered. These filthy rodents might even transmit parasites, viruses, or bacteria to the pets – like Lyme disease and the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). 

Best Locations to Use Mouse Traps

mouse scared of traps surrounding him

Mice are small and agile creatures that use their tiny bodies to squeeze into small holes that are at least the size of a dime. When checking the property for the places to use different types of mouse traps in, here are some of the best areas inside and outside a house to consider: 

Outside the House

  1. Sheds – Most sheds have wooden doors, so make sure to check its base for gaps and gnaw marks. A field mouse or deer mouse usually infests sheds because there’s a huge chance they’ll find stored food or nesting materials there.
  1. Garages – Inspect the gaps and door frames of the garage for gnaw marks. If the garage has vents, place a few mouse traps there. These pests usually use vents to travel between the garage and inside the house.
  1. Trash Bins – Trash cans and compost bins are attractive to mice because they have all the pests needed to survive – huge amounts of food and warmth. Leave a few mouse traps around the dumpster if there are signs of mice infestation nearby, like holes and gnaw marks on the base and lid of the trash cans.
  1. Overgrown Vegetation – Shrubs, trees, and vines that are close to the outside walls of the house are used by mice to reach the roof and get inside the property. Inspect the house for spaces that are near overgrown vegetation and put mouse traps in those areas. 

Inside the House

  1. Attics and Lofts – If there are shredded soft materials in these places, then there’s a huge chance that there’s a mouse nest nearby. Putting mouse traps near the mouse’s nest increases the chances of catching more of them.
  1. Kitchen and Laundry Room – Kitchens and moist areas like laundry rooms are extremely attractive for mice because they find most of their food and water sources here. These rooms are also full of appliances like washing machines and refrigerators they can hide under. Make sure to leave a few traps in these areas to catch more mice.
  1. Basement – Mice also build nests in basements once they find an entryway through vents and small gaps at the base of the door. Lay out a few mouse traps in the basement if there are other signs of mice activity like mouse droppings, gnaw marks, and foul smell.
  1. Cavity Between Walls – Crawl spaces, suspended ceilings, and airing cupboards are also favorite mouse hiding spots for these rodents. Leave a few traps in these places to increase the chances of catching them. 

Other Important Mouse Trapping Tips to Remember

After deciding on the best locations to place the different types of trap in, remember that there’s a chance that the traps won’t work immediately. Mice are always wary of anything unfamiliar to them at first, which is why it’s better to get them used to mouse traps first. Do this by putting bait in the trap, but don’t set the trigger just yet.

Once the mice in the area start taking the bait from the unset traps, then it’s a sign that the mice are already acclimated to the trap. It’s time to set the mouse traps but remember to go big on the first night. Use more mouse traps on the first night of setting them since you’re more likely to catch mice than any subsequent nights. 

Read More: How to Kill a Mouse If You’re Out of Traps and Poison

Quick and Effective House Mouse Control by Yale Pest Control

Confident Pest Control Worker With Pesticide Container

Mice are persistent creatures that invade homes in search of access to food, water, and warmth, especially during colder months. If you suspect a mice infestation at home, it’s important to call a trusted pest management professional like Yale Pest Control immediately to inspect the house and perform the right rodent control measures.

At Yale Pest Control, we always make sure to use IPM-based extermination and control methods to ensure that the mice are gone for good. Call us today at (800) 750 – 9253 to get a free quote.