How to Set a Mouse Trap

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How to Set a Mouse Trap. Mice are a common problem in many American homes. They range in size from 3 to 14 inches from their pointed snouts to the ends of their long, hairless tails. Mice are hearty pests because they are omnivores--creatures who eat almost any type of food. You can get rid of a mouse by setting a standard trap consisting of a snap bar that kills the mouse by force.

How to Set a Mouse Trap
(Mario Zavala/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Mouse trap
  • Dollop of peanut butter
  • Thick, protective gloves
Step 1

Remove the staple that holds the locking bar in place during shipment. The "locking bar" is the long, metal pin that holds back the spring-loaded, "U"-shaped snap bow.

Mario Zavala/Demand Media
Step 2

Add bait inside and on top of the bait pedal--the curled, metal piece opposite the snap bow when the trap is ultimately set. The best bait is a dollop of peanut butter.

Mario Zavala/Demand Media
Step 3

Pull the snap bow backwards and hold it securely with your thumb. With the other hand, pull back the locking bar and hook its curved end underneath the "U" or "V"-shaped metal loop sticking out from one end of the trap.

Mario Zavala/Demand Media
Step 4

Place the trap perpendicular to a corner wall with the bait pedal facing the wall. Since mice are generally nocturnal, it's best to set the trap in the evening and leave it overnight.

Mario Zavala/Demand Media
Step 5

Wait for the trap to go off and then check it for a mouse. If there is a dead mouse in your trap, remove it using thick, protective gloves. Discard of the mouse in a doubled-up plastic bag ultimately put in an outdoor garbage can. Reset the trap if necessary.

Mario Zavala/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Snap traps like those discussed above are not preventative. You may have to set one trap multiple times or set several traps at one time to fully rid your home of mice.
  • Set traps in rooms where you have seen mice or their droppings. Kitchens and bathrooms are common mouse hang-outs.
  • When completing Step 3, keep the snap bow pulled back with your thumb until the locking bar fully engages or you could badly injure yourself when the snap bow releases on your hand.
  • Disposing of a mouse caught in a snap trap is often messy and frequently includes blood. Further, a trapped mouse may not die immediately. Consider using an alternative method of catching mice if you are squeamish by the thought of these possibilities.
  • Set your mouse traps in areas where pets or children cannot access them. Additionally, do not walk barefoot in areas where you've set traps or you could injure your toes.
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