8 Best Mouse Traps of 2024

Plus, the best ways to prevent mice from entering in the first place.

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8 Best Mouse Traps of 2024

Mice can show up anytime of the year, but they may be more common as it gets colder because they seek out warmth and shelter. Aside from the yuck factor, mice can bring dander and diseases into your home and chew up wires and walls. And while you may have done everything in your power to prevent mice from entering your home, sometimes they can make it inside.

A good mouse trap will take care of the problem, so we picked out the best mouse traps based on our testing and experience with reliable brands.

It can be a bit unsettling to find a mouse in your home, especially if you know there are more than one lurking about. "The rule of thumb is that for every mouse you see in the home, another 10 are hiding out," says Dion Lerman, Environmental Health Programs Specialist with the Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program. Lerman mentions one 2009 study which found the presence of mice allergens in 82% of U.S. homes. "Rich, poor, city, suburban — it doesn't matter," he says. "Almost everyone has mice."

Whether you have a full-blown mouse infestation or just a few pesky critters, we’re bringing you our top recommendations as well as information on the different kinds of mouse traps as well as advice on getting rid of mice. Dealing with other infestations, too? The Good Housekeeping Institute Lab experts are no strangers to dealing with all types of pests — check our our reviews on everything from the best roach traps to mosquito repellents.

Victor has been making mouse traps since 1898 — its wooden snap trap is iconic (it's also included in our round-up). But this electronic model is proof of the company's belief in building a better mouse trap.

It uses sensor technology to determine when a mouse enters the chamber, then delivers a high-voltage shock that kills the mouse quickly. Our experts like that the Victor electronic mouse trap is engineered with both a no-touch and no-see disposal, and it is easy to empty, clean and bait. “The Victor has done the best job of all trap types at containing the mice problem in our New York City apartment,” notes one tester. Many Amazon shoppers agree: It's got over 8.9K five-star reviews.

The downside is it takes four AA batteries and the electric jolt uses a lot of juice, making it even less affordable, especially if you're dealing with a lot of mice.

The standard wood-and-metal snap trap from Victor is the perfect combination of value and efficiency. Our testers love how inexpensive these traps are at around a dollar apiece. “The reusable mouse trap is also easy to use with a large, pre-baited plastic cheese pedal that eliminates the need to set up your own bait. But it's still a little tricky setting the spring-loaded arm bar. According to the brand, the trap features an expanded trigger plate which makes for a higher rate of rodent catching.

Those with animals in the house also need to be careful. "We have a dog in the house, so we had to be strategic with the placement of the traps to make sure he didn’t get caught up in them,” adds one tester.

For a mild infestation, Tomcat Tomcat Press 'N Set is a great spring-loaded clam snap trap. In their tests, our partners at Popular Mechanics found the trap easy to use and efficient — it even snagged three mice in a single snap. We’re also fond of the one-touch set-up, which provided little risk of pinching your fingers. You can use a non-toxic bait gel with it, although it’s sold separately. In our previous tests, we have found gels to be effective in treating other pests, like roaches, because they’re laced with a tasty food source, so it can be more effective at luring rodents quicker.

Powered by four AA batteries, the OWLTRA Indoor Electric Mouse Trap generates a 6,000 to 9,000 voltage shock that, according to the brand, can kill up to 60 mice. It’s quick and efficient for minimal suffering, and you can easily empty the chamber into the trash without ever having to touch or see the mouse. The brand recommends using a pea-sized amount of bait in the back of the trap to lure in rodents, and there are two infrared sensors — one at the entrance and one at the back — that activate once the pest is fully inside.

Just be sure to monitor when the battery is running low, otherwise you'll wind up with trapped live mice.

If you like the idea of a snap trap, but don't want to touch or see a dead mouse, this might be the right trap for you. This disposable snap trap is encased inside a discreet chamber so everything is concealed. Then when the mouse has been caught, you can just throw it into the trash without the need to empty it. The Trapper Hidden Kill snap trap has a two-way entry that allows mice to enter from either direction and a removable bait cup for quick and easy baiting. We like that this trap is sleek and well-designed for inconspicuous corner placement.

This JT Eaton model comes in a pack of six units, making it another great value for a snap trap. (For an even better deal, packs of 24 are also available.) The trap features a high-tension spring and can be set by hand or foot. We love that this snap trap is fitted with a red label to indicate whether it's properly set and that it's small enough to fit in tight spaces. This model is ideal for placing under appliances, like the refrigerator or stove, or along walls.

This live catch-and-release trap pack comes with two units and is a cost-effective, reusable option that doesn't kill the mouse. The Mouse Motel model has a spring door that closes once the rodent is inside the chamber, and it won't open until you release the mouse. This trap is easy to bait, clean and reset. But you'll have to release the mouse a good distance (as in a few miles) from your home or it could find its way back inside. "And keep in mind, there's a good chance that mouse will die within the hour because it's going to be in a totally vulnerable position," says Lerman.

If you suspect you have a large infestation, Victor Tin Cat Mouse Trap claims to catch up to 30 mice at once. It is a catch-and-release trap, meaning you will have to set free a nest of mice into the wild miles away unless risk the potential of them returning. While we haven't tested this model, we have had good experience with Victor products for mouse trapping perviously. The brand recommends to use a gel or sticky bait like peanut butter to keep them occupied for longer.

Another plus is that this trap is low profile so you can hide it under furniture and it can be reused multiple times if you’d like.

For this report, our experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute started by shopping the market for mouse traps to identify the products you’re most likely to find in stores and online.

We also consulted with outside experts at the Penn State Extension and the Building Performance Institute who develop standards for the management of pest-free homes. We also based our brand and product selection in part on at-home tests performed by Good Housekeeping staffers. Finally, we checked online reviews for red flags related to performance, safety and usability.

Think about what type of trap you want to use. The four main options are outlined below and they vary by cost, ease of use and squirm factor (i.e. how much you'll actually have to see or handle the rodent).

Note that we do not recommend rodenticides, which should never be used in homes because of the risk of accidental poisoning, especially of children and pets.

✔️ Snap traps are the most common type of mouse trap, with a quick trigger system to catch mice. There are several kinds of snap traps, including bar, clam and hidden kill. When used correctly, snap traps can swiftly eliminate a population of mice in your home. They are also inexpensive and often reusable. The downside is they're a little tricky to set (watch those fingers!) and you have to deal with disposing of the dead mouse. Here's a breakdown of the variations:

✔️ Electric traps, also referred to as electronic traps, work by luring mice into a chamber then delivering a quick, fatal electric shock. These traps are typically designed with no-touch, no-see disposal and are engineered to prevent humans and pets from being shocked. Electric traps have a light or other signal that indicates when a mouse has been caught. These traps are typically larger than most other trap types, run on batteries and are among the more expensive kinds of mouse traps. Electric mouse traps work especially well in places where there are fewer rodents.

✔️ Live catch traps are often similar to other traps for larger mammals — they catch but don't kill the mice. They are essentially chambers or cages outfitted with trigger-activated doors. The trap's door shuts once the mouse is inside the chamber, and it won't reopen until you release the captured mouse. These traps are relatively easy to use and can be effective, but they are typically larger and less discreet than many other trap types, and, of course, they involve handling a live mouse. It is important to release the mouse at least 3 miles from your home in order to prevent it from finding its way back. Captured mice that return are often wary of traps and harder to catch a second time.

✔️ Sticky traps are comprised of an adhesive glue board, usually made from either cardboard or plastic, and involve little to no set-up or mechanical skill. These traps often don’t even need to be baited — their adhesive surface simply traps mice and prevents them from escaping. A sticky trap or glue trap is easy to set, but it can only be used once, does not work well outside and must be kept away from pets and small children. Due to the inhumane killing method of sticky or glue mouse traps, we do not recommend them. "They're also not as effective since adult mice will quickly learn to avoid them," says Lerman.

Once you've found the mouse trap that works best for you, maximize its efficacy by baiting properly. Mice have a keen sense of smell, so choosing a bait that has a powerful scent is important if you want to trap mice successfully. "Mice don't like stale food," says Lerman. "You often see cheese, but it dries out quickly, so it's not the best choice." Peanut butter used to be common, but pros use it less because of concerns around nut allergies. Here are some of the current favorites:

Placement is key. "Put the traps anywhere you know the mice have been," says Lerman. Common traffic routes include along walls, in dark corners, under appliances and behind the kitchen faucet.

If you're dealing with a serious infestation, you'll need to set a bunch of traps. "No fewer than six traps, and often a dozen or more," says Lerman of the Penn State Extension. "It might take a couple of weeks, but you'll eventually knock down the population.

Experts recommend a strategy based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which posits that there's no single cure-all solution to pest control. "Multiple things must be done to prevent pests from entering the home and to make the home a less desirable habitat if they do enter," noted the Building Performance Institute. Here are the key best practices.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab provides expert reviews and advice on all things home-related, including pest management.

In his role as director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab, Dan DiClerico brings more than 20 years of experience to the Institute, having reviewed thousands of products for Good Housekeeping, as well as brands like This Old House and Consumer Reports. He has also written extensively on the topic of healthy homes, including the negative impacts of pests and other allergens on indoor air quality. He has personally used all of the mouse traps covered in this review.

This roundup was most updated by Courtney Campbell, who has written product reviews on a variety of topics over the course of her career, testing everything from reusable straws to standing desks.

Having written thousands of product reviews and how-to articles on all aspects of home ownership, from routine maintenance to major renovations, Dan (he/him) brings more than 20 years of industry experience to his role as the director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. A one-time roofer and a serial remodeler, Dan can often be found keeping house at his restored Brooklyn brownstone, where he lives with his wife and kids.

Courtney (she/hers) has spent the past 5 years testing everything from reusable straws to standing desks to homemade kombucha kits. A longtime reviewer, deals hunter, and lifestyle writer, she currently heads up the American Kennel Club's product review site Retrievest and previously worked as the Shopping Editor for USA Today’s Reviewed. Additionally, she has covered design and lifestyle trends for Apartment Therapy, Domino, SELF, and more. A graduate of Elon University, she loves telling everyone about what race she’s planning on running next while raving about her favorite running headphones (they’re bone conducting!). 

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8 Best Mouse Traps of 2024

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