Why Is My Mousetrap Not Working | How Can You Fix That

Are you sick and tired of trying to catch rats using a mousetrap only to end up with no results? 

Are these annoying little creatures making you frustrated by stealthily escaping your traps? 

There might be some reasons why your mousetrap is not working correctly. 

Important Note: If you're tired of pests and want a reliable solution, then you should definitely consider seeking help from a professional pest control company. DIY solutions can be effective, but if you're dealing with a significant pest infestation, you don't want to rely solely on DIY methods. Pest control companies typically don't charge huge fees. You can fill out this form to receive free quotes from the top local pest control companies, and compare the quotes and see for yourself. Then, finally, your pest problems will be eliminated for good.

But you need not give up! There are ways in which you can fix this.

Reasons Why A Mousetrap Wouldn’t Work 

Handling Bait With Bare Hands

The most common mistake you might have made is to place the bait in the trap using bare hands. Now, how is this going to affect the process? 

Mice are very sensitive to smell, which means they can easily sense the smell of human touch in their baits. This alerts the rats who don’t get near the bait. 

Not handling them with bare hands can prevent contaminating the bait with human smell, and the rats might come towards the bait. You may use gloves when setting up the trap to avoid this. 

Gloves can be used for washing dishes, health care, and preparing food. 

Also, remember to use gloves while handling the trap after it has trapped the rodent to prevent contamination and infection.

You can also use thick gloves to prevent your fingers from getting hurt if you accidentally get snapped by the trap. 

Ineffective Bait

Foods based on nuts are the favorite for rats. So the most effective bait is peanut butter. You can also use hazelnut spread as it is a byproduct of nuts. 

Similarly, rats love strongly scented food, and thus you can use salty or sweet-smelling foods. You could use food like sweet candies, strong-smelling cheese, and gumdrops.

In case the food seems to be an ineffective bait, mice are also attracted to nesting materials, so you can place cotton, dental floss, or string on the trap instead to entice more mice.

Traps Placed In Open Spaces

Another mistake people make while placing traps is keeping them in open spaces.

Mice prefer dark places, and they tend to nest in the walls of your house. So to trap them, you need to set traps near the walls. 

Also, make sure to set traps that are 2-3 feet apart. And put more traps in areas with increased rat activity to ensure all of them are caught. 

Using The Wrong Trap

Some traps are much better than others. So if your mousetrap is not working, you need to try various lures to see which works better.

Look at the types of traps available in your area and choose which type effectively catches the mice in your house. If a trap doesn’t seem to work, go to another. 

fix mouse trap for rats

Too Much Of Bait

Putting too much bait on the mouse trap can also make it miss catching the rats. This is because the rodents can get some of the bait without triggering the trap, so they aren’t seen.

So to make sure they are caught, put only a pea-sized amount of bait so that the mouse is forced to step on the trap.

Not Changing The Bait Regularly

This can cause food to rot, and the mice may not be attracted to the bait. So make sure to change the bait and replace it every 4-6 weeks to keep it fresh, so the rats get attracted to it. 

Under Estimation Of Mice Activity 

Mice are intelligent creatures and don’t easily fall prey to traps. They avoid them easily initially. But what can you do to make them fall prey?

A smart thing to do is to place unset traps with bait so the rodents get used to feeding on it. After the mice are used to feeding on the bait on unset traps, you can start setting it up to catch them.

But this method can only trap inferior mice. Superior or alpha mice are more cautious of the said traps, so it’s best to go for other ways to eliminate them.

Don’t Expect Instant Results 

The key to success is patience!

Whatever method you try to trap mice, be patient till you get results. Don’t expect instant results. Mice take time to get caught, and you need to test the different tricks till one of them clicks patiently. 

place the traps in open spaces


If your mousetrap is not working, it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above. Try resolving these root causes to make your trap work effectively.

We hope this article has helped you understand why your mousetrap might not work and how to fix the problem.

You can also try electronic rat traps to eliminate them more permanently.

Furthermore, you can also try homemade remedies like borax for rats or even bleach for rats to get rid of them.

So go ahead and try these tricks to remove rats indefinitely.

Photo of author


Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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