Call us to get started 855-854-2679

Best Bait for Rat and Mouse Traps

Request Wildlife Control

Rodents are one of the most common pests; fortunately, we’ve taken time to develop some very effective means of getting rid of them. One of the most time-tested and effective is the classic “snap trap.”

A wooden snap trap, loaded with a piece of cheese, is what most people envision when they think of rodent traps, but in this day and age, homeowners have many options when it comes to such traps. But no matter which trap you end up going with, the bait you use makes all the difference.

What is the best bait for mouse traps?

Popular culture would have us believe that cheese is the quintessential bait for mice. In reality, mice prefer many foods over cheese; their favorites are those that are both sweet and high in fat. Using the foods below in your mouse trap will yield the best results:

  • Peanut butter. Mice are primarily nut and seed eaters, and peanut butter is something they are helpless to resist.
  • Hazelnut spread. A sweeter nut spread, this delicious treat is a surefire way to attract mice (that is, if you can bring yourself to spare any!).
  • Chocolate. A morsel of milk chocolate is simply too sweet a treat for mice to pass up.
  • Gumdrops and Marshmallows. These sweet-smelling snacks are heaven for rodents and a sure way to lure them to a trap.
  • Fruit jam/jellies/preserves. Everybody loves jams and jellies, including mice. Slather a bit on a trap and you’re sure to get some takers.


Only use a tiny amount of the above foods in a mouse trap. Use too much, and a mouse can get away with taking some without getting caught in the trap.

What is the best bait for rat traps?

Rats nibble cautiously at new foods and can be rather particular about what they eat. Plus, there is a readily available food source, so the rats will ignore the bait. Eliminating their food sources for twenty-four hours and baiting with a highly desirable bait can help rat traps work better.

Rats and mice have similar diets, so their traps can be baited similarly. As with mice, peanut butter and hazelnut spread are the best options for rat traps. Rats do have an affinity for high-protein foods, however, so they can also be baited with bacon or summer sausage.

Why Aren't My Rodent Traps Catching Anything?

People often make the mistake of confusing mouse traps for rat traps due to their similar design. Rat traps, however, are significantly larger and more powerful to compensate for the size difference between rats and mice. If a mousetrap is used on a rat, you run the risk of it escaping or being pinned down but still live and potentially hostile when you go to release it.

The best bait won’t make up for poor placement. Placing a trap in the middle of the room will most likely not catch much. If you put the trap along the edge of the room and place the end with the trigger plate facing the wall, you will have a better chance of coaxing rodents into the trap.

Rats are very aware of their surroundings, and the moment a new element is introduced, they can become weary of it. Place the traps in the room, but do not set them. This way, the rats will not perceive them as a threat yet and will be more inclined to approach your traps a few nights later.

you need to keep in mind that once the traps are shown to be deadly, the rats will stay away. That is why you should always set multiple traps. Statistically, you always trap the most rats on the first night, so by setting many overnight you increase your odds substantially.

Benefits of Professional Rodent Control

The best bait cannot make up for bad trap placement or the wrong size. Effective use of rat traps includes proper size, bait, placement, and timing. Rats and mice breed at a high rate so you need to have an aggressive trapping strategy to control the rodent population. 

Norway rats and mice are social rodents. If you have seen evidence of one, there are likely many. You need to call professional mice and rat control. At Trutech Wildlife, our team of experts will work around your schedule to ensure your house remains free from unwanted rodents.

Thank you for subscribing! We'll be in touch.