The Best Mouse Traps: Humane (& Not) — Annual Guide 2017

I’ve had my share of mousecapades and caught mice humanely and in grizzly ways (the worst are glue traps, though sometimes they become necessary). All are recorded here. However, I’ve always tried to start with humane mouse traps and had good luck. Here are my top picks gleaned from own experience. In addition, I’ve retained all the information from my old post, which had some really nice recommendations we felt were worth keeping on this eternal subject.

Newly Updated: 10.12.2017

With a new video and top picks: The Snap-E and The Plank, which is genius.

Best Mouse Traps 2017:
Watch The Video

Maxwell’s Pick

The winner when I originally ran this post and again this week was Seabright Labs cute Smart Mouse Trap that looks just like a small green house. Clean, humane and safe around small children and pets, it has more endorsements worldwide than any other trap.

This cute green little house has a door that snaps shut after the mouse enters and keeps him or her alive with bait and nice air holes. Ready to give him or her their freedom? When you take your trap outdoors there’s a “Freedom Door” which has a cracker in it so that they can’t leave until they chew through, giving you time to leave them and a snack “for the road.”

Mouse Trap Rookie Mistakes

You can have a good trap and still not catch a mouse. Why? You make a rookie mistake. Here are the ones to watch for.

  1. Not wearing gloves when preparing the traps. Mice can detect human smells on the things you’ve touched, so use gloves when handling the trap and preparing the bait. And of course – don’t forget to protect yourself when handling a used mouse trap to avoid diseases! The golden rule with mouse traps: when in doubt, ALWAYS wear gloves.
  2. Using too much bait. Loading up your trap with peanut butter might seem like a smart way to attract mice and lure them in. In reality, using too much bait could allow the mice to nibble on some without triggering the trap. Aim for a pea-sized amount of bait that is enough to catch the mouse’s attention, but not too much that it can steal some undetected.
  3. Setting traps in the wrong spots. Mice are naturally wary of open spaces and prefer to stick close to walls and other outer perimeters. Rather than placing traps in the middle of a room or garden, be more strategic and find dark, concealed spaces close to walls or fences.
  4. Starting slow. It’s believed that the first night of setting traps is the most important one. Rather than slowly setting up traps in your home over time, start strong and set up multiple traps on day one. Even better: set up a couple different traps close together, as mice tend to live in groups and reproduce quickly. Aim to catch as many mice as you can right away and you’ll eliminate your problem that much faster.

Top Non-Humane Mouse Trap

A far cry from the classic wood and snap guillotine, the Snap-E is a kinder, gentler and less messy version that still catches mice the old fashioned way. You don’t have to actually touch the kill bar and it’s much easier to load. We found it great to use in the office and easy to clean. One caveat – reviews have said that it sometimes catches but fails to kill the mice.

  • Update on the classic snap trap
  • Very quick and easy to set up
  • Don’t have to touch the mouse OR kill bar
  • Reusable
  • Quick kill

You Won’t Stop Watching These Mouse Get Caught!

The Rolling Log Mouse Trap is another classic and can be humane or non-humane. I didn’t pick it for this list and went for The Plank instead, but they are similar. This video will CREEP you out, even as it shows you how well this method works for catching mice.


Top Humane Mouse Traps

This cute green little house has a door that snaps shut after the mouse enters and keeps him or her alive with bait and nice air holes. Ready to give him or her their freedom? When you take your trap outdoors there’s a “Freedom Door” which has a cracker in it so that they can’t leave until they chew through, giving you time to leave them and a snack “for the road.”

  • Endorsed by humane societies worldwide
  • Reusable
  • Once mouse is caught it’s pretty much impossible for it to escape
  • Safe around kids/pets

Perhaps you think this trap is too big?? Perhaps too ugly?? Well if you have more than one mouse or you want to leave a trap for some time, this one will keep mice aired, secure AND won’t let them chew their way out (which happens). This guy takes up to 30 mice. Yuck!

  • Don’t have to see or touch the mice at all
  • Catches up to 30 mice at a time
  • Reusable
  • Safe around kids/pets
  • For the people who truly have a fear of mice

This was a crowd favorite and a new design for me. Simple and effective, you attach the Plank to any hardware store bucket, bait the end, lean a small wood ramp or stick to the side and they will come. Humane without water and not so much with water (it’s like the roller style above), the Plank is a simple, genius solution for outdoors or indoors.

  • Simple – just hang it on the edge of a bucket
  • Reusable – no resetting needed after a mouse is caught
  • No touch – just dump the bucket
  • Versatile – can fill with water to be fatal or leave bucket empty and release
  • Good for outdoor use


You have to watch the movie above. Mice go in – with no moving parts – and are trapped – happily – until you want to release them. This is an extremely humane trap, but it also has a purpose: “It is designed to catch mice alive and keep them alive and stress free. Healthy, captive mice attract other mice.” This is for indoor and outdoor use and allows you to catch mice even when you’re away for awhile.

Why Humane?

There are many reasons for humane traps, but the biggest one could just well be that they work, so why not? Particularly with children, humane traps can be incredibly interesting and rewarding, as there’s nothing more satisfying than “catching a mouse” and nothing worse than a dead one or a mauled one. However, with humane traps, here are few pointers:

  • Do not leave traps in direct sunlight — it’s hot inside of those small boxes!
  • Check traps often — mice will die if you do not release them frequently.
  • Make a deal with your neighbor – if you plan to leave your home for awhile, make sure that someone looks after your traps on a daily basis.
  • Via Care2

Top Mouse Trap Searches:

Top Mouse Searches:

Reader Recommendation

The Mice Cube has utter simplicity and great reviews. This sweet blogger at MinorCreations says it best: “We did exactly what the instructions said and within a half hour of setting them up, we’d caught one! It was amazing. It is also the only trap where you don’t have to touch the mouse to remove it.”

Avoid This Trap

The Kness is a classic balance trap that triggers the door shut when the mouse climbs up the slope and tips the trap forward. I love the ingenuity of the gravity design, but have had some misses with this trap, perhaps due to the bait needing more air holes to smell more. I would advise drilling a few.

Research Sources:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s