How Humane Mouse Traps Work

To make the most of your catch-and-release efforts and get rid of a mouse without hurting or killing it, follow these steps.

Mice contaminate and destroy just about everything in their wake—from food to buildings to clothing to paper documents to personal property. But while you may not want mice and their destructive tendencies to live with you, you may want them to live nonetheless.

Enter humane mouse traps, also known as no-kill or catch-and-release mouse traps. They allow you to catch live mice in your house, garage, shed, or outbuilding, then transport and release them safely and humanely to somewhere far from you and your home. Sound simple?

It certainly can be, if you use the right trap. The Tomcat® Live Catch Mouse Trap lets you catch one mouse at a time without harming it, while the Tomcat® Multi-Catch Mouse Trap captures up to 10 live mice. Both set without winding and are sleek and discreet, so they can be used anywhere, even in the kitchen.

To make the most of your catch-and-release efforts and get rid of a mouse without hurting or killing it, follow these steps.

Step 1: Bait and set the trap.*

Bait and set the trap according to the package instructions. While cheese might seem like the obvious choice for bait, the truth is, it’s only for cartoon mice. Try one of these options instead:

  • Bacon
  • Caramel chew
  • Chocolate
  • Cotton ball (preferred by females for bedding)
  • Dried fruit
  • Gummy candy
  • Peanut butter
  • Tomcat® Attractant Gel

* For the Tomcat® Live Catch Mouse Trap only. The Tomcat® Multi-Catch Mouse Trap does not require baiting or setting.

Step 2: Place the trap.

Deciding where to place a humane mouse trap is a lot like picking a piece of real estate: It’s all about location, location, location. Here’s where to put no-kill mouse traps so mice have a better chance of finding them:

  • In the same vicinity as mouse droppings
  • Near a warm spot, such as a kitchen appliances or hot water heater
  • Against any wall where you’ve seen mice traveling, with the entry holes in line with the walls

When setting more than one live-catch trap at a time, place them no more than 6 feet apart to ensure coverage of active runs. Don’t be afraid to move traps to other locations if you’re not catching anything.

Step 3: Check the trap.

To help ensure that the mouse isn’t without food or water for extended periods of time, check the trap at least twice a day.

Step 4: Transport and release the mouse.

To keep a mouse from migrating back to your home or property, take the trap with the live mouse in it to an outdoor location far from where you live, such as a meadow, wooded area, or other remote location away from other houses. Open the no-kill trap door and free the mouse. Once you get back home, look around your home for entry points and seal them to keep additional mice from entering. Finally, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.