The Complete Guide to Mechanical Traps for Rodents

Choose a Tomcat mechanical trap that fits your preference. They are effective and easy to use.

What is a Mechanical Rodent Trap?

Mechanical traps are designed to catch rodents through the use of a mechanism that is triggered when it detects that a rodent is close enough to catch. Used as a term to categorize different types of traps, mechanical traps also kill rodents in the process as soon as they get close enough to the bait block or alternative lure attractant.

Spin traps, snap traps and wooden traps are some of the more commonly used mechanical traps that each have their own benefits while still solving the same problem. In this article, you’ll get a better understanding of how mechanical rodent traps work to identify which trap is best for you.

How do Mechanical Traps Work?

Mechanical traps are manually set up in a few steps while also involving the use of a bait of your choice. Peanut butter, cheese and highly effective attractant gels are all types of baits used to lure rodents into the mechanical trap to catch them. When placed in areas of your home that you suspect are frequented by rodents, the higher the chances are that a mouse or a rat will identify the bait that you’ve laid out to try to consume it.

For mechanical traps to work effectively, it is important to regularly keep an eye on the traps and ensure that the bait is not tampered with. By keeping the bait as fresh as possible, there is a better chance of catching a rodent more easily.

Types of Mechanical Traps

Choosing the right mechanical trap for your situation is an important part of effectively removing rodents from your home. Learn about the different types of bait stations here:

Product Mechanism Used Ideal For: Is Applying Bait Required?
Spin Trap Plastic Lever Trigger Killing rodents instantly and mess-free. Yes
Wooden Trap Metal Coil Snap Economically killing rodents one at a time. Yes
Snap Trap Spring-Loaded Plastic Teeth A more powerful alternative to the classic wooden trap. Yes

Spin Traps

Named after the chamber of the trap that spins shut to then trap the rodent, the spin trap for catching mice is one of the most effective mechanical traps available. Equipped with a bait cup used to hold bait and attractant gels in place, mice and rats get halfway through the spin trap before the spring trigger snaps the entrance shut and kills the rodent in the process.

Spin traps are ideal for users who wish to catch and kill rodents without having to see the rodent at all. Disposal of the trap is also made easy and clean.

Wooden Traps

Wooden traps for mice and wooden traps for rats are the most economical option for catching and killing rodents. Made in two different sizes to catch mice and rats, wooden traps lure rodents close enough to the bait to then snap a u-shaped metal piece to trap the mouse or rat. Wooden traps are easy to dispose of and are designed to catch one rodent at a time.

Snap Traps

Commonly perceived as an upgrade to the classic wooden trap, snap traps for mice and snap traps for rats catch rodents by applying bait to a designated platform on the trap and snapping the “teeth” of the trap onto the rodent. With a spring trigger feature, this trap is easy to set and can be reused for future use, unlike the wooden trap. Snap traps also make for easy disposal of dead rodents without having to touch any mice or rats during the disposal process.

Choosing From The Different Types Of Mechanical Traps

Understanding the different types of mechanical traps available can help determine which one will help get rid of the rat or mouse problem in your home. Each variation of mechanical trap has its benefits and caters to your preference in how you want to get rid of the rodents and dispose of them. Learn about the different types of mechanical traps with the following list:

Spin traps are ideal if you require:

  • A disposable trap that can be thrown out without ever seeing the dead rodent.
  • A trap that can fit flush into the corners of your home.
  • A mess-free way to kill mice and rats.
  • A trap that involves more than one entry point to attract rodents more effectively.

Wooden traps are ideal if you require:

  • A more economical choice for catching and killing rodents easily.
  • A trap that can be easily disposed of alongside the dead rodent.
  • A pesticide-free way to get rid of rodents.
  • A trap designed to catch and kill one mouse or rat at a time.

Snap traps are ideal if you require:

  • A reusable mechanical trap that can be used for future use.
  • A trap that can catch and kill mice and rats without having to touch any of them during its disposal.
  • A trap designed for various baits, but also ideal for highly effective attractant gel bait.
  • Catching and killing rodents both indoors and outdoors.

Using Mechanical Traps

When to Use Mechanical Traps

Mechanical traps are best used when you suspect there to be one or a few rodents in or around your home. Due to these traps only being able to catch one mouse or rat at a time, mechanical traps are not ideal for infestations or the need to catch multiple rodents at once. While known to be one of the most effective ways to catch and kill rodents, mechanical traps work best when placed in hidden areas for safety reasons as they are hazardous to children and pets who may accidentally trigger the traps themselves.

To be sure that the use of a mechanical trap is right for your situation, see how the different types of mechanical traps compare to each other in order to remove rodents in your home effectively:

Rodent Removal Product Product Is Ideal For: Indoors/Outdoors? Does it Kill Rodents? Will You See Dead Rodents In the Trap? Does it Require Poisonous Ingredients? Is it Child & Pet Resistant? Can It Be Reused?
Spin Traps One Mouse or Rat Both Yes Yes No No No
Snap Traps One Mouse or Rat Both Yes Yes No No Yes
Wooden Traps One Mouse or Rat Both Yes Yes No No No

Where to Use Mechanical Traps

Due to the potential risk that mechanical traps pose in accidentally latching on to things beyond rodents, mechanical traps work best in areas tucked away from children and pets. These types of traps work best in areas that you suspect rodents to frequent in order for them to identify the bait that you have laid out for them on the mechanical trap.

How to Set Up a Mechanical Trap

While all mechanical traps serve the same purpose, each trap functions differently. Follow these steps to properly set up each of these mechanical traps:

Spin Trap

  1. Remove the bait cap from the bottom of the traps

  2. Add bait or attractant gel.
  3. Apply the bait cap back into the bottom of the trap. When done properly, the cap will “click” back into place.
  4. Prepare the entrance slot of the trap by simply pulling it away from the trap.
  5. Place the spin trap in an area of your home that you suspect is frequented by mice or rats.
  6. Check on the spin trap often to see if any activity occurs.
  7. Once the spin trap has caught a rodent, dispose of the trap in the garbage.

Snap Trap

  1. Remove the bait cap which can be accessed from the bottom of the trap.
  2. Add a sufficient amount of bait or attractant gel to the bait cap and reinstall the cap to the trap.
  3. While the trap is in its dormant state, firmly and carefully open the mouth of the trap until you hear it “click”. Once clicked into place, the trap is now live and active.
  4. Place the active snap trap in an area that rodents frequent.
  5. Once the trap has caught a rodent, use gloves to immediately dispose of the trap in the garbage.

Wooden trap

  1. Add a bait of your choice or an attractant gel to the base of the bait holder on the trap.
  2. Carefully pull the U-shaped metal bar in the opposite direction of its placement to load the spring of the trap and hold it in place with one hand. With your other hand, place the metal pin over the U-shaped bar and insert the curved section into the open slot on the side of the metal trigger.
  3. Without accidentally triggering the trap, carefully place the trap in an area that you suspect rodents to frequent.
  4. Once you have noticed that a rodent has been trapped, use gloves to carefully pick up the wooden trap and immediately dispose of it in the garbage.

Safety Precautions When Using a Mechanical Trap

Handling a Mechanical Trap With Care

It is important to carefully handle mechanical traps, especially ones that are in an active position. Active mechanical traps can easily snap accidentally which should only occur when ready to catch rodents. Best practice when handling mechanical traps is to move slowly and carefully to bring active mechanical traps to desired destinations.

Keeping Mechanical Traps Away From Children and Pets

The nature of mechanical traps involves leaving them exposed for rodents and for them to easily find the bait. While the bait is specifically designed for mice and rats, exposed traps leave lots of opportunity for accidental trapping of other things, including children and pets. It is important to place traps in areas that only rodents can get to not only to maximize the effectiveness of the mechanical traps, but also to ensure no one but mice and rats can gain access to the traps.

Safe Disposal of Mechanical Traps

Throwing mechanical traps in the garbage that are disposable should be handled with care to avoid any potential for contamination. Using gloves at all times when handling mechanical traps that have caught rodents is the easiest way to dispose of traps safely. While snap traps are reusable, disposing of the caught mouse or rat should also be done using gloves.

Learn About Other Products With These Articles