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Why Mice Avoid Traps

September 20, 2017

a mouse standing on cheese in a mouse trap

It might seem like it would be pretty obvious why mice avoid traps, but the truth is that it isn't obvious at all. The way mice perceive threats is different than how we do. They are not able to look at a trap and understand that it is a spring-loaded death contraption. They must rely on their instincts to avoid those traps. Let's take a look at some mouse behaviors that allows them to avoid getting caught.

Mice have a great sense of smell. This ability helps them stay alive, especially where traps are concerned. Mice know what we smell like. If they smell us on, or around, a trap, they will avoid that trap. That is why it is a good idea to use gloves when setting mouse traps.

Mice also use their sense of smell to detect threats in another way. If they smell dead mice left in traps, they will avoid those areas, sensing that death may wait for them in those locations. That is why it is a good idea to remove mice caught in traps, so they are not allowed to decay.

Have you ever seen a mouse running along a wall? This is another behavior that helps them stay alive. Mice prefer to have one side next to a wall, and a quick getaway. If mouse traps are put in the middle of a room, they are almost entirely useless. Only a desperate and hungry mouse will move away from the security of a wall.

Even when food is found, mice do not stop being cautious. They are on high alert as they feed. This allows some mice to avoid snap traps that try to get them in the middle of their meal. When the trap springs, the mouse reacts in an instant. This heightened state of alert, combined with the timid way a mouse nibbles on food, helps them avoid being trapped. For this reason, mouse traps are often laid out in groups. If a mouse reacts to the one they are feeding on, it increases the likelihood that they will be caught by another.

Knowing how mice avoid traps can help you catch mice better, but knowing how to effectively catch mice is only one step in the process of stopping an infestation. Educated pest professionals use many methods together to ensure the complete control of all mice within a structure, which is essential for the health of a family and the protection of a business.

If you have any questions about rodent removal and exclusion, contact Action Pest Control. Serving Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois, our pest control technicians specialize in rodent control and are ready to help you eliminate mice and the conditions that attract them.


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