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How to Set a Mouse Trap or Rat Trap


Old-fashioned snap traps are still among the most best methods of mouse and rat control. They're cheap, simple to use, and effective.

Snap traps should be placed along runways or in other areas where rodents or droppings have been seen. Remember that rodents rely on their senses of smell and touch more so than vision, so they tend to run along walls and other vertical surfaces.

When used against a wall or other vertical surface, snap traps should be placed perpendicular to the wall with the trigger end closer to the wall.


Mousetrap against wallMousetrap on counter

Mousetrap in drawerMousetrap in cabinet


The same basic principles apply to using rat-sized snap traps except that most exterminators "pre-bait" rat traps for a few days. This is because unlike mice (who are curious and readily poke their noses into new things around them), rats are xenophobic and avoid new items in their environment.

Pre-bating for rats is accomplished by placing the traps out and baiting them for a few days, but not setting the triggers. Once the rats get used to the traps and start eating the bait, then set them all on the same night, and pick up the bodies in the morning.

Snap traps can be obtained from most hardware stores, or click here to purchase them online from