How Mousetraps Work

Traditional snap traps, also known as spring loaded-bar mousetraps, are commercially available and widely used. Snap traps are placed along pathways rodents travel, and an attractant such as food or nesting material can be used. When the spring mechanism is triggered, a metal bar snaps and kills the rodent.

Glue traps often are placed in similar locations as snap traps. After encountering the trap, mice are immobilized by an adhesive surface. Rodents trapped expire from hypothermia since they can't move and maintain their body temperature.

Live-catch traps are also available commercially. These require that the homeowner release caught specimens into the natural environment and do not guarantee that mice will not return.

Live-catching mousetraps are designed for those homeowners who do not wish to kill mice. These traps also attract mice through the use of food baits, at which time a metal door will snap closed, capturing the specimen. Homeowners must then release the mice into the wild, and released mice often re-enter the home. It is important to note house mice are not native to the U.S. and are considered not only health and home risks but also are highly destructive to native birds and wildlife.

Regardless of type, mousetraps are considered very effective in the capture and extermination of individual rodents. However, it should be noted that mouse populations grow rapidly and often require more extreme pest control measures.