The 6 Best Humane Mouse Traps of 2022

Our top pick for a humane, no-kill trap is the CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap.

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Mouse in catch and release trap

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Treehugger Approved:

Our Best Overall pick for a no-kill trap is the effective, reusable CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap. If you're on a budget, consider the Kness Tip-Trap.

If you’ve ever had a mouse build a nest in your car engine or chew the wiring or insulation in your attic, you know that unchecked rodents can cause thousands of dollars in damage. But we also know that mice and other rodents play an important role in ecosystems. Considered a keystone species, many other organisms depend on them and, if removed, the food chain would change drastically. In forests, fields and deserts, mice are food for a range of predators, and some species of rodents are also primary pollinators.

While the market is full of rodent poisons that are effective, it is difficult to contain that poison and keep it from entering the food chain. Research has shown that rodenticides can travel up the food chain where they can harm many rodent predators including owls and eagles, and our furry companions, dogs and cats. Glue traps are not considered humane because the mouse is trapped alive and so becomes immediately stressed and if not dispatched quickly will die a slow, painful death from dehydration or exhaustion.

Catch-and-release traps are a safe and humane way to get rid of these curious guests. “Look for traps with adequate ventilation and ones made out of materials that mice can't easily chew through, such as stainless steel or metal,” explains Registered Veterinary Technician Nicole Wilson. “You'll want to check them frequently to ensure any mice you catch stay caught, and routinely check the integrity of the trap and dispose of it when you see signs of vulnerability."

Below is a list of the best no-kill, humane mouse traps that minimize stress for both you and the unwelcome mice in your life.

Best Overall: CaptSure Original Humane Mouse Trap

4.8
CaptSure Humane Mouse Traps

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 14.4 ounces | Bait Required: yes

The popular CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap is sold under a variety of brand names. The original is low cost, easy, and effective, which is why it's our top choice. Made from durable, clear plastic, this reusable trap comes in green or brown so that it can be placed inconspicuously in your home, garden or garage.   

Simply put a spoonful of peanut butter or other enticing bait in the door compartment, open the spring-loaded door, and place the trap wherever rodent evidence is found. This design was updated in 2019 to include ventilation holes to make the trap even more humane. The trap door isn’t triggered until the mouse crosses a fulcrum near the end of the trap, furthest from the entrance so you can be sure the door won’t harm the mouse.

Once captured, you can simply take the entire trap outside in nature and release the mouse by lifting the bait compartment. The trap can then be cleaned and reset within minutes.

Best for Kitchens: JT Eaton Little Pete Slim Multiple Catch Mouse Trap

JT Eaton Little Pete Slim Multiple Catch Mouse Trap

JT Eaton

Dimensions: 10.25 x 3.5 x 1.75 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Bait Required: no

For the kitchen, homeowners want a trap that is easy to check, empty and reset while discreetly blending into the background. We like the JT Eaton Little Pete Slim Multiple Catch Mouse Trap because it is designed with sturdy galvanized steel construction and—depending on where you buy it—comes in a range of colors and styles.

You can get it with a clear lid that you can check regularly, or with a solid lid, each in three color options—white, silver or black. The trap is narrow and designed to be placed along a wall or counter edge—mice like to walk along a wall for added protection. No bait is needed when the trap is placed in their natural travel path because mice can’t resist exploring the trap. They simply walk inside and then cannot get back out.

This trap has two entrances, strategically placed so that mice will enter from either direction along the wall. It will hold up to nine mice at a time, although you’ll want to empty it as soon as you catch one as mice who are stressed can turn to self-harm or cannibalism. When you’re ready to empty the trap, simply take it to an outdoor location and open the lid. This trap is also a good fit for retail areas, loading docks, and warehouses.

Best Budget: Kness Tip-Trap Live-Capture Mouse Trap

Kness Tip-Trap Live-Capture Mouse Trap

Amazon

Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x 7.4 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Bait Required: yes

Made of durable black polypropylene plastic, this trap is easy to clean and reuse. You place peanut butter or other bait inside the removable end cap. As you might guess from the name, when the mouse enters the trap, the unit will tip, closing the door and trapping furry invaders inside. Rodents can be released by pulling back on the closed trap door and tipping the mouse out.

Some users reported that the trap can be accidentally tripped by mice crawling on the outside of the trap, and by overloading it with too much bait. But if you check and reset them regularly, they are very effective.

One drawback is that this trap only works properly on a flat, firm surface due to the tipping mechanism. But users also report being able to reuse it for many years. At about $3 per trap, it’s hard to beat for size and effectiveness.

Best for Cars: Grandpa Gus Mouse Repellent

Grandpa Gus's Mouse Repellent

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 1 x 3 x 4 inches | Weight: 1.3 ounces | Bait Required: no

Because mice seek shelter in the winter, you’re more likely to discover them in car vents, air conditioners and engine compartments during the colder months of the year. These varmints can do significant damage in a short period of time by chewing electrical wires, hoses and plastic fittings. Because they often enter the car through cable holes, the pedal shaft, steering column and air vents, it’s possible that your ventilation system could be contaminated with droppings. Not only will your car smell bad when you turn on the heat, repairing damage can cost you a pretty penny.

As a repellant, many have found 100% peppermint essential oil used as a spray or on a fabric pack to be quite effective at preventing a mouse invasion in your car. Grandpa Gus’s Mouse Repellent burlap pouches are well rated and use peppermint and cinnamon oils suspended on a mixture of vermiculite and soap to ward away unwanted rodents. The burlap pouch is discreet for use in the car and other areas of your home and when not repelling mice, they freshen the air and absorb other unpleasant smells.

Best Metal Trap: Kensizer Small Animal Humane Live Cage

Kensizer Small Animal Humane Live Cage

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 10.5 x 5.5 x 4.5 inches (small), 12.5 x 6.5 x 5 inches (medium) | Weight: 8 ounces (small) ,14.9 ounces (medium) | Bait Required: yes

If you’ve trapped live animals before, the Kensizer Small Animal Humane Live Cage Trap may look familiar. Its simple design has been copied by many manufacturers and scaled up to catch and release squirrels, raccoons, opossums, skunk and—depending on where you live—even armadillos and mink.

The Kensizer brand is well rated because of its sturdy yet light weight aluminum structure. The rectangular trap is made from fine wire mesh allowing the animal to breathe easily while preventing them from chewing their way out compared to plastic or wooden traps.

When the bait trigger is touched, the door closes. Users say the pedal trigger is sensitive without being falsely triggered. The door handle design allows for easy opening without getting your fingers near the trap opening. Made from galvanized metal, this trap is reusable and should last for years.

Best Multi-Catch Trap: Southern Homewares Multi-Catch Humane Mouse Trap

Southern Homewares Multi-Catch Humane Mouse Trap 2 Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 10.4 x 6.3 x 2.1 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Bait Required: no

It’s pretty easy for a small mouse problem to become a big mouse problem. Depending on the species, a pregnant mouse can have up to 12 babies in just 20 to 30 days, producing five to ten litters per year. The Southern Homewares Multi-Catch Clear Top Humane Mouse Trap was a runner up in the best metal trap category. Users like its clear top and sturdy design.

Because this unit doesn’t use a spring-loaded or weight-triggered door, there is nothing that needs to be reset when a mouse enters so it’s instantly ready for the next mouse that comes along. They can be used with or without bait, although users report better results with a natural food source.

Each trap has two entrances. One user reported catching eight mice in less than two hours, although your results will vary depending on how large your mouse population has become. Southern Homewares makes them in a standard rectangular trap as well as triangular design for corners.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for the best humane, no-kill trap is the effective, easy-to-use reusable CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap. If you're on a budget, consider the Kness Tip-Trap that’s reusable and less than $5 each.

New What to Look for in Humane Mouse Traps

Materials & Type

Generally, humane mouse traps are made of plastic, stainless steel, or a combination of both. “Most budget traps are made from plastic, which unfortunately mice can and will chew through if given the opportunity,” explains Nicole Wilson, Registered Veterinary Technician. A stainless steel trap can last many years and catch hundreds of mice if properly cared for.

Humane mouse traps come in a range of styles. Baited traps lure the mouse while un-baited ones rely on natural mouse curiosity. Both types rely on the mouse walking inside the trap. Some use a weight or trigger system that closes a trap door behind the mouse either with spring action or tipping. Some traps need to be reset by hand once triggered while others, including multi-catch traps, reset themselves automatically.

Be sure to follow manufacturers instructions for the best results, and discard them if they develop cracks or gaps. "Remember, mice are miniature escape artists; they can wiggle themselves in and out of the teeniest spots," says Wilson.

Safety

Because mice carry viruses and bacteria that can be transmitted to humans, you should try to wear gloves when handling a reusable trap to avoid direct contact with the mice and their feces. Wash your trap with hot soapy water between uses.

Likewise, when releasing the mice, avoid direct contact with the mouse. Diseases can be transmitted through bites and saliva.

Humane Release

PETA recommends releasing mice and rats within 100 yards of where they were trapped. Greater distances mean that the mouse may not find enough food and water to survive. Make sure you eliminate their entry point to prevent their return. “Mice (and other wild animals too) will always return to a place they know has food and shelter, and they are super smart,” says Wilson. “It's best to release them somewhere that has good coverage, like near a forest or bushy area so they have lots of places to hide.”

Traps to Avoid

By far the most popular method has traditionally been the spring-loaded kill trap. These traps use no chemicals and, when used properly, can result in a quick death. We're too tender-hearted for that, but what's worse is that these traps often injure, rather than kill, the mouse, causing unnecessary suffering. They also remove the mice from the local ecosystem.

Sticky traps have gained popularity in recent years because they are non-toxic and easy to use. But they are not as effective as many other traps. They are only as good as their adhesive so quality and effectiveness varies widely and they are considered very inhumane because they do not kill rodents quickly. Instead, mice that are stuck can linger and struggle for up to several days, dying only after they become hypothermic, dehydrated, or exhausted.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How can I get rid of mice without traps or killing them?

    Prevention is the best way to keep mice away. You can lower your chances of being chosen by these freeloading fuzzies by eliminating food sources for them. "Store your food in airtight containers, keep surfaces such as counters, cabinets, and floors free from crumbs, always put away leftovers and make sure your trash can is sealed,” recommends Wilson.

    Determine and eliminate their access points. “If you live in an older house (and even if you don't!) you'll want to take a flashlight and check the foundation for any cracks, holes, or crevices a mouse could use to gain access into your home,” explains Wilson. “Don't underestimate the damage if you do find cracks in a wall. Where there's a will, there's a way. Especially in the winter, when mice are actively seeking shelter from the dropping temperatures, they will chew, gnaw, and squirm through any damaged area.”

    Start by filling gaps and spaces in buildings, around trim and other areas with a combination of steel wool and either caulk or expanding foam sealant. Mice don’t like to chew through metal and expanding foam can fill small spaces quickly. But mice can squeeze through a space smaller than a dime so you must be thorough. Some people also have success with natural deterrents, like surface sprays or getting a cat. 


  • How long can a mouse survive in a trap?

    “Generally, mice can survive anywhere from a few hours to a few days inside a live trap,” says Wilson. “You should check your traps every hour to make sure any mice you caught aren't left there too long. When the mouse realizes it's trapped, it will start to panic and try to find a way out as soon as possible. They can die from exhaustion, starvation, or hypo/hyperthermia if left inside the trap too long.”

  • Can you clean and reuse a humane mouse trap?

    “Yes!” says Wilson. “Another perk to using live traps: you can clean them with a disinfectant and reset them or hold onto them for future use.”

Why Trust Treehugger?

Lorraine Wilde, M.S. lives on a hobby farm in the Pacific Northwest where she’s had lots of opportunities to humanely trap and release a number of uninvited furry friends. She also holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and is a firm believer that consumers can make informed, environmentally-conscious choices to protect our planet.

Nicole Wilson is a Registered Veterinary Technician and owner of Critter Comforts Pet Care in Indiana. In addition to keeping fancy mice as pets and owning dozens over the years, Nicole has worked with mice in both a clinic and rehab setting. She graduated from the Vet Tech Institute in Tinley Park, IL. She has many years of experience with exotic pets and wildlife including interning at the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in Indiana and as a Seasonal Wildlife Keeper at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Illinois.

Wilson has personally seen the damage inhumane traps can do—not just to "pest" animals, but also other species that benefit and balance our ecosystem. She has helped rehabilitate birds of prey that have unintentionally ingested poison via an infected rodent and many don’t survive.

View Article Sources
  1. "Cleaning Up After Rodents." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  2. "Rodents." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.