The 6 Best Humane Mouse Traps of 2021

Get your mouse problem under control with these no-kill options

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Let’s be honest: It’s not the mouse that most humans have a problem with, it’s their impact on our spaces. Whether they are sneaking into your pantry, garage, car or basement, the potential for disease transmission and the damage they leave in their wake make us spurn these unwelcome visitors.

According to the Center for Disease Control, mice spread numerous diseases worldwide. Hantavirus, salmonella and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (viral infection of the nervous system), can spread to humans directly through contact with mice feces, saliva or urine, mouse bites and other direct contact. Other diseases, like lyme disease, bubonic plague and Colorado tick fever, can also spread indirectly through ticks, fleas and mites that have fed on an infected mouse that transmits that infection to humans.

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 including weasels, foxes, coyotes, hawks, skunks, shrews, bobcats and bears, to name just a few. Some species of mice 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 harming many rodent predators including owls and eagles, and our furry companions, dogs and cats.  

So how do we get rid of these curious guests safely and humanely?

The best place to start is to determine and eliminate their access points. If you can prevent mice from getting in to human spaces, you may be able to live with them in harmony, or at least ignore them. 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. Making sure food and food waste is sealed up can help, and some people also have success with natural deterrents, like surface sprays or getting a cat. 

When your prevention efforts just aren’t doing the trick, turn to catch-and-release traps. However, with all live traps, it is recommended that you check them every few hours and the first thing in the morning. Trapped animals won’t have access to water and become more and more stressed over time.

We’ve put together this list of top-rated, no-kill humane mouse traps that minimize stress.

The Rundown
No fuss, no muss with this effective, easy-to-use reusable trap.
Mice check in, so you can check them out of your home.
Discreetly capture mice at a low cost with this reusable trap.
Many mice avoid the smell of peppermint and cinnamon oils in this non-toxic repellent.
Made from galvanized metal, this trap is reusable and should last for years.
When you have a BIG mouse problem, consider a multi-catch trap.

Best Overall: Authenzo Humane Mouse Trap

Authenzo Humane Mouse Trap

There are many knock-off versions of the highly reviewed Authenzo’s Humane Mouse Trap, but you shouldn’t settle for a copycat. The original is low cost, easy and effective. Made from durable, clear ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) 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. Their design was updated in 2019 to include ventilation holes to make the trap even more humane. You also don’t have to worry about the spring-loaded door accidentally snapping shut on the mouse’s tail because the trap door isn’t triggered until the mouse crosses a fulcrum near the end of the trap, furthest from the entrance.

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. 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. Many reviewers say they caught their first mouse within an hour of deploying this convenient trap.

Best for the Kitchen: The Mouse Hotel Humane Smart Live Capture No Kill Mouse Trap

Mouse Hotel Trap

Made of transparent green plastic and shaped like a rectangular dog house, the Mouse Hotel Humane no-kill trap is a good fit for the kitchen. Unless you tell them, visitors won’t recognize it as a mouse trap. But that also means you might want to keep it out of reach of children and dogs. It measures 7 inches x 3 inches x 3 inches, so it’s relatively discreet.

Like many live catch traps, manufacturers recommend using peanut butter for the bait. The plastic is somewhat transparent so you can do a quick visual check to see if your mouse guests have checked in. The trap door design means that when you see the door closed, then a mouse is likely inside. You can carry the trap outside and use the same trap door to let the mouse escape, without having to touch it. Then the trap can be cleaned and reset for its next guest.

Consumers have reported catching a mouse every hour with this effective trap. Air holes ensure that the mouse can breathe while trapped, but consumers also warn that the trap needs to be checked every few hours or the mouse may try to chew their way out.

Traps to Avoid

By far the most popular method has traditionally been the proverbial 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.

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

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

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.

When a repellant just isn’t working in your vehicle, try the Authenzo Humane Trap or Mouse Hotel above.

Best Metal Trap: Kensizer Small Animal Humane Live Cage

Kensizer Small Animal Humane Live Cage

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

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 Authenzo Humane Mouse Trap (available from Amazon). If you're on a budget, consider the Kness Tip-Trap (available from Amazon).

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.

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