You don’t want rodents living in your home but you don’t want to kill them, either. Humane traps offer the perfect solution. A humane trap catches the mouse, rat, or chipmunk without injury and allows you to release it safely far away from your home. These traps are even reusable, easy and safe to use, and perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
Here’s how to use a humane trap for best results and a buyer’s guide to the top-rated humane mouse traps on the market.
- CaptSure Humane Smart Mouse Trap
- Vensmile LX Humane Mouse Trap
- Victor Tin Cat Live Mouse Trap
- Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
- Mouse Hotel Humane Trap
- Havahart Mouse Trap
What Are Humane Mouse Traps?
Humane rodent traps aren’t designed to hurt, poison, or kill rodents. Instead, mice that end up where they shouldn’t be, like your home or garage, can be caught in the trap unharmed and alive. These traps are reusable and allow you to release the rodents back outside far away from your home. These traps are also known as catch-and-release mouse traps and no-kill mouse traps.
How to Use Humane Traps
Humane traps can be used just like other mouse traps. They should always be placed in areas with evidence of mouse activity or areas that are most hospitable to a mouse such as dark, warm areas.
The perfect places for humane traps include:
- Food pantries
- Under appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators
- Under the kitchen sink
- Where pet food is stored
You can easily set the trap by opening a bait door and placing your chosen bait such as peanut butter. Once the trap is activated and set, a mouse will spring it once they walk to the back of the trap for the bait. The live trap will need to be checked often.
To increase your chances of success when using humane traps, keep the following tips in mind:
- Use gloves when handling the trap. This avoids transferring your scent to the trap. It’s also hygienic as rodents can spread disease.
- Use the right bait such as peanut butter or crackers.
- Set the traps along edges and corners, not in the center of a room. When placed against a wall, the door to the trap should be set against the wall so a mouse running along the wall will stop and enter to explore.
- Check the trap frequently and release rodents as quickly as you can. Rodents should be released at least 1 mile from your home.
What Bait to Use in a Humane Trap
Forget using cheese as a bait for a mouse trap. While it works great in cartoons, it’s not the perfect lure for most rodents.
The best baits to use include:
- Dry cat and dog food kibble
- Peanut butter or hazelnut spread
- Sunflower seeds
- Cotton to attract female mice who are nesting
Do Humane Traps Really Work?
Absolutely. These traps are effective at catching mice when used correctly and they allow you to humanely return the rodent to the wild. There are some caveats to keep in mind. Most traps are made of plastic which mice can easily chew through to both destroy the trap and escape. You will need to be vigilant to watch the traps and not let the rodent remain for too long.
The traps can also be inhumane if neglected because they can allow the mouse or rat to starve, freeze, or dehydrate. Otherwise, they very effectively capture mice when they enter by activating a mechanism that closes the entrance door behind the mouse.
How Humane Are They?
Catch-and-release mouse traps are as humane as it gets without actually allowing rodents to make your home their own. They definitely beat mouse glue traps, even if you free the mouse with oil, because glue boards can cause mice to panic and hurt themselves.
Still, how humane the trap will be depends on how you handle the mouse once it’s caught. There is a good argument that releasing an animal in an unfamiliar or hostile area, such as a strange wooded area in the winter or an area without a good food source, is less humane than simply using a fast kill trap like a snap trap. An instant kill is less likely to cause suffering than releasing a rodent in a bad habitat.
The most humane method of killing a rodent after catching it in a live trap is destroying the brain with a strong blow to the head. If the animal is either released quickly to a favorable area or killed quickly in a humane manner, humane rodent traps are a good solution.
Which Is More Humane: a Humane Trap or a Poison?
There’s no doubt that humane traps, when used correctly, provide a humane solution to a rodent problem in your home. Rodenticides or poison can cause a wide range of effects and may take up to 9 days to kill a rat or mouse.
Several days after ingestion of an anticoagulant bait, a rat will experience weakness, breathing problems, and bleeding in the skull and into joint spaces. This is known to be very painful and these symptoms can continue for days before the rodent dies.
How Long Can a Mouse Last in a Trap?
It’s very important to check humane traps at least a few times a day. While a mouse can live in the trap for days, they won’t be pleasant days. Trapped mice will experience shock and may hurt themselves trying to get free. Most mice can only survive two to four days without food. Depending on the trap, mice may also develop hypothermia if left in the trap too long. This happens when the mouse’s respiration creates moisture inside the trap which wets their fur and makes them too cold.
Cleaning Humane Mouse Traps
Humane traps can be used over and over again for years but it’s important to keep them clean. Rats and mice are far less likely to enter a trap that smells like humans, although they may be more likely to enter a trap that already smells like other rodents have been in it.
Depending on the type of trap you choose, you can rinse it with warm water and dish soap. You may not need to clean the trap very often at all if you minimize handling, wear gloves when touching the trap, and use a clean type of bait like dry oatmeal or cereal instead of peanut butter.
Pros and Cons of Humane Traps
Humane traps aren’t the right choice for everyone. You need to be willing to see and, to an extent, handle the mice once they are captured. They also aren’t guaranteed to be humane unless you stay on top of checking the trap. Here are the most important benefits and drawbacks of humane rodent traps.
- Humane traps are reusable. A quality trap can be used for many years with a low investment.
- You can release captured rodents back into the wild. Realistically, rodents won’t have good odds of survival in an unfamiliar area, especially if they grew up in your home or shed, but they will still be part of the food cycle and have a chance.
- Can be used indoors and outdoors. Most traps are waterproof to a point.
- Won’t harm non-target animals like chipmunks and squirrels
- No poison. Poison doesn’t just kill rodents; it does it painfully and slowly. Poisoned bait can also harm non-target animals including cats and owls that eat poisoned rodents and dogs that may eat poisoned bait.
- Safe to use around pets and children. There are no parts that can pinch or hurt.
- These traps must be checked frequently. If you are concerned about humane treatment, don’t set humane traps that you ignore. The traps should be checked every several hours or at least twice a day. If the mouse is caught but not discovered, it will starve or dehydrate.
- You will need to handle the mouse. You don’t need to touch the mouse to set it free, but you will need to pick up the trap with the live mouse inside and transport it away from your home.
- Releasing mice from a trap isn’t always a happy ending. In the warm months, it’s easy to release a mouse into a field with abundant food. This can be harder if you live in a city. Releasing mice from a humane trap in the winter is even more challenging as you won’t have much luck finding them a safe, warm spot for release.
- Rodents must be released far from the home. Mice typically have small living areas and travel just 25 feet from their nest to find a source of food. Still, research has found that mice released from traps can return to your home even if released more than 1,500 to 2,000 meters from the home although this trek back will take weeks. Researchers have even found mice will cross rivers and pass through less than ideal habits to return to your home thanks to their homing and navigational abilities. This study was only on deer mice, however, not house mice.
Humane Mouse Trap Reviews
There are many factors that go into choosing the best humane mouse trap. It should be sturdy enough to last years with a design that encourages mice to go inside. Many traps are designed to hold only one mouse at a time but others can contain several live mice at once. These humane mouse trap reviews cover the top six humane traps on the market. Traps are rated based primarily on consumer reviews but also cost.
- CRUELTY-FREE MOUSE TRAPS - Our 100% humane, no-kill and no-pain mouse trap employs the Catch & Release method to clear your premises from mice and small-sized rodents. Endorsed by humane societies and animal rights organizations across the globe.
- SAFE AROUND KIDS AND PETS - CaptSure Catch & Release traps are super-safe for indoor and outdoor use in homes with children or pets since they do not utilize poison, glue, chemicals or electricity. On top of that, you will not have to physically catch the mice in order to release them, which translates to reduced risk of diseases or bites. Plus, we have carefully designed this trap to render finger accidents completely impossible!
- EASIER & MORE CONVENIENT THAN SIMILAR TRAPS - Our easy-to-set mouse traps feature a convenient, sensitive and see-through design that allows trappers of all experience levels to capture, transport and release small rodents and rats with ease. This hygienic and safe design poses zero risk for fingers to accidentally get stuck while setting up the trap.
- REUSABLE AND EASY TO CLEAN - The CaptSure Smart Mouse Trap comes in a 2-pack and can be cleaned and reused as many times as you want. On top of that, they're waterproof and can be effortlessly washed.
- BEST QUALITY GUARANTEE, 24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT - Get in touch with us and take advantage of our 24/7 Customer Support!
#1. Upgraded CaptSure Humane Mouse Trap
The new CaptSure humane traps are unbeatable in terms of cost and effectiveness. These low-cost traps come in a two-pack and can be used to trap small rodents such as mice, moles, voles, and hamsters. They can be used indoors and outdoors with an easy-to-use design. They also come in two available sizes: small for mice and large for rats and chipmunks. The CaptSure trap has a see-through and sensitive design with nowhere for fingers to get stuck. To set the trap, simply add bait inside the compartment, open the spring door, and wait for a mouse.
- Simple design is easy to set up and use.
- Safe and hygienic. Fingers can’t get pinched and you won’t need to touch the mouse at all.
- Odor-resistant and waterproof for indoor and outdoor use
- Very low cost
- Can be handwashed with hot water after each use
- Comes in small and large sizes for everything from mice to voles, rats, and chipmunks
- Mice can chew through the plastic trap if trapped for too long. Unfortunately, this can happen with any plastic trap.
- Some people find the mouse’s tail gets clipped by the door when it springs but this is uncommon.
- Pack of 2 Biggest Trap Box for Catching all size Mouse and Rat: Comparing with other older mouse trap, we upgrade the size and hole design, so that it can catch big mouse, rats, even squirrels nor harm!
- SAFE for Pet and Family: No poison; No glue; No touching mice or any dropping so no risk of disease; Safe around children and pets; Especially suitable for using at home
- Ease to Use and Effectiveness - Open the tail door & place the bait in the food compartment and after that open the spring door. The mouse is going to enter this trap & the spring door just closes in time
- Simple to Clean & Reuable - The compartments are removable & can be cleaned with ease. One should simply rinse using water & reset it
- HUMANE & No Kill - Grab & release the mouse traps causing no pain or harm. It is suitable for people who don't wish to harm whatever kind of animal
#2. Vensmile LX Humane Mouse Trap
Want to trap rodents large and small humanely? The Vensmile LX trap is perfect. This humane trap is large enough for even large rats and squirrels yet it can also trap small mice, voles, and chipmunks. It can be used indoors and outdoors and reused indefinitely. It’s easy to clean and use with a safe, humane system that traps rodents until you are ready to release them.
- Affordable and humane trap comes in a two-pack. This is one of the most affordable humane traps capable of catching large rodents.
- Large enough for squirrels and rats as well as mice and voles.
- Easy to clean and reusable
- Very easy to set up and release
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Not the most affordable choice if you are only concerned about mice in the house
- Typically only catches one rodent at a time
- Rodents can and will chew through the plastic if left alone long enough
Vensmile Humane Smart Trap Review:
- For catching and releasing mice if you do not want to see or touch them
- 2 easy to use Mouse traps included
- Each trap catches up to 30 mice
- Disposable or reusable - depending on your preference
- Safe for use around children and pets when used as directed
#3. Victor Tin Cat Live Mouse Trap
Do you have a family of mice that have moved in? The Victor M310S tin cat trap is the best humane mouse trap for catching multiple mice. This trap can humanely catch and hold up to 30 mice at once. Best of all, its price is comparable to the small one-mouse plastic traps and it’s made from metal to prevent mice from chewing their way out or damaging the trap. The Victor trap also lets you humanely catch and release mice without even seeing them. Depending on your preference, the trap can be cleaned or reused or it can be disposed of after use.
- Large and effective enough to tackle a large mouse problem and catch and hold up to 30 mice at once
- If you don’t check traps every few hours, you can make the trap more humane by adding shredded tissues and jar lids with peanut butter and water. This will allow the mice to survive for a couple of days until they’re found and released.
- Metal construction that mice can’t chew through
- Very affordable solution to catching multiple mice
- Reusable design
- There are sharp edges. Cover them or be careful because you can cut yourself and potentially expose yourself to a disease being carried by wild rodents.
- Mice will resort to cannibalism if necessary. They have a high metabolism and can starve without food for 24 hours. Because the trap can hold many mice, make sure there is enough food and/or the trap is checked often.
- EFFECTIVE: Catcha no kill mouse trap with a spring door that closes once the mouse go inside to eat the bait which you set. Once the door closes, the mouse can't get out until you open it up;
- EXTREMELY SAFE: No poison; No glue; No touching mice or any dropping so no risk of disease; Safe around children and pets; Especially suitable for using at home.
- EASY TO USE: Simply place the peanut butter in the compartment and open the spring door. When mice are caught alive and unharmed, all you have to do is take the trap out to a wooded area and release the mouse.
- REUSEABLE & ECONOMY: After releasing the mice, clean the mouse trap and set it again. It can be used over and over.
- EXTREMELY HUMANE: No kill animals, endorsed by Humane Societies and Animal Rights Organizations in the U.S. and Worldwide.
#4. Catcha 2 Piece Humane Smart Mouse Trap
The Catcha traps are basic plastic humane traps that catch one mouse at a time, or sometimes two if you’re really lucky. These translucent green plastic traps are effective and simple with a two-piece design that lets you place bait at the end of the tunnel. The Catcha traps are about the most basic humane traps you can get with a good design but they aren’t the most affordable option.
- Effective at catching mice
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Easy to set and clean by hand washing under hot water
- Reusable design
- Mice can and will chew through the plastic if left in the trap too long.
- Can only catch mice, nothing larger
- Not the most affordable humane trap available.
- There is no poison, glue, or metal snap to harm the mouse.
- Simply clean the trap and use it again and again.
- 4 air holes to keep the trap well ventilated and the mouse alive.
- The door closes gently to catch mice in a humane way.
- Transparent coloring so you'll always know when a mouse is captured.
#5. Mouse Hotel Humane Trap
The Mouse Hotel is a cute trap that looks like a long Monopoly house in transparent green plastic. The humane trap has four air holes with a door that closes gently to avoid injuring trapped mice. The door closes behind the mouse while he’s inside eating the bait. Like other humane traps, it can be washed and reused over and over.
- Attractive design
- Safe design that won’t pinch fingers or injure mice as they’re trapped
- Reusable and easy to clean
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Only sold individually and more expensive than other traps
- Mice can easily chew through the plastic if left in the trap
- Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 6 inches. Galvanized Steel, 12-Gauge Wire Mesh
- One gravity action door
- Chipmunk trap - also ideal for catching squirrels, flying squirrels, rats, weasels and similar-size nuisance animals
- Patented design; comes fully assembled and ready to use
- Trigger rod is located outside of the trap so animal cannot damage it while in the trap
#6. Havahart Mouse Trap
If you want a versatile trap that can be used to catch mice and rats as well as squirrels, chipmunks, and other large pests around the house, this trap is a good choice. The Havahart one-door trap is designed for large pests like rats, squirrels, and weasels but it comes in various sizes. The extra-small trap has two doors and it can trap mice as well.
Depending on the size trap you choose, you can even humanely catch animals like rabbits and skunks for humane remote release away from your home and garden. The trap is made from rust-resistant wire mesh and steel reinforcements for reliable outside use for many years to come.
- Comes in a range of sizes depending on your target animal
- Perfect outdoor solution to protect your home and garden, especially from pests that eat vegetables like chipmunks
- Affordable outdoor trapping system
- Remote release model available designed for skunks
- Can be a bit tricky to figure out. The steel rods must make contact for the trap to spring.
- Some users report filing flat spots on the steel rods to improve contact and use.
- Not a good choice for trapping rodents in the house.
- Not a cost-effective solution for minor rodent problems in and around the house.
The CaptSure humane trap (see on Amazon) is the best choice for humanely catching mice in and around your home. It has a very sensitive trigger device with a safe design that won’t hurt you or the rodent. It’s also durable and very affordable. If you need to catch rats or larger rodents like chipmunks and voles, the Vensmile LX trap is the better choice (see on Amazon) because it’s large and more durable.
Alternatives to humane traps: Electric mouse traps