Ridding Your Home of Mice: What You Must Know About Mouse Bait

Nothing can be more frustrating, hazardous to the physical structure of your home, and dangerous to your health and that of your loved ones than a mouse infestation in your residence. You may be wondering what you can do on your own to eliminate these critters from your house. As you’ve gone about contemplating your options, you likely have seen the term “mouse bait” come up more than once. This article is presented to provide you with reliable information about what is meant by the term “mouse bait” and how it relates to the elimination of these rodents from your home.

The Two Meanings of “Mouse Bait”

In fact, when discussing eliminating mice from a residence, or any other location, the term “mouse bait” actually refers to two different elements of mice eradication. First, mouse bait refers to the substance that is used to attract a mouse to some type of trap. These include traps designed to kill the animal as well as ones designed for the catch and release of the mouse.

Second, mouse bait also references a chemical product that is designed to be consumed by the mouse. The consumption of poison results in the animal’s death. Because of the duality of meanings, both situations are explored for you here.

Chemical Mouse Bait Products: Poisoning the Animal

There exist three different products that are designed to be eaten by mice and that will kill them when that occurs. These are:

  • Bromethalin
  • Vitamin-based
  • Anti-coagulants


Bromethalin is a neurotoxin. Bromethalin targets a mouse’s brain and liver. Products containing bromethalin are what typically are labeled as “mouse poison” or “rat poison.” Bromethalin is designed to take effect almost immediately, killing a mouse that consumes the substance within an hour or two.

Bromethalin presents a threat to children and pets. The recommendation is that it should not be used in a home where children or pets reside. There is no antidote if a person or pet consumers this poison.

Indeed, using this chemical is not always regarded as the best course. A major issue is that mice can consume it, begin to feel ill, and retreat to hard to reach locations in your home to die. Retrieving the body of a dead mouse under these circumstances can prove highly challenging, if not impossible.


Another second type of mouse bait products is vitamin based. These products are designed to flood a mouse’s system with fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D. Death takes longer when this type of substance or poison is used. A mouse typically dies in about a day.

Although this substance is safer than bromethalin when it comes to children and pets, it still can cause them harm. Unlike bromethalin, there is an antidote and treatment if a human or pet consumes it. 


A final type of chemical mouse bait is an anti-coagulant. Death is much slower with these products and can take a number of days.

Types of Mouse Bait for Traps

If you are intending to use some type of trap to eliminate mice from your residence or business, you likely will need bait to attract the rodent to the device in the first instance. The most common and effective mouse trap is the traditional snap trap. There are two basic types of bait used for traps:

  • Food
  • Nesting materials

Mice forage around a residence seeking food, water, and nesting materials.

Examples of food items that tend to work as mouse bait are:

  • Peanut butter
  • Soft cheese
  • Wet cat food

Examples of nesting material that tend to work as mouse bait are:

  • Cotton balls
  • String

Placement of Mouse Traps

Mice may not approach a mousetrap when it initially is introduced into an area they occupy or crawl through. Thus, if you are using food as bait, you might want to consider placing a trap sans bait for a day or two so that mice get used to its presence.

You need to place traps in locations where the mice are already accessing. In order to identify these areas, look for the following signs:

  • Droppings
  • Gnaw marks
  • Holes
  • Scratches

When to Hire a Pro

You do need to keep in mind that if you want to truly rid your home of mice, you need to get rid of all of them. If you leave any behind, the population will grow quickly.

Because of the challenges associated with making sure all mice are removed from your home, you need to give serious consideration to hiring an exterminator or elimination specialist. These pros have the skills and equipment necessary to safely and thoroughly eradicate a mouse infestation in a home or business.

As an aside, when a mouse infestation is eliminated, you also need to ensure that waste created by these rodents is cleaned up and removed from the premises. Mouse waste, particularly droppings, can present some very real health risks. Indeed, you must never have contact with droppings unless you wear personal protective equipment specifically designed for the elimination of biohazardous material, including a respirator is HEPA mask.