Will Mice Smell Humans on a Trap?

Yes, mice will smell humans on a trap, and that’s just one of the reasons why we recommend using gloves as you are handling, setting, baiting, and even moving traps.

A new item in a mouse’s habitat will instantly cause the animal to proceed with caution. Mice are generally known to be slightly more cautious than rats and other pest animals are, and that means it takes slightly longer for mice to get accustomed to a trap in their surroundings. If that trap also smells like you — a human and well-known predator of mice — the mice are all the more likely to want to steer clear.

There are plenty of ways in which you can make sure your scent doesn’t end up on the trap that you plan to catch mice with. Gloves are a great place to start, as we previously mentioned, but it can’t stop all scent transfers. There’s a chance that the trap will now smell like the gloves, which will still make the mice quite wary.

If you have a box that the mouse/mice chewed from the kitchen, you can use that disguise some of the scent. The chewing action will leave some ‘mouse scent’ on the box, which will lure in other mice/the same mouse. You can’t cover the trap with the box, because the box might set the trigger off by accident, but you might be able to place the trap in the box, or partially in the box. Putting the box close by can also have some effect.

There will be times when that trap still smells ‘weird’ to mice, initially causing them to steer clear of it. If you’ve noticed that your traps aren’t doing anything positive but you’re sure that mice are traveling close to that spot, we recommend putting the trap down not-set and not-baited for a night or two first. Add some food on the third night, and perhaps the fourth night, too. When you can see that the rodents are happily taking food from the trap, it means they are no longer as wary of the scent as they were before. This is the point at which you can set the trap with the intention of killing a mouse.