Is It Safe To Put A Mouse Trap On A Kitchen Counter?
Updated: Dec 6, 2021
There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with rodent activity in the kitchen or the pantry. It’s the place where you store your food supply and snacks, and the thought of having little critters crawling around these areas can make you worry about your health and safety. So before you get a severe mice infestation, the use of mouse traps is one of your first lines of defense in controlling their population at home.
So should you place mouse traps on a kitchen counter? Most mouse traps don’t require the use of toxic bait so it’s safe to put them in the kitchen area, including the counters. Just make sure to seal or eliminate other food sources on the counter that may lure the mice and rats away from the bait traps. You should also thoroughly clean the kitchen counters after disposing of the captured mice.
Mousetrapping On Kitchen Counters: Is It A Safe Practice?
The rule of thumb in setting up mouse traps is to place them in areas where there are signs of mouse activity and mice droppings, and one of those common areas is the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most feasible hiding spaces for mice and rats because it offers warmth and plenty of food supply.
When catching mice in the kitchen, the counters are one of the suspected areas where rodents often crawl and visit. Although it’s a common rodent control practice to place mouse traps on the counter surface, trapping mice on the kitchen counters may have some safety issues.
If your mouse trap manages to capture a live mouse overnight, it means that you will have a rodent lying on your counter for hours until you take them out. It can pose health and food contamination risks, especially if you have stacks of snacks, dry food packages, and leftover food on the counter.
Dead mice and rats may also leave behind germs that may infect the members of your family through direct contact with the kitchen counters. In addition, there may be rodent droppings, mouse feces, urine, or saliva that they may have left on the countertops, surfaces, and kitchen island tops which can be a serious sanitary concern.
5 Tips on Using Mousetraps on Kitchen Counters
If you’re thinking about using mouse traps on kitchen counters, it’s best to take careful measures to ensure your safety, especially when getting rid of mice that have been captured. Here are some helpful tips on properly using rat traps on the counters:
1. Place all food in tightly-sealed plastic containers or jars
Mice and rats often explore the kitchen for one purpose: to find food. If they see bags of opened food packages or leftover rice, grains, and bread on the counter surface, this may call their attention instead of falling right into your mouse trap.
So before you place any snap traps or glue boards on the kitchen counters, make sure that all food attractants are stored in strong and sealed containers or glass jars. It’s better if you can temporarily relocate all food items and cans into another area or in the pantry so that there are no distractions when the rodents come out of their hiding and roam your counters. This can also ensure that they will not contaminate your food supply during the night.
2. Wipe the counters and keep them clean from crumbs
Cleaning your kitchen counters from crumbs and food debris should always be done to keep rats and mice from the area. However, it’s also important that the mouse trap location is free from small pieces of food that may lure the rodents away from the trap. Wiping the counters is also a good practice to remove their footprints and rodent smells that may infect or contaminate your food after successful mouse trapping.
3. Set traps at the right angles and strategic locations on the counter
If you’re wondering how mice and rats are able to reach the countertops, they’re extremely agile creatures and can easily climb walls or jump onto kitchen cabinets to reach counter surfaces. For this reason, it’s best to place the mouse traps near walls, the corners of the cabinets, or counters where they often reach or land on. Some may even put the mouse trap bait inside cupboards or under the sink where they usually hide and nest.
4. Don’t handle captured or dead rodents with bare hands
If you use a snap trap or glue trap in the kitchen counters, the chances are that the captured mice or rats are exposed and left lying on the surface of the trap. Before approaching and picking up the mouse trap, make sure to wear rubber gloves. When mice are frightened upon becoming trapped on the device, they may urinate which can contaminate the surface surrounding the mouse trap.
As much as possible, avoid cleaning and disposing of the mouse traps with bare hands to avoid infection or exposure to their bacteria and germs. You should also remove mouse droppings and spray a bleach disinfectant on the dead mouse and the surrounding area. The captured rodent should be placed securely on a plastic bag before throwing them in the trash can.
5. Thoroughly disinfect the area where you placed the mouse traps
After ensuring that the rodents are removed from your kitchen, the next step is to clean the counters, specifically the area where the mouse trap was placed. Without taking off your gloves, prepare a cleaning solution with water and bleach and wipe down the countertops and surfaces with a towel. This will help remove evidence of rat droppings, urine, footprints, and saliva on the counters. Once finished, remove your gloves and wash your hands diligently with soap and water to rinse away the germs.
Things You Need To Know About Having Mice In The Kitchen
Among the common household pests, mice and rats are some of the most nimble and active critters. They’re not only found loitering on the kitchen floors but they can also be discovered walking along walls with props and rough surfaces. Their tiny hands have claws that can easily latch onto any uneven surface, which helps them reach high areas such as countertops or kitchen cupboards.
They can also easily settle inside your kitchen cabinets or hide under the sinks by entering through any small hole, doors, gaps, gas lines, or utility pipes that are accessible from the outside. So if you don’t want to start a mouse infestation in the kitchen, you should check for possible entry points and seal them quickly to keep them away.
What Foods Attract Rodents In Your Counters?
Another thing that can welcome uninvited guests on your kitchen counters is having stacks of food, opened snacks, or uncovered leftover meals. Like most pests, rats and mice are always in search of food to sustain their population. You may be unwillingly attracting unwanted rodents in the kitchen counters if you have a stash of these irresistible foods:
Rats and mice are also known for having a sweet tooth so it’s possible that they also like nibbling on treats with high sugar and calorie content like chocolate. It’s also a popular bait used for mouse trap stations since chocolates have an attractive scent that most rodents can pick up from a distance.
2. Peanut butter
Similar to chocolate, snacks or spreads with peanut butter flavor are also enticing to a house mouse. It’s also high in sugar content and has a distinct smell that appeals strongly to rats and mice. Many people would recommend peanut butter as an effective mouse trap bait because it’s sticky and can’t be easily taken away by mice from the trap.
Cheese is a classic food for rodents mainly because it’s stacked with protein and carbohydrates that they need to survive. It’s also a favorite bait to use for humane traps since it has a very pungent odor that can grab the rodent’s interest and draw them straight into the trap.
4. Seeds, nuts, grains
In almost any household, seeds, nuts, and grains are a mainstay in the pantry which can also make mice and rats frequently visit your cupboards and counters. Any kind of nut and seeds serve as an enticing treat to the rodents so having them in your kitchen may be helping them multiply and grow their population in your home.
5. Pet food
Rats and mice may also be on the lookout for the treats and foods that are intended for your house pets. Dry or wet pet food can have a delicious and attractive smell which can easily attract rodents into the kitchen. So make sure to put away all pet food in airtight containers or glass jars that can cover their scent and make it hard for rodents to look for them.
6 Tips To Keep Rodents Away From The Kitchen
Rodent infestations can start in the kitchen and may escalate into a serious rodent problem if not addressed immediately. But the most important aspect of rodent control is knowing the measures to prevent them from establishing their nest inside your home. Here are some preventive tips to help keep rats and mice from their way on your counters:
Eliminate common food and water sources that can attract rodents to build their hiding places nearby
Check all snacks and pet food on the counters and make sure they are sealed and stored in a container
Instead of leaving excess or leftover food in the open, place them inside refrigerators away from the line of sight and smell of hungry rodents
Wipe down countertops after eating or cooking to avoid leaving crumbs or food scent
Avoid storing heaps or clutter of trash in the garbage can and regularly throw them outside to avoid inviting rats and mice inside
You may create a natural rodent repellent with peppermint oil and spray them on your countertops, inside kitchen cabinets and cupboards, and under the sink to help keep rodents away
Common Types Of Traps For Catching Rodents In The Kitchen
The key to effective mouse trapping in the kitchen is to choose your bait traps wisely. There are many available mouse traps in the market that you can easily buy for DIY rodent control. Here are some of the common options for mouse trapping:
Mouse Trap Type
How Do You Use Them
These are spring-loaded traps that can release a snap bar to trap the mouse in place once they step foot on the surface of the trap.
Glue mouse trap
Also known as glue boards or sticky traps, these are essentially cardboards or plastic board surfaces with a sticky adhesive that can stop rodents from moving and hold them in place until you dispose of them.
Electronic mouse traps are small battery-operated traps that release a high-voltage current to shock rodents into their death.
Also called catch-and-release traps, a live trap is a humane mouse trap that catches rodents without killing them. With this kind of trap, the captured rodents can be released safely into the wild without harming them.
Solve Rodent Infestations with Midway Pest Management
Having mice in the kitchen should always be taken seriously, and it’s best to call a team of pest control professionals before it escalates into a severe infestation. At Midway Pest Management, we take care of your infestation concerns using high-quality control and extermination methods.
Apart from our exceptional pest control and inspection services, our management team also guarantees reliable customer service that goes above and beyond. You can be assured that you are leaving your home and business in good hands with our experienced pest control technicians and exterminators. Book your free home inspection today.