Mousetraps vs Professional Rodent Control

Traditional mouse trap with cheese outside of mouse hole

When it comes to household pests, rodents are by far one of the most pervasive and destructive. If you notice signs of a rodent infestation, you need to take immediate action before it escalates out of control. However, there are two primary methods of rodent removal: DIY with mousetraps or professional rodent extermination

We’re going to break down how each of these methods works and whether they’re best for your needs. Overall, mousetraps can work well for small outbreaks of mice, but they have some significant limitations. Let’s discover more about these rodent control options.

What You Need to Know About Mousetraps

The most common image of a mousetrap is a wooden block with a metal spring and arm attached. If you really want to go the old-fashioned route, you can add a small piece of Swiss cheese as bait to entice the little pest to trigger the trap.

While that image is iconic, it does little to illustrate the proper method of using mousetraps. Also, keep in mind that mice are much different from rats. Here are some elements to consider when deciding on whether to use mousetraps or not:

  • Mousetraps Only Work on Mice: Mice are naturally curious, so they like to inspect new traps as soon as you lay them out. On the other hand, rats are pretty paranoid and will avoid anything that even looks like a trap. So, if you have a rat infestation, setting up mousetraps will do little to curb the problem. 
  • Mousetraps Only Work for a Little While: Because mice are curious, they’re also pretty quick learners. For example, while you might capture a bunch of rodents the first few times you set some traps, each following instance will catch fewer mice. So, you have to go all-out on the first night and hope that your efforts reduce the population enough to prevent a new batch of babies. 
  • Cheese Makes Lousy Bait: The reason cartoonists used Swiss cheese in mousetraps is that it looks good on “camera.” In real life, mice love nuts and seeds, so nut butter is a much better form of bait. While some mice may nibble on cheese, they likely won’t eat enough to spring the trap, thus defeating the purpose. 

Types of Mousetraps & What They Do

If you decide to use mousetraps, you’ll discover that multiple varieties work for different purposes. Let’s break down the most common types of mousetraps and how they work.

  • Glue Traps: This option is a bit inhumane, as the mice will get stuck and eventually starve to death. Glue traps can also be less effective since mice may gnaw their feet off to get free. 
  • Electric Traps: If you want a quick and relatively painless death for these intruders, you should choose an electric trap. This model is self-contained and sends a shock to any rodent that comes inside. Best of all, you can dispose of the mouse without touching or seeing it. 
  • Spring Traps: Several varieties of this mousetrap are available, with high-tech reusable designs becoming the norm. Modern spring traps deliver more force when triggered, thus killing the mice faster and more efficiently. 

Pros & Cons of Mousetraps


  • Cost-Effective & Reusable Designs: Once you clear your current mouse infestation, you can reuse some traps for next time if they decide to return. 
  • High-Tech Models: Electric mousetraps are more expensive, but they offer the best value. If you want to avoid seeing or hearing any dead mice, this type of trap is the best.


  • Disposal: While some traps allow you to throw away mice without seeing them, not all of them have that option. If you’re grossed out easily, mousetraps might not be a suitable option. 
  • Doesn’t Work on Rats: As we mentioned, rats are too paranoid and cautious to fall for traps. 
  • Mousetraps Likely Won’t Eliminate the Problem: Unfortunately, mice can breed really fast, so it doesn’t take long for a single brood to take over your home. Thus, you’ll have to deploy lots of traps to ensure that you can prevent mice from spreading too quickly. Even then, you might not get them all, leading to a new problem later on. 

What Is Professional Rodent Control? 

As the name suggests, this option is when you call pest control specialists to come to your house and exterminate the invaders. Typically, professional pest control consists of the following steps: 

  • Inspection: Technicians will look at your home to see the extent of the infestation and check for entry points and nesting sites. 
  • Action Plan: The company will determine the best way to remove the rodents and prevent them from returning later. 
  • Execution: Rodent treatment is relatively quick while still being highly effective. Treatments from an experienced pest control company will help prevent new infestations later on. 

Does This Work for All Rodent Types?

Yes, professional pest control works for all rodents, including both mice and rats. Companies can customize their action plan based on your specific needs. For example, if rats are getting in through the basement, they can find the entry points and seal them so that the rats have no way to get in (or out). 

Pros & Cons of Professional Rodent Control

  • Guaranteed Results: Most pest control companies will guarantee their work, meaning that you can feel confident that you won’t have any rodents left once they’re finished. 
  • Adaptable to Your Needs: Not only can professional technicians figure out what type of rodent you have, but they can also adjust their action plan based on your home’s layout and weaknesses. 
  • Preventative Maintenance: The best reason to utilize professional rodent control is that you can be sure that the pests won’t come back in the future. You might have to get regular treatments and checkups, but they ensure peace of mind. 
  • Higher Cost: While professional pest control costs more than a DIY solution, you get better results, which are worth the price. 

Choosing Between Mousetraps & Professional Rodent Control

Overall, if you have a full-blown infestation, the best option is to work with a professional rodent control company. However, if you start to notice signs of mice, deploying a few traps can counter the problem before it gets out of hand.

Contact Carolina Pest Management for Professional Rodent Control

If you need help with a rodent problem, call Carolina Pest Management. We’re well-versed in handling these types of pests, and we’ll make sure that they leave your home alone for years to come. 
Contact our pest control specialists today by calling 704-350-2674.

By Kristin Dodd

Kristin Dodd, the President of Carolina Pest Management, has been with the company full-time for over 20 years, but has been a part of the family-owned business for much longer. She is currently an active board member of the North Carolina Pest Management Association, and was the President from 2010-2011. She is a licensed operator in...