Meat, sweets, bird seeds or nuts, butter and pet foods are some good foods to put in a mousetrap. Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not an especially good mousetrap bait, as mice are attracted by strong smells and natural textures not often associated with processed cheese products. Pungent soft cheeses can attract mice, but they are typically not as effective as foods from the previously mentioned groups.
Small portions of hot dogs, dried sausages, bacon, bacon bits and bacon grease are all good attractants for mice to a trap. These types of bait attract mice due to their scents and textures, both of which are commonly found in a mouse's natural diet.
Mice have a sweet tooth, and many different food items seem to arouse it, especially chocolate of any type. Other effective sweet bait items include soft and chewy candies such as gumdrops, jelly beans and marshmallows. Mice like raisins and maple syrup as well.
Both wet and dry cat and dog foods often work well to attract mice, as do oats, birdseed and some types of nuts. Smooth or chunky peanut butter and regular butter, either by themselves or spread on small pieces of broken crackers, are also effective baits.