When it comes to mouse traps there are two main categories from which to choose. A live trap or a kill trap. As the names infer, the live trap will capture the mouse so you can relocate it without harm. The various levels of kill trap are all effective, with some being more humane than others.
Wind Up—There are a few variations of this type of trap but the main function is the same. This is a tension loaded system that waits for the mouse to step on a platform. The sensitive trigger will then literally "launch" the mouse into a collection box and then will automatically reload to catch the next rodent. These wind up traps can catch more than one mouse at a time.
The physical design of the trap requires no extra baiting because it appeals to the curiosity of the critter and lures them in naturally. Other features could include a clear lid for ease of monitoring the trap and a hands-free release system.
One Direction—This is a generic name for a one-way design that will allow the mouse to come into the trap but not be able to get out. It's a passive system that needs no setting of springs or reloading.
Home Made—This method has been proved over and over to work well and uses common household items. All you need is an old toilet paper roll, a dab of peanut butter with a piece of cracker stuck to it. Smash the toilet paper roll so that one side is flat and rests easily on a counter top. Place the peanut butter and cracker combination on one end and balance the roll over the side of the mouse-attracting counter. Balance the roll so it is close to tipping and falling off of the counter. Place a trash can of at least a 20" depth directly underneath the tube. When the mouse sees the tunnel with the bait, it will enter the tunnel, shift the balance of the roll and both will tumble into the trash can.
Classic Snap Trap—This is the simple board that requires a careful trigger and spring load. Once the bait has been placed on a small pressure plate the trap is set. When the mouse goes after the bait, the bait plate releases and a strong metal bar, will snap down hard some part of the body of the mouse.
Glue Trap—This acts in the same way a fly strip works with flies. A strong sticky board is placed where you see indications of mice. A bit of bait is set in the middle of the strip. When the mouse walks on the strip the feet stick to the plate, permanently.
Electrocution Traps—These are battery-operated boxes that lure the mouse in after which a lethal dose of an electrical charge is released to kill the mouse quickly. Most come with indicator lights to alert you when mice are inside.
Chemical Bait—These are poisons that are designed to look and taste like food, but are loaded with lethal chemicals. Keep out of reach of children.