I've noticed an up tick in mice this year as well, surely not as bad as you have though :-D
I think my rules disagree with yours too :-\ And here we thought beekeeping was the cause for different opinions.
1. Must use trap w/ metal bait pedal. Plastic is too trigger happy and you get tripped traps w/ no mouse and they are too difficult to place into tight spaces w/o tripping them. Keepfingers way from these. Dont even buy 'em. Won't use poisons or sticky traps either as first is too indiscriminate and the latter just cruel. As for catching them alive. WHY? Unless you have a snake or mouse eating lizard, which at the moment I don't.
I agree with the poisons and sticky traps, but I'm a plastic trap guy. No blood or mess to deal with and you don't have to worry about your fingers ;). Yes there are some brands that are better than others, but I have learned to use them with consistent results.
2. Must use very stinky type of meat. I like stinky Italian salami, pepperoni or lox. Yes lox, the best. Oily and stinky and it can be wedged into the bait petal. I never miss a mouse if you really wedge the bait into the petal. These meats can all be wedged in nicely and as they dry it sticks even tighter to the petal.
I use to use peanut butter, but hated dealing with it after it turned into moldy concrete. Then I used just plain flour with good results, but did get the occasional trip without a catch. Now I have switched to marshmallows. With a little force they stick to the trap well and don't get moldy when they dry out. Clean up is 2nd only to catching in my book.
3. Never use traps a second time if they killed. The mice smell the fear and death on a used trap if it killed before and avoid it.
I've not noticed that. I have some traps that have caught over 20 mice. In fact I have caught mice with the same trap less than an hour apart. Catching mice can turn into an expensive proposition at the rate you seem to be catching them if you don't reuse traps.
4. Place them right where they have left their trail of feces or whatever they have gotten into.
Sounds good to me.
5 Repeat as needed
That is where I get lazy and went for the self resetting trap.http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/2007/09/10/better-mouse-trap/