Looking for the Best Way to Catch a Mouse?
So, you want to know how to get rid of mice in your house? Well, it is little comfort to hear that the best strategy is to not let mice in your house to begin with, so I’ll save those tips until the end. If you are not used to dealing with these nasty little critters, seeing mice in the house for the first time can really freak you out. Figuring out how to get rid of mice becomes a top priority in a hurry. I remember the first time I saw one up close and personal. I was five or six years old and our house was next to woods. My older sister and I were watching TV in the game room when we saw a gray streak go sprinting across the floor. My sister about lost her mind right there. I didn’t know what it was until I heard her screaming MOUSE!
Anyway, if you’ve got mice in the house, you’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. They are quite attracted to each other if you know what I mean. I’ve read that if you don’t take steps quickly to get rid of mice, they can have up to twelve or thirteen litters over the course of a year. That means that they can quickly become more than a nuisance. You can find yourself living in the middle of a full blown mouse control problem. Mice can spread some very nasty diseases, and they can get into just about anything. You want them gone. If you have been looking for a reason to get a cat, you’re all set.
How to Get Rid of Mice: Mouse Traps That Work
At this point some of you might be curling up in your chair feeling something like my sister did when she saw our little visitor. Now you have to decide on a course of action. You could go straight to calling a mouse exterminator, but that can be expensive. Depending on your situation, you might want to try taking care of things on your own first. Whatever you decide to do, you need to take action quickly.
Spring Loaded Mouse Traps
Probably the most common solution that people go with, when it comes to mouse extermination, is a spring loaded mouse trap. Victor mouse traps are probably the ones most Americans are familiar with. The Victor “V” is well known with experienced mouse hunters. These mouse traps are efficient and cheap. In my opinion, these are the best way to catch a mouse. If you want to give these a shot, place them near where the mice hang out. If you know of a hole where they are living, place the mouse trap near it. If you just know a general area where you have seen mice, place it along the area where they run. For these mouse traps to do any good, you will have to find the best mouse trap bait for the mouse in your house. I have found that marshmallows with peanut butter smeared on top of them make a pretty good mouse trap bait. It stays in place and does a good job of getting the attention of hungry mice. You may want to secure the mouse bait in place by tying it down with a piece of dental floss (not mint flavored). I’ve also heard of some people adding a drop of vanilla extract to the mouse bait just to make it a bit more irresistible to the mice. From what I’ve seen, baiting a mouse trap with cheese works a lot better in cartoons than it does in real life. You want something sticky that smells good to them. If you have other pets, make sure that their access to the trap area is blocked. This tip about protecting other pets also applies to using poison pellets, mouse glue traps, and any other pest control products that could potentially harm them. Mouse poison and dogs should be nowhere near each other. Your pets may also go after baited mouse traps, so be sure to take precautions.
How to Set a Mouse Trap
One of the most daunting parts of the whole “how to catch a mouse” problem is how to set a mouse trap. I’ll bet that there are people who avoid these snap traps just because they don’t want to whack themselves. Fortunately, I was able to find a very handy video showing the right way to set a trap (along with what NOT to do). Take a look. A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words!
How to Get Rid of Mice with an Electronic Mouse trap
We’ve all heard the challenge of building a better mousetrap, and people keep on trying. There are electronic mouse traps that use battery power to deliver a lethal jolt. You might also hear these referred to as electric mouse traps, but they do not plug in to a wall socket. These are a good option for people who prefer to avoid the possible gore of a traditional trap. Once the mouse is dead, you just dump it out and dispose of it properly. There are also various no touch traps that work something like a traditional trap. I have found that the electronic traps are hard to find in my area. These run on standard batteries, but they build up a charge that is strong enough to take down these rodents. Some people have managed to give themselves a zap while setting these, so be careful. The Victor Electronic Mouse Trap is one of the more popular choices around today.
Looking for a Humane Mouse Trap?
There are some people who don’t want mice in the house, but who cannot bear the thought of causing suffering in another living creature. For these people, there are humane mouse traps. Now, the definition of humane can vary a bit here. If you search for them, you will not always find live mouse traps. Some people see anything that is not a spring loaded trap as humane, while others want a trap that will capture the mice in a living state so that they can be relocated to some nearby woods and live out their lives as country mice. I’ll assume for now that we are talking about live capture traps. There are quite a few available. My problem with trapping mice is that these traps are going to leave you stuck with a trapped animal that is not going to show you the proper appreciation for sparing its life. I get the noble cause. Honestly, I even carry spiders outside sometimes, but I personally am not interested in an accidental mouse bite as I try to do the right thing. I switch into a different mode when I’m dealing with pest problems.
Probably the most popular and affordable humane traps around are Mice Cubes (cute name). Mice cubes work on a pretty basic principal. The door only opens one way. When the mouse goes in, gravity closes the door behind it and then it is stuck. At that point, you can drive it to your favorite wooded area and introduce it to its new home. At the time of this writing, you can pick up a 12 pack of these for just over 20 bucks. Smaller packs cost less. Not a bad deal at all if you want to get your mouse problems handled as quickly as possible.
Glue Mouse Traps
I should also acknowledge that there are glue mouse traps available. Seriously, the idea of these glue traps for mice gives me the heeby jeebies. These allow you to capture a living mouse by getting it stuck to a board covered with glue. Do you want to guess what kind of mood this critter will be when you find it? Really, some people like these traps, but pretty much anything that goes by can get stuck to them, and like I said, you’ve got to deal with an angry rodent that is basically out in the open. Surprisingly, I never saw this mentioned in other how to articles about mouse trapping or rat trapping. I can’t say that I recommend this method, but if you have a reason that you prefer them, please feel free to leave a comment explaining why.
Finally there is the mouse poison option. I’ve never actually tried any of these for two reasons. I have had dogs around for most of my life, and I don’t want the mice dying and rotting somewhere that I can’t find them. I may be paranoid, but I don’t like to leave poison out where kids or pets can get to it. Your situation may vary. I happen to know that if I accidentally leave any type of bait stations out in the open, at least one of my dogs will probably get curious enough to do itself some harm. Before you even consider using poison, please read this.
The Homemade Mouse Trap
OK. You know that there are people who just have to try things on their own. Honestly, my research on homemade mouse traps seems to indicate that most of them are a lot more trouble than they are worth. Some were based on making the mouse drown, which I do see as rather cruel and unusual, or trapping them in something like a garbage can. Considering how inexpensive traps actually are, these might make for a nice science fair project, but they hardly seem worth the time and effort involved.
What is the best mouse trap?
I suppose choosing the best mouse trap is something that depends a lot on your ethical position on killing mice. If you are against it, go for one of the live release traps. If you are only interested in how to kill mice efficiently, I personally lean toward the spring loaded traps or electronic traps. I’d have to say that if I face the problem any time soon, I’ll probably give the electronic traps a shot just because they don’t really cost that much and I always feel like I’m going to snap myself when I set the spring traps.
No matter how you decide to go after the mice, don’t handle them without protecting yourself with heavy gloves. (Read about cleaning up after rodents.) They really can carry some bad stuff. When I’ve caught them in the past, I drop them into double plastic bags, wrap them up and put them in the outside garbage. I have also heard that vacuums should not be used to clean up their droppings. Apparently they can release some of the bad stuff from the droppings into the air and you don’t want to breath it in. Spray it with a disinfectant spray containing bleach and then clean it up with disposable rags or paper towels. Have I made it clear that you don’t want to handle any of this stuff more than you have to?
How to Keep Mice Out of Your House
As for how to keep mice out of your house once you have done your Terminator thing, removing clutter is a good way to start. Trash and piles of wood are common things that attract mice. Keep them away from your house as much as possible. If you do keep wood for a fireplace, get it off of the ground where it would make an inviting home for Stuart Little’s bad seed cousins.
In addition, look for points around your house where mice might be gaining access and seal them. They can fit through incredibly tiny holes, so get yourself some caulking or other appropriate sealant and get busy. They can chew through most of the materials used in building a house with the exception of metal, so if you can block entryways with something metallic, it is all the better. Also, clean up anything that might be an attractive food source for these pests. Dog and cat food are notorious attractants. I remember when my brother found a nest of mice living under the hood of his 1979 Cougar RX7. He said that there was bunch of dog kibble stored in there along with the mice. I have also had mice raiding the dog food in past years, but they never got quite so creative with their accommodations.
Mice in the Walls
Not to spook you, but have you ever heard a mysterious scratching noise in the middle of the night, when the house was quiet? Well, it could be mice in your walls. Of course, it could also be squirrels or bats too, but that’s another post. Solutions for getting rid of mice in walls can be a bit more challenging. They could be trapped, or they could just be using the area as part of their normal run. If you can locate where they entered, setting a trap is probably your best bet. Once they are gone, just be sure to seal things up tight so that no more visitors come calling. If they are not willing to cooperate and get into the mouse trap for you, you do have some other options. If you can find a place (in the attic maybe) where you can access the space between the walls, you could sprinkle some mouse poison in there for them. The problem with that of course is that they might also die between the walls. Some mouse poisons have a drying effect on the mouse’s body, but you may still have to put up with some stink for several days. Some people swear by doing the same thing with moth balls because the seem to repel mice. I recently heard about using peppermint oil to repel mice. I’d probably give that a try first, just because I the smell of moth balls might drive me out of the house before the mice left. Some people are looking for ways to get rid of mice naturally. Well, besides a cat, I guess one of these methods would be your best bet. I cannot vouch for it yet, but I will be putting some peppermint oil soaked cotton balls around possible points of entry when the weather starts to turn cold.
EDIT: I came across this video and just had to share it. The still shot looks gruesome, I know, but if you’ve never seen this before, you’ve got to check it out! Watch til the end. It isn’t what you think.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have found something that will help you as you deal with the problem of how to get rid of mice in your home as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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