Some people may think that little furry mice are cute, but most people despise them. They scurry around our floors, spreading filth along the way, and have been known to give some people quite a startle. There are several ways to go about catching and getting rid of mice – some are humane, others are not. If you find that your home is being visited regularly by mice, follow some of the suggestions and methods below to catch them.
1. Determining if you have a mouse problem
If you’ve actually seen a mouse, it’s pretty safe to say you have a mouse problem. Like many pests and rodents, where there’s one mouse, there’s likely to be more. Another way to tell if you have a problem is to check for mouse droppings. Unfortunately for us, mice tend to unload their feces and urine as they’re scurrying along. Their droppings look like very tiny little brownish pellets – easily recognizable on a bright kitchen or wood floor.
2. Standard mousetrap
The most basic mousetrap that’s been used for ages is made out of wood/plastic and metal wire. It’s a straightforward trap that has you place some bait on one side, and pull back the cable to the other side. The bait is placed on a latch of sorts, which, when disturbed, will cause the cable from the other end to viciously swinging back over. If a mouse is messing with the bait, the idea is that the wire will snap back and crush them. In some cases, it just catches their tail or deals a non-lethal blow – if this happens, it’s up to you to do the dirty work and finish the mouse off. And by the way, the best and most effective bait tends to be peanut butter, not cheese like you see in all the movies.
3. Proper disposal of a dead mouse
There’s no doubt about it; mice are full of diseases. Once they’re dead, it’s even easier for the disease to spread – insects, pets, and even children can disturb the body and contract or also spread these diseases. It’s essential to get rid of the dead mice as soon as possible. The best method is to turn a plastic bag (or double plastic bag to be safe) inside out and use it as a glove to pick up the dead mouse. Seal up the bag around the mouse and dispose of outside in your garbage pail immediately. Clean up the area where the body was with some disinfectant.
4. Humane mouse traps – no killing
Humane mouse traps, otherwise known as no-kill traps, are for those not interested in killing the mice or are too squeamish around dead animals. Most of them work on the same principle. There is some opening for a mouse to walk inside the trap and feed on the bait. Once inside, the doors on the trap close and keep the mouse inside. These traps tend to be more expensive, but the good news is that they’re reusable. Make sure the trap is cleaned and disinfected once you’ve gotten rid of all the mice and are ready to store the trap.
5. Releasing live mice outdoors
It’s always a good rule of thumb to take your captured mice far away from your home before releasing them. Studies have shown that letting mice and many other rodents out in your backyard only results in them coming back (common sense would dictate this as well). Your best bet is driving to a park near your house and letting the mice go there. It may be difficult for the mice to survive outdoors, especially in the winter; however, this is the case with all mice outdoors. You shouldn’t feel responsible for them once they’re back in the wild. It’s either that or let them live in your house!
6. Glue traps
Though glue traps won’t kill a mouse right away, they’re considered kill traps. Glue traps are necessary pieces of plastic with extremely sticky glue on the surface. Throw some bait on top of the glue, and you’ll have mice sticking to it before you know it. If the trap is in an odd spot that you don’t see every day, you may come to find that the mouse on it has already died by the time you check it. If not, it’s up to you to dispose of the mouse just as you would with a dead mouse in step #3. You also always have the option of killing the mouse yourself before disposing of it, but that can be a gruesome job for many people.
7. Calling a professional exterminator
If none of the above methods are working for you or if you’re not up to the task, it’s time to call a professional exterminator. A professional will know exactly where to set the traps, what type of bait to use, and when to check the traps. Professional exterminators will even come back and dispose of the dead mice for you – that’s part of a typical contract.
Tired of hunting for mice? Get a good night’s sleep!