Kill It! Kill It With Fire!
November 20, 2010 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Adjacent to my kitchen, I have a huge closet packed full of boxes, spare appliances, old dishes and other junk. A mouse (hopefully just one) has found his way inside. What is the most efficient and effective way to get him out, dead or alive?

I considered using the pellets, but I'm concerned that the mouse will die inside the closet and I won't know about it until I smell it.

I've put down some traps with bait outside of the closet, but there's probably enough foodstuff inside the closet that the bait wouldn't be that attractive.

I hate to waste my weekly question on something so silly, but I'm terrified and I live alone :(
posted by chara to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
Good old fashioned mouse traps, IN the closet.
Bait with peanut butter, or cheese. Or cheese covered peanut butter.

Also: master mousecatcher's trick: Set 3 or 4 traps and circle them with the baits head in.
That way the little buggers have to get right into the middle of things to delicately lick the peanut butter off. And then the back foot hits on of the other traps and BAM!

Wow, this makes me sound blood thirsty. But hubby has caught 5 mice in 3 days, and the cats have only caught one. And there are no eeewwwww mouse droppings on the counter this morning.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:00 PM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh, and when you catch one, just throw out the whole trap. Yuck on resetting a used trap. They are cheap.

Please don't use glue traps, they seem very cruel. A snap trap is pretty much an instant death. But please check them regularly, in case you catch a tail or a paw.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2010

Seconding SLC Mom, old fashioned traps in there will do the trick. Don't assume there is just one — keep the traps set for a week or until no more mousies show up. And don't be terrified. The mouse is not interested in socializing with you, guaranteed.
posted by beagle at 3:04 PM on November 20, 2010

You don't have to kill him :)
posted by aheckler at 3:11 PM on November 20, 2010

Clean your closet. Throw away your trash, get rid of all the junk you're not using, make sure you don't have any food waste lying around, and seal the cracks around your plumbing and baseboards with silicone caulk. That should do it!
posted by aquafortis at 3:24 PM on November 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

As already stated a regular old mouse trap do the trick. use the peanutbutter & take some thread & wrap it around the bait plate. They lick the PNB & catch a tooth on the string & POW! No more mouse. Now the truth is these are most likely not mice but rats. Mice live in fields, rats live with people. None the less this is the best method as poison leaves you with a stinking ,rotten dead critter somewhere that you can't find it put you sure can smell it! The glue things are inhuman & paying someone is a last resort. If they escape from the small size trap then get the larger size. Also another good idea is to tie a string to the trap & a fixed object. See reasons for not using poison. Happy Hunting.
posted by patnok at 3:24 PM on November 20, 2010

I'm reading this with interest because I have mice of my own that I am looking to get rid of, but I did just want to jump in and say don't worry too much about it being a rat - field mice live in fields, but house mice (Mus musculus) most certainly do live with people.
posted by mskyle at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2010

Now the truth is these are most likely not mice but rats. Mice live in fields, rats live with people.

I assure you that mice live with people. I have regular supply of them attempting to live in the crawlspace beneath my kitchen.

Nthing peanut butter on old-fashioned cheapo snap traps.
posted by desuetude at 5:56 PM on November 20, 2010

For two tense years, I lived with mice in a city apartment, two floors above a restaurant.

As aquafortis said, first thing to do is clean the closet, find the entry point, and seal it. Move the foodstuff out of the closet, or at least put it in sealed, plastic containers.

There is never just one mouse.

For trapping, do not use the glue method. Basically, you'll find the little critter stuck and squirming, and then you'll have to kill it yourself.
Poison is not always effective, and if it does, you risk smelly cadavers in your walls or closet, as you note.
If you're like me, even "cheapo traps" are hard to deal with.
Please consider a cruelty-free trap -- you have to free the mice somewhere else, but geez, they're just trying to grab a snack! Doesn't necessarily merit the death penalty.
posted by Paris Elk at 2:29 AM on November 21, 2010

um, if it is effective
posted by Paris Elk at 2:30 AM on November 21, 2010

Walmart sells some live-catch traps. They're a bit fiddly to set, but they seem to work every time.

Also, seconding Paris Elk: There is never just one mouse...
posted by mmoncur at 3:08 AM on November 21, 2010

We just dealt with this problem last week! We caught three mice, but could still hear them scratching around in the walls. I was getting a little unnnerved - we have seen maybe 5 mice in the 7 years we've lived in our house then 3 mice in 2 days! So I started googling and found that if you put some peppermint oil on cottonballs around where you hear them, they'll go away. Apparently, they really dislike the smell. I was very skeptical, but we did it and haven't seen or heard a mouse since! I put 3 cups with 2 cottonballs each near the vents in the room where we saw them. It has to be pure peppermint oil, though, not extract. I happened to have some from making Christmas candy last year. Good luck!
posted by fresh-rn at 12:54 PM on November 21, 2010

Response by poster: Arg! This is not working! I got old fashioned traps and d-CON traps, but the mice (yes, multiple, you all were right!) are just eating the peanut butter right off the regular traps and completely ignoring the d-CON traps. :(
posted by chara at 6:09 PM on November 21, 2010

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