I have the game Mousetrap, but not an actual mouse trap.
April 21, 2011 8:45 PM   Subscribe

There is a mouse running around my house right now, and all the stores are closed. How can I trap it?

I live in a wooded area of New England, and so do mice. One of our cats caught a mouse, but in typical kitty playing with food fashion, the mouse escaped while the cat was toying with it. We keep spotting it, but even injured, the mouse is faster than us. Last we saw, it ran into our dining room and we lost it. I can deal with a mouse in the wall, or the attic, but running around the house is not okay. (Let's not point out the obvious here, okay? Thanks.) All the stores are closed, so we can't run out and get a no kill trap. What can we do to catch this mouse now?
posted by Ruki to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
Best answer: Do you have time to hang out and wait for it? My experience is that you're better off cordoning it into some other part of the house and going to sleep and letting it get itself caught in a tall kitchen trash can or something, but I've had decent luck with something not entirely different from this. Basically a way to get the mouse to walk on to something that will drop them into something else where they are caught. That said, your cat will be better at this than you will be, so that might be a better option.
posted by jessamyn at 8:51 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Are you okay with killing it or do you want to catch it alive?

Probably the simplest thing to try is a box propped up with something with a string tied to it. Place some bait under the box, wait for the mouse to go for it, then yank the string. You'll want the box to be propped up only slightly so that it doesn't have to fall far to trap the mouse. Make the string pretty long so you can be pretty far away.

Alternatively, take a tall bucket, build a ramp up to it (could just be a board or the like), and then dangle a piece of bait on a string just above the bucket (perhaps tape the other end of the string to the ceiling). The mouse should go for the bait and fall into the bucket.
posted by jedicus at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2011

Best answer: ingredients: a bucket, a broom, an empty paper towel/toilet roll, peanut butter, something else for a ramp.

Put the toilet paper roll on the broom handle. put some peanut butter in the middle. balance this across the top of the bucket. Make some sort of ramp so the mouse can get to the broom handle from the ground. Mouse runs up to get peanut butter, toilet paper roll spins, mouse is dumped into bucket and cannot escape. Mouse is released outside.
posted by brainmouse at 8:53 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yup! I've done a strip of thick cardboard or thin wood (paint stirrers are perfect) balanced on the rim of a tall bucket with a treat on the end over the center of the bucket. Mouse friend goes for nibbles, the whole shebang falls in the bucket. Release kinda far away or mouse friend returns.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:07 PM on April 21, 2011

Peanut butter is very attractive to mice, but they have an ability to remove it without springing the no-kill traps that we purchased.

We got rid of them by elevating the pet food and making sure that water was not collecting in the AC.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2011

That trap jessamyn linked to looks awesome. Try that.

If you have a lot of patience and good reflexes, sit down in your kitchen next to a tall, empty cereal box, lying on its side, with a few goodies near its bottom. When the mouse runs in, grab the box, close the top, and take the wee beastie outside. It worked for me when I was a student, but honestly, jessamyn's trap looks better.
posted by maudlin at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2011

Response by poster: Ok, the cats have chased it under the stove, and I feel better going to bed now that I know where the damn thing is. (Again, let's not point out the obvious.) I've actually caught a fair number of mice before, but it was in small enclosed places where I could get them to run into a paper bag - it's a lot harder, I've learned, to catch a mouse in a larger space with lots of furniture to hide under. If I see it tomorrow (and oh how I hope I don't wake up to a gift in my bed) I will try brainmouse's idea (eponysterical, btw.) Thanks, all, and keep those ideas coming - I may not be able to get to a store until Saturday.
posted by Ruki at 10:20 PM on April 21, 2011

Required Material list:

1 broom
1 square sided trash can
Corner location for the trash can
Blocking devices to route scared mouse in desired directions

Recommended accessories

Any taped version of a national hockey league game
Some fast moves

Need I say more? Mouse hockey is one of many, many pet-mandated skills. I am rather surprised you made it to adulthood without being trained!

Just a little FYI... you may THINK you know where that mouse is, but really, only the mouse knows for sure. Second, he's only the mouse you know about. He has friends in your New England house. You'd crap if you knew what was in your house. This is not a sterile planet. To mice, shelter is a life and death issue... it's not about location relative to the bus station or work. LIFE AND DEATH. Every day. If your house solves a problem, they do not customarily seek your approval before using it. Current mouse is there because cats short circuited his afternoon plans. His buddies are there because they intentionally chose it from the pages of Mouse Housing Today magazine.

A cat, over the long haul, is the most effective means of controlling mice. General rule is that if cat is in, mouse is out.

I know of no cure for keeping a cat out of your house once you let it in, sadly. Personally, ritual suicide is on my short list.
posted by FauxScot at 10:59 PM on April 21, 2011

we've caught rogue hamsters many times with that above trap :)
posted by lizbunny at 3:04 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

This may be stating the obvious, but don't feed your cats til the mouse has been dealt with. A hungry cat is a much more effective hunter than one whose dinner is delivered in a bowl.
posted by Corvid at 1:06 PM on April 22, 2011

I had massive success with an upside-down bread pan. Prop up one end with a short pencil (pointy end up) and use a paperclip to attach bait to the pencil projecting inward under the pan. When the paperclip is pulled down, the top of the pencil slips inwards and the pan falls.

That was in another house years ago. I tried it again in a different place recently and it utterly failed. Good ol' spring traps killed all the little buggers and they're gone.

Two lessons: 1) You probably have a family of mice. You'll have to get ride of them all before they'll stop bothering you, but once they're gone you probably won't be bothered again for a while. 2) If you live-trap them, you'll have to take them far away or they'll return.
posted by klanawa at 9:20 PM on April 22, 2011

« Older Pillsbury pie crust ideas   |   Another Name Assistance Plea Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.