Glue-trapped mouse while house sitting
August 9, 2019 8:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm housesitting for a friend. I just discovered that there are a bunch of glue traps in this apartment because there's a mouse stuck and screaming on one of them. Tell me what to do!

I myself would not in a million years use a glue trap. But right now I just want to take care of this mouse in the most humane way possible. Instructions, ideas, etc. please!
posted by atetrachordofthree to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The advice I was given by the RSCPA many years ago - put it in an [empty] ice-cream container (possibly plastic bag?)
and put it in the freezer.

One of the kindest ways to die
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 8:28 PM on August 9 [2 favorites]

Drowning it is simple and quick, though it'll be unpleasant for the drowner (submerge the whole glue trap in a bucket or other vessel of water). Putting the glue trap in a cardboard box and then in the freezer overnight is almost as easy though don't forget about it.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:30 PM on August 9

if you can muster the bravery, the most humane way to kill the poor beast will be the quickest and most brutal. Find a hammer, take the mouse outside, and get it dead on the first swing.

I'm sorry you are going through this stressful situation. You are not a bad person if you decide instead to drown the mouse, or suffocate it, or freeze it instead.
posted by wires at 8:31 PM on August 9 [5 favorites]

If you want to turn it loose, take it outside (somehow!! I know, it will suck) and pour olive oil on the glue pad. It will break the adhesive and the mouse will get loose eventually.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 PM on August 9 [25 favorites]

I was taught to put the mouse into a plastic bag -- like a newspaper sack is ideal but a plastic shopping bag will work -- whirl it around your head a few times to gain speed, and then whip it into a wall.

People who work on corn farms just stomp them but I'm not sure I have that in me no matter how humane it is. At least with the whirling you can shriek, drop the bag, and flee after the whacking.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:44 PM on August 9 [3 favorites]

I used the drowning method when I inadvertently glue trapped a mouse in a spot where I was trying to trap brown recluse spiders (I did not know my laundry room in broad daylight had mice). Filled a bucket, dropped the trap in it, came back five minutes later. It worked and more importantly, I was capable of doing it.
posted by annathea at 8:48 PM on August 9

There is absolutely no need to kill a mouse that is stuck in a glue trap, it is very easy to free them. I’ve had to do this myself a handful of times, and the answer is to apply oil to the glue. Drowning is not painless or quick, it is agonizingly painful. If you are concerned about the welfare of a living creature, that it is just about one of the worst decisions you could make for it. There are lots of ways to kill living things that are simple for you to set up, but that is an entirely different question from which method is the least cruel. Do not drown, burn, or otherwise torture living creatures just because it is psychologically easier for you to accomplish. Animal cruelty is not less abhorrent just because the animal is a rodent and not a canine. Do unto others, and all that.
posted by suri at 8:59 PM on August 9 [87 favorites]

You don't have to kill it!

Put it into a fairly wide and deep container. Cut away one side of the glue trap if you can. Take some vegetable oil and pour it into the glue trap under and around the mouse. Use a Qtip to work the mouse loose from the gunk, which will get less sticky from the oil. The mouse will squeal and try to bite the Qtip, but you keep working. Once it's loose into the container (it won't be able to climb up due to the oil) take the glue trap away and pour some dawn or other detergent on the mouse, rinse carefully with lukewarm water.

Put the wet and clean mouse in a covered box with some clean water in a tiny cup (like a soda bottle cap) and let it be in the dark for a while until it dries out. Release outside, hopefully at least a mile from the house or it might come back.
posted by gemmy at 9:00 PM on August 9 [20 favorites]

I tried the hammer once and it did not go well. It perhaps would be humane if you knew what you were doing and really could quickly kill it with one blow, but this is not what happened. Do not recommend.
posted by thelonius at 10:40 PM on August 9 [4 favorites]

Olive oil or mineral oil to free the mouse, preferably before it dies horribly of exhaustion. And then get rid of the rest of the glue traps. They're monstrous.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:11 PM on August 9 [6 favorites]

Take it outside first. Mice cause real damage and spread disease, in my area they are the vector for Lyne-carrying ticks Glue traps are cruel, there are better ways.
posted by theora55 at 6:27 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]

May I suggest that if you're releasing the mouse that you take it back to your house and release it outdoors there? If I was the homeowner and discovered my housesitter had been releasing mice that they caught in my basement (who, presumably, then just scurry back to the basement, possibly widening the hole in the insulation that they chewed to get there in the first place) I'd be unhappy with you and would not hire you again.

+1 to this is an incredibly inhumane trap and I'd never use it, maybe you don't mind not housesitting for them again in the future?
posted by arnicae at 8:07 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]

In some (many?) municipalities it is illegal to release a trapped rodent on others’ property. Drown it.
posted by LoveHam at 8:22 AM on August 10

When I work with lab mice, we kill them humanely by grasping the tail with one hand and placing the fingers of the other hand behind the head, then pulling apart with a quick, firm motion. Wear work gloves to avoid being bitten.

I'm honestly a little shocked at all of the recommendations to "drown it" or crush its head with a hammer. Both methods seem wantonly cruel to me.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:54 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]

Drowning is is a completely inhumane way to kill something. It induces a panic response and ensures the living creature spends its last conscious moments completely terrified. There is a reason waterboarding is considered torture.

If you don't release it then breaking its neck is the quickest way to go. You grab the head, the body, and quickly twist while pulling apart. Or listen to easy, lucky, free.
posted by schroedinger at 2:24 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]

Did you remove the other traps so this doesn't happen again while you're there? I hope you can educate your friend about not using those anymore...
posted by pinochiette at 6:08 PM on August 10

Freeze it or stick it in a bucket and out it under the tailpipe of a car for a few minutes. Those are both reasonably humane ways to kill the mouse.

Mice carry disease and are a danger to the humans that live in the house. Glue traps aren't the best, but mice gotta be removed from human houses. Don't just let it go because it'll only come back.
posted by GuyZero at 7:39 PM on August 10

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