I need a humane mouse trap, that works on smart mice.
December 15, 2006 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I was attacked by a house mouse.

I heard a mouse shuffling around in my pantry a couple of nights ago when I moved a box over to see if I could find it it jumped straight at me and landed on my chest, fell to the ground and ran under the fridge.

I think they are getting smarter. So far I have caught 5 mice using a creative, humane trap. I used a Tupperware tub and a paper towel tube with peanut butter on the end. The tube is used as a ramp and hangs over the tub. When they walk down the tube to get the peanut butter the mouse and the tube falls in the tub. Ta daa. Then I bring them to the woods. This worked on 5 but now they are on to me. My fear is that these buggers know I am a pacifist and will not kill them so now they are on the offensive and I am under attack.

The tub trap is too cumbersome to leave out all the time and I still do not want to use any poisons, snap traps, or glue traps. Can anyone recommend the best, humane low profile way to catch smart mice? And bonus points for explaining why a mouse would be so bold as to jump on a potential predator.
posted by brinkzilla to Pets & Animals (55 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They are bold because it works. They have found a very nice place to live and they have a host willing to accomodate. Why wouldn't they?

In my experience there is no non-lethal effective way to deal with them. Poison them. Do it with the blocks (that say to treat with Vitamin K if your pets get into it); that kind forces the vermin outside to look for water so they don't die in the walls. You won't beat the infestation with live traps, especially if they're in the 'reproduction' phase of the infestation.
posted by norm at 11:36 AM on December 15, 2006

Wow! I'm impressed with your trap and pacifist approach. I have a similar problem. The dogs and the cat in my house help keep the mice out of the open, but I know some are around when the weather gets chilly.

I live in a city that also has big two inch tree roaches and they will charge when confronted. It's pretty brilliant - this tiny creature - making me jump out of the way while it finds safe harbor under some other appliance like your mouse. That my theory about the mouse attack. But I'm just guessing.
posted by dog food sugar at 11:42 AM on December 15, 2006

Best answer: If you do not want mice, or other small vermin then stop feeding them. The main reason why they are in your house is because they can find what they need to survive there: shelter, and food. If you take away the food then they will have to leave, or they will get desperate enough to fall for your traps.

Now obviously you cant remove all food from your house, but you can be very careful about cleaning up after yourself. Also, make sure that foodstuffs, are protected from them, get a lot of reusable and resealable tin containers and put dry foods in there. Paper and cardboard boxes will not even slow them down, and you will find little nibbles to show you they are also enjoying your pasta.

Take away the food, and the mice will go bother someone else.
posted by BobbyDigital at 11:48 AM on December 15, 2006

I could be wrong, but my exterminator told me that the "they'll go outside looking for water" story is a lie, told by exterminators who want to make you believe the mice won't die inside. They will.
posted by suasponte at 11:49 AM on December 15, 2006

Also, aside from taking away the food, you have to identify their access point. You may need to do things like pull the fridge out and look behind it, or pull the oven out, but once you find and plug the holes (with steel wool or expanding foam) you will only need to deal with the mice that are already inside -- a problem that can be solved with poison, standard traps, or live traps. Remember, they can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil eraser.
posted by suasponte at 11:54 AM on December 15, 2006

I've had the exact same thing happen to me, brinkzilla.

I've been "attacked" by a squirrel and a mole. No, they didn't gang up on me; it was two separate occasions. A few years ago I walked into my garage, startling a squirrel that was in there, trying to get the lid off of a tub of bird seed. While the door behind me was closing, the squirrel looked me straight in the eye and then flew straight at my thigh, banging me really hard, and then took off through the door right before it slammed shut. That freaked me out.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was in my basement looking for something, and I saw a mole (they're tiny, a bit smaller than mice) on the other side of the room, about 25 feet away. It ran RIGHT UP TO ME and tried to bite me on my heel; I had flip-flops on. I thought WTF?? I thought they were blind! I walked away from it and the little fucker ran right after me and tried to bite me again, in the exact same spot. I kicked it away, and it came after me again! Oh this was no ordinary mole. This mole was now my sworn, mortal enemy and I wouldn't go down without a fight. I usually advocate humane ways of catching animals that end up indoors, but this little bastard was fighting for control of my domain. He knew I had pop tarts, and he wanted them. He knew I had cheez-its and teddy grahams and little potatoes that were just starting to sprout eyes in the darkness of my pantry, and he wanted those too. So I went out and bought a trap and I baited it with peanut butter and I waited patiently.
posted by iconomy at 11:55 AM on December 15, 2006 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: I should add that I have burned in my memory the horrific half endings to all three kill traps from other peoples attempts. Poisoned thirsty mice convusling in kitchen sinks, Mice with broken backs trying to pull the trap across the floor, and I wont even get into the horrors of glue traps. I know I am a wussy and will not be able to finish the job. I would be the first person to bring a mouse to the vet for a trap related injury.

But does that mean they have won?
posted by brinkzilla at 12:01 PM on December 15, 2006

Best answer: Yeah, they do sometimes die inside. My father used a dehydrating poison, and he found a desiccated mouse in the drop-ceiling. On the plus side, without liquids, the body doesn't stink up the joint. We only found it because I heard another mouse dragging the dead mouse's body, probably for a ritual burial.

If you want a retail humane mousetrap, try the Teeterpong. Everyone should check out the link - it looks like a cross between a (huge) dildo and a bong.

Also, put everything in your cupboards into mouse-proof containers. BobbyDigital is right - you will benefit from taking away the foodsource.

DON'T use gluetraps; they're HORRIBLE. My dad tried them years ago, but when he DID catch a mouse in it, the mouse was alive but couldn't escape the trap, so all Dad could do was take the suffering mouse out to the woods, still in the trap (because there's no way to extract the mouse from the glue), and leave it there to either die of starvation or get eaten by a predator. It was traumatizing for the entire household.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:02 PM on December 15, 2006

omg, iconomy, you may have had teddy grahams, but the mole had rabies.
Mole wins.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:04 PM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

If you ever get bitten, go see a doctor. Rodents can carry rabies.

Shall we look at it from a "green" ecological point of view? Mice have a tremendous reproductive rate in good conditions because the vast majority of their offspring die violently. If they don't die violently, then the result is ecological catastrophe as the number of mice explodes and they destroy their food sources by overeating.

It is ecologically necessary for the majority of mice to die before they can breed. Anything else is ungreen.

So poison the little buggers. You're doing the world good by getting rid of them. And it even helps the mouse species by keeping their ecology stable.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:06 PM on December 15, 2006

Not just rabies, but mice are considered the number one carrier for deer ticks in the Northeast USA. More than deer. This means that mice can also carry Lyme disease. Charming!
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:08 PM on December 15, 2006

My ex boyfriend had the same situation. He wanted to poison and kill - I vetoed that, and I did tell him I would take his injured mice to the vet and send him the bill.

What finally worked for him was a combination of searching for entry points and sealing them, plus a religious crackdown on food - not even any crumbs left anywhere. When we heard a mouse sound I would tell him to pretend that it was a tiny friend of mine and leave it alone. We lived side by side in peace until they found better eats somewhere else.

Love your trap, by the way, very innovative.
posted by KAS at 12:10 PM on December 15, 2006

Some mice are becoming Warfarin resistant, so poisons might not be the best course of action, especially if you have pets. I prefer the classic mousetrap.
posted by electroboy at 12:14 PM on December 15, 2006

but the mole had rabies

Eek. I never thought of that. Luckily he never actually bit me!
posted by iconomy at 12:21 PM on December 15, 2006

I am currently getting great results with the $7 sonic rodent repellent thing they sell at Home Depot. Haven't seen one since I plugged it in, and I was seeing them on the regular.
posted by The Straightener at 12:27 PM on December 15, 2006

Your trap worked on the first five mice, but now it's stopped working, you say? That may be because the second five mice are the same damn mice as the first five mice, and wise to you. Mice will travel quite a long way to get back to a comfy situation, especially if they've left babies behind. If you're not taking them at least a couple miles away to release them, chances are they're coming back on ya.

No, I've never tagged a mouse to test the theory, but that's what the mousologists say. They also say that it's not particularly humane to release a house mouse in the open miles away from its home. It is not at all adapted to that environment and chances are will die of exposure/starvation/predation unless someone else's house is nearby. So, kill 'em quick with a snap trap, or kill 'em slowly with exile to the gulag.

If you are in an old house in the country, you will never eliminate mice. The best you can do is constant abatement. You can never plug up every minute hole in the outside of your house, and even sealing up all people/pet food will not deprive them of all their food sources. And your house is a lot warmer than the outdoors. Just be very grateful you don't have rats in the house.

Now to the helpful part of my answer: These traps work very well. They use no bait; you wind them up (not too tight!) and place them against the wall where the mice run, and rather than go around the trap, the mouse goes through the tunnel and gets "spanked" gently into the hopper. Then you take the whole trap to the release point and slide the hopper door up and dump them out.

Two side notes: iconomy, moles are not smaller than mice, are they? Could it have been a vole? Voles look a lot like mice, are about the same size, and are irritable little things.

And SCDB, can you point me to a reference for rodents having rabies? I was bitten by a field mouse years ago and was told afterward (my parents were told, actually) that rodents cannot carry rabies.
posted by bricoleur at 12:30 PM on December 15, 2006

Here's what the CDC says about rabies in rodents.

I stand by that mole/vole being infected, though - it would explain the weird behavior.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 12:35 PM on December 15, 2006

You might give some hedge apples a try.
posted by Otis at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2006

Straightener, do you have a SKU# for that $7 repeller?
posted by winston at 12:43 PM on December 15, 2006

I had a horrible mouse problem in my apartment, and I also couldn't deal with inhumane traps. But none of the catch-em-and-let-em-go traps worked for me.

Finally, I bought a Rat Zapper* and I've been mouse free for years (as have other people to whom I recommended the zapper).

The zapper DOES kill the mouse, but it's an instant death. It's a little tunnel. You can put some food at the end of the tunnel, but you often don't need to do this. Mice just like running into tunnels. At the end of the tunnel, there's a metal plate. When they run over the plate, they get electrocuted. Sounds horrible, but it really is instantaneous. My zapper has killed about 15 mice, and I've never once found one squirming in pain. They all look peacefully asleep.

You know when the zapper has caught a mouse, because a red light on top blinks. If you're squeamish about the body, you can just tip the tunnel into the trash and be done with it.

*the zapper was recommended to me by a hardware-store owner. I was about to buy his more-expensive, humane trap. He regaled me with a horror story about how is wife got Lime Disease from mice in their home, and that they only thing that got rid of the mice was the zapper. He felt so strongly about it that he was willing to take a loss, selling me the cheaper trap.
posted by grumblebee at 12:45 PM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

I was going to recommend these as well.

It sure would be nice if people would answer the damn question and stop telling you to poison them. You were quite clear you don't want to do that, and I commend you for your humaneness.
posted by agregoli at 12:56 PM on December 15, 2006

Straightener, do you have a SKU# for that $7 repeller?

Can't find the exact one but here are some examples.

Not for use around pet spiders, gerbils, hamster, etc.
posted by The Straightener at 1:01 PM on December 15, 2006

Sorry, that was the wrong link.
posted by The Straightener at 1:02 PM on December 15, 2006

Sprout, thanks for the CDC link. It's true, "almost never" is not the same as...well, "never." Good to know.

However, if it was a vole, I'd have to say that it wasn't really strange behavior. Voles are aggressive out of all proportion to their size; I've seen them behave just like that. It's surprisingly scary considering how much I outweigh them.
posted by bricoleur at 1:08 PM on December 15, 2006

Rodents can harbor diseases. The only way to rid yourself of them is to exterminate them. They are not pets. They are disgusting pests.
posted by JayRwv at 1:08 PM on December 15, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, first off I want to know from iconomy what the end of the mole story is, did you catch him?

bricoleur, I set them all free in different locations- 2 in the woods and 3 in the meadowlands. I thought about the fact that they might get eaten, or find some other quick demise, but for some reason I am was fine with that ending. I don't know if that's a natural selection answer or out of sight out of mind, but, at least they have a chance, right?

Going to try some additional humane traps, love the teeterpong just for asthetics alone, in combination with a full containment of pantry food and brillo pad stuffing. Thanks for all of the tips.

Someone brought up Lymes Disease though, and that got me wondering, is it the mouse poop that carries the disease? People talk about mice carrying disease constantly, but what diseases exactly. How would one actually contract the cooties from them? getting bit? ingesting mice poopies? licking them? Just wondering.
posted by brinkzilla at 1:16 PM on December 15, 2006

Have you tried following the above advice about making sure there is no food for the meeses to get at?

This worked for us. That and we have pet cats. The cats have never killed a mouse (unless they ate the whole thing which is doubtful), but I like to think that they are a pretty good deterrent for any little rodent looking for a hangout.
posted by tastybrains at 1:17 PM on December 15, 2006

Someone brought up Lymes Disease though, and that got me wondering, is it the mouse poop that carries the disease? People talk about mice carrying disease constantly, but what diseases exactly. How would one actually contract the cooties from them? getting bit? ingesting mice poopies? licking them? Just wondering.

No, mouse poop carries the Hanta virus which is probably only a real threat if you're in the southwest USA, but a lot worse than Lyme disease.

They'd transmit Lyme disease by bringing deer ticks into your house, which would then bite you and give you the disease.

And sure, there's always rabies. Which is something you should be worried about if the mice are lunging at you, especially if you live in the northeast US or other areas where there have been confirmed cases of rabies.
posted by tastybrains at 1:19 PM on December 15, 2006

Oh and the Hanta virus is transmitted by breathing in residue from dried up rodent waste. So yeah, that's a big problem.
posted by tastybrains at 1:21 PM on December 15, 2006

Rodents can transmit various diseases to humans, including salmonellosis (food poisoning), rickettsialpox, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis. Mice may carry leptospirosis, rat bite fever, tapeworms, and organisms that may cause ringworm (a fungal disease of the skin) in humans. Therefore, they should not be tolerated around schools, child care centers, nursing homes, hospitals, restaurants, food storage areas, warehouses, office buildings, cafeterias, dwellings, or other areas where humans may come in contact with rodents or the organisms they carry.

In homes and commercial buildings they may feed on various stored food items or pet foods. A single mouse only eats about 3 grams of food per day, but destroys considerable amounts of food due to its habit of nibbling on many foods and discarding partially eaten items. Commercial kitchens, food warehouses, restaurants, cafeterias, and the food industry are particularly suseptible to contamination from rodents. They usually contaminate foodstuffs with urine, droppings, and hair. One mouse can excrete up to 100 fecal pellets per day, as well as deposit hundreds of small droplets of urine during its travels. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reported that between one fifth and one third of the world's total food supply never reaches the table due to losses from rodents. The conseqeunces of even a single mouse in a food handling establishment can be serious.
posted by JayRwv at 1:23 PM on December 15, 2006

What bricoleur said. It may be the same mice coming back home. You need to go miles, and by miles I mean like 5 miles, before you release them.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:26 PM on December 15, 2006

Response by poster: I have a pantry full of food that is in wrapped bags and boxes, and they have eaten through almost anything, including tin foil. I am going to take the advise to container everything. Including cereal, dog food, etc.

Did I mention I have 2 useless terriers, that haven't done squat. Ones a rat terrier too!

I live in NJ. I think I am most prone to Lymes disease, which is bad, for me and the dogs.

posted by brinkzilla at 1:28 PM on December 15, 2006

NJ totally has rabies too, brinkzilla, as well as Lyme disease.

You can get some great looking glass containers that are airtight at Ikea or any other home goods stores. Dare those little suckers to gnaw through THAT! :-)

I really do admire your attempt to deal with these critters in a peaceful manner though.
posted by tastybrains at 1:30 PM on December 15, 2006

Actually, what i recommend is to keep a cat or two around the house. I've always seen that they work great to keep the mice/small rodents away. Sometimes they like to show you what they have caught, but all in all they are the best 'green' mouse trap. Plus, you don't have any poisons sitting around your house, but you do have a new friendly pet.

I'd say secure your food and get a cat.
posted by philomathoholic at 1:32 PM on December 15, 2006

Response by poster: JayRwv- I think I am going to throw up.
posted by brinkzilla at 1:37 PM on December 15, 2006

Yep I caught him. I took him to my friend's farm and let him go in the barn - she has tons of moles and mice living there. He's probably stealing oats from the horses even as we speak.
posted by iconomy at 1:54 PM on December 15, 2006

In our house, which has mice, we use ultrasonic repellers plugged in in the kitchen, living room and dining room. We hear the mice in the walls but there is no evidence that they ever set foot on the main floor of the house.
posted by solid-one-love at 2:04 PM on December 15, 2006

If you haven't heard of hantaviruses, they cause hemorrhagic fevers. About ten years ago, an outbreak of mice-borne hantavirus had about a 50% fatality rate in the Four Corners area.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:15 PM on December 15, 2006

I went on rounds with a New York City exterminator for a whole day a couple years ago, and he had the same suggestions for plugging holes and containering both human and pet food. He also had a suggestion for cleaning in a place I never would have thought of: in your oven. And, if you have a gas stove where the stovetop lifts up, you need to really clean that area under the range.

Rats and mice can survive on grease for weeks, apparently. And your stove is a great place to find it.
posted by owenville at 2:21 PM on December 15, 2006


I also have had similar experiences with mice. I think we as humans tend to be naïve in the cunning behavior or “lesser” or lower-on-the-food-chain animals. As the pre and predator nature we all have the “flight” or “freight” syndrome, and in this case, the mouse catapulting itself at you was probably an act of this primal nature.

I tried for almost a year, fiddling with all types of humane traps, some hand made, some store bought. And like you, I found that the mice appear to adapt quickly. In one instance had a store bought trap which was the simple design of a weight triggered, where the mouse stepped in the box to get the food and the little door behind him when the weight was dispersed forward. This proved to be one of the best humane traps for a few months as I caught several mice…however all of the sudden I stopped catching any. I thought for a few days they had finally left, or I had caught them all. Little did I know they figured out a way to bypass the trap, they would drag the trap (or push) in-between the garbage can and the recycling bin, this would wedge the trap in and keep the door up, sneaky little guys.

Anyhow, I went through several types of traps and sooner or later they figured out how to either live without them or bypass. Very reluctantly I went and bought a snap trap, I got purchased one that I felt would be quick and painless as it kills them instantly. The idea of poison didn’t sound as humane and I didn’t like the idea of rotting little corpses in my house. The sticky traps are just disgusting to me, what an awful way to die. I have been using the trap for about a year now and at first I did kill a lot of mice, then the numbers grew less and less and I have been mice free for quite some time. I may be soft when it comes to "pests" or what other people see as a waste of time, but I have always been taught to value all life.

In a way I felt like they have learned and are now smart enough to avoid my house…even though I had had to kill some.

If you do find a method that works for you, please let me know!
posted by lutzla23 at 2:26 PM on December 15, 2006

My sister was attacked by a squirrel once. You should all go to her blog right quick and read about the encounter--it's hilarious. Scroll to November 15th.
posted by changeling at 2:33 PM on December 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

lutzla23: I think you mean "fight or flight".
posted by drleary at 2:44 PM on December 15, 2006

The only way we got rid of mice was to get a cat. It's a natural predator, will kill some and scare away the others, and they purr too.
posted by jasper411 at 2:49 PM on December 15, 2006

This worked on 5 but now they are on to me.

Thank you for that, brinkzilla. I don't often get to snort with laughter while a chill is running down my spine.

Iconomy, I was wondering whether you were dealing with a mole, too. Adults are quite a bit bigger than mice, and they are so retiring. It could well have been a vole (Google Image search), but I am betting on a shrew (GImage), which is smaller than a mouse and has a pointed snout like a mole. It is also agressive and the only venomous North American mammal. The venom is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (like nerve gas).
posted by jamjam at 3:12 PM on December 15, 2006

It's easy to underestimate the intelligence and resourcefulness of rodents. Squirrels are pretty closely related to rats and mice, and they like the kind of things that go into bird feeders. There's quite an industry out there involved in creating squirrel-proof bird feeders, but one problem is that they don't tend to work for very long because the squirrels eventually figure out ways to defeat them. In some cases the squirrels even work cooperatively to do it.

There was a BBC special called "Daylight Robbery", where they set up squirrel obstacle courses to see how long it took for the squirrels to figure out how to reach the food at the end. Some of them were pretty amazing. If you're willing to install the "Real" player on your computer, here are a few video clips from it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:21 PM on December 15, 2006

tastybrains: No, mouse poop carries the Hanta virus which is probably only a real threat if you're in the southwest USA, but a lot worse than Lyme disease.

Although hantavirus is most commonly found in the Four Corners Area, you should still take precautions when working in areas where aerosolized mouse poop may exist. In 1994 a Long Island college student died of hanta after cleaning out a poop-filled warehouse in Queens.

I used to work with population ecologists who live-trapped mice -- they cleaned out their traps with a can of Lysol that they blasted the inside of the traps with first thing (and while wearing a respirator.) Makes me nervous every time I see mouse turds in my attic.
posted by harkin banks at 3:40 PM on December 15, 2006

Make sure the woods are nice and far from your house or the mice may find their way back because it's a steady source of food.
posted by perpetualstroll at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2006

We had a big problem with mice at my office and my company first put in glue traps. After a baby mouse was caught and was making tiny peeping sounds while struggling to get off the thing, the entire office was practically in tears. So, the company agreed to use live traps and got these: Tin Cat Live Traps (Not purchased from this site; it's just to show what it looks like). The mouse crawls in either end and then can't get back out. There is a clear top so you can see if you've caught anything. You can release the mouse by lifting the entire hinged lid up and off they scurry. We actually never even baited the thing with food, so I guess the mice were just curious little buggers!

I was on "trap patrol" and personally took about a dozen mice caught in the traps to an open field about 5 miles from the office and let them go. Of course, going with what others have said, we had the building checked and ended up sealing some holes found on the outside. No more mice since then and no more weeping co-workers watching mice die. Win-win!
posted by cyniczny at 5:29 PM on December 15, 2006

Best answer: Mice actually have very limited territories and counter to popular opinion often cannot find their way back to their nests. Thus catch-and-release is NOT humane, mice end up dying of exposure or predation. Glue traps are also not humane for reasons stated on this board. Warfarin results in an agonizing death. As for somebody putting a mouse stuck in a glue trap out in the woods, I think that person needs their head examined.

The best way to get rid of mice is to plug every crack and hole in your house or apt. with steel wool and drywall joint compound. You may have to check around all your baseboards, behind the stove and near any gas lines, but this works, it worked for me, and it is humane.
posted by turbojav at 10:05 PM on December 15, 2006

I had a major mouse problem coupled with a horror of traps and poisons. A fellow mefite recommended a Ratzapper and I have to say, it was terrific. It kills them instantly (and humanely, in my view) with an electric shock, and you just upend the device over the garbage. If you look away, you never even see the corpse. It's endlessly reusable.
I was shocked at how many of the critters it killed. I thought I had one or two but I ended up killing six or so. If I set it in the morning, I was pretty much guaranteed that that evening I would see the little red flashing light on top indicating a dead mouse inside.
Oddly, I sort of got lazy about resetting the thing, and I knew they were still around, but then a few weeks later, they all vanished suddenly. I have no idea what happened.

As to the attack - I think the mouse was just freaked and trying to escape and chose the wrong direction. Or your neighbors are conducting clandestine experiments mixing mouse and rottweiler genes and the test subjects escaped.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:34 AM on December 16, 2006

I agree that if you are at all inclined to it and are allowed to have one, get a cat. I've had at least one cat every place I've lived (in 6 different states) for the past 20 years. I've never seen a mouse, rat or anything. They don't even have to kill them. The rodents just smell cat and stay away.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:13 AM on December 16, 2006

We had some very brave mice running around our office last year. One even ran across the desk while a coworker was sitting there. We tried the glue traps with no luck so we resorted to poison. The little poison pellets disappeared and so did the mice, or so we thought. A couple of days later the office began to really stink. We finally narrowed the smell down to our brand new laser printer...yep, the mouse crawled up in the printer and died. Yuk! So I guess I'm telling you to be careful where you put the poison if you do decide to use it!
posted by rcavett at 10:20 PM on December 16, 2006

DON'T use gluetraps...so all Dad could do was take the suffering mouse out to the woods, still in the trap (because there's no way to extract the mouse from the glue), and leave it there to either die of starvation or get eaten by a predator.

No, if you're going to use gluetraps then the thing to do is drop them in a bucket and drown the mouse, not let them starve.
posted by phearlez at 4:32 PM on December 18, 2006

I felt horribly guilty about using glue traps until I saw a mouse UNSTICK himself from one (all four paws!) and then run across the middle of my living room -- lights blazing, 8 in the evening. He stopped in the middle of the floor, looked up at me, daring me to come after him, then ran away to his little hidey-hole.
After that, I was just pissed off. Took 3 calls to the exterminator, who blocked up all the holes in the apartment, and the mice were no longer our problem. Of course, my downstairs neighbors were a couple of boys who were probably much better hosts, so the mice didn't have to go far to find cushy new digs.
So don't trust the mice propaganda about gluetraps. Blocking out their points of access is the best solution. I would suggest finding out what an exterminator would cost, as they have all the supplies and the know-how of all the little devious spots to look. (Our meece were particularly fond of getting in around the radiators.)
posted by katemonster at 12:39 AM on December 21, 2006

Response by poster: update...I bought plastic containers for all of my cabinet food, bought steel wool and insulation foam and filled every crack in the place. That night I heard terrible scratching and squeaking behind the sink. I had nightmares that I did some Edgar Allen Poe wall burial.

It's been about 2 weeks though and no smells of rotting mice, no poo, nothing. Yay!
posted by brinkzilla at 12:14 PM on December 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

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