Mouse in the House
March 20, 2004 2:09 AM   Subscribe

A little mouse has somehow gotten loose in my room and I was looking for a way to coax him into leaving, without really having to trap him, which would most likely kill him, or have to deal with him running circles around me. Its a really cluttered room and he could hide in there as long as he wanted to, but he's starting to bug me a little.
posted by Slimemonster to Pets & Animals (18 answers total)
You might want to try luring him out with a chocolate biscuit. Mice seem to like those. I suspect that you'll find it quite difficult to get rid of him without killing him. You could always move out!
posted by Nick Jordan at 2:22 AM on March 20, 2004

Here's part of an email I sent to someone last year:

Some years back I had a mouse problem in a previous place. I didn't want
to kill them either. Nor did I want to spend money on those non-kill
traps. So I designed my own trap:

I first got a tall and empty hard plastic kitty litter container (the
square bucket type). I then used some thick wooden sticks and some
cardboard to make a bridge of sorts that went across the (open) top. Some
food was placed in the center. The mouse would then walk towards the
center and eat/tug on the food and this caused the delicate bridge to
collapse and thus the mouse would tumble to the bottom. I'd wake up in
the morning and check the bridge. Sometimes it would be down but no mouse
in the bucket. But sometimes there would be a mouse down there. I'd then
take the bucket across the street and dump the mouse into an empty field.

There are probably better solutions but this one worked well for me. I
wish I could describe the bridge better via text but oh well. The trap looked
something like this (looking at it from above, with the * being the food):

 |                  |
 -----------        |
| card     |        |
| board  *----------|-
|          |  stick |
 -----------        |
 |                  |

(I should add that the right side of the cardboard has been folded up 1/2-inch or so. This allows the stick to poke through and create the bridge.)
posted by gluechunk at 2:36 AM on March 20, 2004

A plastic tub trap, OK, or else sticky paper that catches 'em by the foot but doesn't kill them. Remember to wear heavy gloves when trying to release it, because mice have fleas and can be rabid. Peanut butter with anything that smells of anise will catch him. An ouzo and peanut butter treat. Slip him a Mickey... (sorry, couldn't resist...)
posted by zaelic at 6:32 AM on March 20, 2004

Sticky paper will kill the mouse, in my experience. Or cause the wee creature to bite his leg off. Which isn't such a nice thing to discover upon waking.

You can get little metal box traps that don't hurt them at all -- you just put peanut butter inside and a little door closes when they go in, then you can let them out outside.
posted by bcwinters at 7:04 AM on March 20, 2004

You can get little metal box traps that don't hurt them at all

Google "Havahart traps" if you're looking for these.
posted by staggernation at 7:17 AM on March 20, 2004

We used these little plastic tippy traps which are a bit cheaper than Havahart and good if you have only one mouse [though no one really has one mouse, but....]. They essentially are a little plastic box that tips when the mouse walks into them, closing the door and trapping the mouse. It's unpleasant for the mouse [so check them often] but I've never seen one die of fright or anything. They don't even require bait, you just set them up where the mouse usually run, next to walls, behind furniture etc. Can't remember what they are called but they are plastic and cheap as heck. I've also wound up catching mice by accident in my trash can. If mice can get to high places, you can just put out a five gallon bucket with some food in the bottom. Mice can crawl in, can't climb out. Again, check often.
posted by jessamyn at 8:23 AM on March 20, 2004

Huh. I'm going to sound awfully "back-a@! country" here, but... I didn't even know they made traps that catch mice without harming them.
What do you do with the mouse after you catch it? Let it go again? Help me, I'm trying to understand why someone would want to save the life of a mouse.
posted by bradth27 at 8:47 AM on March 20, 2004

The trap jessamyn describes is called a Tip-Trap and was previously mentioned in the last mousetrap thread.
posted by jjg at 8:52 AM on March 20, 2004

Help me, I'm trying to understand why someone would want to save the life of a mouse.

Um, because it's alive and it's not really harming you.
posted by anathema at 9:14 AM on March 20, 2004

Um, because it's alive and it's not really harming you

I suppose my attitude toward mice comes from my childhood experiences with them. We lived in a trailer house, and there were holes in the floor where the mice and rats would climb in. Believe me, mice and rats can -and will - bite you.
In the winter, those little nasty critters would get in our beds. Believe me, there's nothing like a mouse chewing on your toe to change your mind about killing something.
Nasty, disgusting, disease-carrying creatures, in my opinion.
posted by bradth27 at 9:40 AM on March 20, 2004

Rule of thumb, if you think you have one mouse you have six, if you think you have two mice you have a dozen.

And don't forget to check those humane traps, it's pretty sad coming across a little mouse that had starved to death in a glue trap. But if it makes you feel better using humane traps good for you.

And look for holes and plug them up with steel wool.
posted by bobo123 at 9:46 AM on March 20, 2004

I have a humane mousetrap I can send you.

It works wonderfully: the mouse in our house (I believe it came from Vietnam, stowed away in some packing material!) left the house after two days of having that trap around. Can't get more humane than that!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 AM on March 20, 2004

For me, it depends on the level of infestation and the proximity to a large park to drop live mice off at. Generally I use the live traps.

But a couple years ago I moved into the hands-down filthiest apartment I've ever seen for a summer. My girlfriend and I spent a week of twelve hour days cleaning the thing, finding, among other things, a 40-ounce bottle of urine in the back room. When enough of the junk was gone, the incredible mouse infestation became apparent. We used the old-fashioned traps, partly because we couldn't afford the live traps, and partly because our collective patience was so short come this point. Within a week, we had killed over a dozen mice with four traps scattered about the flat, and I think the total was near twice that by the end of the summer. Would have meant a lot of trips to the park, had we used the live traps.

But this is an outstanding case in a number of ways; the live traps work pretty well, but if you have a real infestation, all the trips to dump the mice will get tiring. And you should definitely make trip to get rid of them, lest they wander right back into the house.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:04 PM on March 20, 2004

why, oh why, did you voluntarily choose to take possession of a filthy apartment?
posted by five fresh fish at 12:20 PM on March 20, 2004 [1 favorite]

I lured a mouse out of my dormitory room years ago thusly:

1. Place an almost empty bag of microwave popcorn on the floor.
2. Turn out the lights and go to bed.
3. When you hear the mouse in the bag, pick up the bag and drop it out the window.

Problem (that one, anyway) solved.
posted by emelenjr at 1:29 PM on March 20, 2004

My father solved the problem with a padded envelope and a dust-pan, but your results may vary. Wildly.
posted by yerfatma at 1:44 PM on March 20, 2004

Just borrow a cat for a few days and the mouse will wake up, smell the coffee and get going.
posted by FidelDonson at 12:52 AM on March 21, 2004

What do you do with the mouse after you catch it? Let it go again? Help me, I'm trying to understand why someone would want to save the life of a mouse.

The mice are taken to a halfway house for rehabilitation, and are eventually released in large mouse preserves where they can run wild and free. Of course, they're really only hooked up to brain implants, where there tiny bodies are used to generate electricity for projects like the internet.
posted by mecran01 at 6:39 AM on March 21, 2004 [1 favorite]

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