Getting rid of mice without killing them?

I know, I know. I moved to a new apartment on the 1st. Saturday, I rented “The Green Mile” which co-stars a lovable mouse. Lat night, 4:00AM, 40 mice running around my kitchen. I think it may have been the Mouse Circus in visiting from Tallahasee. Even had one in my shoe this morning.

My roommate is a chick and, despite having watched the movie too, is in complete kill mode.

It was COLD here last night and we did have some trash in the kitchen which we guess was what atracted them.

I plan to find the hole and plug it. I hopefully can keep my roomie off kill mode for 24 hours. They are little brown field-type mice and cute as babies.

This thread suggested peppermint as a repellent, for example.

I might also borrow a cat and let nature take its course.

Any other suggestions?

If you actually have around 40 mice, you may want to get a couple of cats. Another thing you can do is get a humane mouse trap. I used one when I lived in Yosemite, and it worked very well. After you catch a mouse or mice, you can take them to a field at least a mile from where you live, otherwise the mouse may find it’s way back. One time, I released one about 500 yards from where I was living, and as I walked back to my cabin, I saw the little sucker run by me on his way back.

You can try playing a flute and lead the mice down Main St. and then out of town ala the Pied Piper.

Or on a more serious note, you can get a humane non-lethal trap and deterrents. Here is link to a site that lists companies who sell these things:

Well, in lieu of having any musical capabilities, I have tried talking nicely to them, warning them to fear my roommate Holly, that they should repent and leave never to return. I’ll keep you posted how that works out. I may have to ramp up my rhetoric. “Yay – Then did I see half the mice in glue traps, and there was much squeaking and mashing of teets, and Holly God did pour out her wrath upon them.”

Can I get humane traps at, say, a pet store? My roomate won’t wait for mail order from Great Britain or Wisconsin.

Suspend a cage over a piece of cheese that has a piece of string tied to it, when the mouse pulls the cheese, the string turns on the fan, which blows the sailboat across the tub, which pushes the bowling ball onto the tampoline into the bucket, which…

What? Well it worked on Tom and Jerry. On second thought, it didn’t, never mind.

Get a tall bucket of any type, put some food in the bottom, put it near a staircase. The idea is the mouse climbs up jumps in, gets the food & can’t get out. Then you drop the nice mousie somewhere.

40 mice is atrocious. It sounds to me like
your whole apartment building needs to be
exterminated. Talk to the landlord, and
if he blows you off, talk to the landlord-
tenant commission in your area. A mouse
problem like you’ve got isn’t solvable
with traps or even cats. And 40 of the
disgusting little critters is a health
hazard. Check out what they leave behind.

You might want to try a hardware store or even a K-Mart kind of place. I’ve seen the humane traps there, but never at pet stores.

Also, if you’re going to use them, make sure you check them continually. Trust me on this.


Larry, welcome to the SDMB. You really don’t have to hit return after every few words- in fact, it makes your post choppy and takes up more space than necessary. Just so you know.


Don’t be a wuss. Get a shovel a wack the suckers. There’s a lot more where they came from.

[Semi hijack]
A few years back now, I was living in Ireland. One weekend my Irish girlfriend stayed over after telling her very trad-Cath parents that she was staying at a girlfriends.

Friday night: We could here all this scratching and quickly discovered a family of mice

Saturday: I bought some traps, laid them; they went off snap, snap, snap. A couple of dead mice, one leg, one dead mouse missing one leg etc.

Sunday morning: We heard a noise in the kitchen, a mouse had caught its leg in the very efficient trap, and pulled the trap behind the cooker. My GF who was shit scared of rodents made me pull out the cooker in order to reach it. Gas ovens have week pipes, the pipe came loose, gas leek. As I put my thumb over the pipe, GF lit her lighter to enable me to see better (its dark behind ovens). Luckily, messiah lives, but the only person we knew that could fix a pipe (on a Sunday that is) was my GF’s father, I got one hell of a Catholic-parent (a.k.a. the devil) lecture, while still covering the pipe with thumb.

[/semi hijack]
Sunday night: By some miracle (read cunning lie), GF stayed overnight. We heard a scratching in the bedroom, and a mouse ran over the bed. “Don’t kill it,” she said, (she forgot about the other 4 mice in mouse heaven), so I found a bowl and after some time trapped it under said bowl. Now what to do? I placed a lit cigarette (my GF’s) under the rim of the bowl for about 5 minutes, lifted the bowl and hey-presto one tiny-doped mouse. I heroically picked up mouse, took to field a kilometre away and released it. My conscience was clean, my carpet was burnt, and my landlord charged me 500 IRP for a new one.

The local county extension service sometimes has humane traps they will loan you. Check in the phone book under “YourCounty Extension” or “YourCounty Coop”. They’re there ostensibly to serve farmers, but it’s a whole office full of experts twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the phone to ring. It would really make their day to have someone come in and need to borrow a mousetrap. Seriously.

The best place to release mice is in back of a fast food restaurant, preferably one you don’t go to :smiley:

Do you know what 40 mice can do?

Make bunches and bunches of MORE mice. They’re cute and all but…

Yeah, if I was back in Austin (Travis county) I’d give that a shot – more animal lovers per square acre there than anywhere. I’m sure if I was at my mother’s ranch in Junction Texas (Kimball County) they’d laugh – but out there the rattlers would take care of any mice. But up here in Somerville Mass. (just outside Boston – I think I’m in Norfolk county or southern Middlesex) there ain’t much in the way of farming.

But, I got some Polyurathane foam and plugged the hole. My roommate’s boyfriend set a few snap traps which got one poor guy by this morning.

Exterminator on the way, supposedly. What can you do… thanks for the advice though.

Egad. If I keep responding to these mice threads folks are going to start thinking my place is hip deep in vermin (only up to my toes, thanks. And only in the fall).

Okay, humaine traps: Don’t work.
Spearmint: Doesn’t work (at least not well).
Kind words: Hasn’t worked yet
Lightsaber: Mixed results

What does seem to work for me is eucalyptus oil, soaked into cotton balls and placed in the hollows of walls and wainscottings that the mice scuttle around in all night. Also keeps them out of your pantry (lost three cylanders of oatmeal to the little creeps). Stuff stinks to high heaven and burns when you get in on your skin. Should be available at your local drug store. You have to refresh the cotton balls at least once a week though, and beware, the stuff eats through some plastics. Also, keeps them out of your pantry (lost three straight cylanders of oatmeal to the little creeps).

Allow me to suggest D-Con mouse poison, placed in your garage.

originally posted by jmullaney
“Yay – Then did I see half the mice in glue traps, and there was much squeaking and mashing of teets…”

“mashing of teets”- ow!

And you don’t want to kill them WHY?

Mice are nasty and destructive and carriers of disease; they are not like poor Mr. Jingles. I’m with Beer and Inky on this one. Kill them–All of them in any way possible.

Having lived near a field loaded with fieldmice and entered into many a battle with the little beasts, I’ve found that traps baited with peanut butter are the best method. You can empty the traps and be done with them. D-Con while effective, merely poisons the critters allowing them to crawl into the walls, furniture, heating ducts to die; their rotting corpses must often be located by smell alone.

Sniff-sniff I think there’s one under the fridge
Sniff-sniff No wait maybe it’s in the closet
Sniff-sniff Maybe it’s under here

No fun, no fun at all.

Now if you happen to enjoy that sort of thing…

They are God’s creatures[sup]*[/sup]. If I killed them, I’d have to eat them.

[sub]*the following are not God’s creatures: insects, centipedes, and millipedes.[/sub]

“Gas ovens have week pipes, the pipe came loose, gas leek. As I put my thumb over the pipe, GF lit her lighter to enable me to see better (its dark behind ovens)”


Forget the mice with their diseases, it’s your girlfriend who’s a danger to the public health and safety. :slight_smile:

Yes! [does triumphant happy dance]

I have wrestled with Google and I have won! “Give me a new link,” I demanded, and the Search Angel complied. Hah!


The USDA has Cooperative Extension Service offices in counties all over the country. I know this, yet “Middlesex County Extension” stubbornly refuses to pop up with a link. Dang.

Nothing in the White Pages under Middlesex County government offices. Double dang.

Finally go to the USDA itself–still no luck. Just a list of “state partners”.

But ah ha! Finally I start looking under the Master Gardeners program, because they do that, too. “Master Gardener program Massachusetts”.

Hmm. Click on “University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension” and there it is!

It’s not under “Middlesex Extension Service”. Recognize any of these addresses and phone numbers as being close to you? Go down there and ask them if they can loan you a humane mousetrap.

Ha. :slight_smile: I rock.