How to make the mousies go away without injuring the children.

We seem to have this knack for picking apartments with mice. This is our third, and they’re getting to be quite bold as well as destructive and, well, poopy, so we need them gone.
Some complications arise. We have inquisitive small children, the younger of whom will eat things off the floor if not ofrcibly prevented, and likes to take stuff apart to see how it runs. Snap traps will result in broken fingers, and I am uncomfortable with the idea of a mouse getting something caught in the trap but not killed. Glue traps would be fine if we could release the glue before the mouse starts gnawing off its own legs, plus if the kids see them, they will want to pet the mousie and will get bitten. Poison would be eaten by the children, and then there’s the idea of the kids finding the sick mouse, and the smell of the dead ones.
So do those live trap things work? We’ve bought a couple and they seem to not be bothered by the mice at all, at least when baited with peanut butter on a cracker as the directions recommend. I have read of a sort of multiple-mouse live trap called a Tin Cat. Is that a better model?
What about the ultrasound emitters that are supposed to frighten them away or something?
There must be a reasonably humane way thta’s safe for use in a house with our kids.


Put out the traps at night and remove them in the morning. A fragrant, squashed Jelly Belly jelly bean mashed onto the bait holder has never failed me. The mouse can’t just ease it off. He has to go after it and that’s when the naked steel bar comes down and snaps his back in two.

A week or two of trapping will kill almost of them.

Skip the ultrasound devices.

The grocery store I used to work at used the Tin Cat trap (or something much like it). It worked quite well. The little buggers can’t get out. What to do once you capture them is another story. You could let them go in the wild, but they’d likely end up in someone else’s home. I’d kill them. It’s not like there’s a shortage. (animal lovers can Pit me if they so desire, but not here, please)

Henna Dancer, I used a very low tech method of building a better mousetrap the last time I had an uninvited guest. I just put some cheese in a paper bag and left it lying wide open in the middle of the kitchen floor. I hid myself in the next room and peeked around the wall. Soon a mouse entered the bag, I immediately pounced and closed up the bag, and captured it without harming it.

I’m vegan and practice ahimsa (nonviolence) as part of my yoga practice, so I was not going to kill it. I took it for a long walk in the woods and released it.

I forgot to mention, but having cats, dogs, or ferrets is out as an option.

Get a cat.

It will catch some of the mousies (and will self-dispose of them), and it’s presence in the apartment will scare most of the rest of them into moving to less hazardous territory.

And your young children will probably enjoy the cat, too.

A nice cuddly snake perhaps?

Or set aside a weekend and do some mouse-proofing. Go around and seal up all the little holes in the baseboards, in the back of cabinets, etc. where the critters are getting in. Use sheet metal or something that they can’t gnaw through. Move all food to mouse-inaccessible locations and vacuum & mop like crazy to get up any little goodies that may be lying around on the floor.

Don’t put the peanut butter on a cracker in the live trap. Drop the PB right onto the back of it & smear a slight bit on the outside to get them interested. We got all the babies that way. (When we put a PB cracker in, the adult would stretch in, get the cracker & not get trapped.)

The adult has been so elusive tho, we finally surrendered to a killing clamp-like trap, which got one today. (We tried a regular killing mousetrap & I must have set the trigger too tight as the PB was all cleaned off it w/o springing)

I like my little Victor box trap. I’ve caught many a mouse in it. Just don’t set it anywhere exposed to cold air in the winter or you’ll have micecles! Same goes for heat in the summer. The little beggers invariably pee in the trap.

I’ve also had luck with two home methods.

  1. Get a metal mixing bowl or old pudding basin. Place one side against the wall and hold up the bowl in the middle, slightly off-centre, with a stick balanced on a piece of dry dogfood. The mouse will take the dogfood, collapsing the stick and ending up trapped under the bowl. Slide a piece of cardboard under the bowl and you can take the mouse outside.

  2. Get an old gallon jar. Put wadded paper towel in the bottom. Tape a strip of wood about the size of HotWheels track to the edge of the rim, or just use the track if you have it. Make sure the strip is long enough to hit the floor at a climbable angle. Place a strip of newspaper about 1" -2" wide across the top of the jar. On the paper, place something light but tasty. A bit of bread and peanut butter works. Make sure the bait is on the far edge of the paper from the wood strip. The mouse will go up the track, especially if you lead it up with tiny dots of peanut butter. When it gets to the top it will try to reach across the paper to get the treat. The paper will give way and the mouse will end up in the jar. The paper towel will keep it from getting hurt when it drops and give it something to hide in until you come to remove it.

Good luck!

      • Another way to capture them without poisons and unharmed is to use a bucket: you need a small wastebasket or bucket, a short piece of rope and some bait. You put the bucket along a wall near where mice have been seen, you drape the rope from the floor up and over into the bucket, and then rub the bait a bit on the rope every couple inches, starting at the end left on the floor and up and over into the trash can. If you have no rope, a piece of rag or a towel can be used. And you just throw the bait into the trash can. You have to make sure that the rope/whatever is left hanging about six inches above the bottom of the bucket inside, so that the mouse will smell the rope and climb up and over and drop down into the bucket and not be able to get back out. Then you can just dump the mouse outside in the morning.
  • The only problem with this way is that sometimes you will catch more than one mouse, and sometimes they will fight until only one is left alive. But either way, it’s cheap, non-poisonous and generally non-violent, uses things you probably already have around the house and the mice won’t be in your house anymore.