Mice advice

Well, the usual fall infestation of mice into our house seems worse this year, likely the result of our cat dying. Short of a cat, what are the most effective methods of mouse control Acme traps, live traps, poison? I really don’t care if they leave alive or dead, I just want them out.

Glue traps, placed in their most common paths, are usually more effective than the old spring traps (too easy to steal the bait, or trip them, then eat the bait), though they may seem cruel. Are you able to be hard-hearted about it? I’ve never tried live traps (the humane thing, but mice wouldn’t be coming inside if there wasn’t a more than adequate population locally), but then I wouldn’t want to release them, unless it was near a known haunt of hawks or other known predators who could go hungry this winter, and not near a house. I’m just being pragmatic, no intent to be cruel. You can tie glue-trapped pests in air-tight bags so they’ll not last long. I don’t like poison, unless you know you can clean it all up before a pet or a kid could get to it. And some populations (mostly city) are becoming resistant to Warfarin.

Is there any good way of discovering and blocking their routes into the house? Or do you live in a really old house that’s nearly impossible to seal?

<checks over shoulder for lurking PETA members>

I’ve actually had good luck with the traditional spring traps, but this works well in the garage where there I get lots of mice. It is self resetting, and I have had it catch 30 or so mice in a week. (the first week I set it up…not so many since)

You’ll need:

5 gallon (any plastic bucket will probably work, but the 5 gallon ones are cheap) plastic bucket, a yardstick (or similar piece of wood), some string or thread, and scotch tape. Peanut butter for bait.

Cut about 9" off the end of the yardstick.

Use scotch tape to hinge the short piece of wood on the long piece, so it overhangs a little less than half the length of the short piece:

Smear peanut butter on the end of the short piece.

Put about 4" of water in the bucket.

Set the yardstick assembly up over the edge of the bucket. like a diving board. Use ??? to support the other end. I usually rest it on shelves in the garage. Mice get up there somehow. I doesn’t have to be level.

The mouse smells the peanut butter and walks out on the diving board. When it gets near the end, it’s weight overbalances the end piece, and it gets dumped into the bucket. The walls of the bucket are slick, so the mouse can’t climb out. It drowns.

Use a piece of thread attached with tape to limit the travel of the end piece so that it will reset itself for the next mouse.

I have heard of a simpler version without the hinged section, and you just smear peanut butter on the underside of the diving board, and the mouse loses it’s balance trying to get at it. I haven’t tried this version.