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How to Catch a Mouse Alive Without Killing It
This is actually a kind of crazy question, and here is why: a mouse that is already living in your house or attic needs that environment in order to survive. If you catch the mouse alive and let it go unharmed outside, repeated studies have proven that it will die of either hypothermia or, without a hiding place, fall prey to predators (such as the estimated 100 million stray cats in the USA) within 24 hours. I am sorry, but it is legitimately pointless to attempt to catch a mouse alive. It will die soon after you let it go outside. The most important thing you can do to ensure humane treatment of mice is to make sure you seal off any openings in your building so that no more can get inside. Not easy work, but truly the only cure for mice in the house or attic.
Mice are small rodents that feed on berries, seeds, grains and plants. When a mouse finds a nice, insulated wall to live in, it is difficult to convince him to leave. The mouse will have a constant supply of food as it scours your kitchen floors and cupboards at night.
If you do not see them visually then you will most likely notice the droppings they leave behind after they have left the area. The droppings look like small, black sesame seeds and can be toxic, so do not touch them with your bare hands. Mice feces have been linked to several respiratory diseases, so take proper precautionary measures when handling it. Catching a mouse can be an easy exercise and you more than likely have everything you need to accomplish this task right at home.
Locate the Mouse
In order to set your trap, you will need to determine where the mouse is in your home. When the house is quiet, listen closely in different rooms. If you hear scratching noises in the walls then there is a good chance that the mouse is close by and leaving a trap would be a safe bet. If you are lucky, you will see the mouse emerge from its hiding spot, making your job infinitely easier. Check along floorboards and cupboards for gaps and holes where the mouse could be hiding. They love warm spaces, which is why they prefer insulated walls especially behind a refrigerator.
Catching the Mouse
There are two options when you are considering catching a mouse. The inhumane way involves injuring or killing the rodent whereas the humane way does not. While mice can be destructive pests, they are still animals and part of the larger ecosystem as well; so humane methods are generally preferred. However, the likelihood that a ‘relocated’ mouse will survive is next to nil, so in essence the most humane way to catch a mouse is to use as painless as possible trap. In the best interest of full disclosure however, both the humane and inhumane ways are outlined below.
It is a common misconception that sticky traps are a humane way to catch a mouse. A mouse’s body is covered in fur and once a mouse steps into a sticky trap, it would be impossible to remove it without causing serious harm or death to the rodent.
Spring Loaded Bar Mousetrap
Another trap which can maim and kill a mouse would be the popular spring-loaded bar mousetrap. This trap is commonly used in movies, cartoons and advertising, generally baited with cheese. If you choose to use this trap, you will need to bait it with something that is not as easy to remove as a piece of cheese. The traps operate on a spring and require pressure to snap shut, so use peanut butter instead.
Quick acting poison is a good option, but you must be very careful if you have small children or pets in the home. The likelihood of a small child or pet ingesting the poison may be too high to take the risk. What is worse, the mouse will eat the poison and go back to his nest, where he will most likely die. The last thing that you want is a dead mouse rotting within the walls of your house. As time passes the smell will grow worse, leaving you with no choice but to endure it or start ripping out walls in an effort to find the dead rodent. It may be best to call a specialist who will be able to get the mice problem taken care of without leaving you the foul smell left afterward.
Catch and Release
By far the most humane (and interesting) way to catch a mouse is the catch and release. No harm comes to the mouse and it will be safely removed from your home. This method involves an empty toilet paper roll or paper towel roll and flattening one end to make a flat-bottomed tunnel. Balance the tunnel over the edge of a counter with a garbage can underneath it. Now place a treat at the end of the tunnel closest to the garbage can. The mouse will travel through the tunnel to get to the food and tip into the garbage bag. Remove the bag and take the mouse at least a mile or more away from your house to ensure that he does not return. Keep in mind, however, that the likelihood of the mouse surviving their new area due to predators and other factors is not a high one.
More in-detail how-to mouse removal articles:
Information about mouse trapping - analysis and methods for how to trap.
Information about how to kill a mouse - with poison or other methods.
Information about how to keep mice away - prevention techniques.
Information about mouse repellent - analysis of types and effectiveness.
This site is intended to provide information about how to catch a mouse, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with a mouse problem. This site provides many mouse capture articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of mouse removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance mouse.
Click here to read more about how to get rid of mice.