You’ve discovered you have a mouse problem, and now you’re facing a long list of different chemicals, poisons, and traps that look downright torturous and inhumane for those cute little furry guys. So now you’re thinking about how to catch a mouse ALIVE. Fortunately, along with that long list of chemicals and kill traps, there is an equally, if not longer, list of humane mouse traps that you can buy, or make to use; to catch your little furry friend alive and release him back into his wildlife home.
Humane Traps You Can Buy
There are quite a few options of different humane traps you can buy. It is important to remember that although they are considered humane, that doesn’t always mean that the mouse doesn’t have the chance of shuffling the mortal coil, but these traps prevent that occurrence as much as they possibly can. These traps are only as inhumane as you allow them to be. Of course with catch and release, it is important that you dedicate some care and attention to the trapping of your furry friends. There are quite a few different options of traps you can buy, and I have narrowed it down to my three favorite options: the Havahart Humane Mouse Trap, a.k.a. the “Have-a-Heart” trap, the Smart Mouse Trap, and Mice Cubes. There are many pros and cons to each trap, but the ultimate pro is that all of these are no-kill traps.
The “Have-a-Heart” Humane Trap
The Havahart Humane Trap takes the guessing work out when trying to figure out how to catch a mouse in the house alive. It is made from wire mesh and reinforced steel. These materials come in handy in preventing crafty little buggers from chewing through the trap. The wire mesh also offers plenty of ventilation so that the mouse doesn’t suffocate while being trapped. Personally, I believe that this is the best possible humane trap you can buy. The trap is designed with two doors on either side so that the mouse has options of entrance into the trap. The bait plate is located in the center of the trap where you will place your bait in the center of the plate. The plate is connected to the doors by a sturdy wire. The mouse will enter the trap through one of the doors, and crawl to the center where they will find a tasty treat waiting for them. When they walk up onto the bait plate, the spring mechanism attaching the wire to the doors causing the doors to snap closed, trapping the mouse inside. When you bait this trap, it is a good idea to place a dab of peanut butter on the bait plate along with a piece of candy or a nut to ensure that the bait stays centered on the plate to prevent the mouse from getting caught in the doors or narrowly escaping back into your house. The only downside I see about this trap is setting it; it definitely takes some practice!
Smart Mouse Trap
The Smart Mouse Trap is composed of a green, transparent plastic and is shaped like a cute, slim, little mouse house, which is much more appealing than the traditional snap trap that will kill your little guy. No, this is a cute little green house specifically designed for mice with ventilation holes placed in the top. This trap works similar to the Havahart trap with the spring mechanism. The smart mouse trap only has one entrance and the bait plate is located at the far end away from the door. This plate isn’t as sensitive as the Havahart Trap mechanism, so it is recommended to put a penny or dime for a little added weight for catching smaller mice that wouldn’t otherwise trigger the trigger plate. Consumers do report that the mice have on occasion chewed through the plastic door, since plastic does give way to gnawing teeth. Since this trap does have a spring trigger mechanism, it is tricky to set just like the Havahart Trap. In this trap, you place the bait in a removable “door” so the mouse cannot actually reach the bait once trapped, so it may be a good idea to use a bait that is more fragrant, or placing some cracker crumbs on the trigger plate. This also gives them a nice little treat to munch on while they wait to be released.
Mice cubes are a rectangular shaped box made of a semi-hard plastic. This is by far one of the simplest of the humane mouse traps as far as design. This trap takes almost no skill to set. There is one door which is made of a light plastic that only swings one way– inward. This acts as a sort of trap door because being that it only swings one way, once the mice are inside they can no longer get out. Place the bait in the far end of this trap to make sure that even the bigger mice can’t escape. If the bait is too close to the door, the mouse could only come partially into the door, get the bait, and back out without the door ever shutting. With this trap, you can catch multiple mice at once, but it can tend to get crowded in there. Also, there are no air holes in this product, but you could use a drill and put some air holes along the top. With this trap, along with the Smart Trap, it is important to release the mice very quickly to make sure they don’t suffocate. Since this trap has such a simple design, it is difficult to clean. The opening is very small and when mice are trapped, they tend to get stressed and make a mess. The best way to clean it would be to soak the Mice Cube in warm, soapy water and then use a kitchen sprayer or water hose to get the gunk out.
How to Catch a Mouse in the House with DIY Traps
If you are the handy type and prefer to make your own trap, we have a few different ideas that we have found from a few other sources that are not only easy to make, but affordable as well. Many of the materials you may already have lying around your house. Some of it you can make even out of stuff that you were just planning to throw away in the first place. You can make a homemade trap from a two liter bottle and some duct tape, and empty toilet paper roll and a bucket, or even just a cocktail glass and a nickel!! Crazy, right? Well, I’m here to walk you the three of the simplest humane DIY mouse traps that I have found.
Two Liter Bottle Method
With this method you will need a pair of scissors, a small amount of duct tape, some bait food, and of course as the name says, a two liter bottle. You will want to cut the two liter bottle just above the label all the way around so that you have two entirely separate pieces of the bottle. Turn the top piece of the two liter upside down and place it into the second part of your bottle so that it acts as a kind of funnel. You are going to want to make sure the edges are flush. Using your duct tape, cut two small pieces and place it so that it is securing the top part of the bottle to the bottom half. Break up some of your bait (i.e. corn flakes, bird seed, or pet food). There is a small flaw to this method in that the bottle could tip over before the mouse makes his way through the small hole into the bottom portion of the bottle. You might want to place something around the base of the bottle to prevent it from tipping. This method could take a couple of days to catch a mouse successfully, so I would recommend using a bait that isn’t perishable, that way it doesn’t get smelly or invite other pests into your home searching for a more foul smelling food.
Toilet Paper Roll Method
The toilet paper roll method is a very simple method and another excellent example of a trap that you can make with things lying around your house that you were going to throw away anyway. For this one, you will just need an empty toilet paper roll, some bait, and a bucket. You will want to flatten out a side of the toilet paper roll. This will ensure that it doesn’t roll around and can sit flat on a counter. Your bait should be placed at the opposite end of the tube that the mouse will enter. You will balance the toilet paper roll on an edge of the counter where a mouse may typically run to in search of food or pass through normally. Balance it so that the bait side of the tube is not touching the counter at all. Underneath the counter where you place this tube, place a bucket. The bucket will ensure the capture of the mouse when he walks through the tube and falls. You can make this trap more humane by adding something to cushion his fall so that he doesn’t hit the bottom of the bucket and maybe add a treat in there for him so that he isn’t hungry while he waits for you to find him.
Cocktail Glass Method
This method is by far one of the easiest. The only real skill you need to set this skill up is being able to balance a cocktail glass on a nickel. When looking at this method, the curator of this idea says that no other coin works like the nickel does, and just about everyone has a nickel lying around their house. To lure a mouse into the cup, you will want to rub some peanut butter or other sticky material on the top of the cup to ensure the mouse gets all the way into the cup. Keep in mind that you can only catch a mouse as big as your cup. This method doesn’t have any airflow at all, so you will have to release your furry friend relatively quickly to prevent suffocation. Balance the cup onto an upright nickel so that there is a gap between the surface and the rim of the glass.
We Got One! What to Do Next
Catching your first mouse is pretty exciting, but what now? How far away do you need to be away from your house to release them to prevent them from returning? What types of places are good places to release them? What do you do if it is cold out? That’s a whole lot of questions for something as simple as removing a mouse from your house alive and without harm. You are going to want to find a good location at least 3-5 miles away, somewhere that the mouse can sustain himself like the park or a well wooded area.
When mice get trapped, they get stressed, just like you and I would if we were trapped in a small, not very well-ventilated area. When a mouse gets stressed, it can cause panic or even a heart attack. We want to keep them from suffering as much as we can so that we can release them safely back into their natural habitat. Anything from too much noise to too much light and anywhere in between can stress it out.
If you’re concerned about their well-being, I recommend draping a towel over the trap at least until you can make a decision on your next move to prevent mouse panic. Mice need a lot of time and few distractions to get used to their surroundings, and in the spirit of stressing them out as little as possible, you will want to find a nice place off a lightly traveled path where they will have plenty of time to get used to their surroundings. It is best to release mice during the spring, summer, and fall, because in the winter, they may not be able to find shelter to survive the cold. If this is a concern, you can look to your local humane society or wildlife volunteers for help!
Having a mouse problem can be scary for you, but you don’t have to traumatize your little furry friend as well. His trauma could kill him. There are many more different humane mouse traps you can buy or make. These were just my personal favorite ones based on style, ease of use, and reliability. Don’t hesitate to get out there and explore how to catch a mouse fast and without killing it using other DIY and store bought options for catching your mouse friend alive. Poisons and kill traps aren’t your only options.