Have you noticed some food gone missing of late, while tiny chew marks are appearing on food product packaging? Are you hearing scratching, scurrying noises at night? Or perhaps, you’ve even spotted a culprit or two skipping past you on the way to the kitchen during the evening hours?
Mice are true pests, carrying harmful diseases, leaving behind trails of feces and urine, and scampering around with threatening looks on their furry little faces as they systematically try to drive you out of your own home. They definitely have to go. But how?
Catching or killing mice requires reliable traps, irresistible bait, persistence, and ingenuity – read on to learn how to catch that mouse!
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How to Catch Mice in Your House
No matter how lovable they may look or how cold and dangerous it is for them outside, the NO MICE ALLOWED policy stays and the mice have to go.
What is the best strategy for ridding your house of unwelcome rodents?
Here are 5 elements you should include in your overall approach:
- Begin by finding mouse entry points and sealing them off. This might mean nailing up boards, plugging up foundation holes with concrete, or stuffing some steel wool into a passageway.
- Thoroughly clean your house and eliminate possible sources of food and water for mice. No mouse wants to move in just to starve.
- Select, bait, and place numerous mouse traps around the house. Put them behind furniture and appliances, along walls, and anywhere mouse are found.
- Be patient: it can take days or weeks to fully decimate your home’s mouse population. And be willing to experiment with different trap types and baits and trap-placement locations until “things click” and your problem is finally solved.
“Field mice” can refer to any number of mice species that live not only in fields and yards but often find their way into houses and garages. However, if you are looking to stop field mice “still in the field” from digging up your yard or destroying your garden/produce, here are some helpful tips:
- Place PB-laden mouse traps every 6 feet or so throughout your garden, along your home’s foundation, or anywhere else you suspect mice may roam. Click on the following link to learn about various kinds of outdoor mouse traps and how to set them for the best results.
- Plant spearmint around your home and yard and intermixed in your garden. Mint repels mice, who cannot stand its smell.
- Clean up clutter in your yard, eliminating potential mouse hiding places. And keep the yard well mowed and the weeds down.
- Get one or more pet cats and let them roam around the back yard regularly every day, weather permitting. What are the best cats for catching mice? Click here to know.
You may have trouble finding the perfect smart mouse for your computer, but inability to find and catch another kind of “smart mouse” in your house may be even more frustrating.
Most people are unaware of the many talents of the common house mouse, which include:
- Climbing straight up walls with even the tiniest foot hole available.
- Jumping as high as a foot into the air, which means they can escape any container that’s not tall enough or has no lid.
- Squeezing their bodies through holes no more than a quarter-inch across.
- Memorizing pathways and food locations so as to easily find their way in the dark.
To catch a smart mouse you may need a smarter mouse trap. To learn more about making a homemade mouse trap that will outsmart your mice, click the link. Otherwise, look for a smarter commercially sold trap, like an electric mouse trap or a trap-door cage that lets mice in but not out.
And also follow steps like placing only a pea-sized amount of sticky or well attached bait on a trap’s trigger, relocating traps till you meet with success, and meticulously cleaning your home and sealing off food supplies so that mice find no food available in your home except the bait.
What About the Big Mouse?
The size of your mouse and the size of your trap should be compatible. A bigger mouse may be able to steal bait from a small trap or at least get away alive, if perhaps, a bit injured and ruffled.
Find out how to make a bucket mouse trap that will kill even the largest mice, by clicking on the link. And if you make a homemade bottle mouse trap, using a bigger bottle will catch you a bigger mouse if it dares to enter.
Also, consider a Havahart live-catch mouse cage that is sized for large mice (they come in a variety of sizes for different-sized rodents.)
Finally, you may even want to try using rat traps if your mice are especially large, and not actually much smaller than rats.
Ways to Catch a Mouse
Maybe your cat doesn’t like to eat mice, but prefers Meow Mix instead. Or maybe you don’t own a cat and don’t want to. And realize that cats almost never end a mouse infestation, but simply pick off a mouse here and there.
And the mice aren’t just going to go away if you wait them out. And starving them out is going to be almost impossible too. And also realize mice can live without water indefinitely because they get most of their moisture from the food they eat.
No, if you’re going to get serious about getting rid of mice in your house, it will take traps. Here below area few basic types of traps you might want to consider using.
Catch and Release Traps
Glue traps for mice are often rejected as too cruel, and instead, the best human mouse trap is sought out. If you don’t have the stomach for killing mice and hate to think of your furry little house pests suffering, look for a catch-and-release mouse trap.
A homemade mouse trap made from a 2 liter bottle can catch without killing. Or, you could make a trap-door bucket trap with no water or antifreeze in it. (But be sure it’s tall enough so mice won’t jump straight back out!)
Havahart live catch traps and many cleverly designed in-but-not-out bait center traps will also accommodate your catch and release instincts.
Kill and Contain Traps
There are many options for mouse traps that kill. Of course, the bait could be poison (click here to find out about poison mouse pellets). But you’ll find many snap-traps that are covered so as to keep mice and their dead carcasses out of view.
Both homemade and store-bought traps can kill mice and then contain them so that pets won’t get at the dead mice. Some traps are safer than others when it comes to kids in the house, so take that into account when making your mouse trap decisions.
Electrocution traps, like the Victor Black Box traps, also kill and contain. Go here to learn more about electric mouse traps and how they work.
The Easiest Way
If your concern is mostly with the ease of catch, then what types of mouse traps are to be preferred?
Answers to a question like this can vary, of course, but here are 4 basic principles to look for that will make mouse-catching as easy and simple as possible:
- Use store-bought traps. Making a trap yourself is obviously going to require extra effort even if it saves you some money and still works.
- Use baits that mice can’t resist. The triangle of Swiss cheese you see in the cartoons isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Read this article to learn more about the best mouse bait.
- Choose traps that you can check only once in a while or that even reset themselves. Or, use traps that live-catch multiple mice.
- Use disposable traps so you can just dump mouse, trap, and all into the can and be done with it.
Mouse Trap Tips
It’s not as easy to trap mice as you might think. After all, they won’t come begging you to trap them – they want to live (and live in your house too!)
If you are de-mousing the whole house, you need to put down plenty of traps and bunch them together in key locations. This can take as many as two dozen traps in an average-sized home – so don’t skimp and let the mice off the hook!
Here are a few key tips to make your mouse traps more effective:
- Do an inspection first to discover where mice hang out before placing your traps.
- Use baits high in protein, which mice crave.
- Place traps suddenly to surprise mice. Often, the most mice are caught on the first night.
- Use plenty of traps and don’t be afraid to put traps side by side in high-mouse-traffic zones.
How Do I Track Mice in My House?
Believe it or not, mice do leave tracks you can follow to find their stomping grounds. But it’s not usually footprints but trails of feces, urine, and an occasional stray hair.
You can also stay up at night and scare them with a flashlight, then wait to see where they run to find their hide-outs. And if you don’t mind the mess, you can surround bait with mud in a pan to see create a mousy trail of mud-tracks.
How Do I Catch a Tiny Mouse?
Sometimes, tiny mice as small as an inch long infest your home. Catching them with regular mouse traps doesn’t always work.
One option is de-CON no touch, no view mouse traps, which are made for smaller mice. And any trap that is smaller in size does better with smaller mice.
But glue traps and homemade bucket traps will also catch small mice effectively.
The Fastest Way
There are many ways to catch a mouse, but which are the fastest?
While results may vary, we can recommend 4 key principles to remember to maximize de-mousing speed:
- Prepare the home for de-mousing by sealing off mouse entry points, cleaning thoroughly, and not leaving out pet food or food crumbs on the floor.
- Push the mice toward traps by tossing repellents like mint-soaked cotton balls in some spots and plugging in ultrasonic rodent repellents in other areas.
- Use large numbers of well baited traps to maximize your odds.
- Use a variety of types of traps so that if one type fails, the others likely won’t.
The Best Way to Trap Mice
It’s hard to say what’s “the best” way to trap mice since methods are so numerous, and many of them quite effective. Even a single company, like Tomcat mouse traps for example, will sell a variety of trap-types for this very reason.
But the overall method must include three elements: a reliable trap mice will fearlessly approach, an irresistible bait (PB is best), and strategic trap-placement.
Personally, I recommend Victor Black Box electric traps or Havahart live-catch mouse cages, but everyone’s preference is different.
For more detailed information on what might be the best mouse trap, click the helpful link.
Learning how to get rid of mice effectively, rapidly, at the lowest possible cost, and humanely, is much more involved than people realize. But there are many good solutions to all the complications involved in ridding your home of mice. Many of the links in this article will lead you to more in-depth information on how to do just that!
You can find further details of Mice Control here.