To Catch a Mouse

Insects, rodents and others pests are no fun to have in the house. You might already share your space with your family or roommate, but that’s where you draw the line. I actually used to have pet mice many years ago, so I appreciate the cuter aspects of mice. Having a mouse loose in your home is another matter entirely. House mice are quite unsanitary and spread disease easily. It’s best to act quickly at the first sign of an unwelcome visitor. But if you don’t like the idea of using a kill trap, I experienced great success with the live-trapping method described below.



Finding the Trap

After discovering the presence of a mouse on the premises, I first did some research into the best live trap I could find. The Mouse Hotel was the highest-rated option I found. It’s reliable, reusable, inexpensive, humane and even quite cute. It’s a long transparent green box with a spot for food at one end and a door at the other. When the mouse walks into the trap for the food, he or she presses down on the platform along the bottom, which closes the door behind the mouse. The door cannot be opened from the inside. The trap itself is made to look like a little house with windows.



Setting the Trap

Once the trap arrived in the mail, I got to work. I noticed the Mouse Hotel did not have any air holes for the trapped mouse. There may have been enough gap in the pieces of plastic to allow for ample oxygen to reach the mouse, but I didn’t want to take any chances. I got out my cordless drill and added a few small holes on the window areas of the hotel.




I removed the back wall of the hotel to load the bait into the tray. I chose a whole wheat cracker with peanut butter covered in ground flax seed. A rodent delicacy. After loading this delicious snack, I placed the trap alongside a cupboard in the kitchen in an area that I felt would be visible to both the mouse and me.


I had no idea what size mouse I was dealing with, so I placed a penny on the spring platform for some extra weight, in case my quarry wasn’t heavy enough to trip the door. (I needn’t have worried since the little fellow I caught was quite robust.) And then I left the trap be and waited for someone to find it.





Releasing the Mouse

A few hours later… My roommate and I heard the little door snap shut. Thrilled, I ran out to the kitchen to get a look at our tiny visitor. As I mentioned, he was a bit larger than I was expecting. But still excruciatingly adorable.


To catch a mouse. ? Part 3. Guesssssss whaaaaaaaat?!?!?!??????!?!? #? #? #mice #housemouse #livetrap #mouse #caughthim

A photo posted by Anna Liedahl (@meatball_liedahl) on



It was past midnight by the time Basil (the name I gave the mouse) was caught, so I decided to wait until morning to find his new home and release him there. There was still plenty of peanut butter flax cracker left if he got hungry. Of course, I couldn’t go to bed without sharing a quick, victorious selfie with the internet.





The following morning we set off early to a nearby park by the Mississippi River to find a location to release Basil. The point you release a house mouse should be well over a mile from your home as mice can easily find their way back. I found a peaceful spot right next to the river and opened the door to allow Basil to scurry to freedom.



Basil the mouse’s new home. #catchandrelease #nature #nofilter #animals #?

A photo posted by Anna Liedahl (@meatball_liedahl) on




We didn’t have any more signs of mice after that, so we seemed to have only had one mouse, which is rare indeed. All in all the whole experience was a success and we felt good about finding a reliable option for the humane capture of a house mouse.



>> Update: 4/22/16 <<

Months later, we had another mouse in our home. I used the same exact method as the previous time, again with great success. This mouse was also rather hardy, so I hate to think how long he’d been snacking on our garbage and pantry items… The release took a bit longer this time. It took me 15 minutes to coax the mouse out of the trap! But he finally did race off to enjoy his new home.



Have you caught a mouse with a live trap? How did it go?


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