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Adventures in vermin
blaisepascal
So we have mice.

We've known for a while that there are mice in our kitchen. Once you know that, the next question is: what are we going to do about it?

skitten isn't too keen on the "do nothing, not much we can do will be effective anyway" solution.

It turns out, our cat is no help.

The idea of a snap trap, a poison trap, or a glue trap doesn't work well for the squeamish among us. Which leaves live trapping.

Of course, once you live trap, the problem of what you do with them then is always an issue: if you let a house-mouse loose outside, it'll probably beat you back to your house -- or head for someone else's, at which point you've been a bad neighbor transferring your problem to they who did not ask for it.

But the mice must be dealt with.

A couple of weeks ago I got a live trap. At which point I discovered that we do not keep peanut butter or other similar bait in our house.

Last night at the store I finally remembered we needed peanut butter. We know exactly one area the mice hang out, so I knew exactly where to put the trap.

I noticed around 7pm tonight the trap was sprung. The mouse was duly transferred to a bucket.

1) Mice are cute, with little angry beady black eyes.
2) Mice can jump higher than the walls of the bucket I was using.
3) Mice can run fast.

So around 7:15pm I rebaited and reset the trap, and headed to a meeting.

At 10:15pm, I got home from the meeting, and found the trap had sprung again. The mouse was duly transferred to an empty tall kitchen garbage can.

1) Mice come in different colors, both brown and grey.
2) Mice cannot jump higher than the walls of a tall kitchen garbage can.

The trap wasn't completely devoid of bait, and has been reset. I'll check it (and the garbage can/holding pen) in the morning.

Of course, now that I have a holding pen for these mice, what is my moral responsibility? Do I need to add a water dish? drop cereal into the pen for them? And what should the end-game be?

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I know mice are cute, and I know about squeemishness (I have it too) but they are also vermin (which you know). At some point, you have to get over the squeemishness, and use an old-fashioned mouse trap.

How do I know this? I've got a recurring mouse issue, the worst of which was the summer we caught 13 (two of which got flushed as we discovered them in the toilet... now we look before we sit). We now have another mouse issue in the basement, and the only way to get rid of them is to not-live trap them. I prefer the snap traps, as it breaks their necks, the others make them miserable before they die.

I'm sorry to be so cold about this, but they are not good things to have around the house. And they multiply.

*hugs* I commiserate.

I'm not the squeamish among us. But any solution has to be acceptable to all of us.

I know of a home-made self-resetting live trap that consists of a 5-gal plastic bucket, a wire, and a toilet paper core. You drill two holes near the top of the bucket, string the wire through it with the toilet paper core on the wire, put peanut butter around the middle of the TP core, and put a ramp leading up to, but not quite to the core. The mice go down the ramp, jump onto the TP core, spin around, and fall into the bucket. The next mouse does the same thing, and pretty soon you have a bucket of mice.

The guy who posted this got the most complaints from the pictures of the slight variation. The sole addition: 2 inches of water in the bucket, so the picture was of a bucket of drowned mice.

The holding pen now has a saucer of water, the peanut-butter-covered foil seal from the jar of peanut butter, and two mice.

So we had a gopher/ground hog that was eating all my vegetables. The game plan was the catch it (because sitting outside with a 22 was not happening) and then drop it off in the middle of nowhere.

Also how are the mice getting in? That is the other issue...find the holes and stuff them with steel wool. They really don't like chewing on it.

We also had that problem last year and I expect we'll have it again as it gets colder. We used a live trap too. Didn't want to kill them if there was another way. They're just living as they live, as are we all. But like persis said, you can't have them in the house. We took ours to work and let them go on the grounds. It's a big place with a lot of grounds and already has a lot wildlife but any wooded area, field or cemetery will work if it's away from houses.

Edited at 2012-11-03 11:27 am (UTC)

Mice will indeed multiply fast if not dealt with. I've got poison out, a solution I arrived at after quite some time trying to be humane. I trapped and released (mostly at the park down the street) quite a few before deciding enough was enough.

I tried the snap traps, and they were a little less pleasant, as they force you to confront your victim. The zap trap I got, which has peanut butter (or other bait) inside, a one-way tunnel, and battery terminal floor plates, is a little easier, as you can dump the resident into the garbage without necessarily having to look at it. The poison makes them go die somewhere else; it makes them thirsty, and they go outside (at least in theory) to find water.

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