It’s Monday! Let’s talk about something uncomfortable and gross! Tis the season for mice to seek shelter in your warm, cozy home. While I’ve never had a full-out infestation, we have had to deal with an uninvited mouse from time to time. After living in old homes for the past decade, I’ve become well versed in both prevention and elimination of mice. So, what’s the best way to catch a mouse?
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and with mice, it’s totally true. Many old homes have cracks, holes, and gaps that mice can squeeze through, so your first step is to seal up your house. Mice can get through tight spaces. In fact, if a #2 pencil can fit through an opening, so can a mouse!
Be sure to check behind your stove and in your basement for holes. Mice can chew through almost anything, but they won’t try to chew through steel wool, so if you’ve got a larger gap to fill, stuff it with steel wool first, then patch it.
Okay, your house is all sealed up. Now it’s time to catch a mouse. There are some decent live traps out there, but when you release a mouse outside, they will either die outside (they are house mice, not field mice!), or return to their nest in your home. So, we have always opted to use traps that kill mice as quickly and humanely as possible. Glue traps are just too heinous for us, and we’ve got a child and a dog, so poison is also out. After trying a bunch of different products, here are my two go-to options:
The classic snap trap is inexpensive and extremely effective. We’ve found that peanut butter makes great bait. Place them along baseboards, and try not to handle them too much since mice will avoid them if they smell too much like a human.
The biggest con of a snap trap is clean up. it can sometimes be grizzly. Plus, they sometimes don’t kill mice which leads to suffering and a truly horrible job for you to finish in the morning. Ew.
The Rat Zapper
Enter the Rat Zapper. Although it’s a bit pricier, in my opinion, it’s worth every penny. It’s very simple to set, just put it on the ground, throw in some bait (we use dog food), and turn it on. Mice walk over a metal plate to reach the bait and are electrocuted and instantly killed. A red light on the top tells you that the trap has been successful, and you just pick up the trap, take it to the bin, and dump it in. Not only do you not have to touch the dead mouse, you don’t even have to look at it.
This is a clear winner, and I’ll never go back to snap traps.