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DawnM

Best way to catch a mouse? Or many mice?

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UGH!  We have mice in our offices again.

The school district puts out sticky traps, which I HATE but they are cheapest so that is what they use.  Only now the mice are too smart for them and go around them.   I plan to bring in a couple of snap traps as I think those are more humane (kill quickly usually), but sometimes they are smart enough to avoid those too.

We aren't allowed to use Decon.

Any other thoughts (and yes, we put our food up as best we can.)  The counselor with no food is the one who seems to be getting the most "visits." 😜

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Prevention is the best cure.

Ban food from the building, outside the cafeteria, unless it is in mouseproof containers. Remove all food garbage from the cafeteria to the outside promptly, and ensure that washing dishes and cleaning the floor after lunchtime becomes the top priority.

Have a plumber come in and make sure there are no drippy taps, nor anything covered in condensation.

Clear away all brush and hiding spaces from the exterior walls. Dumpsters especially should be moved as far away as possible. Go through the building and plug up any cracks and holes that are seen, paying special attention to that one counselor and the offices surrounding.

Tell the district that until they do these things they're being penny wise and pound foolish. Getting rid of the mice properly is cheaper in the long run than adding "traps" as a routine budget item.

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For our CA mice, live traps with peanut butter.  🙂 Relocate to far off fields...but unlikely the school district cares that much.

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We were told peanut butter too, and it worked for us!

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Not splitting hairs, but your title said catch, so I thought you might want a no kill method. Since you're talking traps, I'll go ahead and post this:

I bought a rat zapper for my friend who's a widow and whose ds is away at college - b/c she's squeamish, NOT b/c women need men to kill mice! 

Her ds saw it when he was home over Christmas break and thought it was gimmicky and wouldn't work. She's had 5 kills since Christmas. Even her ds was impressed. She tosses in a cracker for bait. She likes not having to touch it or even see it when she disposes of it. 

Edited by Angie in VA

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Rat zapper, or an office cat. Definitely have someone investigate and seal up all possible entry points and disallow food outside of the cafeteria. 

Also, people may not technically have food, but could be putting food wrapper trash into various waste baskets. Food related trash should also be consolidated to the cafeteria and/or taken out at the end of each day. 

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log roller over a 5-gallon bucket.  you can put water in it to drown them (we put them out where some other critters eat them), or live catch - but then you still have to get rid of them somewhere.   put a washer over the roller.  bait with peanut butter.  (we've had a few ninja mice and the peanut butter would be gone ,but no mice.)

it's cheap, effective, and can catch multiple mice in a single night.  we had 16 in the first two weeks.  it's slowed down, but we're still getting at least one or two a week.  it's animal and kid friendly too.  ds wants to really clean out the garage this summer - I expect we'll find some mice nests.

another thing I've seen is just a bowl with an inch or two of peanut oil in the bottom.  it won't kill them, but they get coated with oil and can't climb out.  again - you still have to get rid of them somewhere.

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keep in mind - for every mouse you see, there are probably 10 more.

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

log roller over a 5-gallon bucket.  you can put water in it to drown them (we put them out where some other critters eat them), or live catch - but then you still have to get rid of them somewhere.   put a washer over the roller.  bait with peanut butter.  (we've had a few ninja mice and the peanut butter would be gone ,but no mice.)

it's cheap, effective, and can catch multiple mice in a single night.  we had 16 in the first two weeks.  it's slowed down, but we're still getting at least one or two a week.  it's animal and kid friendly too.  ds wants to really clean out the garage this summer - I expect we'll find some mice nests.

another thing I've seen is just a bowl with an inch or two of peanut oil in the bottom.  it won't kill them, but they get coated with oil and can't climb out.  again - you still have to get rid of them somewhere.

 

In a similar vein, the plank works quite well, too - non-toxic, can catch multiple in one "setting", reusable, and easy clean-up (we just dump the whole thing in the woods and refill). 

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5 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

Prevention is the best cure.

Ban food from the building, outside the cafeteria, unless it is in mouseproof containers. Remove all food garbage from the cafeteria to the outside promptly, and ensure that washing dishes and cleaning the floor after lunchtime becomes the top priority.

Have a plumber come in and make sure there are no drippy taps, nor anything covered in condensation.

Clear away all brush and hiding spaces from the exterior walls. Dumpsters especially should be moved as far away as possible. Go through the building and plug up any cracks and holes that are seen, paying special attention to that one counselor and the offices surrounding.

Tell the district that until they do these things they're being penny wise and pound foolish. Getting rid of the mice properly is cheaper in the long run than adding "traps" as a routine budget item.

 

HAHAHAHA!  I have no control over ANY of that!  I am just asking about my little office and the other counselors' offices.  

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1 hour ago, Angie in VA said:

Not splitting hairs, but your title said catch, so I thought you might want a no kill method. Since you're talking traps, I'll go ahead and post this:

I bought a rat zapper for my friend who's a widow and whose ds is away at college - b/c she's squeamish, NOT b/c women need men to kill mice! 

Her ds saw it when he was home over Christmas break and thought it was gimmicky and wouldn't work. She's had 5 kills since Christmas. Even her ds was impressed. She tosses in a cracker for bait. She likes not having to touch it or even see it when she disposes of it. 

 

We had one of those, but it only works for a few zaps and then needs new batteries.    Then it stopped working, even with batteries after a few of them.  I thought of getting another, but prob not before the end of this school year, maybe for next.

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6 minutes ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

 

In a similar vein, the plank works quite well, too - non-toxic, can catch multiple in one "setting", reusable, and easy clean-up (we just dump the whole thing in the woods and refill). 

 

I haven't seen those before.  No room really for a 5 gallon bucket and it might be distracting for the students, but maybe for the garage at home????

One prob is, if you don't kill them, they come right back in if you take them outside

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10 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Then, Dawn, you must resign yourself to your fate.

 

Fate of what?  I just want to kill the ones in my office.  That is all.  I can't be responsible for the entire building and/or school district. 😜

Edited by DawnM
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2 hours ago, J-rap said:

We were told peanut butter too, and it worked for us!

 

 We do use PB at home.  I guess I was thinking method....like snap trap or is there anything else to use?

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A counselor cat would provide dual benefits. Of course, with summer coming, you'd have to take the cat for a few months.

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6 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

I haven't seen those before.  No room really for a 5 gallon bucket and it might be distracting for the students, but maybe for the garage at home????

One prob is, if you don't kill them, they come right back in if you take them outside

 

Put 4-5" of water in the bucket, and the mouse drowns. You could even use a regular office trashcan, overnight, if you wanted to (and then convert it back to a regular trash can in the morning by just dumping out the water). 

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1 hour ago, Angie in VA said:

Not splitting hairs, but your title said catch, so I thought you might want a no kill method. Since you're talking traps, I'll go ahead and post this:

I bought a rat zapper for my friend who's a widow and whose ds is away at college - b/c she's squeamish, NOT b/c women need men to kill mice! 

Her ds saw it when he was home over Christmas break and thought it was gimmicky and wouldn't work. She's had 5 kills since Christmas. Even her ds was impressed. She tosses in a cracker for bait. She likes not having to touch it or even see it when she disposes of it. 

 

Yeah, sorry, mostly I just want them gone, whatever I can do to get them gone, but prob dead works best!

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Just now, Lucy the Valiant said:

 

Put 4-5" of water in the bucket, and the mouse drowns. You could even use a regular office trashcan, overnight, if you wanted to (and then convert it back to a regular trash can in the morning by just dumping out the water). 

 

I would have to see if the cleaning staff is ok with that.  They come in before and after school, picking up my trash at the end of the day and refilling the liner, etc....

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6 minutes ago, Jaybee said:

A counselor cat would provide dual benefits. Of course, with summer coming, you'd have to take the cat for a few months.

 

Believe me, that did come up in conversation!

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1 minute ago, DawnM said:

 

I would have to see if the cleaning staff is ok with that.  They come in before and after school, picking up my trash at the end of the day and refilling the liner, etc....

 

Yeah, for sure. We've had 3-4 mice caught in 1 bucket in the same night before; they're always dead in the morning. There are definitely other ways, but - you asked for cheap / easy / non-toxic / multiple. Heh. I have a nearly annual war with the little buggers getting into my old house in the fall; we do plug the holes if we can find them, but sometimes they still find their way in. 

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5 minutes ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

 

Put 4-5" of water in the bucket, and the mouse drowns. You could even use a regular office trashcan, overnight, if you wanted to (and then convert it back to a regular trash can in the morning by just dumping out the water). 

all you need is something wide enough for the roller - and a ramp.  the habitrail (yes I'm old - that's what they were called when they came on the market in the 70s) hamster cages have plastic 'ramps'/tubes that would also work.

I've seen some with a regular plastic trash can with the swing lid.  just have them go into a hold (thin plastic can be cut with a box cutter) below it. it would not be as obvious what it is, but it would still catch mice.

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12 minutes ago, Jaybee said:

A counselor cat would provide dual benefits. Of course, with summer coming, you'd have to take the cat for a few months.

my understanding is barn cats are the best catching mice - and they generally aren't too friendly.

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We used to use the old fashioned spring traps until someone here mentioned Rat Trap in a thread several years ago.  I love my rat trap.  It's been known to catch 5 mice one right after the other... on multiple occasions.  But, they were little mice who were probably just venturing out ???

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11 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

We used to use the old fashioned spring traps until someone here mentioned Rat Trap in a thread several years ago.  I love my rat trap.  It's been known to catch 5 mice one right after the other... on multiple occasions.  But, they were little mice who were probably just venturing out ???

 

What is the rat trap?

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55 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

my understanding is barn cats are the best catching mice - and they generally aren't too friendly.

 

I think you are right.  I have friends with housecats who are very nice to mice and don't hunt.

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I tried a few different kinds in December and for our mice this kind seemed to work best iirc:

https://www.target.com/p/victor-easy-set-mouse-traps-4ct/-/A-53461992?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Grocery%2BEssentials%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Grocery&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9005549&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1247077&ds_rl=1246978&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsMyYlsir4gIVFP7jBx37bg2pEAQYAyABEgKHLPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Also, glue traps are definitely not the cheapest, since they're not reusable (also, only one mouse was dumb enough to let itself get caught in one of the 4 I bought - the live catch trap my wife bought (with special attractive-to-mice-scented stuff) didn't catch any, not when used with that scent stuff nor with peanut butter. I did use both the scent stuff and peanut butter on the other kinds of traps and peanut butter definitely beats the special stuff they sell. The linked trap worked better iirc than the slightly cheaper similar trap that's completely metal (it's been a few months, so, I may be misremembering, but one of the two kinds was extremely trigger-happy (iirc the one I linked), and I managed to trigger it twice putting it down not gently enough, as well as catching my own thumb once, but hey, w/e is best for catching mice was the goal, though catching yourself isn't very pleasant). 

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1 hour ago, DawnM said:

 

Fate of what?  I just want to kill the ones in my office.  That is all.  I can't be responsible for the entire building and/or school district. 😜

 

Yeah, but unless there's a building-wide effort or the infestation is much smaller than it sounds like, one person working in her own office isn't going to make a dent in it. You gotta get the entire building 😞

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Drowning any animal to death is torture. Torture is wrong, full stop. The AVMA calls drowning "inhumane" and not an acceptable method of euthanasia. 

Sticky traps are also completely inhumane and have been outlawed in some countries for that reason. The mice panic and suffer and pee and poo all over themselves until they dehydrate to death or get thrown away like trash or gnaw off their own legs to escape.

If you find a mouse caught in a glue trap, you can release it by pouring cooking oil around his stuck parts and gently prying them free with something like the eraser end of a pencil. If you're unwilling to do this, the mouse should be *immediately* killed by a blow to the head. 

Poison causes a slow death from internal bleeding. It can take days for the mice to die.

If you (general you) feel mice must be killed, please choose a method that is designed to work almost instantaneously, like a snap trap or electric trap. Ideally they shouldn't know what hit them. Sometimes the traps don't work as intended, but it's still a hundred times better than choosing a method that you *know* will result in suffering every time.

I have used live traps with great success, but they must be checked at least twice a day and the mice should be released at least a mile away in an area with some brush shelter.   

Edited by MercyA
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Whatever traps you use, always wear plastic gloves when you put the traps out and take them up.

Even the slight oder from picking up the trap once or twice will turn off some mice from approaching them. After I learned this, I went from trapping one mouse a week to one a night. We had about 14 mice, so it took me two weeks to get them all out, but this was what turned the corner for us.

Emily

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for smaller than a five gallon bucket.

 

I had a gerbil loose in my basement... many many places to hide....  I got out the habitrail cage, put some of it's favorite food in the bottom (and soft bedding material) - then had the tube run from the ground to a high up hole so it would drop down - but not be able to get back out.  it would also work for "many" critters. - and yes, he was in it the next morning.

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We had a mouse superhighway (through our dryer vent) that took us forever to find.  In the course of a year, we killed no less than a hundred mice.  They didn't live in the house, but were coming in and out at will (as evidenced by all the pine nuts they were bring in and stashing everywhere).  Anyway, sticky traps worked like a charm.  

Ditto the advice to not touch them.  If your mice are walking around them, it could be that they smell like human, which spells trouble for mice.  Use gloves.

Oh, and as much as possible, remove them right away; don't wait for the mouse to die.  I would cover my hand with a grocery bag, grab the trap with the mouse attached, flip the bag around the trap/mouse and tie it closed, then take the whole thing outside and smash it with a big rock.  It was quick and the mouse didn't see it coming.  Bonus of moving the trap quickly is that the other mice don't witness their kin in their struggle.  

For bait, I used trail mix that contained dried fruit.  Peanut butter never worked, as they could somehow eat it right off the trap.  I have no idea how they did that.

Edited by Suzanne in ABQ
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50 minutes ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

   Peanut butter never worked, as they could somehow eat it right off the trap.  I have no idea how they did that.

we had some that did that - both with snap traps, and even with the rolling log.  dh added a big washer to the rolling log so any ninja mice  (many weren't that agile.)  would have to go over it to reach the peanut butter.  they haven't touched the peanut butter since - but they do land in the bucket.  (I'm hoping we're getting down there for mice - in the mid 20's now - we've gotten three since he added it over the weekend, peanut butter is intact.)

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4 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

we had some that did that - both with snap traps, and even with the rolling log.  dh added a big washer to the rolling log so any ninja mice  (many weren't that agile.)  would have to go over it to reach the peanut butter.  they haven't touched the peanut butter since - but they do land in the bucket.  (I'm hoping we're getting down there for mice - in the mid 20's now - we've gotten three since he added it over the weekend, peanut butter is intact.)

 

We use sunflower seeds on the plank.

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So this morning, I was standing in the hallway and that brazen little sucker ran right past my feet and into my office.   One of the secretaries had gotten some decon traps that pull them in, snap, and you throw the entire thing away.   She gave me one, we put a PB cookie in it, and then I took a student to another office and left it with my door closed.

We caught it!  The student was even brave enough to twist it and see the tail to be sure.  

I am buying more of those after work today.   Not sure how many we have, but it worked right away!

They are pricey, but honestly, with only 3 weeks left, I am ok with spending a bit more for now.

Edited by DawnM
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4 hours ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 Peanut butter never worked, as they could somehow eat it right off the trap.  I have no idea how they did that.

We always take a small part of a cotton ball and smear it with peanut butter, mashing and mixing to combine the cotton and the PB. The mouse needs to tug on the cotton to get the PB, which snaps the trap.

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28 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

We always take a small part of a cotton ball and smear it with peanut butter, mashing and mixing to combine the cotton and the PB. The mouse needs to tug on the cotton to get the PB, which snaps the trap.

 

Tried a cotton ball.  Didn't squish it all through, but the PB was all over the outside of the cotton ball.  This was on a spring trap. Came back to a nice, clean cotton ball.  It's a mystery.

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

for smaller than a five gallon bucket.

 

I had a gerbil loose in my basement... many many places to hide....  I got out the habitrail cage, put some of it's favorite food in the bottom (and soft bedding material) - then had the tube run from the ground to a high up hole so it would drop down - but not be able to get back out.  it would also work for "many" critters. - and yes, he was in it the next morning.

 

The was our sure method for catching escaped hamsters. 

I understand how a similarly built water trap would work, but I couldn’t bring myself to use one. I am an advocate of wildlife management, and don’t have a problem eradicating overabundant mice, but agree with MercyA that a quick kill method is most humane. 

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51 minutes ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 

Tried a cotton ball.  Didn't squish it all through, but the PB was all over the outside of the cotton ball.  This was on a spring trap. Came back to a nice, clean cotton ball.  It's a mystery.

 

Honestly we have the most success with milk dud candies. Easy to handle and mice seem to love them. 

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29 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Honestly we have the most success with milk dud candies. Easy to handle and mice seem to love them. 

 

Oh, I have something in common with mice!  I love Milk Duds!

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4 hours ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

 

Oh, I have something in common with mice!  I love Milk Duds!

 

LOL yeah there’s a reason we had some on hand to try as experimental bait the first time!

We haven’t had a mouse in the house in years. Seeing one would be a good excuse to stock up!

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OK, wanna have some fun?  I have spent my evening watching various ways to kill mice on MousetrapMonday.com.  100s of videos.  Mesmerizing!

 

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2 hours ago, DawnM said:

OK, wanna have some fun?  I have spent my evening watching various ways to kill mice on MousetrapMonday.com.  100s of videos.  Mesmerizing!

 

DawnM, I have no desire to offend you personally, but that site is truly disturbing. The main picture on the front page is a photo of a deer with an arrow stuck in his back. Close up on the wound and blood.

The main photo on the mice trap page shows three dead mice with their headquarters hanging out of a trap.

I don't want to know what goes on in a person's mind who thinks that is cool to post. It's like violence porn or something. 😞 

It's wrong to love violence and I sure get the impression the owner of that site does. Psalm 11:5

Edited by MercyA
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DH uses bacon fat in the mouse trap. He puts it in the trap then sort of singes the fat to make it stick better and increase the aroma

I am a sook and cannot stand touching mouse traps so I use ratsack in the roof  it is extremely effective. the only drawback is that if the mouse dies outside then an owl may eat it and die as well. 

I was watching a documentary on something totally unrelated the other day and learned that rats do not have a bladder. they are constantly leaking urine and that is why there is always a dirty smelly trail where rats regularly pass.

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7 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I was watching a documentary on something totally unrelated the other day and learned that rats do not have a bladder. they are constantly leaking urine and that is why there is always a dirty smelly trail where rats regularly pass.

Rats do have bladders. Rats--especially males--will scent mark using small drops of urine. Neutering can decrease this tendency in pet rats.

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