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Humane Rodent Control

Mice. Oh so cute. If only they didn’t leave their little evidence everywhere. Last year, a little mouse got into my apartment. I heard some chewing in the walls at night for quite a while but couldn’t figure out exactly where it was coming from. I went out of town for a weekend, and when I came home I saw little pieces of cat food on the kitchen floor. This was very curious, considering that I do not have a cat.

What had happened was that this little mouse had chewed through the wall in my pantry while I was gone and went straight for the emergency bag of cat food I keep on hand for when I find strays. I quickly cleaned up the little mess that he had made, and I searched for the point of entry. I found his little escape route and I plugged up the hole with some steel wool. I then proceeded to clean my whole kitchen with peppermint-scented soap and essential peppermint oil (mice are not fans of peppermint!).

Thinking that I had dealt with this issue, I went to sleep right after baking some vegan apple-raisin muffins—leaving the muffins out on the counter to cool. I woke up in the morning, ready to have a muffin for breakfast, and—all the muffin tops had been eaten! This was so cute and so frustrating all at the same time-all I could think of were his tiny little hands holding the crumbs and chewing incessantly on the treasure that he had discovered as I slept.

If you build it, they will come, and things can get a bit exasperating if you don’t solve the problem completely. Over the next couple of days, I did a thorough check of my whole apartment and found two more holes that he was using to go in and out. I sealed those up, and things have been mouse-free ever since.

Cruel methods are never necessary. Please take a moment to ask Lowe’s to stop selling glue traps.

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  • tess says:

    where do i release mice if i live in the city……..can i take it to a nearby park about a mile away?

  • Melanie says:

    Fresh Cab is another brand. Botanical and non-toxic.

  • Melanie says:

    Try Bondie Mouse Magic. Non toxic to pets and humans and it DOES NOT harm the mouse.

    Also the electric repellers.

  • rat removal says:

    Many homeowners will need some type of pest control and mice. Rats tend to look for a warm place to live once the weather turns cold and your home is very appealing. There are many ways that a rats can get into the home and it can take some time and knowledge to get them completely out. A professional will know exactly what to do.

  • Marina says:

    For the past year, we had mice in our house—lots of mice. We probably took out about a hundred of them, all told, using humane live traps of various types, baited with peanut butter, sunflower seeds, or almonds. If one type of trap doesn’t work, try another, and put them in the places where you see mouse poo. They like to run along edges. If you have dry cat food down in the room where you know the mice are, move it into a room where you haven’t seen evidence of mice. Who knows how many times we took the same ones out before we finally thought to look in the most obvious place for a hole in the foundation under the porch? In the middle of winter, when it was too cold to release them outdoors, we kept the ones we caught in a cage with a wheel, and fed them grain, almonds, fruit, etc. The mice ran in the wheel, groomed, and slept curled up in a little ball during most of the daylight hours. There’s no doubt it was more “work” and “trouble” than killing them would have been, but I’m a cancer survivor as well as someone who cares about all animals, and neither of us would ever consider using toxic chemicals to make war on these little creatures, who were, after all, only trying to live their lives. We’ve now been completely mouse free for several months.

  • Carol A Tavani, MD says:

    we have tried various humane traps. The PETA ones are the best – you can see inside, and they are easy to use. I have given them to friends who are receptive to humane methods, too.
    Join PETA and you get a discount!

  • Sue says:

    As Mike commented in January of 2009, I too need information on large scale rat control; in this case, for my horse and dog barns.

    The rats themselves do not bother me in the least – one of my best friends was a rat I rescued from a pet store – but to my dismay they are creating more damage than I can deal with. Oftentimes I find bits of insulation in the horses’ waterers from the holes chewed in the ceiling, as well as nests built in the mechanics of the refrigerator, chewing through the waterers electric lines, etc.

    Humane traps would be useless in this case, due to the number of rats living in the barns. And I do not believe in any other type. My number one thought is rat birth control. Does such a thing exist??? (My fingers are crossed!)

    I will continue to search and if my investigation is fruitful will relay the info here.

  • Michelle says:

    I had a mouse in my house and my parents told me they put a humane mouse trap to catch him. Much to my surprise it was a normal cruel mouse trap, only I had found out after nothing could be done and he had been caught in it and murdered. I felt so horrible that I couldn’t do anything about it before it had happened, I cried. I’m definitely going to be aware of what kind of trap now because that was so sad and disturbing, to have to see that. Who is anyone to conclude that mice, let alone any animal is beneath us? We all live on the same planet but for some reason the majority assume that we’re superior and deserve more than another living creature on earth. it’s literally disgusting.

  • Sarah K says:

    I did not realize until this week how cruel the mouse traps can be. They do not instantly kill the mouse. The mouse suffers a lot until it actually dies. Earlier this morning, I was awoken by a mouse whose leg was caught in the trap.

    These mousetraps, especially the glue ones, should be banned permanently.

    What is being done to address this issue??

  • Sheryl says:

    When using the sonic plug-ins, read all instructions. There cannot be any interference directly in the front of the plug-in.
    Also when using peppermint oil (Spearmint and wintergreen work just as well and is usually cheaper) saturate the cotton ball. I use the big ones and cut them in two or three(they are fuller and absorb more) then I put them in some sort of glass bowl and pour oil over and let saturate real good. When I packed up boxes to go in a storage unit I rubbed the soaked cotton balls all over the outside of the boxes, and this worked very well.

  • Louise Hibbert says:

    I am currently living in an airstream, which has too many holes to plug! We tried the sonic plug-ins and humane Tomcat traps from Lowes. However, a number of times we woke up to find the trap, under the sonic device licked clean of peanut butter and no mouse!

    Our favorite option has been to balance a toilet roll bated with a small dab of peanut butter (creased lengthwise to make a flat spot to rest on) over the edge of a counter with a garbage can filled with some shavings underneath. The mouse goes through the tunnel to get to the treat and the roll and mouse falls into the can.
    We did try a regular orange bucket but these mice can jump!

  • mike says:

    please post any links in your comments to articles, etc on large scale rat control.

    i live part of the year in a small town in vietnam and want to assist in riding the town of rats in a eco-friendly way.

    read alot that says the sonic / plug in / “noise” rat systems don’t work.

  • Leanne Mai-ly says:

    Great article, Mylie! I just discovered 2 adorable mice in our old victorian flat… and this is what we’ve done this week:

    The first day we packed away all the food in high closed cabinets, then put peppermint oil everywhere, and plugged in those noise emitters in the major rooms.

    After they saw there was nothing to eat, and our place sounded and smelled awful to them and we knew they weren’t out in our place at that time, we plugged up the holes with steel wool, and they haven’t been in sight ever since! i’m crossing my fingers this worked…

  • kelly says:

    I’ve got mice, and I live in NYC in an apt. building. What should I do with them when I catch them? It’s winter here and quite cold.

  • darla says:

    I used the plug-ins some years ago when I had a squirrel problem, it was called “Critter Controller” and it seemed to work.

  • Krista says:

    I’ve used humane traps as well, you can get metal versions that the rodents can’t chew. However my issue was a shrew and he was too small to trigger the traps. I ended up chasing him into a cardboard box and carrying him out to a nearby field. Moral of the story…you can always manage to catch the little guys..somehow 🙂

    Just try and get them as soon as possible, one mouse is a lot easier to deal with than 20

  • Tucker says:

    I AM ALL FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GOOD TIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ginger miller says:

    the peta mouse traps work really well and the mouse doest get harmed. would the plug ins annoy my small dogs?

  • Kristy says:

    Hi Indy,
    You can get the rodent plug-ins at the usual places that you get rodent control: Lowes and Home Depot. I know that PETA has a campaign against Lowes, but Home Depot also sells the awful glue traps and poison! Perhaps if enough people start writing into Lowes (I did), and let them know that we are glad they are choosing to provide cruelty-free methods of pest control, they will begin to carry it everywhere, and it will lower sales of the mean stuff!!!

  • kim says:

    We bought some humane mouse catchers-PIC corporation-Linden NJ,USA
    and to our horror we fount a poor little mouse that had manage to eat through one of the small openings already in the trap!
    The mouse was half inside the trap and half out!
    I felt awful trying to do the right thing and have this little mouse looking to be almost crushed trying to get out!
    Only thing I could think of as quickly as possible as the mouse obviously had worked itself tired through the night and was tired but alive!I ran an dgot some baby oil to put some on the stomach part that was stuck in and out of the trap to try and loosen the mouse enough to set him free.We got him freed and we put him out back of our property.We looked later the mouse was gone..I hope he didnt have some enternal bleeding or something??I am not a vet just an animal lover trying to do the rights things!
    We stopped using the two humane traps after that and went out and bout new ones!
    So I would hate for this to happen agian to another mouse and person trying to do the right thing by these little animals.
    And WE DO check the traps everyday so it wasnt like the mouse was left in the trap for awhile.
    Please tell others buying these traps.

  • indycar01 says:

    GREAT!.. so kristy, where do i get these plug-ins, and it would be GREAT if the auto companys would pick up on this idea!.. because small animals cant be expected to safely cross the street. and it makes driving much safer, especally in heavy traffic. also with the cold weather moving in they like to find a nice warm cozy spot underneath the hood of cars, i (we) hate to think what can happen to R little friends when we start our motor up on a cold morning.

  • Oliver Lall says:

    Another very important thing, when trying to prevent animals from coming into one’s home, is to prevent all access to food. This includes putting all food in containers with tight-fitting lids. Also, compost can be kept mouse-free by placing a wire mesh under the pile, mixing the pile regularly and covering new compost with yard clippings. These and other useful tips to deal with mice, rats and other animals can be found in the chapter ‘Practice Humane ‘Pest’ Control’ of the book ‘Building An Ark: 101 Solutions to Animal Suffering’ by E. Smith and G. Dauncey.

  • Kristy says:

    You know, I manage apartments, and we recently began having issues with mice. Because I refused to purchase anything cruel such as glue traps or poison, etc., it forced me to look into other options. There are plug-ins that you can purchase for rats and mice that really work! They produce a high-frequency sound that the rodents do not like, and they leave on their own. I have been really thankful for this new, cruel-free invention.