Here is a riddle: It is inevitable. Every home owner will experience it at least once if not more. It is a nuisance. It leaves a trail. Sometimes it steals your food. It visits at night when you are least expecting it. What is it?
If you guessed mice you are correct! Mice are a problem because they destroy your home, carry infectious disease and are hard to rid of yourself. We would all like to believe that we can prevent mice from visiting our home. The truth is that no matter how sanitized your home is, no matter how many entrances and exits are blocked and no matter how much care is taken to prevent an attack it will happen. Whether children accidently drop cookie crumbs or a dish is forgotten in the sink mice will smell food and come running. Being prepared and not scared is the best option you have to rid your home of the mouse. Then you can start to plan against an infestation.
There are really three main ways to get rid of a mouse. Your humane options are limited but it can be done. The key with these methods are to release the mouse far away from his current environment. If death is the message that you would like to send to this mouse there are two different options snap/clap/sticky traps or poison. The disadvantages range from visually seeing a mouse suffer on a sticky trap, headless on a clap trap or decaying in your walls after having ingested poison. I know it is all a little graphic and overwhelming but these are the facts you need to face before one mouse turns into twenty.
There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of mouse removal. Let’s begin by exploring the poison method. The major advantage is that you can cover a great deal of ground with it eventually you will hit the exact location of your mouse. This will bring the desired consequence and the mouse will no longer exist. The major disadvantages start with the fact that you are using a poison that could ultimately be ingested by something other than the intended recipient. A pet or child digesting poison could cause major medical issues. Another major disadvantage is the mouse will still live once he has taken in the poison leaving him to go back to his home and die. The bad part is that his home could be your cupboard. A rotting mouse is not a pleasant smell so I don’t think that is much of a solution to a household mouse.
The next method of mouse removal is traps. There are two major traps; sticky ones and snap traps. Snap traps cause immediate death. They work by placing bait on the end of the trap and the mouse steps onto the trap releasing a clasp that basically snaps the mouse’s neck. The advantage of this method is that the mouse does not suffer and his death is immediate. One disadvantage is that mice are sneaky and can steal the bait without getting trapped. You might find yourself in a cat and mouse type battle. Sticky traps work in a similar fashion. The good thing about sticky traps is that there is no way a mouse will steal the bait. The minute the mouse steps onto the trap they are stuck. That is a major advantage to sticky traps. The disadvantage is that you are left removing a mouse that is suffering and still alive from your home. If you want to lessen the cruelty you are left to kill the mouse yourself. Removal is not an option. If you try to remove a mouse from the sticky trap you will see that all you are doing is tearing the apart.
The humane method is of course the one I would advocate for. There are two major disadvantages to this method. It takes planning and effort on your part. Also you will need to release the vermin in an environment that is far enough away that they don’t remember the path into your home again. The advantage is that you using a non-lethal method of mouse removal. Mice are basically a pest. They are pretty harmless to most households and can be dealt with fairly easily without causing harm to you or the mouse. A catch and release method involves minimal clean up and you won’t be scarred by the mouse’s death.
Whatever method of mouse removal you choose in your home the key involved is to be prepared. Mice can strike at any time, during any season. As mentioned above keeping a clean home will eliminate the draw a mouse has on your home. However even the best laid plans can fall apart. All it takes is one crumb or dirty dish and a mouse can scamper into your life.