A mouse may be a small animal, and even a cute one for some people, but none of us want to share our homes with an uninvited one. Despite its size, a mouse can really create havoc in our homes and become a threat for our possessions and even our own selves!
The good thing is that humans have developed several ways to get rid of the unwelcome mouse from their homes. These ways can be both humane or not, depending upon which one you choose. With proper knowledge about these ways, you can be confident about having a mouse-free place for yourself.
Before we begin our mouse trapping adventure, we must learn about our prey. Contrary to what many people might believe, a mouse is a very clever and versatile living organism. It has a greater sense of sight, hearing and smell compared to ordinary humans – we are already at a disadvantage.
Moreover, a mouse is also super smart in general. It can sense danger (i.e. a mouse trap) and can even adapt itself to prevent getting trapped or to create an escape if caught in a trap. Even if it is trapped by itself, it may signal and alarm any other mouse (or mice) in the house to stay away from the trap. Therefore, many times the mice won’t fall for the same trap and one might have to devise another strategy.
So we understand that we are planning against a witty creature and for us to be successful in capturing it, we also need to be witty and a step ahead in planning all the time.
How A Trap Works
There are hundreds of different kinds of mouse traps. Which one you make use of is totally your choice. However, despite the variety in choice, the basis upon which all mouse traps work is similar.
A mouse trap is designed to work quickly and effectively, leaving no chance for error. It requires a bait which will attract the mouse to the trap. As the mouse tries to grab the bait, the mechanism of the trap is initiated and it stops with the capture of the mouse in the trap.
The mouse will stay trapped until you manually remove it from the trap and dispose it off. Some traps will kill the mouse upon capturing it, while others will just keep it as a captive.
Types of Mouse Traps
The mouse traps come in either a traditional and primarily mechanical style, or in a modern style which makes use of technology.
Perhaps the most popular mouse trap to be used is the clamping mouse trap. You may have seen it on the TV cartoon Tom & Jerry. This mouse trap is very old but still in use because of its effectiveness and convenience.
It works by luring the mouse to come towards it via a bait. When the mouse comes in contact with the bait on the plate, the clamp is triggered and it falls on the mouse, making the mouse immobile.
Afterwards, you can just take the mouse outside the house and set it free, or kill it. The simplicity of this trap and the low price tag it carries makes it a very reliable choice for many people all over the world.
The cage trap works in a similar fashion to the clamp trap. A bait is kept inside the cage and when the mouse comes in contact with this bait, the cage door is triggered shut and the mouse is trapped inside the cage.
The mouse is healthy and able to move inside, unlike in the clamp trap, in which the clamp’s force may cause injury to the mouse’s body.
In this trap, when the mouse comes to take the bait, it gets stuck in a sticky substance and is unable to leave. However, given the above mentioned intelligence of the mouse, it may sacrifice its limbs and eat them to release itself from the adhesive.This makes the adhesive trap not fully reliable.
As technology is infused in all walks of life, it is no surprise that people have come up with advanced methods of getting rid of mice from homes. Usually, these high tech traps serve a single purpose (i.e. to kill the mouse). The two most popular high tech ways to kill the mouse are by using high voltage or ultra sound. trap:
High Voltage Trap
This type of trap will lure the mouse with a bait and as soon as the mouse touches the bait, the trap will induce a very high voltage which will fry the mouse and kill it within seconds.
Ultra Sound Trap
When a mouse is successfully baited, this trap will emit a sound with high frequency, of more than 20 kHz. A mouse cannot handle this frequency and will be unable to function.
However, if you have pets at home, the sound waves emitted by this trap may even damage their body systems. Therefore, this trap is not very well received and is not immensely popular.
How to Bait Mouse
Mice baits can be different for different kinds of mice. Some mice may prefer a particular food item, while others will ignore it. Usually, the most popular kinds of mice bait used with the aforementioned traps are:
- Small piece of cheese
- Maple syrup
- Pet food
As a rule, most mice like sweet items and will fall for any candy or chocolate very easily. Same cannot be said about cheese or meat. However, whatever food you may select as a bait, you should ensure that it has a strong smell.
As mentioned, a mouse has a strong sense of smell and we must use this to our advantage by drawing out the mouse to the bait. The size of the mouse bait does not particularly matter, but it should be sufficient enough for the mouse to come close and stay with the bait for a few seconds.
What If The Bait Is Not Working
Sometimes you may notice that your bait is unable to attract the mouse towards it. However, do not worry as a mouse may instinctively ignore the bait. What you can do to trick the mouse and make a successful bait is:
Play around with different baits
Use different tastes and smells. Most probably the mouse has a weakness for a particular food and will come to get it.
Experiment with different traps
A mouse may become aware about the presence of a trap, perhaps due to a past experience with that trap, and might not fall for it.
You can try changing location of your mouse trap throughout the day. Maybe the area you previously put the trap in is not the usual way for the mouse or maybe it has changed its position. The back of the wardrobe, top of the counter and inside the cupboard are just a few places where you will commonly have successful mice captures.
Test your trap
There can be instances where the bait disappeared but the trap is not triggered. This can be due to a faulty trap or lack of sensitivity in the trap. If it is possible, you can try changing the sensitivity. Again, you may want to change your trap.
You may want to use UV detectors which can show you the exact route a mouse takes. Mouse urine glows under UV and you can detect the traces of it on the mouse’s route. However, detection of glow may require prior training. You should look at YouTube guide videos to get acquainted with the process.
Note: Make sure that your house members are aware of the locations of your mouse traps so that there are no last minute surprises or accidents.
Alternatives to Mouse Traps
Maybe you are not into hurting or killing a mouse and want to look for an alternative to mouse traps. You can get rid of mice infestation by using repellants. These repellants have been engineered to smell like predator and scare away the mice. However, these repellants give no guarantee of cleaning your house from mice and may only present a short term solution.
If you do not want to handle the cleansing of infestation yourself, you may call upon professionals who will take the responsibility and manage it, without you needing to play any role in the process.
In its effectiveness and simplicity, the clamp trap has no competition. It is a very reliable tool and will ensure that any mouse troubling you is taken care of. It is a versatile tool which can be used in different situations and usually will give results, without requiring any maintenance.
Trapping a mouse can be an intriguing process, especially if it is the first time for you. However, if you read all the aforementioned information carefully and implement the knowledge properly, you would come to realize that this process needs no sweating or worry.
Additional Mouse Trap Resources
Top Ways to Get Rid of Mice - Never Pest
To Catch or to Kill, That is the Question - EPA's Our Planet, Our Home Blog
How to Deal with Mice in Your Attic - Never Pest
New York State - Mouse Control
What do if You Find Mouse Feces in Your Home - Never Pest
House Mouse Prevention & Control - Illinois Department of Public Health