Over the next few weeks, in the Northern Hemisphere, the mice will start moving in to your house.
There are many strategies to manage this, and there are many factors in play (including exactly what sort of “mouse” is moving into your house). But many individuals will want to live trap the critters. If you do, please don’t move them to a distant location. It is a bad idea to do that with any animals.
Regardless of what you plan to do with the little furries once you’ve got them alive, you need to capture them first. Thus, the following timely repost:
Sheril has asked for suggestion on live trapping mice, and since this is a bit involved I thought I’d blog it. Please feel free to add your suggestions below.
First, on the bait. Mice are granivores, so attract them to grain. The ultimate grain … the orgasmically excellent purest grain-extract champaign of grain, the grain that a mouse will (literally) die for … is wheat germ.
Wheat germ does not behave well in a trap situation, so mix the wheat germ with peanut butter so you can stick it on stuff.
There are two kinds of traps that work well. One is commercial, and it is the Havahart 1020 Two Door Cage Trap for Mice and Rats 10 x 3 x 3. This is a cage with two ways in/out, a platform hooked to a trigger, and two doors that close the trap when the platform is tilted. You get the mice to tip the platform by putting the afore mentioned mixture of wheat germ and peanut butter on it.
The second kind of trap is home made. For this you need two things: A container and a way to get into the container. I have used two versions of this with great success.
The first is a vase, as shown. This vase has to be tall enough and have a sufficiently narrow neck that a mouse cannot jump up and out of it. Now, people will tell you that a mouse can jump ten feet and climb up vertical glass, but that is a bunch of hooey. A typical 1.5 foot high Victorian porcelain or white stoneware vase will work, if you smear Vasoline(tm) petroleum jelly around the rim.
The other type of container that has worked for me is your typical milk can. These are usually about three feet tall, and you want to use it without the top. A mouse in one of these things cant’ get out.
All you have to do with either container is put the wheat germ (with or without peanut butter) in the container, and place the container near anything the mice can climb on. A pile of newspapers, a chair, whatever. The mice just need to get in to the container. They won’t be able to get out.
Of course, at the end of all of this, you need to have a place to put the mice. If you drive the mice to a different neighborhood and dump them there, be aware that you are probably violating state law if you are in the US. Transporting wild(ish) animals and releasing them, any distance, is usually illegal. You might consider keeping them in a cage until they grow old and die of natural causes. But also, keep in mind that if these mice are deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) they could be carriers of Hanta virus.
If you have a friend with a snake, maybe just feed them to the snake. Or, if you have a back yard and live in a place where owls live, you could make an owl feeding station. For this, you just need the minimum size child’s wading pool to keep the mice from getting away (no water in the pool, please!). Put that in your back yard, toss the mice in there, and the owls will eventually come to eat them.
Unless you live in Arkansas where every 8-year old boy is issued a rifle, and therefore, there are no owls or raptors of any kind. If you do this in Arkansas, you’ll just get snakes. Lots of snakes.
And, finally, added, h/t Miles: