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You can catch mice in a variety of mouse traps, even home-made traps. Some traps are live catch, and some are lethal. I have seen every conceivable trap, and tried out many of them. Here the basic deal: some people want to catch mice alive, and that's a very nice thought. Mice are animals with feelings too, and should be treated humanely. I believe that. The only problem is that once they have established a home inside your house, there is absolutely no way to catch them alive and relocate them somewhere else in a manner that will let them continue to live. Relocated mice will always perish, because they are creatures of habit, and they need known shelter, without which, they will not find food sources, and will fall victim to predators. So unfortunately, it's not possible to catch mice alive and have them live elsewhere. Luckily, you can catch them as humanely as possible - with quick-kill mouse traps, and solve your mouse problem permanently, by sealing your house so that no new mice can get in. Read the below articles for more info.
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How To Catch Mice: Seal up the house completely, and then set snap traps on the runways that mice use in your attic, or
anywhere you see mouse droppings in the house. You can bait the traps with almost anything. Peanut butter is good. These below articles will help you:
How to get rid of mice
How to trap mice
How to kill mice
How to keep mice away
How to get rid of mice in the attic
Mouse removal methods
Do mouse repellents work
Pictures of mouse droppings
How to get mice out of your walls
Mouse in the wall scratching
How much does mouse removal cost?
LIVE TRAP: You can catch mice in a live trap, like a cage or a seesaw trap, but then there's the problem of letting the mouse go. They can die quickly from exhaustion or heat, but the real problem is that if you relocate a mouse you've caught, it'll certainly die in the new area you've released it, since it no longer has access to your home and the only shelter it knows.
LETHAL TRAP: This is the only real practical way to catch mice. Of the traps out there, the regular wooden snap traps are actually the best available to catch mice.
Here's a school paper my niece wrote about mouse trapping. Not entirely accurate, but she tried!
How to Catch a Mouse - There’s nothing worse than lying in bed at night and hearing the scritch-scratch of mice running around in your attic! Not only do they chew at your wall studs, your insulation and your wiring - mice droppings smell terrible. And one pair of mice can produce up to 14 more every three weeks, adding up to about 242 mice in a year. As soon as you hear those little feet, it’s time to take action.
It’s often in fall or early winter when rodents enter a home. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to do a bit of preventative work, sealing up cracks and holes in your house. However, not everyone has the time to be a handyman, so mice infestations do happen.
If you’ve established that you have mice in your ceiling, there are several ways to get rid of them.
Look for entry and exit places in your attic and walls. Get some steel wool and stuff it wherever there is a hole or crack. A mouse can squeeze through the tiniest opening, so even if you think it’s way too tiny, it’s better to close it up anyway.
Lay standard mouse traps around the perimeter of the attic and beside possible entry and exit points. At night, set them around the perimeter of the main floor, as it’s likely the mice are scurrying around there during the night. It’s recommended that you use peanut butter instead of cheese for bait, as it takes longer for the mouse to eat peanut butter. This means there’s less chance of the mouse getting away with the bait before the trap closes. Also, cheese can fall off the trap, giving the intruder a free meal and wasting your efforts. Check the traps every day to avoid a build-up of odor and to make sure the critter isn’t suffering.
Lay humane mouse traps. If you are concerned about killing mice (which is definitely the most effective way of getting rid of them), you’ll need to use a “happy” mouse trap – essentially a cage with a trap door. There is mixed success with these traps, but if there are only a few mice upstairs and you address the problem early on, you can catch them and let them go unharmed with peace of mind.
Use an ultrasonic device in your attic. These machines emit sound at a frequency inaudible to the human ear, but annoying to rodents and other wildlife. They are costly and tend to have mixed results; however, if used in combination with other methods such as traps, they will have the effect of repelling mice populations.
The value of a cat cannot be overstated, but it has to be the right one. Some felines are monster predators, just itching for a kill, and they have great accuracy rates. If you have a friend who’s been complaining about the seven dead songbirds on her doorstep last week, ask to borrow the cat for a few days. Results are guaranteed.
Buy glue-boards. These are somewhat controversial, as they cause great suffering to any small creature who steps on them. However, they are effective because they’re fairly fool-proof. Smear some peanut butter on the glue-boards and set them around the perimeter of the attic and the main floor. Check every day and dispose of the dead mice.
All of these tactics, used separately or together, will work to eliminate mice from the ceiling. However, nothing stops more mice from coming into the house, unless you seal up every hole and crack in the soffits, eaves and siding of the house. In some cases, where wildlife is very present in the local environment, the soffits of the house may need to be outfitted with wire mesh to prevent mice from entering. A good dose of prevention goes a long way!