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How to catch mouse intruders: bought and homemade trap designs

how to catch mouse intruders

We outline how to catch mouse intruders and keep them out of your house for good, with live traps, home remedies and smart precautions.

An unpleasant smell from the cellar or pantry and scratching noises at night can indicate that mice have made themselves comfortable in your home. The small rodents can become a real nuisance because they reproduce en masse if there is enough food, they nibble on them and cause considerable damage to cables, supplies and trees, and they can also transmit diseases and parasites. We outline how to catch mouse intruders and keep them out of your house for good, with live traps, home remedies and smart precautions.

How to catch mouse intruders: overview

how to catch mouse intruders

Falling temperatures ensure that the adaptable little mammals look for a protective shelter that also provides them with food in the immediate vicinity. Through openings in the wall, cracks and joints, the mice often find their way into the pantry, where they feel right at home. In addition to the above-mentioned signs, you can also recognize an infestation by dirt contamination. In addition, gnawed food packaging and tracks can be an indication, because mice prefer the same routes.

Living together with the mouse is not possible, so you need to know how to catch a mouse. Why? Mice are a source of infection. Their excrement, which ends up perhaps on the table, in the kitchen in general and in other places in the house, is harmful to health. Since the small, uninvited guests can also transmit diseases such as the hantavirus and cause considerable damage, you should catch the mice and get rid of them as soon as possible. Also read up on how to catch flies and
how to catch fruit flies with DIY traps.

How to catch mouse intruders: Don’t use poison

Poison shouldn’t be used when children are in the house, as they can accidentally ingest it. The same goes for pets – and not just dogs. There are also people who live with small mammals such as guinea pigs, hamsters or other small rodents. In addition, one reason that speaks against the poison is the way the animal is expected to die with it. It is a gruesome death from severe dehydration or blood clotting. Aso, a poisoned mouse will usually crawl into a small space to die … somewhere that you will probably find it difficult to access, but you will certainly not be happy about the smell.

How to catch mouse intruders: with bought or DIY traps

As soon as the first signs appear that point to a mouse (excrement, tracks, bites, etc.) or if you even see a mouse yourself, you should buy a mousetrap. In addition, there are certain places that are prone to mice appearing on them, especially in country houses that are surrounded by nature and have rooms with basements, such as storage rooms or wine cellars. Even if no mice are visible, it is better to prevent and keep mousetraps ready to prevent mice.

Traditionally, people used ‘snap traps’ to catch mice. But if you want to spare the little rodents a painful death, you should do without snap traps in which the neck of the mouse is broken and mouse poison, which causes the mouse to bleed to death internally, and instead use live traps.

Basically there are two types of live mousetraps. There are those that work with bait that the mice try to eat and then are caught. The second type of mousetrap is a sticky trap that is placed in the mice’s passageways. Here the mouse will stick and can no longer move.

The live trap is more successful and usually consists of a small metal cage that is screwed onto a wooden board. In the back, a bait lures the mouse inside. When eating the bait, the mouse triggers a mechanism that closes the entrance opening and the mouse is trapped. It is best to position the live trap on the path of the mouse, you can recognize it by the droppings and tracks.

Tip: If you have successfully caught a mouse, you should release it as far as possible away, at least 100 meters — and better is 500 meters — from your house. Otherwise it could find its way back.

Homemade mousetraps

It is possible to build mousetraps yourself inexpensively; You can use it to achieve the same result as with purchased mousetraps. A tall vessel is always important. What the trap should look like is up to you, but it has to be a tall and smooth vessel. Everyone has things they can use for this in their household and doesn’t have to go to a hardware store. Thus, the self-made mouse traps are also cheap and if they are set up correctly they are also escape-proof.

Homemade mousetrap 1

Get a bucket deep enough that the mouse cannot climb out or jump out.
Place an empty roll of toilet paper or an empty kitchen roll on the edge of the table so that about half the length protrudes over the edge of the table but cannot fall down. Place a large empty bucket on the floor just below it.

Then place a bait (a lump of peanut butter or something else) in the protruding end of the roll (above the bucket) and adjust the roll so that it is about to tip over.
The mouse attracted by the food will run into the empty roll and fall into the bucket with it. Because of the depth of the bucket and its smooth walls it cannot climb up and is trapped.

Homemade mousetrap 2

  • A tall vessel such as a glass vase or a plastic flower pot
  • Two wooden slats
  • Duct tape
  • Bait

The vessel is placed with the opening facing up where the mouse was seen. Of course, the mouse cannot run up a glass or a flower pot, so a way up (not too steep) and then down into the vessel should be built with the two wooden slats (the inner one should not be close to the bottom, but only go about halfway down the vessel. Then fix this with the adhesive tape. Then put the bait in the bottom of the tall vessel. After the mouse has picked up the scrent, it will go all the way to the end of the wood. It then falls into the vessel and cannot get out on the smooth wall.

Homemade mousetrap 3

A bucket and a wooden stick are also sufficient. The bucket should be placed in such a way that it is in an elevated position, such as on a staircase. The wooden stick must also not be too long and, above all, not too heavy. The stick is then balanced on the stair next to the bucket and across to the roughly the middle of the bucket opening. Now just put some tasty food like chocolate in the bucket. The mouse will then run across the stick, which gives way and the mouse falls into the bucket and can’t get out.

Homemade mousetrap 4

To build a very simple and fast mouse trap, only two things are needed. A small box, for example a shoebox and a pretzel stick. The box is turned over and the pretzel stick is used to make the box stand at an angle. If the mouse nibbles on the pretzel stick that is inside the box, the pretzel stick falls over. The mouse is now stuck under the box. Of course, the box must then be carefully closed so that the captured mouse can no longer escape.

Homemade mousetrap 5

Another type is again a box, a piece of string, a thin pen and some tape. One end of the string is tied tightly around the pen. Then the cord is cut so that it is stuck a few centimeters over the open edge with adhesive tape. The box is placed with the opening at the bottom. Place the cord as precisely as possible in the middle, slightly raised. Place the pen under the edge of the cardboard so that it is open at an angle. Put the lining under the string so that the trap then also snaps shut. The bait must be placed under the line. If the mouse comes and wants to get to the food, it moves the cord and the pen falls over, so the box captures the mouse.

The right bait: the best five goodies

The question of the right bait has driven some benevolent mouse catchers into despair, because loading the trap is not that easy. Basically, mice are omnivores. However, this makes the options almost unmanageable. Anyone who now believes that mice are naturally caught with cheese shouldn’t expect too much from it.

But which bait do you use? There are a few foods, like peanut butter, that mice love. If you actually choose one of these foods, you should only use that supply of it for the trap. It is best to put it in a separate container, which you label accordingly, so that the food you eat does not come into contact with the mousetrap by mistake. The following baits are significantly effective and attractive.

Note: Since mice also have different tastes, there is no ranking behind our top bait list. Successful mice catching has long been achieved with all of the baits mentioned:

  • Peanut butter is very popular with mice. Put a teaspoon of it on the door sensor of the live trap and you will be amazed at how quickly you can report completion.
  • Roasted bacon – it is enough to burn the piece of bacon a little with a lighter.
  • Nuts – specifically walnuts and hazelnuts.
  • Nut nougat cream – you could do without a teaspoon to catch mice, right?
  • Chocolate – one piece is enough.
  • Flour – as a trace once through the cage from the entrance door to the door sensor. Of course, scatter more on the door sensor so that the animal actually triggers it.

Who would have thought that mice would be attracted to sweet nougat cream? Or peanut butter? Nut kernels, chocolate or oat flakes mixed with peanut butter have also proven themselves as bait.

The use of flour as bait is also interesting. The flour is sprinkled on and around the trigger of the trap, as well as around the entire trap. Obviously, mice like the flour so much because they can eat it quickly. Another advantage is that the mouse is more likely to touch the trigger when it is eating. If you adhere to the saying ‘You catch mice with bacon’, it is advisable to briefly flambé the bacon with a flame to make it more attractive to the mouse.

Always set up traps near the wall

Mice are prey animals in nature. They know about this and are therefore always looking for protection. They always move to places where the least risk is suspected. If they can move under the furniture, they will. If they can hide behind boxes or armchairs, they will. And if they can’t hide, they will at least be near the wall. That is why you should always set up traps near the wall and near swiveling frames or shelves.

Avoid being bitten

Since mice also bite and because of the countless bacteria in their mouth, the bite can be very unpleasant for a person, you should definitely wear sturdy gloves while handling or transporting the mouse. If the mouse does bite you, clean the bite immediately, disinfect it and check whether your tetanus vaccination is still valid. Go to the doctor immediately and, if in doubt, have your tetanus vaccination refreshed. Pay close attention to the bite site, as blood poisoning can occur even in spite of thorough washing and disinfection.

Keeping mice away: what to watch out for

Of course, the mice problem of simply catching and releasing the animals is not over. So that the individual subtenants do not become a nuisance to be taken for granted, you should get to the bottom of the cause of the penetration of the rodents. All holes, cracks and basement windows should be made mouse-proof as much as possible.

At best, the storage room should also be inaccessible to mice, because if they do not find an excessive supply of food, they will not multiply as quickly. However, if the mice are in a warm cellar with a nearby land of milk and honey during the winter months, they will multiply quickly and become a nuisance for you. For door gaps, for example, there are rubber lips that can help. In addition, supplies can be protected by glass, metal or solid plastic containers.

Tip: Food with a strong smell, such as banana chips, should be kept in mouse-safe places or in glass cans. Otherwise, the mice will nibble their way through the plastic night after night to get to their food. The rodents can really be very persistent!

Prevent access to the house

The truth is that in houses with gardens or houses in the country, preventing a mouse from entering the house can be difficult. However, if it does enter the house, it should at least not find any food here, so that it disappears on its own unless it is winter and it is looking for a warm shelter or even a place where it can calmly breed offspring. If so, there are two problems to be solved. On the one hand, it is important to remove the existing mice and find out where they have entered the house. Existing holes or joints should be well covered in such a case.

Get a cat

Get a cat or borrow one from the neighbor. This then goes on the hunt for mice, but the smell of a house tiger alone scares off mice. Once caught and released, the mice are unlikely to come back to you. If you don’t feel like having a pet, distribute cotton bags with cat hair or cat litter along the running paths of the mice. The latter does not have to be used, allegedly the smell of the product alone helps to awaken the flight instinct in the mice.

Some mouse-afflicted people also report that turpentine, chamomile, pepper, oleander and mint helped them catch mice or drive them away. The fact that the animals withdrew after scent attacks of this kind could of course also have had other reasons. Compared to sewers or musty basements, in which mice live despite the mostly unpleasant smell, all of the substances listed have a really pleasant smell.

Home remedies

Some mouse-afflicted people also report that turpentine, chamomile, pepper, oleander and mint helped them catch mice or drive them away. The fact that the animals withdrew after scent attacks of this kind could of course also have had other reasons. Compared to sewers or musty basements, in which mice live despite the mostly unpleasant smell, all of the substances listed have a really pleasant smell.

Where to find the mice

Mice are exceptionally agile mammals. Therefore, even if we are much larger, we are unable to follow them and catch them. It is much more practical to follow their footsteps and see where their excrement can be found.

High spots

Common places for this are high places, the mice have no problem jumping and climbing. Mice usually take the same route over and over again, with few changes. How do you catch a mouse at home? You follow in the footsteps of the mice and set traps here as they will pass here safely.

Under furniture

Just as mice like to take refuge in the heights of furniture, they also like to hide below it. They prefer to stay under everything that is difficult to get to. They feel even more comfortable where there are carpets that are soft and comfortable for them and even offer them some protection. Especially in this place, no traps should be missing and the existing ones should be checked to see whether they are effective.

Look for holes in the wall

The mice come into the house for two reasons: because of the food and because of the warmth. They find warmth wherever there are holes in the wall. This can be the case with supply lines, but also with joints in wall and ceiling openings. If you want to catch a mouse, you have to think like it. Where could it fit through? Where could she hide? Where to get away Every little joint, every little hole and every little gap should be taken into account.

Food sources

Holes may provide shelter and warmth for the mice. But when it comes to food, like us, they’ll find it in the kitchen. Your food sources can be different, such as the trash can, your pet’s food bowl, or the crumbs that fall on the floor. Before hunting a mouse, try to deny it access to food. This can be done by storing the food in such a way that the mice can no longer reach it. Then it is necessary to set up traps where the mice previously fed. Also, if possible, relocate the pet’s litter and food to create confusion and make them change their usual routes.

The difference between rats and mice

If you look closely, you can easily tell rats and mice from each other.

  • The mouse differs from the rat in terms of its size. It is about three to ten centimeters long. A rat is a lot bigger.
  • An adult mouse can also be distinguished from a young and small rat by its large ears and long tail.
  • The paws and head of a rat are also much larger compared to the body of a mouse.
  • The normal house mouse has light gray or brown fur. Often with an even lighter color under the belly.
  • Mice often appear where they can eat grain. They are good climbers and often found in attics. Therefore, you need patience to drive away mice around the house and garden .
  • Rats are also good climbers, but they tend to live in buildings at ports, in basements or in orchards.
  • The wild rats can be up to 40 centimeters long, house rats reach a maximum of 24 centimeters including their tail. In addition, the wild rats have small ears and a compact body. The domesticated pet rats, on the other hand, have long ears and a slim body.
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