You cannot catch a mouse without some kind of trap but you can choose to buy or make your own humane mouse trap that does not harm mice. You can catch a mouse alive by making a DIY mouse trap using ordinary household items such as cardboard, a tall trash can and bait.
DIY Mouse Trap Using Toilet Roll and Trash Can
This do-it-yourself mouse trap is incredibly easy to make and costs next to nothing. All you need is the cardboard of a used toilet roll, a tall trash can or bucket and food for bait.
Fold the toilet roll in such a way that there is a flat bottom to make it easier for the mouse to walk across. You can also cut through the toilet roll lengthwise, fold it and then use tape to hold its shape.
At one end of the toilet roll, place a tiny dollop of food to bait the mouse to walk inside. Foods that work well as bait for mice are peanut butter and soft cheeses.
Balance the toilet roll on a countertop with the end with the bait hanging over the counter top edge. The half of the toilet roll that hangs should be right above the tall trash can or bucket.
This makeshift mouse trap can also be made with any other form of cardboard like a kitchen paper roll or a drink carton with the top and bottom cut out. Anything that can be used as a tunnel to the bait and is lightweight will work.
The idea is that the mouse crawls through the roll to get to the bait and because of its weight sends the roll falling down into the trash can. If the trash can is tall enough (at least 25 inches) and thick enough that the mouse can’t chew through the bottom, then the mouse cannot escape.
Once you’ve caught the mouse, close the trash can and take it away to the area where you can safely release the mouse. Remember that this place needs to be several miles away from your home or the critter can crawl back inside your house.
Here’s an awesome video to help you out.
DIY Mouse Trap Using Spoons
This is a variation of the DIY mouse trap using the cardboard roll and trash can. The only difference is that instead of a cardboard roll, you use cutlery.
Similar to the cardboard roll, balance a spoon or knife on the edge of a counter with handle part hanging above a trash can. Place a dollop of peanut butter on the bottom of the handle.
The concept is the same; the mouse will crawl unto the cutlery to get to the bait and its weight will send them falling down into the trashcan.
Balancing the cutlery over the kitchen counter is a little more difficult than the roll. Flatter cutlery is easier to balance than cutlery with a lot of difference in weight between the handle and the top.
Humane Store Bought Mouse Traps
If you want to be sure that the construction works, you can also buy a manufacturer-made mouse trap that is humane. Examples of humane mouse traps are catch-and-release traps and plastic enclosed traps.
The benefit of these live mouse traps is that once you have released the mouse, you can reuse the trap again. This makes them the more economical and environmentally friendly option for catching mice inside your house.
Tips for Catching a Mouse in a Live Trap
Live traps are the more humane option but you cannot be sure that you will catch all mice. This is because mice communicate with each other, whether it is through pheromones or calls of distress once they are caught.
When a mouse is caught alive you have a bigger chance that the other mice catch on that it is a trap. This is why you should always monitor the trap closely and release the mouse as soon as possible at a safe distance from your house.
Below are a few handy tips to follow.
- Place many traps around the house at the same time to catch as many as possible on the same night
- Place the traps in areas where you are sure that they scurry around
- Replace the bait frequently to make it more attractive to eat
- Make sure that the mouse cannot escape the bucket or trash can
- Use as little bait as possible to lure the mouse to the edge