If you have a small mouse in your walls, your attic, basement, or behind your kitchen cabinets - there is an easy, cheap, and simple way to get rid of your mouse problem using a multiple catch mouse trap. There are economical catch-and-release traps that work for a small mouse that will not kill the animal in a space where you can’t get it, and will save you the trouble of cleaning up an even worse mess. If we compare two of the low-priced catch and release models - the Victor Tin Cat M310 and the J.T. Eaton 421CL Repeater -- we see a few clear differences.
Don’t Kill the Mouse in Your Walls...
If you can trap the mouse, and release it far enough away from your home or apartment so it can’t come back, then your problem is solved without paying for an expensive exterminator visit, having to clean up a dead mouse in your walls, or sending a pet cat into a space that might be unsafe with nails, fiberglass insulation, or other dangers.
Everyone Says: Can’t You Just Get a Cat?
Yes, very often a cat will deter a mouse from inhabiting your home, but some people cannot undertake the responsibility of a new pet cat, just for the sake of a single mouse. And while it is true that a mouse will avoid a cat, sometimes the only way for a cat to get near a mouse would be to put the cat in a crawl space, dangerous or filthy attic, or worse -- behind walls or knee walls where your precious feline pet can get trapped, caught, or fall out of reach. This is much too dangerous and not recommended -- and will make a small problem immediately worse. If you already have a cat, perhaps that is deterrent enough, but often pet owners complain of two things -- having a mouse behind a wall or in some place their dutiful cat cannot reach, and listening to a catch scratch hopelessly at walls many feet from the taunting mouse.
Compare Lethal Traps vs. Catch and Release Mouse Traps
My wife thinks the first mouse we caught and ‘moved out’ of our house was “so cute and tiny!” I’m lucky that she was calm enough to even look into the top of the mouse trap where the J.T. Eaton 421CL Repeater has a clear plastic inspection window. (The rest of the trap is galvanized steel.) Unlike these poison-based traps or glue traps that secure and kill the mouse, it seems better to send these guys packing in a catch-and-release trap by taking them to some woods over a mile from our house.
The Victor Tin Cat M310 has many of the same features, but does not have the window on top -- a view that is critical to knowing if you have a guest! We put our mouse trap at arm’s length in a knee-wall access door -- so using a flashlight to look in the top is the whole key to success. If we had to remove it each time to inspect it, it would be lots of extra work. And if you miss the fact that you have caught a mouse -- they may starve before you check again.
How Does a Catch and Release Mouse Trap Actually Work?
Basically there is a way into the trap based on the weight of a mouse opening a metal flap by stepping on the ramp. Once they pass, they cannot get back out. You can bait these with crackers or cookies inside (some say don’t use peanut butter as it can choke and kill the mouse...). Because it’s a box that keeps them inside, there are no poisons, no toxins, no blood and guts, and turns out to be a pretty simple way to evict your unwanted house guests. It’s safe in your home around pets, kids, etc -- and those who use these in chicken coops say that the hens never even pay attention to this slim silver metal boxes.
Most people recommend that you do not release the mouse on your property -- unless you have many, many acres -- because it’s possible that this critter will find its way back into your home. While it’s not required to drive them many miles away, it’s often best to let them go in an area that won’t immediately bother another household. We found that there near us there is a wooded area next to an old cemetary where the mouse can rejoin his friends in the natural world. Once you get to your destination you open the top lid of the trap with the unit on the ground and the mouse will usually run for the hills immediately. You could wear gloves -- or touch the mouse trap through a sandwich bag -- and then just wash your hands again once you get home. We generally leave the trap for a rinse outside after a successful ‘eviction’ -- either the next rain stormm or a quick once over with the garden hose.
How Much Do These Mouse Traps Generally Cost?
Compare these to the cost of killing mouse traps, or a house call visit from a professional exterminator, these traps are quite cheap. Some of the catch, contain, kill and discard traps are as much as $10 each, so plan on spending $40-50 to make sure you’re mouse-free year round. These Eaton and Victor metal catch-and-release mouse traps are usually less than $15 each, and can often be bought in two packs so you can cover two spots in your home at the same time. Just be sure to check on these once they are in place, so that you know when you have actually caught a mouse, and so that you quickly remove him/her from your home and let them go in the wild. Because you can use these again and again, some people recount stories of the same trap successfully working for years and years.