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Best Mouse Trap for a Lost Pet Mouse

Updated on December 25, 2011

An Old True Story

I was a precocious ten year old, so when the pet shop owner said I could have the calico mouse I’d been admiring for a buck, I decided I was old enough not to ask permission from my parents.I soon learned that Petunia was not welcome in our home.My mom hated mice; she was the “stand of the chair and scream type.”Butmostly she hated mice because we had been battling a mouse infestation in our apartment building.

When I walked in the door my dad was showing my little brother how to set a mouse trap; all the while he snapped his big fingers in the traps.Flat out, my parents refused Petunia entry into our home. As my dad asked me “what were you thinking?” he pointed to the door with the mouse trap still stuck to hisfinger and sent me off to find her a new home.

Via Flickr by Twoshortplanks
Via Flickr by Twoshortplanks | Source

Pet Mouse Escape

As fate had it, no one wanted Petunia either, except me.Dad made a “concession” for me and Petunia, and I earned an extra household chore-not related to my mouse.Check the mouse traps every morning and chuck out the dead mouse before mom could see it.I quietly warned Petunia to stay away from the mouse traps.

I had Petunia about four days when the 1971 California 6.1 earthquake struck.In a panic, my family fled our second floor apartment when the twin building next door suffered damage.We had a lot of strong aftershocks that knocked things around the apartment while we were gone.Returning the next day to find Petunia missing from her little cage, I cried my eyes out.

Petunia escaped when her cage hit the floor during the shake up.I was terrified for Petunia because my dad rigged about twenty snap mouse traps and with poison pellets around our small apartment as part of his mouse control solution.Pleading with my dad to put away the snap traps was pointless, even when I pointed some traps were set off from the aftershocks was pointless.

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DIY Mouse Trap

DIY Humane Mouse Trap

Against my dad’s wishes, after he went to sleep, I picked up all the snap mouse traps and tossed the poison pellets in the garbage.Lucky for me he left early for work the next morning and didn’t notice.

I tried to lure Petunia back to her cage, but nothing seemed to work.Mom, a little more understanding than Dad, she thought of some solutions to catch mice and my pet mouse.We set out a bowl of oil with a dab peanut butter in the middle.Mom figured Petunia was scared to death and probably hungry, might come out of hiding, the worst that would happen would be an oily mouse, as she only put a tiny bit of oil in the bowl.And if a wild mouse happen to get caught, well that would be great too.

As, usual, Mom knew I’d be checking that bowl by the minute, so she put me in charge of all the mice that were trapped in the bowl, ew!Both my parents worked, so someone had to keep an eye on the DIY mouse trap and granny was around to supervise, but she wouldn’t get near mice either.

It was a tough four days.Every morning there was a mouse or two, in the bowl, soaked in oil;no escape. Being a mice loving girl, I wanted to keep the wild mice too, but at ten years of age, I had no clue how dangerous mice really were.Grandma showed me how to dispose of the mice.We dumped the wild mice we caught in a bucket and drove them to the wash ½ mile from out home.In retrospect, that probably wasn’t a great idea, but I wasn’t the adult at the time:)

Flickr via Fred+sam
Flickr via Fred+sam | Source

Petunia Spite or Spirit?

It seemed like eternity to me, but on the fourth day, my little calico Petunia stared at me helplessly from the bowl of oil.Case closed, Petunia only needed a bath.I heard my dad tell my mom not to worry about Petunia as she was probably in shock and wouldn’t last long.In spite of him, Petunia survived the oil trap and a bath. She lived for two more years with us and when we moved across country, I gave her to a classmate. Petunia wasn't happy about the whole bath thing, but in spite of my parents or in her tiny mouse spirit, she even outlasted by brothers collection of fish.

The other mice caught in our DIY humane trap, ironically, didn’t fare so well, because my Dad added more oil to the bowl to keep the wild mice from escaping. Even though Mom hated mice, pet mice included, I credit her with saving Petunia. She made the trap humane so we could rescue my pet mouse, while at the same time catch the unwanted wild mice, and it worked. In my teen angst I was opposed to killing natures’ creatures, but now, after years of being a tree hugging, mice loving girl I have come to my “mom” senses.Wild mice, rodents in general are very dangerous.

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Super Pet Puzzle Playground, 60 Pieces

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How is one tiny rodent dangerous?

How could a little mouse be so dangerous?One pair can breed 4500 mice in a year; they are social, so if you’ve seen one, there are plenty more.The wires they chew and gnaw can spark causing a house fire.Mice aren’t secluded to just homes and structures, they have been found in transportation systems as well; besides damage caused to wire harnesses, they infect food products as they travel to new locations.Mice invade Heating and Air-conditioning ducts, causing contamination in the air you breathe in your home.There is a reason why the FDA allows so much rodent contamination in our food, because it hard to control.Mice (and rats) infect the food we eat with urine and fecal matter when they enter our food sources during transportation, storage or during the agricultural process.

I know this is really gross and unthinkable, but in a hope to show facts to those that set rodents free, I have to share this. Rats have been known to chew human baby toes, search here if you don't think its true, there are a number of cases across the world. and even bite a human infant to death, including death.Setting rodents free is never a good idea.Animal rights groups are against any kill and quick kill mouse traps ,they would prefer that we set the mice or rat free.

Depending on how you catch a rodent , you then have to figure out a “safe” place to set it free.Hopefully in the mean time, the angry rodent hasn’t bit you or escaped again in your home or car.Setting it free outside allows it to re-enter your home or your neighbors’ home.Personally, I wouldn’t want to be responsible if my neighbor caught one of the sixty rodent transmitted diseases the CDC claims they carry.If the animal rights groups are worried about mice extinction, they need not worry.Mice are adaptable, they inhabited earth long before humans and will be here long after.

Victor Humane Electronic Mouse Trap

Flickr via Cogdogblog
Flickr via Cogdogblog | Source

What is the best way to catch mice?

If you take all this into account, what is the best way to catch mice?I live in the country, so I’ve had my share of “mouse in the house” episodes.We have quite a collection of mouse traps and the ones I consider the best mouse traps are either electronic traps or the quick set types.

The electronic mouse traps look like a bait station; the mouse runs in and gets quick shock immediately when they get stuck.You can then dispose of the dead mouse, without touching it or even barely looking at it.

Another type of mouse trap can be described as quick set mouse traps, they are made of plastic, when set off the trap usually encases the entire mouse inside the trap, killing it.I have on occasion; found a mouse halfway in the trap, but still dead.These are better than regular old fashioned cheap snap traps.

Electronic mouse traps are reusable; the cost ranges from $19.00 to $99, whereas the quick set mouse traps start around $4 and go up from there.

The best DIY mouse traps are free, but then you have to touch the mouse to dispose of it or eliminate it.There are mouse traps for different environments, size of infestation, for both indoor and outdoor.What you ultimately choose should be the best mouse trap for your situation.

The experts say that the best mouse trap makes no difference unless you seal up the breaches they enter through, sanitize or clean the areas they inhabit, and prevent future occurrences as best you can.Mouse control and prevention is a three step process, and you have to do it consistently or they will return in numbers.


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      2 years ago

      I do like mice because they are so cute but my favourite animals were my two pet guinea pigs snowy and taco loved them to bits I have got mice living in my house and I have brought some mouse boxes with a trap door I put some peanut butter in there so when the mouse goes in the door shuts and I take it outside and let the mouse out I've already caught one but one thing I can't do is kill them I couldn't forgive myself.

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      5 years ago

      I fully agree with you. I'm 32 years old, so my views aren't just "teen angst." I'm a genuine animal lover with respect for all life. I understand there are times when killing is necessary. There are ways however, to handle an infestation without killing the mice. There are some wildlife removal organizations that will handle mice and rats. I'd suggest contacting the ones in your area and asking.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      my home has a mouse issue in need of a humane solution that actually works, (without harming the mice).

      i came across petunias story while doing web searching for a rodent remedy.

      unfortunately, i did not (& do not) appreciate the authors opinion on the subject. i find it very sad & troubling that she chalks up the difference in her values as teen angst & "mom senses"....believing the latter to be 'correct'.

      this is another example of a child's ability to tell right from wrong while the parent has absolutely no idea.


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