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If a mouse invaded your house would it become a dead mouse?

Updated on March 16, 2012

Mice multiply like, well, mice

One mouse
One mouse
And another mouse
And another mouse
How quickly one mouse can become many mice!
How quickly one mouse can become many mice!

My mouse rant

I was actually asked yesterday if I was sure I wanted to kill a mouse.

When you read the context of that odd question, depending on your point of view, it'll seem even more odd - or maybe it won't seem odd at all, if you're in the opposing camp.

I had realized that a mouse had invaded my house, and I bought some little wooden, spring-loaded mouse traps.

An acquaintance and I were talking about it later, and he couldn't resist trying to convince me to use a live mouse trap.

He couldn't believe that I would truly set a mouse trap to actually kill a little living mouse.

I was a little stunned at his untutored compassion. But then I replied as thoroughly as possible.
I told him that I would consider live mouse traps when Bob Barker reminded me to neuter and spay my mice.

Until then, I'll put my little wooden tables down on the floor. The mice can stop by for a snack and get a snap instead.

Quick. Hopefully painless. And mice even come with a tail to carry them outdoors for the neighbor's cat. So everyone's happy, except the mouse, who's beyond caring anyway.

Come to think of it, if the mouse was fulfilling its karma from a previous life as a slum lord, it might even be happy as it drifts toward its next life.

If the mice don't like my murderous intent, they can stay outdoors.

Oh, yeah, and I added that Darwin rules!

And so I ended my rant at the live-trap advocate.

There are reasons that mice aren't welcome in our houses
There are reasons that mice aren't welcome in our houses | Source

A mouse is a pest, because mouse droppings are so frequently other mice

Honestly, did he even think about the situation? Consider how many mice one mother mouse can produce in a year - well, with visiting boyfriends.

I looked it up. A mouse is mature enough to breed at about one and a half or two months old. That mouse then has an average of six babies in a litter, and carries an average of 8 litters in a year.

After a mouse has had babies, she can breed again in between 2 and 4 days. That's shocking! Especially the part about getting pregnant again in days! It sounds just painful, really.

That makes a mouse capable of having, on average, 48 babies in a year. Some can have more than that. But that isn't the end of it. Remember, every baby she has can be prolific on its own within, at most, two months.

Give the first litter two months to mature, and each female mouse could have 7 litters of 6 babies in that same year, while the by-now grandmother is making more future breeders over in the next closet.

Let's say the original 6 babies were female. The mice from the first litter alone (with visiting boyfriends) could make 252 babies in their first year. Just the first litter. Get it? It boggles the mind, and I haven't even extrapolated to include the other 7 litters.

The only saving grace is that, while the mouse uterus is manufacturing like it's a major corporation, a mouse has a short lifespan, about one year. Come to think of it, that short lifespan might be voluntary - I'd probably volunteer to die, too, after a year like that.

No wonder mice are pests on this planet! (Gee, it occurs to me that they are a lot like us, billions and billions, and making more babies every day.)


Do you actually like the idea of mice in your house?

What else do you do with them? Do you refrain from trapping mice, and let them roam your house?

Before you consider that one, you should probably know that mice are not among the animals who are fussy about controlling their bladder or bowels. (As a matter of fact, they even like the smell of their own dried urine. A little factoid, there.)

That's why the first evidence you see of mice is mouse droppings. They have few inhibitions regarding where to go, with the exception of their own nest. And they don't bother to diaper each other.

They are also totally unconcerned about what they leave behind. Do you normally have incontinent house guests who don't mind what they're leaving behind? I don't. I may someday, as my friends and I age, develop digestive problems, become slower and go blind, but I don't at this point in my life.

Do you make the captured mouse your pest? Uh, pet? (Yes, they are cute and soft.) Great. Then what happens. Have you seen the movie, The Secret Of Nimh? Well, I have. So I wouldn't feel safe even if I had them behind bars. The benefit of making other mice all the time is a LOT of family members! The sheer numbers alone would increase the odds that somebody could solve the problem of getting that cage door open.

Besides, what if the mouse you caught was pregnant? With only four days max between giving birth and breeding again, how lucky do you feel? I don't feel lucky at all when it comes to almost perpetual fertility.

And I don't want to become known as the crazy mouse lady who lives down the street. I can see the neighbors turning on me as thousands of mice flow out every door and window of my house. The swat team would have no choice but to subcontract to exterminators. I don't want to end my life in a standoff with white-suited pest control teams surrounding my house.

I consider my adversary's point of view, and reach my final resolve

Looking at the situation another way, I do have a tendency to place myself in my adversary's position.

If I was caught as I burgled a house, and I knew that the owner had a gun and liked using it, I would be assured that I was going to die. So the only question would become, which way would I want to go? Would I want to suffer through a death by poison? Egads, no!

Would I want to wait around in a cage for my adversary to develop compassion, all the while being terribly lonely and, being a mouse, almost certainly in heat, too? Especially knowing that, in the end, I'd probably take one last swim down the toilet when my captor's impatience overwhelmed any compassionate inclinations? No.

I would prefer to go to a nice, tempting banquet and die unexpectedly while my mind was occupied with that tasty feast. In antiquity, a lot of famous people died that way. (Well, most of them were poisoned, but you get the idea.) It's an honorable death, and it's minus the prickly anticipation that, say, burning at the stake or being drawn and quartered would have.

So it's confession time. The mouse is the burglar and I'm the gun nut. I find torturing mice in research repugnant, and when I had a cat, I wouldn't let it play with a terrified mouse. But that's my limit on pest compassion. The only way a mouse is leaving my house, if I have anything to say about it, is tail first.

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Comments about If a mouse invaded your house would it become a dead mouse? Do you have mouse experiences?

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Enjoyed reading this article.

      I don't like mice and if they come into my house they will be dead mice.

      Funny thing when they do come usually it's in three's, by the time I have caught the third mouse they seem to disappear for a few months.

      Yes, I use those little mouse traps also, mice can cause so much waste of food in the cupboard unless caught quickly.

      I have no cat and live in the country, so look out mice if you visit me.

    • Healthy Pursuits profile imageAUTHOR

      Karla Iverson 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      I agree, JayeWisdom. I try to be tolerant of other life forms. The one exception is when they enter my territory. If I can't catch them and let them out with the understanding that they won't come back, they are doomed. Thanks for the vote up!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Wild mice still carry plague (there are a few cases reported every year) as well as rabies and other horrid diseases. They're just plain nasty, and I don't want one in my house. Prefer not to even have one in my yard, but realize I have little control over that unless my neighbor's cat is a mouser (and so far she's only killed birds that I know of).

      There was a news story some time last year about an Oregon man who tried to pull a mouse out of a cat's mouth (not sure whether his concern was with the cat, the mouse or both), but he caught plague for his trouble. Fortunately, he survived, but not everyone who contracts it does.

      Let a mouse live? Call me cruel, but no way!

      Voted Up+++


    • Healthy Pursuits profile imageAUTHOR

      Karla Iverson 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Thank you, trcboyd. I was sure that my mouse tale would be over by now. I had finally opted for the sticky pads as well as the mousetraps, and I had caught the mother as well as her full brood. I was sure of it. (I couldn't bring myself to poison, because I know it takes them several painful days to die.)

      However, I can see by now why people do it.

      One night about a month after I was sure they were all gone, I turned on the stove, and one came out of a stove vent and ran a foot to escape down the tiniest crack ever between the counter and the edge of the stove.

      So I started again. Newspapers on the counter every night with sticky pads and mousetraps all over the place. My kitchen looked like a cartoon exaggeration of trying to catch a mouse.

      But it didn't matter what I did. I could not catch that mouse. Then I realized that I wasn't seeing any droppings or anything. As mice are known for leaving their calling cards, and I was sure it was still there, at that point I named my mouse. I decided to call it "Gary", after my annoying, sneaky and adventurous brother.

      The next few weeks passed, and nothing happened. I finally decided that Gary had left my house, and it was mouse free. That was foolish, but only to be expected, as we can't be in a state of preparedness forever - sooner or later you have to come out and get water and plow the fields.

      Here's where you need to pay special attention. I thought Gary had finally left my house, as he left zero evidence that he was there. For two more months there was nothing. But I had accidentally left one mousetrap active under a piece of furniture close to the dog bowl.

      The other day, my little dog became very excited. It seems that Gary had been trapped by that one and only mousetrap. But he hadn't gone after the mousetrap. He had backed into it! He was caught by the tail! So I had to polish him off - an activity that sticky pads trained me to be hard-hearted about.

      Since then, I've found that "Gary" had left my house - but only for romance. Because my house was, once again, being used as a maternity ward. I put out the sticky pads and the mousetraps again. So far, I've caught four babies that are obviously coming out to feed for the first few times.

      Yes, they are cute and tiny. But by now I don't feel regret. I feel a very primitive, grim territoriality that makes me cheer when another one bites the dust. (Is that prehistoric, or a truly modern woman? I may never know.)

      So what I would recommend, trcboy, is that you cover your bedroom floor with mousetraps and sticky pads. Maybe you'll be lucky and your "Gary" will back into one before "he" has his babies. Good luck.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've been reading multiple articles regarding finding a mouse in the house and creating a mouse free house. Although I was searching for a more informative article, I must admit that everything that your article lacked in, "How To's," it made up for in entertainment. I found myself smiling from ear to ear and releasing a giggle periodically throughout this read.

      We currently have a mouse in the master bedroom and my wife has slept in my daughters room every since she first saw the little fella last week. I've got sticky pads, spring loaded wood traps & enclosed box style traps and I have been baiting them with cheese, crackers, peanut butter & bread. This is a smart little mouse. I'm almost ready to poison it and expect to smell the decay next month. I sure wish I could catch it and eyewitness it's departure. Anybody with some good insight, I'm ready to become a student... :-)

    • Healthy Pursuits profile imageAUTHOR

      Karla Iverson 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      No kidding, Kristin! I've considered the sticky pads, but I'd rather finish them off quickly. It's a shock to see that one is in the house, though. I think maybe we're very sheltered in our modern society, because I know people lived with mice and rats around until maybe the last 50 years. Ooooh, even the thought of that's disgusting! Thanks for stopping by, and for the great comment.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i have had two dogs now that love mouse hunting. one was a setter cross the other a toy poodle. ya a poodle. but out of all the mouse traps out there i like the sticky pad ones no chance of escape!! live traps have the chance that they could come back, the wood ones have the chance of malfunction and the mouse having a meal on me. as mean as it maybe i don't want them in my house disgusting vile little rodents. heck i got rid of boyfriends for less lol

    • Healthy Pursuits profile imageAUTHOR

      Karla Iverson 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      That's a problem, m0rd0r! Well, if you have any expectations of your cat, that is. lol The cat I had and adored for 15 years finely accidentally caught a half-grown field mouse one time,and he called me with meows of distress. He didn't know what to do with it! He was huddled with his paws around it. I guess someone told him mice dropped dead of fright when they were caught. I took it from him and put it back in the field.

    • m0rd0r profile image

      Stoill Barzakov 

      7 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      I have a black cat that is afraid of mices, so the mouse will probably survive ;)


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