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janbb's avatar

Worry about a mouse or leave it be?

Asked by janbb (57138points) August 21st, 2015

A mouse scurried across the kitchen and down to the basement today. I’m not particularly mouseophobic and this seemed to be a one-off. I’m inclined to leave it be unless it or its friends and relations reappear. Is there a compelling reason for me to try to trap it?

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15 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Because where you see one there are usually more. And now it knows how to get in your kitchen, it will be back. You’ll see holes gnawed in the cereal box, and droppings in your silverware drawer.

Get a Victory mouse trap, bait with peanut butter.

SmashTheState's avatar

Powdered mouse droppings and mouse urine are a serious health risk, and are a known vector for hantavirus. Odds are also good that if you’ve seen one mouse, there are many more that you haven’t seen. That said, there are live traps you can buy if you’re squeamish about killing the mice, and you can release them somewhere nice, far away.

I once got rid of an infestation of mice by rolling up a long tube of old carpet and filled it with bits of newspaper to make it a perfect nest, then set out bowls of rice and water by the entrace for a few days to attract the mice and get them comfortable in their new home. Then when I was sure the mice were hiding from me inside the carpet, I just sealed off the ends with plastic bags and elastics and dragged it outside, where I unrolled the carpet and let the mice out.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I would trap it,or get a cat,we have had a house cat for a very long time and can’t remember the last time we had a mouse in the house.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you see one you’re missing three or four. You can use regular traps. Glue traps are kind of cruel. Poison is another option, but not if you have pets.

elbanditoroso's avatar

leave it be. Or do somethiing passive like buying one of those 5×10 ” sticky pads and putting some peanut butter in the middle. And put it where you saw the mouse.

It’s more humane than a spring loaded mousetrap.

Buttonstc's avatar

In addition to laying whatever type of traps you choose, you should examine your basement thoroughly to find out how they’re getting in to the basement and plug up the holes (or hire an exterminator to do so.) You don’t want to keep dealing with the same problem over and over.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Perhaps it is as you think, a one time event, but the odds are against it. I mean what are the chances that a mouse just happens to be in the room where all the food and crumbs can be found? What are the chances that it can’t find its way back to the place from which all the delicious aromas emanate? Nope, the only thing that is “one off” is that you caught him in the act. Set the trap and find out. Mice are relentless eating machines as well as fast breeding little demons. To ignore them in your house is inviting assured infestation. Peaceful coexistence is a delusion permissible only in fairy tales. It’s them or you and the traps should be in every room in the house, if for no other reason than to determine just how bad things have gotten. And act now before the cold weather arrives and word gets out about the “cozy living” at the penguin “resort”.

wildpotato's avatar

As others have said, it is a big deal and there are certainly more mice. Set traps.

I have a buddy who keeps a catch-and-release trap right next to a snap trap, so the mice have a “choice.” He spray paints the tails of the ones in the live trap different colors to see if they come back after release. He took a pink-tailed mouse two miles out into the woods last week. Mouse was back a few days later.

Snap traps tend to kill instantly, so I find them humane. My issue is with the mice my cat catches – he knows they can’t get out of the bathtub so takes them there to play, then gets bored and doesn’t seal the deal. Internet says that suffocation in a jar or something is the most humane way to go in these situations, so I’m going to try that next time instead of having my fiance do the big stomp.

stanleybmanly's avatar

When I met my wife she told me fascinating things about cats that she’d discovered from researching them as a result of acquiring her own (remarkable) cat. One of them was that cats have to be trained by their mothers on how to dispatch their dinners. Her cat would kill anything that moved. No bug beyond flea size escaped death in our house.

Buttonstc's avatar

“the big stomp” Ewww

stanleybmanly's avatar

Gruesome but quick. A lot of work for a skilled mouse mortician.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

KILL THEM before they breed!

janbb's avatar

Update: Bought Tomcat traps and put 4 out. Mousie just ran out from under the stove, across the kitchen and down to the basement – same route he had taken last time. Neatly avoided all traps.

Guess the next step is to call the exterminator.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well now that you know his route, why not place all 4 of the traps at some point along his route and hope that he stumbles into one in his haste?

At least worth a try, don’t you think?

janbb's avatar

Have moved them. We’ll see.

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