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Underthinking a plate of cheese
June 20, 2008 11:13 AM   Subscribe

How to catch a mouse without a mousetrap.

Previously.
Turnabout is fair play.
posted by not_on_display (49 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Screw all that. Just make like Bunk Moreland and light the motherfucker up.
posted by jonmc at 11:19 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Great. Now nature will build a better mouse. Thanks a lot.
posted by ColdChef at 11:19 AM on June 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Would it work with rats?
posted by dov3 at 11:20 AM on June 20, 2008


If you don't have a counter or a table, you should probably consider whether making cardboard ramps to trap mice is the best use of your time. Me, I'd probably work on getting some furniture.
posted by amro at 11:22 AM on June 20, 2008 [8 favorites]


Seen it. Tried it. Believe me, those buggers enjoyed mocking me.
posted by popcassady at 11:25 AM on June 20, 2008


Trapping mice without the satisfying snap of the trap? Without the smashed skull of a little furry beast? This is no real trap my friends.
posted by nola at 11:25 AM on June 20, 2008


Be like me. Cut out the middle man. Simply wait by the table with some cheese in your open mouth. Now be patient.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:26 AM on June 20, 2008 [6 favorites]


Pretty cool, but it lacks the human touch. When I lived in co-op student housing, I caught my mice by sitting vewwwwy quietly on the kitchen floor next to an empty, open box of Shredded Wheat. I'd put a few shreds of cereal inside the box, wait, wait, wait ... then close the box and take the adorable, boing-boinging, frantic little varmint outside -- where it would eventually find there way in again. Hey, it beat writing essays.

Later on, I moved off-campus and got a couple of cats, who would catch and play with mice but fail to kill them. (Well, the cute but clueless Siamese killed one once, but I think he did it by accidentally sitting on it.) Those mice got taken outdoors, too. I bought catnip mice to keep my clumsy would-be assassins stoned and happy.

On preview: Sticherbeast, I tried that, too, but I could never find the right wine to go with the combo.
posted by maudlin at 11:28 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just make like Bunk Moreland and light the motherfucker up.
Just be careful not to hit your wife's shoe.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:29 AM on June 20, 2008


Alternate title - "How to have a bucket of live mice in your house."
posted by Ragma at 11:30 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


How to catch a mouse without a mousetrap.

Step 1: Get cat.
posted by aftermarketradio at 11:33 AM on June 20, 2008


I have done it on two occasions by throwing a towel over it, then bundling it up and relocating the perp. Though I like the linked trap, also.
posted by everichon at 11:34 AM on June 20, 2008


I once caught a mouse in the kitchen sink with my hands using a dish towel. But there was only one, and I don't know if I could deal with a dozen.
posted by Shusha at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


This spring I opened a drawer containing welding rods and flux, and
there was a mousey snoozing in a little nest.
I crushed him with one push, with my fingertips. Didn't pop him.
Wouldn't have done it if I hadn't been wearing gloves.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:37 AM on June 20, 2008


Ha! I thought I was the only one in possession of the secret technique, The Way of The Towel.
posted by Shusha at 11:38 AM on June 20, 2008


But. that *is* a mousetrap.
posted by found missing at 11:42 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Um - the link is in the comments of the "previously" article you mentioned, not_on. (It's also three years old, but what the hey, right?)
posted by yhbc at 11:44 AM on June 20, 2008


Could you instead replace the bucket/trashcan with a maze full of wonder and adventure? And add a motion activated camera into the mix?
posted by The Power Nap at 11:45 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can't the mouse just run up the side of the bucket? I've seen mice run down the corner of a wall.

You people are just too humane. I've trapped something like 30 mice in the past 15 months or so with snap traps. If the snap trap doesn't kill the mouse outright I throw the trap in a bucket of water. I don't enjoy doing it, but imagine how many descendents those mice would have by now. And since my house was built in 1912, it's a Sisyphean task to keep the mice population down anyway, without me setting the buggers free outside so they can live to invade again.
posted by orange swan at 11:47 AM on June 20, 2008


other ways to catch a mouse
posted by caddis at 11:50 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


My son just turns a crank, which causes a lever to push a stop sign against a shoe, kicking a bucket over, sending a ball down a crooked stairway, knocking up a gloved pipe which rolls a bowling ball out of a bathtub onto a see-saw, sending a man flying into a hot tub, loosening the case on top of a post, thus trapping the mouse.

He’s pretty smart, for a six year old.
posted by bondcliff at 11:52 AM on June 20, 2008 [10 favorites]


^yhbc: Um - the link is in the comments of the "previously" article you mentioned, not_on. (It's also three years old, but what the hey, right?)

Ooops! But I -- Hey! Look! It's the Goodrich Blimp!
run run run run run
posted by not_on_display at 11:52 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


This works on rats, but you need a huge bucket or barrel. A healthy rat can sometimes leap about 2-3 feet straight up, and more if it wants to get ninja on the wall jumps, and even more if it's one of those cracked out giant city rats like we have in SF. (Note to SF: Stop collecting the feral cats already. The rats are taking over.)

If you fill the bottom of your bucket or barrel with a couple inches of water, it makes it much harder to leap out. The depth should be about the same as the length of the body of the rat or mouse.
posted by loquacious at 11:53 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


^bondcliff: My son just turns a crank, which causes a lever to push a stop sign...
posted by not_on_display at 11:55 AM on June 20, 2008


He might have set the mouse free a mile away but it's coming back for sure. That house has peanut butter and crackers.
posted by hojoki at 11:57 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


That’s pretty awesome, n_o_d. The only thing cooler would be if it were built by mice in order to catch children.
posted by bondcliff at 12:00 PM on June 20, 2008


oh, I see not_on_display already had that included.
posted by caddis at 12:00 PM on June 20, 2008


But once the mouse gets into the trashcan, you just have a pissed off mouse.....and knowing most people they'd probably forget the mouse was in there...
posted by Deflagro at 12:01 PM on June 20, 2008


If the sides of the trash can are perfectly straight and metal, the mouse isn't getting out again. I found this out accidentally. I had a two foot tall can next to my workbench in my garage last winter, and when I went out in the spring I found three dead mice in the bottom of the can. I wasn't trying to trap mice, this is without bait. I imagine it couldn't have been a pleasant way to die, but I don't care considering how many mice I've had to deal with since getting married (my wife hates cats, which used to take care of the problem for me). I just can't figure out why a mouse would run to the end of a long workbench and just drop of blindly. It's almost a three foot drop, you would think that work hurt.

Water in a bucket helps to drown them too of course. I had a bucket outside that was near a wall that filled up with melted snow one winter. I found it filled with 8 or so dead mice in the spring. That was a smell I'd rather forget.
posted by inthe80s at 12:20 PM on June 20, 2008


Maybe they were three blind mice?
posted by hojoki at 12:25 PM on June 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


If the snap trap doesn't kill the mouse outright I throw the trap in a bucket of water.

I only once had a snap trap fail to kill the mouse. It caught it on the tail and besides some nasty swelling and bruising there it was fine, so I imprisoned it in a plastic tub and fed it table scraps. I gave it old cardboard stuff to hide in because it was terrified of me, and eventually it figured out a series of jumps on the cardboard stuff that allowed it to escape.

This turned out to be the best way to catch a mouse because apparently it told all the other mice to stay away. Before that I'd been constantly catching mice, but this was the last one.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:33 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's called a cat, people!
posted by MrGuilt at 12:41 PM on June 20, 2008


I used to have a real mouse problem in my apartment. One night, sick of the constant stress and slaughter, and wanting to enjoy Lee Evans and watch Christopher Walken eat mouse shit, I rented mouse hunt. About halfway through I got up to get a drink, and as I stood a the sink with my glass of water, I noticed a mouse tail sticking out from underneath the cooktop on my counter. One of the little fuckers was taking the opportunity to roam around the kitchen while I was watching a mouse killing movie in the other room!

Of course I was able to catch that one without a trap, by grabbing the tail and lifting the cooktop. That's the last time you use my weakness for Nathan Lane's hammy lameness to put one over on me, vermin.
posted by OmieWise at 12:44 PM on June 20, 2008


"Water in a bucket helps to drown them too of course."

Bleach is good, too. The chlorine fumes knock them out, then they keel over on one side.

Then, when you retrieve the dead mouse later, it's turned half-white. Presto!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:45 PM on June 20, 2008


My cat was quite lazy about catching mice, but my mother's beagle was hell on them. Dunno if it was just that particular beagle, or if catching mice is something beagles do, but she was vastly more efficient at catching mice than the cat.
posted by sotonohito at 1:21 PM on June 20, 2008


I used to mock people with pets and trap rats and mice. Then I got my kids some pet rats. Now they crawl on my while I watch TV and we build them little toys. And I talk to them like an idiot.

So if I had just a single mouse I'd probably hang out with it. If I had a wild rat I wouldn't use deadly force, but I'd remove it. Owning rats has rewritten my rat-hating neural pathways.

I'm sure there's an important lesson to be learned here, but I'll play the straight man this time.
posted by mecran01 at 1:24 PM on June 20, 2008


I hate snap traps - We used to use them when I was a kid, and every morning you'd hear a banging noise as a mouse dragged the bloody thing around the kitchen cupboards. My mother would then take the three legged mouse outside to release it - watched by our mouser cat who would capture it and bring it back into the kitchen...

Nowadays (get off my lawn!) I have the "help" of two cats. One cat (Willow) catches the things and brings them inside to play with. So her sister (Buffy) and I spend half an hour quietly hunting the mouse while Willow runs around like a lunatic on the other side of the room.

Everytime I've caught the little sods it's been under a bookcase or sideboard. Buffy stands at one end and waits. When it appears she bats it around the head, and it runs away to the other end - where I'm waiting with a square tupperware pot...

[Standard disclaimer : don't blame us for the names - they're rescue cats. And named the wrong way round IMHO. ]
posted by twine42 at 1:26 PM on June 20, 2008


Oh, and one mouse shrew has been captured so often that I recognise it, and it recognises me. If the little sods bring it in I just lock them in the bedroom and open the front door. Ten minutes later it'll run downstairs, across the living room and straight out into the outside world.

Dear god how I wish I was joking...
posted by twine42 at 1:28 PM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


That technique wouldn't do anything against our teensy local supermice. In fact, the last time I came across one, I surprised it opening the trash can and it leapt out at me like a wee gray ninja, easily clearing the 2' can (our fscking downstairs neighbor has a mouse issue which occasionally would become our mouse issue until we found the hole in the wall).

Mrs. YTMS put out a humane trap and released him in Volkspark Friedrichshain, which I think is fine since we have raptors and other natural predators around in the city, so he is more likely to become falcon takeaway than end up in someone else's place, and in the meantime it might be a nice mousey life.

Do American mice really not jump so high? I never had mice back in the US, but I've never seen one here which couldn't do 2-3' without stressing it. But I also have a vague recollection that mice in NA were much larger -- these ones always look about shrew-sized, really cute and little and spring-loaded.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 1:47 PM on June 20, 2008


I'm with Orange Swan...I moved into this swell old brooklyn Brownstone that counts among it's lovely old-timey features a real honest to god coal chute, the most beautiful inlaid wood floors you've ever seen, and a state of the art high tech mouse breeding facility somewhere in the damn walls.

What's always hilarious is everyon'e immediate "you should get a cat" suggestion. As if I had never heard of these miraculous mouse catching creatures. How clever of you to mention that cats perform this service. I thought their only features were shedding, stinking, and toxoplasmosis.

So 6 months and 40+ mice later ( I stopped counting) I finally have the vermin under control. Those of you who have your animal cruelty sensors set to "high" might want to skip the rest of this comment.

I understand the live trap, set them free mentality. If a stray mouse wandered away from his family and got lost in my big scary house, I guess I'd feel some sympathy for the little guy. When you're finding mouse droppings on your soap, and they're singing revolution songs behind the refrigerator, it's War.

I am a mouse killing machine. Victor brand snap traps. Can't sing their praises highly enough. I was baiting them with peanut butter, but after two months the little buggers decided they didn't like peanut butter anymore. So I switched to tootsie rolls, which evidently are the crack cocaine of the mouse kingdom. I'm pretty sure mice started flying in from other neighborhoods to enjoy in the delicious tootsie roll treats....of doom. I also like tootsie rolls, so it was a win/win situation.

Also, sad to say it, but if you have a serious problem, glue traps are also necessary. Some of the little beasts will just avoid the snap traps altogether. I actually have to give them credit for learning from the folly of their fallen brothers, but i have yet to find one that could resist a tiny pile of birdseed in the middle of a glue board. Juyst kep a bucket of water handy, and whenever you catch one, you get to play Dick Cheney...

"Where are the rest of you hiding? Won't talk eh? Into the water bucket!"

The funniest moment of the great Mouse purge of '08 is going into the kitchen and seeing a mouse on the countertop, he sees me as well and runs the length of the counter, and jumps behind the stove. Seconds later I hear a minor ruckus behind the stove, lots of squeaking, and then a much smaller mouse jumps out from behind the stove and hightails it in the opposite direction, with the first mouse hot on his tail. They both hit the counter and freeze, notice the giant shoe wielding human, reverse direction and scurry back behind the stove. a few seconds seconds later, there's another little mouse sized ruckus behind the stove, a lot of squeaking, and out comes the little guy again, chased by the larger mouse right into the glue trap I hastily tossed in their path. I felt bad for the little guy, but I imagine that whatever little mousy argument they were having involved lots of cursing.

Despite having gone three weeks without seeing one or finding any droppings, I really feel like I've won a major battle, but they're just regrouping and plotting their return.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:47 PM on June 20, 2008 [9 favorites]


Well, they're cute up to a point.... (mice)2
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 2:50 PM on June 20, 2008


Damn billyfleetwood, now I'm seeing phantom mice in my periphery.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 3:13 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you, though. Those cruel glue traps work great, but I couldn't ever bring myself to turn the critters into ex-mice. I always tossed the gruesome collage into the dumpster. There aren't any mouse ghosts are...oh, no...I hit preview one last time before posting and ...phantom mice... oh god....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 3:22 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once chased a mouse into the garbage disposal. I recall yelling "checkmate, you little fucker!"
posted by ryanrs at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have never, ever, screamed in the loud shrieky way I did when a mouse ran up my pants leg once. My Mom used to dip their tails in nail polish to see if we were capturing many mice or just the same one over and over again. Now I just leave the lid of the toilet up and leave town for six months and they drown themselves from missing me [and my food].
posted by jessamyn at 4:49 PM on June 20, 2008


The one experience I had with a mouse intruder, I laid down a glue trap. Basically a square of cardboard with glue on one side, I pushed it under a cabinet in the kitchen. A mere 30 minutes later, I heard a squeak, and lo and behold there was my mouse. Unlike an insect, it was disturbingly cute. It's very odd to have a mammal as an intruder, at least it was for me. I picked up the square, with the mouse attached, put it in a plastic bag, took it outside and put it in the dumpster. A disturbing experience all around.

Next time, I'll try this instead. I have no trouble killing insects, but I think I draw the line at the Kingdom Mammalian.
posted by zardoz at 5:52 PM on June 20, 2008


I haven't watched this, does it involve a hungry cat?
posted by Grod at 6:52 PM on June 20, 2008


I catch a lot of them in my swimming pool. Only one live customer so far. I rescued him with the leaf rake and flung him over the fence. He took off in the opposite direction.
posted by coldhotel at 7:51 PM on June 20, 2008


^jessamyn: Now I just leave the lid of the toilet up and leave town for six months and they drown themselves from missing me [and my food].

So thats why you keep a block of cheese in the toilet! It all makes sense now. hungry g2g kbye
posted by not_on_display at 12:36 PM on June 23, 2008


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