Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mouse in the House

The down side of leaving the back door open for the animals to go out during the day is that other animals come in. For the last couple of weeks I have a little visitor leaving "chocolate sprinkles" all over my counters and stove at night. I finally bought a snazzy live trap at the local store (we only have one store in town). Like a Roach Motel, the mouse goes in, but cannot get back out.

So, I've had the trap set for about a week, and yesterday afternoon I noticed the bait had been moved around. Sure enough, I had a capture. This morning I took him (her?) for a long walk.

Was s/he just sleepy, or not feeling well? Whatever the reason, s/he did not want to come out.

I had to get a little aggressive and shake him/her loose.

Finally, success. But once out, s/he just didn't want to move. Maybe it was just too chilly. Or maybe the poor thing was just terrified.

I took a look at the tail to see if it had a little tuft of white fur off the end, a sign of the deer mouse. It didn't, so perhaps this was a white-footed mouse.

After a little encouragement and some gentle stroking on its head and back, the little thing seemed to perk up a bit.

A little exploration followed.

Toby was dying of curiosity and I finally let him take a close look (and sniff).

Soon thereafter the mouse slowly scampered into the leaves and vanished. I gathered up my lenses, the trap and the dog, and we headed home.


  1. Trapping and releasing mice may sound humane, but often isn’t the case. Especially when the mice are released in an area where they can’t find good shelter or food. You also need to consider the diseases and parasites these critters can carry. I play it safe and use a mousetrap that humanely kills the mouse while sealing it, along with the diseases and parasites, so it’s 100% safe for my family. Check it out:

  2. Now, how did I know that you would live trap that little mousie?

  3. We evicted one from our barn that was also a bit reluctant to leave and I have to admit that I feel a little bit guilty about sending it out into the cold...

  4. Thanks for taking such kind care of this dear little creature. I hope I can find a live trap like that to remove the mice from my house this fall before my indoor cats get to them. Sometimes the cats get worms or fleas from the mice. I do hate to resort to those snap traps that sometimes maim rather than kill quickly.

  5. Dear Mr. Bradley - Oh, believe me, I know. In fact, I just wrote an article about this very thing that published a week or two on the Adirondack Almanack blog. The reason I went with a live trap in this case is that the mouse was in my kitchen, on my counters, and, should my cat actually decide to act like a cat and try to catch the thing, I didn't want the cat to get caught in a snap trap (which I believe are probably the most humane of the kill traps). So, I went for the live trap and relocated the mouse. I know it will probably starve, or get eaten by something else, but that's the risk of being a wild animal anyway.

    Louise - I did live trap the mouse, but usually at this time of year it is more humane to "dispatch" the critters, for by relocating them, they are placed in a territory with which they are not familiar, and they have no food stored away. And, the territory is probably already filled with other mice. So, it was not a kindness to do what I did, but I couldn't have a snap trap in the kitchen, not with the cat and dog nosing around.