As much as I respect JackALopez, I think that making an animal tread water until it finally drowns is unnecessarily cruel. I have not tried this but apparently it works: An inverted pint glass, with a dab of peanut butter inside, is balanced on the edge of a coin. The mouse goes into the glass for the peanut butter, disturbs the coin and is trapped. The mouse can then be taken to a field and released.
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Hard to beat - Peanut butter as bait.
If you have an infestation of intelligent lab educated mice there is a special trap you can make for them. You get a small piece of wood, about the size of a normal mouse trap and cut a little groove in the middle. Into the slot put, and glue, a single sided razor blade with the blade pointing up. On one side of the blade write on the board "Start" and on the other side write "cheese". The trained mouse will come along and recognize the starting point, look over the blade and see that the cheese has been taken. He will then move his head while saying "no cheese!" and cut his neck and bleed out on the blade.
:-) If only
Brrr..... cold way to go
Well, they keep saying that a higher education will help you get "a head", and possibly help to loose one also. Another "bright" idea would be to cut off the end of an electrical cord and strip down the conducting wires. Then fasten them to the board with cheese in the middle. Plug it in an when little Frankenstein mouse version 2 contacts the wires its zap time. Only problem would be if it catches fire and bolts for the curtains, or if it works, that nice lingering smell of toasted mouse. I hope our new member doesn't get a distorted view of the technical expertise of those who answer questions as a result of our approach to solving mouse problems. Seriously though I once found the skeleton of a mouse in an outlet box. It must have smelled pretty bad and baffled the owners for a while. And then there was my own experience of having one get into the heat exchanger of the furnace which then smelled of burnt mouse for a while every time the furnace kicked on. Such fond memories. And people wonder why I have cats. Once the cats were really interested in the furnace floor vents, so I pulled off the covers and turned them loose into the ducts and sure enough after a while they popped out with a few mice to play with. Just make sure you count how many cats go down and come back up before you put the covers back on.
Its called a cat. I have not seen a live mouse in more than a year. They are efficient, diligent, and totally enjoy their work. Often they will smell the mice out out before you are even aware of them being there.
It is possible to catch mice using a 5 gallon bucket, and just a few accessories. I think the essential parts of this trap are (1) a path for the mouse to climb up to the top of the bucket, and (2) something inside the bucket that the mouse wants. Many variants of this trap include some sort of sort of cylinder-on-a-rod, suspended across the top of the bucket. Ostensibly the trick with that is that it looks like a good path to, but the mouse has trouble balancing on the cylinder, because the cylinder is free to rotate about the rod. However, I have found that the cylinder-on-a-rod part of the trap is unnecessary. The variant of this trap I am most familiar with, is just the bucket, filled about 1/3 full with water, placed against a wall, with some other junk stacked beside it to provide a path for the mice to climb to the top of the bucket. This trap works best during dry weather, when the mice are thirsty. They find their way up to the top of the bucket, then down into the water in the bucket, and then they drown. I am guessing the reason why they drown is because they can't keep treading water forever, and they can't climb the sheer sides of the bucket. All I know for sure is that I've set out a bucket of water like this, and have come back to it later and found drowned mice in it. Anyway, I just wanted to make that part clear: putting water in the bucket is deadly to the mice. In the case that you want to catch mice alive, this will probably work if you instead use traditional mouse bait, like peanut butter. But then you might come back to plastic bucket with a live mouse, or mice, in it. And then what do you do with them? I found the bucket-mouse-trap picture via Google Images, and here's the link to its original context:http://lovethosewires.blogspot.com/2009/08/caught-in-trapa-mouse-trap.html I've got my own pictures of bucket-caught, drowned mice, but I decided not to attach them, because those pictures are kinda icky.
Don't be silly, you'd never clean it up, nor use them again :-)