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Thursday, August 18, 2011

DIY Mouse Trap

Today I saw a mouse scurry across the floor. We are officially disgusting people, harboring a mouse in our house. After screaming for about a minute, I surmised that it ran into our coat closet because the front door and the door to the garage have weatherproof seals. With me clinging for dear life to her waist, Chloe called Allen who basically said he couldn't help us because he had to work. He added, "You two are smart. You can figure it out."

Well, now we have to take the challenge and outsmart this rodent! We got to work on a trap. After a brief search on the Internet, we came up with this:

It's basically a ramp (leftover laminate flooring) connected with duct tape to a cardboard platform. A toilet-paper roll is balanced at the end of the cardboard platform. We put a smear of peanut butter at the far end of the toilet-paper roll. We're hoping the mouse will run up the ramp, go through the tunnel, and fall into the bucket. At first, we taped the toilet-paper roll to the cardboard platform but we worried that the mouse would eat the peanut butter and then back out the way it climbed up. Now the toilet-paper roll is perched precariously on the platform so his weight should knock the whole roll into the bucket.

We put the trap against the wall where I saw the mouse run past. It could have come from the kitchen or, ideally, from the backyard if someone left the screen door to the backyard ajar. Apparently, the mouse has bad eyesight so he/she has to cling to walls like a blind man. Mice are also creatures of habit that only go to the same areas of your house. I'm hoping tonight the mouse will come out of the coat closet and run past the same wall on its way to the kitchen.

We left the house to give the mouse a chance to come out. We chose not to put water in the bucket because Chloe didn't want to drown the mouse. This means if we manage to trap it, we have to drive the mouse a mile from our house to prevent it from coming back. We discussed who would carry the bucket to the car and decided that Chloe would do it. Yes, Chloe is very brave when it comes to spiders, and now rodents. She reasoned that she's read a lot of books with a likable mouse protagonist, such as The Tale of Despereaux, Poppy, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Isn't she a cutie?

After we picked Phoebe up from school, we came home and discovered no mouse in our trap. We were kind of disappointed (our trap didn't work), kind of relieved (please let Allen be here to drive the mouse away). The peanut butter was still in the toilet-paper roll so we deduced that the mouse was too traumatized by my screaming to venture out of the coat closet. Either that or it's smart enough to go around the trap to the kitchen where the real food is stored.

Now we wait. Even if we successfully catch this mouse, we have to poke around the house and see if we can find a hole because we have to prevent more mice from coming in. Allen suspects that the mouse may have chewed a hole from the outside of our house to the cabinet under our kitchen sink. We also have to look through all our kitchen cabinets and throw out anything that might be contaminated with mouse. Ew! The problem is our cabinets are old and don't close securely so it's possible for the mouse to get into a cabinet. Ew! Next, we have to clean up clutter in our hall closet and garage in case the mouse made a nest. Ew! I can't get the image of the round black ball darting across our hardwood floor. Ewwwww! Ewwwww! Ewwwww!

Has anyone successfully caught a mouse? Help!


  1. Try Black & Decker Plug-in Indoor Ex310 sonic Pest Repellers, plus make sure all the food (including that 50lb bag of rice) is not on the ground and counter.

    Good luck!

  2. Hi Hakee, thanks for the advice. Allen's colleague offered to let us borrow his sonic pest repeller and black light (to follow urine trail? barf) but maybe we should get our own to prevent this from ever happening again! I'm glad Allen got a fancy rice dispenser because I always manage to mangle the rice bag.

  3. Black light? Never thought about that. Very CSI!
    But will not want to try it at home... We may see way too much!

  4. I know what you mean. Allen's investigated/cleaned coat closet, kitchen, garage. So far no torn bags of food or mouse droppings. Maybe we can just pretend the mouse came in through the screen door and left out the front door?

  5. Update: Our homemade mouse trap never caught anything. We also bought the Ortho Kill & Contain traps (yeah, we got over being humane to mice) and those caught nothing. We did use the Black & Decker sonic pest repellers so we're hoping those drove the mouse away. We haven't heard any creepy scratching lately so either the mouse moved out or died in our walls (yuck!). We're never unplugging our sonic repellers!

  6. I hope it's just dish detergent. The source link didn't specify, but that looks like antifreeze. If that's the case I hope the person who originally built it doesn't have any pets.pet-friendly mousetrap