How to Dispose of a Live Mouse? (Humanely and Carefully)

Much like humans, mice and rats are highly social animals. They enjoy the company of each other and are capable of experiencing a range of emotions, including love. They can become attached to each other, love their families, play and 'laugh' together, care for their sick members, and even sleep curled up together.

Indeed, mice make great pets as they are able to reciprocate as much affection as you give them. Interestingly, mice are modishly clean, often grooming themselves several times a day. They are also less likely than the most popular pets (cats and dogs) to transmit disease-causing pathogens.

Despite their fascinating reputation, a mice infestation can be shudder-inducing. If you have trapped a mouse, a can't stand the thought of killing it, here is a comprehensive guide on how to dispose of it humanely and carefully.

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Why You Should Not Use Convectional (Lethal) Methods to Control Mice

Although mice have a bad reputation among homeowners, anyone with a pet mouse knows how intelligent, clean, and sociable they are. Online sources and pest control companies continue to spread fear about mice worldwide. It's true that these pests can transmit many deadly diseases to humans and destroy property. But that doesn't mean that we have to be cruel towards these little beasts.

Methods of killing mice, such as glue traps and poisons, are not only ruthless but also barbaric. For instance, when a mouse consumes poison, it takes up to nine days to kill it. Rodenticides are made with different active ingredients, but anticoagulants are the most popular and cruel versions.

Anticoagulants prevent mice blood from clotting, subjecting the conscious animal to internal bleeding for days before reaching 100% mortality. On the other hand, glue traps immobilize mice, subjecting them to days of suffering and hypothermia before eventually dying in agony.

Besides, these rat control methods are often ineffective and dangerous to both humans and non-target animals. Most rodenticides are brightly colored and sweet to lure mice into eating enough to be effective. Clearly, if not handled with great care, rodenticide control can turn terribly wrong.

Furthermore, any killed mouse is often replaced by another. One reason is that the factors attracting the mice to your property have not been addressed. Secondly, eliminating one mouse causes a spike in the food supply, allowing the survivors to feed, breed, and increase their population.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Mice Without Killing or Hurting Them

The most effective way to control mice is by preventing them from accessing your home in the first place. But if these intelligent invaders have already let themselves in, you can use either of the following methods to get rid of them, naturally and humanely.

Remove all Food Sources

Mice make their way inside homes seeking food and warmth. Thanks to their small bodies, they can squeeze through unimaginably tiny holes to enter your home. So if there is a crack as small as a dime (roughly ¼ inch) in your foundation, mice can exploit it.

Mice are omnivorous. They will eat just about anything in your house, including fruits, meat, cereal, seeds, and corn. To force them out of your property, remove anything they like to eat and store dry goods like cereals and pet food in glass or metal containers. Spills and crumbs on the floor should also be cleaned up as soon as they occur. Lastly, ensure garbage bins are covered at all times.

Remove Nesting materials

Mice can also invade your home in search of a safe place to nest and rear their babies. They like nesting in soft materials like cotton, pet hair, and shredded paper. You can ensure they won't find suitable nesting materials by keeping all your fabric and rugs in tamper-proof plastic bins.

Because they can also chew newspapers, cardboard, and soft plastics to make nests, you should remove recyclable materials as soon as possible. Finally, declutter the interior of your home and remove any debris or foliage within 2-3 feet of your property's foundation.

Use Natural Mouse Repellents Like Peppermint oil and Cloves

Although mice have poor eyesight, recent studies have confirmed that they have a high sense of smell. You can use this to your advantage to get rid of them naturally. Here are natural mice repellents that you can try:

Peppermint oil: Surprisingly, while people cherish the taste and smell of peppermint, mice cannot stand it. The peppermint smell is too strong for them; hence, they avoid it. Soak a cotton pad in peppermint oil and place it in areas where mice like to hang out, for instance, in drawers, entry points, and anywhere else you suspect mice activity.

Cloves: Mice probably hate cloves' smell more than peppermint's. Soak a cotton pad in clove essential oil and place them strategically throughout your house to repel mice.

Apple cider vinegar:

  • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it in the areas you suspect mice activity and around the perimeter of your home.
  • Re-apply the deterrent at least once a month.

Use Ultrasonic Sound Repellents

Ultrasonic units are designed to emit high-frequency sound waves that humans and pets cannot hear but are intolerable to rodents. The sound waves create a noise that drives mice crazy. You can buy these low-maintenance devices online or at your local pest control store and use them to frighten mice away.

Use Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is one of the most commonly used household products in the kitchen. You can use it to seal possible rodent entry points in your doorways, foundation, and siding. Ball the foil up and fit it in places you've seen mice entering or leaving your house. Mice are known for chewing anything in their way, from plastic to aluminum. However, they hate the feel and sound of aluminum foil, making it an effective and humane method to repel them.

Catch and Release Mouse Traps

Catch and release mouse traps are also commonly referred to as live-catch traps. They work exactly as their name implies, allowing you to trap and release mice without killing them. You can buy live-catch traps at the local hardware store and set them up where you've noticed mice activity.

Once you've caught the mice, release them a good distance (at least a mile) from your home to ensure they won't return. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use catch and release mouse traps:

Step 1: Place the bait.

As with any regular mouse trap, the first thing to do when preparing your live catch trap is to set the non-poisonous bait. Mice are attracted to peanut butter, popcorn, hazelnut spread, and marshmallows. Open the trap and apply your choice of bait using a Q-tip or toothpick to avoid contaminating it with your scent. Mice associate the human smell with danger and will avoid the trap.

Step 2: Set the trap.

After baiting and securely closing the trap lid, the next step is to find the best spot to place it. Technically, mouse traps should be placed in mouse pathways and activity areas. Place the trap lengthwise along the wall, with its entrance tunnel closest to the wall. Mice are pretty curious creatures and love to explore new things. Additionally, the bait scent will attract them into the trap. Once the mouse is inside, it automatically triggers a mechanism that closes the trap and prevents escape.

Step 3: Release – How to Dispose of Live Mouse

Catch and release mouse traps do not kill mice. Instead, they contain the little creature, allowing you to release it back into the wild. Live catch traps are only humane if you regularly (hourly) monitor them for any catches. Mice can die within a few hours due to dehydration, hyperthermia, and stress-induced disorder. Therefore, you must release them in a timely manner.  

When it's time to dispose of the live mouse, you need to relocate it in a way that ensures its safety while guaranteeing zero chances of the pest returning to your home. Experts recommend relocating the mouse to a remote location. Drop the invader off at least two or three miles away from your home to minimize the chances of a return.

All you need to do is open the trap lid and release the mice. It's crucial that you drop them off in an area where they are likely to find food. Also, it's best to relocate them to an area away from humans, preferably with trees or rocks, so they can quickly build nests.

Bonus tip: You must wear a pair of rubber gloves because live mice might carry pathogens that can be transmitted to you. Ensure to check and comply with local guidelines for releasing trapped animals.

Final Thoughts

Mice are small pests that spread deadly diseases to humans and cause structural damage. But that doesn't mean that you should torture these little creatures in the process of removing them. Getting rid of mice humanely is always challenging. But with the right tools and procedures, it doesn't have to be a daunting task. Follow the guidelines above on how to dispose of a live mouse humanely and carefully to ensure the little creature is safely released into the wild with zero chances of returning.

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