How to catch a mouse

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Yes, that’s a mouse chilling behind the cat’s food bowl. And, also yes, the cat is just munching away and paying it no attention at all.

Perhaps you have a cat that causes mice problems too.  Or perhaps you don’t have nearly such a good excuse for your vermin infestation.  Either way, you’re likely to find this helpful.

Yes, I know, cats are supposed to help with mice problems.  But mine cause them.

I have a cat door so the cats can come and go as they please and while I am generally satisfied with it, the cats do bring an awful lot of things inside and then let them loose.  Mostly lots of mice and lizards, but also giant green worms, big moths, two bats and once a baby jack rabbit.

There tends to be different seasons for different creatures and apparently mouse season has officially begun.  I found the first mouse of the winter a few days ago.  I was alerted to it’s presence by my cat’s intent interest in a particular piece of furniture.

Normally catching mice is quite the event for me.  My previous approach has been to use a container and try to get it on top of the mouse and then slide a thick piece of paper under it to trap the mouse.  Sometimes, it even works.  Generally only after moving every piece of furniture in the room at least once to chase the mouse out from under it.

Unlike the cats, my instincts are exactly backwards for catching a mouse.  I see the thing go darting off at high speeds and immediately jump backwards.  Not at all helpful.

But this time around, I finally got smarter than the mouse.  (OK, I can’t take all the credit, somebody kind of suggested this to me, but I’m still somehow proud that I actually tried it… and it worked!)

Normally, when I move whatever piece of furniture the mouse is under, the mouse goes darting off to find a new hiding spot.  So I made a nice, cozy looking mouse hiding spot for it to dart into.  One that I could then pick up and take outside.

My high-tech mouse catching box.   (OK, I find it a little ironic that it's a cat food box.)
My high-tech mouse catching box. (OK, I find it a little ironic that it’s a cat food box.)

Then I set it next to the little table the mouse was under.

Preparation complete!

I tried to coax the mouse into the box by sticking a ruler under the table.  That didn’t work, so eventually I lifted up the table.  And… the mouse went darting across the room to hide under a similar piece of furniture.  I moved my mouse catching box over there and picked up that little piece of furniture.  And this time… SUCCESS!!!!

how-to-catch-a-mouse-1The mouse scampered on into the little box.  I used another piece of cardboard to cover the entrance and carry the mouse outside.  It still took two tries, but it was so much easier than normal.  I think I’ll be keeping that little box around.  In fact, I think I’ll make a couple more similar little mouse boxes and use more than one next time to increase my chances of a quick capture.

Once outside, I snapped a quick picture of the mouse and sent him off with well-wishes, “Better luck next time dude.”


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