Possibilities of a botched mouse trap job?

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How possible is it for an average spring-loaded mouse trap to not quite work as planned... i.e. incapacitate the mouse without killing it? And if it is very possible, how can I humanely deal with the situation when/if it indeed happens? Please try to ease my mind.

-- "chemical burn" (skinnypuppy@rcn.com), August 10, 2001


Oh gee whiz...well, here my hubby used a hammer. T`he mouse was put out of its misery very fast. We twist tie a Froot loop or cheerio to the bait thingy that way they can't make off with the bait (happens ALOT) without tripping the trap. A bit of peanut butter on the lure is icing on the cake and mousie cannot resist!

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), August 10, 2001.

If the traps bother you, you could use one of the rodent baits that make the critters bleed out - no pain involved for the mouse.

-- Paula (chipp89@bellsouth.net), August 10, 2001.

Hey Skinny Puppy, we're on the same page. :) I personally have never had a mouse trap not work properly, but it could happen. Just because we have to get rid of mice & rats doesn't mean we want them to suffer, right? One problem with the poison methods is that if other animals (like a pet) eat the dead mouse, they can be harmed by the residual poison in the body. So be real careful that you avoid poison in places where pets might find the dead rodents. And, while we're on the topic, my experience with glue traps has been awful...lots of stress & trauma for the mousie AND the person who has to deal with it!

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (gratacres@aol.com), August 10, 2001.

Do you have a cat handy? That would certainly be quick. Or drown it. The hammer would also be very quick. My uncle uses traps exclusively and swears by them as being much more humane than poison, and he has always been very practical and down to earth about getting rid of unwanted animals, while at the same time adamant that the animal suffer the least amount as possible.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), August 10, 2001.

We've used the spring/snap traps for years, and on a few occasions the poor mice didn't get killed...caught their butt end or across the back. My mother usually dispatched them right away with a blow from a block of wood. One time when I was about 14 I was home alone, heard the trap snap, and when I checked, poor little mouse was caught across the back. Obviously in pain, obviously not dead, obviously not going to survive. I can't stand to see anything suffer, and I was the only one there to give it the "coup de grace". Grossed me right out.

At the moment I'm using these plastic "tip traps", live traps, and taking any caught mouse for "a little ride". Drop them off about a mile away from our house. Poor mouse has to suddenly fend for itself in unfamiliar woodlands, but hey, I figure it gives them a sportin' chance.

-- Chelsea (rmbehr@istar.ca), August 10, 2001.

We just say, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" Problem solved....

-- Cheryl in KS (cherylmccoy@rocketmail.com), August 10, 2001.

I get ALOT of foothold in mouse traps,, Ill find the trap,,with a mouse still crawling away,, with its foot/leg stuck in it. A quick step with the boot on the head,,listen for the crunch,, all done, just dont step on the trap,, or it may not work again

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 10, 2001.

ewwww... thanks for the suggestions, but I'm still in great anxiety. I'm just scared I will not have the dexterity to put the mouse out of misery. If I end up adding to its misery, it will probably be on my mind for a while.

If the mouse does not trigger these traps, I may get a glue trap and just throw the trap in a bag and dispose of it somewhere. If I was a mouse, I'd prefer that over the possibility of getting my face underneath that spring .

-- "chemical burn" (skinnypuppy@rcn.com), August 10, 2001.

If you get the glue trap just keep in mind there is NOTHING to kill the mouse except whatever means you devise. The poor thing is just stuck there in a complete panic. I don't like mice in my house or barn but I don't think any living creature deserves to suffer. A cat is bad enough at times ( I have lots.) If you check the archives there are mouse and or rat traps listed. There are altenatives.

I'm not so sure that the poisons are painless. Even if you don't have domestic animals that could eat a poisoned mouse, there are lots of wild animals that could ingest one. A while back in the Countryside Magazine (I believe) there was a breakdown on the poisons and which ones would affect the next critter up on the food chain, I think there are poisons out there that are much safer than others.

-- Tracey Burnash (burnash@gisco.net), August 10, 2001.

I'm unsure what you meant about glueboard traps -- they don't kill the mouse, it is stuck to the glue and can't get off, but it is alive until it either dies of stress-induced heart failure, or dies of starvation or dehydration. Better think of some way to end it's misery when it's stuck to that too.

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), August 10, 2001.

oh, I'm sorry. I did not quite realize how horrible Glue traps were. I was hoping, when I have the mouse in the Glue trap, I could take the mouse (in the trap) to an ideal location and release it somehow for it to make a survival elsewhere. But I will have to rethink this contingency if the mouse is not likely to be able to release itself or if it is going to die in the trap before I can make the drop-off. Trust me, I only want to go about this in the most humane manner.

-- "chemical burn" (skinnypuppy@rcn.com), August 10, 2001.

Don't know how quick this would be, but if you are truly squeamish, you could always put the half-killed mouse into the freezer. Death by freezing is basically just falling asleep. A little critter wouldn't take too long, I'd guess. No easy answers to this one.

-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (gratacres@aol.com), August 10, 2001.

if its caught,,and still alive,, by ANY means,, a quick death is best,, sharp blow,, large boot,,ect.. Glue traps dont kill fast,, unles they get there nose stuck also,, death by asphixyation,, not a good or quick way. And they catch other things also,, have seem lots of birds in them,, and you CANT release them from glue traps,, if you think you can,, stick your hand on one, and see.

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), August 10, 2001.

skinnypuppy, I am with you! A mouse around here that can out maneuver my dog is rare but once in a while I'll spot one in the duck house. I for one would like to know more about the "tip trap" mentioned above? Where to get them? As for a painless death, the freezer will do it. It would have to be one that wasn't in my house however. Putting a mouse in my house freezer no matter how well wrapped just wouldn't do! Jeez, we have turned into weenies in this day and age! LOL

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), August 10, 2001.

We have 2 indoor cats and 3 half wild outdoor cats. We also don't have much or a rodent problem. The only mice that get in the house are suicidal to begin with. It's very rare to find any inside at all, but they will get in from time to time. As an added bonus, the outdoor cats seem to keep rabbits and other little critters out of the garden. I'm not much on cats, but they do seem to earn their keep.

-- Tiamat (Blizzardbeast@n2snow.com), August 10, 2001.

I've heard that common corn oil will dissolve the glue on the sticky papers.

I'd rather be a weanie than cruel. That's the one of the biggest reasons I raise our meat. The animals live like they should and are dispatched QUICKLY.

-- Tracey Burnash (burnash@gisco.net), August 10, 2001.

I have seen little plastic box traps for sale at the hardware store, 2 to a package for fairly cheap price, but they aren't much bigger than the actual mouse, so you need to check them frequently to see if you've caught anything and relocate.

I have liked my Tin Cat traps, which do not need bait to work, altho I usually stock inside the trap with a small bottle cap of water and some sunflower seeds to keep the critters alive longer. It can catch at least 6 at a time, and if it is not left out in the sun, you have a much longer window of opportunity to get to them before they die and start to smell.

I take them out to the wildlife preserve to reclaim their rightful place in the natural foodchain...if they feed a fox or a hawk, well. that is part of the function of mice. And the mouse isn't somewhere in my house, dead and stinking.

I have gotten Tin Cats at Farm & Fleet (our local farm store chain) for $8.49 each, and they last forever, if you don't run over them with a truck.

-- julie f. (rumplefrogskin@excite.com), August 11, 2001.

Re: Glue Traps.. We tried the ones that PCO uses and the mouse (mice) kept getting away! They left quite a bit of fur behind though. We began to suspect we had strange mice..either with pattern baldness syndrome or super powers. "Spider Mouse..Spider Mouse..not your average household louse.."

-- Alison in N.S. (aproteau@istar.ca), August 11, 2001.

Chemical burn: (?!!!) We had mouse problems in our suspended ceiling for years. Tried everything, lost alot of traps to poorly hit mice. We have found them scratching at an exit too small for them and the towed trap! Running around pulling a clattering trap on top of the recessed light panels when we had company over was talked about for years.

A couple of years ago, I bought something called Mouse DIE-ner which is a bait trap. The first night after putting one of the 3" diameter bait traps above the ceiling was a circus. It sounded like they were having a town meeting and we found the empty trap all chewed up on the other side of the room later. Bottom line is NO mice since. We replace the bait traps about every 6 months just to be sure. Cost is about $4.30 for 2 traps. Never found any dead mice or smelled any in the process.

-- Frank Hill (fhill@absolute-net.com), August 11, 2001.

don't know if skinnypuppy was happy with all this info, but I was! LOL thanks JUlie for posting the "Tin Cats" info, I for one am going to go look for one the next time I make the drive to town! :)

-- Little Quacker (carouselxing@juno.com), August 11, 2001.

I certainly am happy with all the help. I've been following your comments and appreciate all your advice. Thanks!

-- "chemical burn" (skinnypuppy@rcn.com), August 11, 2001.

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