Mice in the House
Ideas for Getting Rid of Mice
Humane Mouse Removal
I have a Plymouth Voyager, and being handicapped, my motorized scooter is kept in there. My husband plugs it into the wall through a slight opening in the window of the Voyager. Unfortunately, a mouse (a very smart mouse, I might add) has moved into our Voyager. We bought a coffin-type catcher from Home Depot that closes behind the mouse as it enters to get the cheese. Well, this mouse got the cheese and got back out of his coffin! We went back to Home Depot and bought a sticky-type thing and put the cheese in the center. When we checked the next day, the cheese was gone and you could see the tiny footprints, but alas he got away.
We kept ketchup packets in the glove compartment and found them opened and licked clean! I don't want to kill the mouse. I just want it out! Does anyone have any ideas? I think it hides behind the glove compartment. It's at the point where I'm afraid to go into the car. On "warmer" days, we've left the car door open for 1/2 hour with no luck.
If using the "coffin" type traps, use peanut butter as bait and smear it on well where the bait goes. Not only do mice find it absolutely irresistible, unlike cheese, but also they can't just pick it up and run away with it. They have to get right into the trap to lick it up. I use a humane trap that tilts with the weight of the mouse and used bread as bait and had mice escaping until I tried peanut butter. Now, the mice get right into the trap and get caught like they should.
I used scented fabric softener sheets, in our basement, which has done the trick.
Mice don't like mothballs. I know people who store their RV for the winter with mothballs in it to keep the mice out. This is not so nice for you.
I once had two mice in my condo. I borrowed a friend's cat for a night and found two dead but seemingly intact mice in the morning. No more problems. This would not meet your goal of not harming the mouse, but if the mouse chews wires in your van, you could be in danger.
Erin of Ontario, Canada
I live in an apartment and have found that there are two ways that are really helpful and fragrant as well. The first is to use natural mint oil (not mint extract). I get peppermint oil from the health food store and sprinkle it around my apartment (try not to put down too much because the aroma can be overwhelming). Or try Downy fabric softener sheets. For some reason, Herman (yes, we named our furry friend) was not to fond of these smells, but we enjoyed them.
I would call the urban animal control center in your city. I had a similar problem with a resident squirrel in my engine. I used Pine Sol soaked rags, which the squirrel found most repugnant. It worked very well and the squirrel did not come back. I was given this advice through the city. They also have assorted traps they loan out.
Get a five-gallon bucket (often free at McDonalds if you ask). I got one at Home Depot recently for $1.25. Put some smelly cheese or peanut butter in the bucket.
Take a piece of cardboard or an old checkerboard to cover the top, and cut a hole in the center. About a 3-inch hole, any shape, should be fine. Either tape or weigh the top down.
Put this in the car with some means for the mouse to get to the top, but be sure it isn't going to tip over. Behind the seat would be a good choice. I've used it in the house with an old blanket for a ramp up. If the bait is smelly, they will go for it.
The mouse will jump and almost reach the top, but the cardboard will keep the mouse from getting out. You can then decide what to do with the mouse. I've released several, and none have come back.
Mice hate cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the pepper generously throughout the car, within the engine compartment, in the glove compartment, under the seats, etc. After verifying that the mouse has left, just vacuum the pepper out and replace it with air freshener.
If you keep leaving cheese out for him, you will kill him. Contrary to the old wives' tale, cheese is not a "natural" food for mice, and is actually toxic to them. This would solve your problem of course, but if you claim that you don't want to kill him, different bait would be safer. The best thing I could suggest for getting him out of the car would be to remove any and all edible things, such as ketchup packets, crumbs, wrappers, etc. Clean the car out so that there is nothing to eat, and he will have no reason to stay.
Place several bars of open Irish Spring soap throughout the van. Mice and rats cannot stand the smell. A friend has more than 20 cars on his property in various stages of restoration, and this is the method that he uses. Hanging them in empty orange bags might keep the bars from sliding all over the car, as well.
Maureen in MN
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