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How To Catch A Mouse Without Killing It

Although mice infestation in the house can be a nasty business, effective mice eradication can be done without killing them. In this day and age, humane ways of dealing with mice are preferred by many people. The following sections enumerate ways of how to catch a mouse without killing it.

Live-capture or Live Traps

Live traps serve as an attractive option for people who wish to avoid killing mice. There are several kinds of live-capture traps:

Bucket trap

A bucket trap can be easily prepared. The basic materials include a bucket filled half-full with water, a metal rod, an empty tin can, a piece of wood, food bait and a sponge.

One can set the trap by piercing through the middle of the tin can with a metal rod and then affixing the rod on both sides across the bucket. Smear the tin can with peanut butter and prop the bucket up on one or both sides of the bucket where the rod is attached with a wooden slat. The sponge is left floating within the bucket. The idea is, by simple physics when the mouse reaches out for the food, the tin can will spin and the mouse will fall into the bucket. Since mice are good swimmers, they can swim to the sponge and they can then be caught without killing.

Humane Mouse Trap

This type of trap can be bought. It is made of a plastic container with a trapping mechanism. When the mouse tries to get the food bait attached inside the container, a ball and spring mechanism is activated, thereby trapping the mouse within the container.

Spring-loaded trap

A spring-loaded trap is basically a type of cage. When a mouse tries to get the bait inside the cage, the trap mechanism is triggered. This mechanism immediately shuts the door of the cage.

Glue boards

Glue boards are smeared with vicious but non-toxic glue. Mice will stick to the glue on the board and if not checked timely will die as a result of starvation, suffocation or dehydration. Glue boards are often avoided by people who are concerned about animal welfare since it can be hard to remove the mice from the glue board undamaged. Glue boards are often used in the food processing industry.


Although these methods can help catch mice without killing them and the mice can eventually be released, there are several disadvantages to these ways of catching mice. First, the trapped mouse may try to escape and become injured in the process. Second, disposing the trapped mouse can be very challenging. Simply releasing the mice without regard for their welfare is unacceptable for some. Humane killing is preferable in this case. The 1996 Wild Mammals Protection Act provides guidelines which are considered humane methods of mammal extermination.

These methods are enumerated in the following points:

  1. Destruction of the brain using an accurate and strong blow to the head
  2. Lethal overdose with an injectable or gaseous anesthetic
  3. Destruction of the brain by shooting

In the case of catching and killing a mouse only the first humane method is most commonly used. If done correctly, the death should be instant with a strong and accurate blow.

Although it is easy to successfully implement ways of how to catch a mouse without killing it, one should remember however, that not everyone has the appropriate temperament for humane killing of live-caught rodents and it’s best to consult with the appropriate pest control authorities for complete and competent advice.

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