Humane Mouse Traps

Even though mice or rats are a very destructive rodent, some people have a hard time killing them. When you think about it, the mice aren’t in your house with malicious intent. They are there for one reason, and one reason only: they’re programmed to survive. Their primary motivation is to survive, not make your life miserable. Why do they deserve to die just because they found the wrong place to make a home? They are a living creature, that you shouldn’t kill… You might even think they’re kind of cute. If any of these thoughts are running through your head, then humane mouse traps may be what you’re looking for.

How can a trap be considered humane? Isn’t the most humane thing to do is let the mouse to its thing, and you do yours? Sure, if you don’t mind having mice as roommates… also, if you don’t mind dealing with electrical problems should they chew threw wires. If you don’t mind the risk of disease, go ahead and live with them. Share the food in your pantry with a bunch of mice… go ahead, I dare you. Mice aren’t going to leave on their own. You’re going to have to do something to get them to leave. If you’re worried about the little guy suffering, humane mouse traps are the way to go.

When talking about “humane” traps, you can really mean one of two things… Humane might mean that you can kill the mouse, but you don’t want it to suffer. There are international standards for the humane treatment of mice. If a trap is to kill them, they must be killed within a certain time period. This is something you will most often see when looking at electronic mouse traps. If you’re going to kill a mice with an electric shock, you want to make sure that the mouse dies rapidly and doesn’t go through undue suffering via a prolonged electric shock. The standard for killing a mouse is to have it die in 10 seconds or less. If a trap doesn’t guarantee this time to death, it is considered inhumane.

Other people take the meaning of “humane” traps to another level… they believe that humane means you don’t kill the mouse at all, but catch it in a live mouse trap and then release it far away from your home. There are quite a few traps on the market that fit this billet. Though there is a wide selection, they usually have one thing in common. The mouse can enter the trap, but it can’t get out. This can be achieved in a variety ways: one way trap door, falling into a container they can’t jump out of, or even a tilt mechanism. The end result is the same … the mouse survives the initial trapping. One thing you need to strongly consider is whether or not you’re willing to check a live catch trap regularly. If you have good intentions to use a live catch trap, but you don’t check it regularly, you’re actually inflicting more pain and suffering on a mouse than if you just killed it. Think about it… if you leave a mouse locked up in a chamber for days, it will die of dehydration and exposure… a long tortuous death full of suffering. If you can’t check your traps at least a couple times per day, do yourself and your mice friends a favor and deploy humane lethal traps vice humane live catch traps.

I also want to talk shortly about some inhumane techniques for getting rid of mice. Sticky mouse traps, or glue traps, are one of the most inhumane type of traps. While though they are effective, a mouse is not killed by a snapping bar or an electric shock. The mouse dies a long painful death of dehydration and exposure. Some mice are even known to chew off their own limbs in an attempt to free themselves from a glue trap. Remember mice are programmed to survive… if it costs them a limb for their life, they’ll go for it. Sometimes they’ll chew off their limbs and still die. How can that be considered humane?

Let’s consider one thing before you choose to purchase a non-lethal mouse trap. You have to free the mouse somewhere. No, dropping the mouse off in your neighbor’s backyard is not sufficient. For one, your neighbor wouldn’t appreciate it very much. Two, it probably wouldn’t work anyways… They have a very keen sense of smell and can find their way back home. It has been reported that you can drop off a mice a mile or more away, and it will still find its way back to its nest. You know what’s more irritating than having mice in your home? Having to catch the same darn mouse over and over again… This is something to consider. Do you have a place sufficiently far away that you can drive the mouse to and free? If not, you’re probably better off killing the mouse with a humane trap.

That about covers it. Let’s recap with some of the pros and cons. If you have anything to add, please use the comment section to help your fellow homeowners take care of their mice problem.


  • You don’t have to kill the mice to get rid of them
  • These traps are safe to use around children or pets because there are no dangerous components


  • You need to check the traps frequently
  • Mice may come back if not release far enough away

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One Response to “Humane Mouse Traps”

  1. roboknight Says:

    Found out the hard way that a tilt trap (mouse climbs in to get food, but can’t get out) wasn’t that humane. We ended up killing 4/12 mice that way. Made me feel much worse than if I’d club the thing with a cudgel.

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