How to Build a Better Mousetrap. (I don’t have the answer.)

Okay, so it’s not all birds and flowers and springtime over here. In the interest of sharing a more honest picture of life out in the sticks, I figured you ought to know about our mouse situation.

The cold weather over the winter prompted some yet-to-be-identified field mouse species to seek refuge in our RV.

First, we started hearing scratching sounds at night, so we thought it was just under the RV. But then one early morning, as I was sitting to write, I looked down and saw the critter getting a sip from the cat’s water bowl. Oh, the irony.


It didn’t bother me too much. Until we started finding droppings on the countertop. And in the drawers. And on the stove. And in the corners. Okay, that’s just gross.


Since we’ve basically plopped our home on top of its home, I believe it’s unjust for us to kill it. So I went to work researching humane mouse traps. I came across this idea, which, in theory, is walking the plank out to get some peanut butter on the end of a knife, which drops into a bucket for release somewhere far away.


I say in theory, because this is what I found the next morning:


You’d think this mouse deterrent would do the job (he’s a little embarrassed to show his face):


But apparently, our cat also has a no-kill policy and the mouse knows it. So I did more research online and ended up buying a humane mouse trap that I loaded with peanut butter on a piece of bread.


This mouse did not fall for it, though. What it did do was harass the mouse to the point of suicide.



On the one hand, I felt relieved to be rid of the mouse without having to kill it. On the other hand, I felt bad that, in spite of my efforts, it ended up dead anyway. At least, I felt bad until the next day.


Silly me. Of course, there’s more than one. Can somebody please recommend a humane way of getting rid of mice that works? Quick. Mauricio is threatening to bring out the poison.

There. And you thought life out here was so pastoral and easy.

8 thoughts on “How to Build a Better Mousetrap. (I don’t have the answer.)

  1. Hi Jacki,

    Don’t use poison while you still have mice indoors! A very experienced exterminator I hired once was very clear on this. Despite whatever the poison-makers say (thirsty dying mice head outdoors, etc., etc.), the mice will actually end up dying inside your space and will rot and stink for weeks, and you won’t be able to find the stinky body, said the exterminator.

    — George


  2. I often find mice stuck in metal trash cans that I use to store livestock feed. Make sure they have a way to get into the can and then they cannot hop out. Take the can outside and free the mouse — the good news is that you now have a trained mouse that can let you know when you filled in the hole that it uses to get into the house. 🙂


  3. I’ve used the bucket trap many times. Works well, best left outside as a defensive measure. Check it every day. The will stink if left unattended! I learned this trick from my grandfather. When he was near death, he sent me to out family cabin to check his trap. He caught close to 30 of them!

    I also like sticky traps. Not very humane, but they work well.


    1. Great advice. When you say bucket trap, do you just mean to put buckets out? Or is there something else you have to do that makes them more effective. We’ve accidentally caught four (!) mice just by having them fall in buckets (or the sink full of water) that have been around. I think I’ll pass on the sticky traps for now, but would love more info on your buckets.


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