A mouse sighting in the house two days ago has caused me to in an uptight state. Why? As much as I am thankful for a responsible landlord who wants to stop the problem, the idea of having five sticky mouse traps in the apartment is making me nervous. The last thing I would want to do is to get rid of a dead mouse or maybe a family of them.
So how did this special mouse survived the harsh winter and landed in our apartment on the second floor when our neighbours on the first floor have yet to report any unusual sightings? These rodents are tiny creatures and they are able to squeeze through any visible cracks and holes in walls, floors or even drainage pipes. In our quest for clues to where the mouse may be, we looked through all possible corners of the apartment, especially behind the fridge and cabinets. Apparently, mice love to dwell and breed within walls. Mice are capable of breeding once they reach four weeks old.
Pet mice are cute and I wanted to keep them as pets before. However, having wild mice (also known as ‘house mouse’) in the house is a whole new different story as these wild rodents bring with them diseases like Salmonella (food poisoning) and Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis (LCM).
Prevention is definitely more advisable than control. However, since the infestation has already started, what are the viable ways of getting rid of the mice? What is considered humane and what isn’t?
The use of traps
It is considered as one of the most effective control methods if there are just a few mice in the house. The several advantages which come with it includes not having to use hazardous poison and ensuring that the mice is disposed off appropriately, dead or alive. The way to use a trap is to bait the mice with food. Didn’t we think that mice love cheese? Surprisingly, they react better to peanut butter, chocolate or bacon bits! I found various kinds of mouse traps online and I do have my preferences:
1. Snap Mouse Trap – Once touch, the spring-loaded bar swings down rapidly and breaks the mouse’s neck or spinal cord. My take: Not voting for this as I find it too cruel.
My take: Not voting for this as I find it too cruel.
2. Mouth Mouse Trap – An evolved version of the snap trap. The trap has a set of plastic jaws hence it is supposed to kill the rodent in a softer way.
My take: Does it make a difference if the jaws snap harder or softer? What if the snap doesn’t kill the rodent in one shot? Does it mean that it will die a slow death? Probably not my preferred option as well.
- 3. Sticky Trap – The ones we have at home now. Made using synthetic adhesive applied to cardboard, the bait is placed in the center to attract the rodent. Animal activists have been against this trap as the trapped rodents die a slower death.
My take: I agree with the animal activists but from another point of view, at least there is no blood spillage. Much said, I am still keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the mouse has decided to pack its bag and leave.
4. Electric Mouse Trap – One of the new inventions, these trap send out powerful electric charges through the mouse. This is supposed to be considered more humane as the rodent dies a less painful death as compared to other traps.
My take: Manageable. I do think that electric shocks are less painful and brutal than the snap away trap.
5. Live-Catching Mousetrap – Trap them alive and you may release them thereafter. However, note that they may still die from dehydration and starvation in the wild. Also, leave them at least 2km from your house or risk them finding their way back.
My take: My preferred option as I do not need to dispose off any dead carcasses and these rodents are given a second chance to live. Even if they are going to die in the wilderness, at least it is natural!
I never had to deal with rodents in Singapore. However, we are usually infested with ants, lizards and cockroaches. I can hardly say one is better than the other. As much as a pest free house is ideal, all these are just works of nature.
Signing off with mousy love,