You see the signs before you see the culprit usually. Tiny droppings on the kitchen floor or counter. Or perhaps a bag of sugar with a hole in it. Then perhaps you think you see something, out of the corner of your eye as you are watching television. Something small, dark and fast darts along the floor, following the edge of the baseboard.

You know you have a problem. You have mice.

Mice Infestation

Chances are, if you catch one mouse in a trap, you are going to catch more. That's because it seems that mice are seldom solitary creatures. Usually, one means more. Mouse traps, like snap trapsor the glue traps work pretty well, but they will usually only catch one mouse at a time. In fact that is all you can catch with a snap trap before you have to reset it. The sticky traps will sometimes catch two but my experience has been that catching two is rare.

So, if you mouse problem is serious, that is, if you suspect you have quite a few, you might want to try
 the old metal bucket trick....that is, you get a metal garbage can, round, about 3 feet tall is good. 2.5 feet is the minimum. The can has to have metal sides that are slippery, which of course metal cans usually are.

Put some bait in the bottom of the can, I like raw bacon, but peanut butter will work, as will most food including things like crackers. Now comes the tricky part, the set up. The object of this mouse trap is to get the little rodent inside the can where he will be unable to climb back out.

So, put the can along the edge of counter or table where the mice are travelling. You can tell this by either spreading some flour or talcum powder along the edges of walls and on tables etc, and look for tracks, or, just take a flashlight and look for tiny black droppings.

There are all kinds of ingenious ways to get the mouse into the can. I have found a piece of wood set up like a ramp from the floor to the can rim works pretty good. Mice follow the wood to the top and smelling the bacon, jump in...they just cannot jump out. A person commented on one of my blog posts about using a metal coathanger which he put over the top of the can. The mice climb out on the metal hanger, and then fall off. Whatever works....might be fun to do it with the hanger.....

This method can take some trial and error with set up. You might need to experiment with locations and methods for getting the mouse to the edge of the can, before he jumps or falls in, but once he's in, you got him. Some people put something over the top of the can on one side to cut down on the ways out, but I found no cover works best. The best part about this mouse trap is that you don't have to reset it each time you catch a mouse. You can leave it and round up quite a few at one time. Particularly useful in camps or cottages where a week may go by before you get back.

I once used this method to clean up a severe mouse infestation in a camp I owned. I ultimately caught several dozen mice in about a week or two. All of them were dead except one, who got his freedom when I emptied the can outside and buried the corpses. We held a very simple ceremony....didn't even have a choir....