Last week I wrote about the mouse drama at my house. One had gotten in. And I wanted him out.
I jokingly asked PETA not to email me. They went a step further. They sent me a humane mousetrap that allows you to capture mice alive and release them into the wild.
Unfortunately they were a couple days too late. The day after my blog post ran, the furry little critter met his maker in a trap on my kitchen floor. I discovered him just before my daughter was about to wake up, and instead of being able to call some big, burly male friend, its disposal fell on me. I donned gloves, picked the trap (and mouse) up with kitchen tongs and threw it in the trash, whimpering all the while.
It was disgusting. And what if my 5-year-old daughter had seen it? Or worse, what if she put her hand in one of the traps?
So I thought I’d do a little research on the humane mousetrap and have a chat with PETA, after all they were kind enough to send it to me, to help with my “uninvited” guest.
At first, I was a little wary. I mean this is the group that files lawsuits on behalf of orcas, and well, there’s nothing I like better than a juicy, medium rare steak.
But we may have found common ground on the mousetrap.
Basically, the trap is a little house with a special door where you put a cracker and some peanut butter. The mouse wanders in, a door closes behind him and you take him outside and release him. It’s marketed toward moms with this message on the package: “Mommy, must we kill the mouse? … No, Honey. The world is big enough for all of us.”
And really, it is rather kid-friendly. I mean, who wants their kid to see a dead mouse on the floor?
I did have some concerns and questions though. So I talked with Amanda Schinke, a media writer with PETA, who assured me the mouse would not scream in the trap. (For some reason, that was my greatest fear.)
“We caught a mouse with the humane trap in our office last year. He didn’t make any noise at all,” she said.
Fear No. 2: Would it bite me or crawl all over me when I released it into the woods? Apparently the cracker that you place in the door serves as a barrier. The mouse has to chew his way through, so you can put the trap down and move away, until he scampers off to freedom.
“Mice are a lot more afraid of you than you are of them,” Schinke said.
And aside from not having my child encounter a dead or injured rodent, Schinke talked about the other child-friendly aspects of the trap.
“By taking the time to trap the mouse humanely, you will help teach children to have compassion for even the smallest living beings, and that’s a lesson that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.”
See? We can all get along. Even me and PETA.
To buy one, click here. Or you can even make one: Put some dry oatmeal and peanut butter in a small plastic trashcan. Place a stack of books next to it for the mouse to use as a staircase. The mouse will jump in but won’t be able to climb out. Then you can release him outside.