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The disposal of live mice is among the inconvenient aspects of humane traps especially if you’re slightly squeamish about the sight of mice, more so about handling them. But it’s a must-do task since leaving live mice for too long in the no-kill traps will result in their stress or starvation, thus, making the humane capture-and-release method useless – the mice will eventually die, perhaps die a painful death. While mice are considered as domestic pests, we don’t want them suffering from a painful death, just as we don’t want any living creature to do so.
With that said, here are the must-do steps when it comes to live mice disposal – and we mean doing it safely, effectively and quickly from start to finish.
#1 Gather the Right Tools
Preparation is key to the successful release of live mice into the wild or any outdoor area where they cannot come back to your home. The first step is gathering the right tools before handling the live mice, an important task considering that you shouldn’t be running back and forth to get the missing tools.
The tools include:
- Thick, strong gloves
- Cover for the trap, in case it’s an open type trap (i.e., if it’s made of metal grills or if you’re squeamish about seeing mice scurrying inside the trap)
- Bait for encouraging the mice to come out of the trap and into the outdoor area
- Bag for placing the trap inside
- Torch or flashlight
Most, if not all, of these things are available at home so there should be no issue on this point.
#2 Know When and Where to Dispose Live Mice
While it makes sense to dispose live mice at your convenient time, it isn’t recommended. Instead, you will find that releasing live mice after sunset works best because mice are nocturnal animals. They will then be most active at night and, thus, have higher chances of survival in the wildness.
But if you cannot wait for sunset for any reason, you should ensure that the area where the mice will be released offer protection. Look for a wooded area where the mice can find shelter and food away from your home.
Now that the when is settled, let’s consider the where of live mice disposal. You should ideally research the area where the live mice will be released since you don’t want them coming back to your home or giving them little to no chance of survival in the wild.
There’s good news, however, as mice can live nearly everywhere in the planet with the exception of Antarctica so the task of choosing the area for their release is easier.
The first thing to consider is the availability of food and shelter for the mice in whatever area you’re thinking of releasing them. The best is a wooded area where fruits, nuts and seeds are available as well as shelter for the mice can be found (e.g., bushes).
The second thing is to ensure that it’s at least two miles away from your home. You should also think about releasing the live mice away from residential areas; otherwise, your capture-and-release goal won’t be achieved.
After all, if you have gone through all the trouble of catching a live mouse in hopes of setting it free, and then another person captures that mouse in a snap or glue trap, then what have you really accomplished except waste a lot of your own time?
The best suggestion is to make sure wherever you release the mouse is far enough from residential areas so that it doesn’t become someone else’s problem or concern.
#3 Begin the Process
In a way, the release of live mice is easy when you know the steps but it can become complicated when the mice fights back. Just follow these steps and you will be safe while also ensuring that the mice will survive in the wild.
- Put your gloves on. You shouldn’t handle live mice – or any rodent, alive or dead, for that matter – with your bare hands because they carry bacteria and other pathogens that can be deadly to humans. Besides, who wants to handle live mice with their bare hands?
- Cover the mouse trap, which will also aid in keeping the mice calm during their transportation. Of course, there’s no fool-proof way of ensuring that mice will be stress-free during the transit but it helps. Another way to do it is to put the mouse trap inside a carton box so that it provides a dark environment for them during transportation.
- Place the mouse trap with its cover inside the bag or carton box. Be sure that the bag or carton box has plenty of holes in it so there’s sufficient air circulation for the mice; you may use scissors to make holes in the bag. The bag is also essential in transporting the empty mouse trap back to your home for reusing – it decreases the risk of contamination from the mouse trap to your car.
- Drive to the place where the live mice will be released. (You can put off your gloves before driving but be sure to put them back on when releasing the mice.)
- Set the bait down on the ground so as to attract the mice to come outside of the trap and into the wild; a small dab of peanut butter will do the trick. Set the trap on the ground, open it and walk away since the mice will be more likely to leave the trap when you aren’t in sight.
When the mice are out of the trap, you should take home the trap and clean it. Be sure to wear gloves, too, and to use disinfectant when cleaning the trap for reuse.