/ Home & Energy

There’s a mouse in my kitchen! What would you do?

An empty mousetrap outside a mouse hole with tiny footprints leading away

With the recent drop in temperatures, I’ve been warming up my house for the ensuing winter months. But it seems I’ve inadvertently created a nice cosy space for some uninvited guests…

Last week I saw a mouse dart out from behind the fridge and across the kitchen floor, quick as a pinball. My heart sank.

I’ve had to deal with rodents in most houses I’ve lived in, but I thought I’d solved the problem last year. I bought an ultrasonic deterrent that emits high-frequency sound waves heard by rodents, but not humans.

I try to live by the principle of no harm to living things. Finding a device that you simply have to plug in seemed like the solution after years of bloody battles with Micky and friends.

But, alas, it appears that after several months, the mice adjust to the sound. So, it’s back to the old dilemma: how to get rid of them in an effective yet not horrendously cruel way? I’m currently approaching the kitchen with loud stomps to make sure any crumb-seeking mice have fled before I enter. But it’s not a particularly relaxing – or hygienic – way to live.

Of mice and men… an uneasy relationship

When living in a house-share a few years ago, my friends resorted to the dreaded super-sticky mats, after poison failed to get rid of our furry little housemates. I used to walk into the kitchen to find the poor things quivering with sheer terror on the mats. There they would remain until someone with a stronger stomach killed them. Never again will I go down that route.

Many people swear by traditional spring-loaded mouse traps – with peanut butter overtaking cheese as the bait du jour. And it’s true that they’re the quickest – and thus potentially most ethical – device. But my brother’s tale of finding a half-dismembered mouse hopping helplessly around his flat with a trap on its back isn’t really an endorsement for this method either.

Poison seems ineffective. Humane, live-catch traps are something of a pain (mice have a homing instinct, so you have to release them miles away). So what’s the solution?

Is there such a thing as a mouse-free life?

For now, I’m going to buy another ultrasonic repeller, in the hope that it will work at a frequency the mice haven’t yet adjusted to. And I’ll attempt to keep the house scrupulously clean – ‘a single crumb can keep a mouse going for days,’ a pest-control professional once told me (which means the average toaster provides a feast).

But this all-too-familiar dilemma is making me think that, while a new-build apartment isn’t as romantic as the Victorian house I currently live in, perhaps a lack of cracks is the only real solution to a pest-free life? It’s either that or convince my landlord to let me get a cat. But do I really have to go to these extremes to make my house rodent-free?

How do you remove mice or rats from your home?

I kill them with traps or poison (60%, 1,033 Votes)

I don't have any mice or rats in my home (19%, 322 Votes)

I use humane traps and set them free (13%, 221 Votes)

I have a cat (9%, 160 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,738

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Deborah says:
17 July 2013

Use a mouse trap. It is quick and less cruel than leaving it somewhere strange especially in the winter. If you insist on trapping and releasing then the animal needs to be released at least 3 miles away. You can then leave it in a strange cold place to fend as best as it can. I have tried all methods including using my mouser(cat). The instant death trap is the least cruel. Life is about balance. Being overrun with mice is not maintaining a balance. If no one killed mice we would be in dire straits. Poisoning is really horrible but unavoidable sometimes.

Hilary says:
27 February 2014

I am currently suffering from the same problem you are. I feel like I’ve used everything from mouse traps to mouse poison. Nothing seems to be working, the little “guests” always come back! I have a feeling I might need to hire a professional.

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John MacLeod says:
28 February 2014

A professional will use traps, poison, or a combination of traps and poison. Unless you have a horrendous infestation you might as well make an attempt yourself, first.

As far as my own experience goes, there’s little to better the modern ready-loaded bait stations. The mice just go away and die elsewhere, outside. Many of them are even suitable for use outside. Reasonably priced, as well, from any number of different suppliers. Clean and even safe with children and pets around. It’s worth a try.

Hazel says:
24 August 2014

How do we get rid of mice in the kitchen who are too clever to go in the mouse traps we set with chocolate that they love and seem to enjoy the poison we feed them with 3 times a day! Are they super mice? It is getting very frustrating. Why won’t they use a mouse trap?


Hi Hazel
We have used the first one in the set of 4 pictures very successfully for years.

They are available in many pet shops. The ones with the rounded corners don’t seem to work as well.

Put some peanuts in the back with half of one just outside the entrance and in they go. The traps are quite light so put something heavy on the back of them like a small paint tin so the mice can’t move them.

Release the mice in a woody area at least 10 miles from home so they don’t come back. Ours have to cross a river and a town so hopefully they don’t make their way back.


I have discovered a new humane mousetrap that works much better than my previous suggestion.

It is called a Multi-Catch Mouse Trap by Big Cheese.

A search for STV177 finds it although my local pet shop ordered one for me.

Made of aluminium with 2 entrances and a see-through top, it is much better designed. It also catches up to 10 mice at a time. Record is 2 in the loft so far.


Would anyone have any advice and humane ways of keeping cats out of my garden and to stop them ‘messing’ everywhere?

Scotch Bingington says:
25 June 2016

Yes, most advocate that you simply catch them and waste you r time taking them to the local state animal welfare shelter where they simply sterilize them and bring them back to your street to be reabandoned to live out their miserable wretched lives..but with the added benefit that they won’t reproduce.