We recently had a tiny, and utterly adorable, little mouse in our 2nd story apartment. We eventually managed to corner it and get it into a box before releasing it back into the field, but it was hard and stressful (the mouse actually ran over a sleeping dog in one of our attempts!)

How do you get the mouse out of the house under the following conditions:

  • the mouse must not be harmed, hurt, or die
  • no mouse traps or special equipment, just general household stuff
  • cannot chase the mouse out the door
  • cannot use cheese to lure it
  • 1
    You can buy a cat...
    – Thomas Vos
    Jun 18, 2015 at 12:44
  • 3
    I do have a cat... but that would probably mean harm or killing. Thankfully she was more interested in teasing the dogs :'D
    – walbuc
    Jun 19, 2015 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


There is a simple trap you can make with:

  • empty paper towel / toilet paper roll
  • trash can
  • peanut butter


  1. Put a small dab of peanut butter on the inside of the roll on one end.
  2. Place the roll so that the end with the peanut butter is hanging over a counter (balanced over the edge)
  3. Place the trash can underneath the open edge of the roll.
  4. You may need to glue a small weight on the end of the roll depending on how short or long it is to act as a counter balance.

The idea is that the mouse will smell the peanut butter and try to reach it through the roll. It has enough balance to stay by itself, but once the mouse reaches over the edge, it and the roll will fall into the trash can.

Leave this out overnight to allow ample time for said mouse to find the trap, and collect in the morning.

Here is an example. Click on pictures for close-up view.

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  • 5
    As a mouse rescuer, this is the best method I've ever seen! I have a few additional suggestions. Mice can die of shock or stress, so it's important to keep them comfy in the bucket. Line the bottom with paper towels or a dish towel, to cushion the fall and keep them from slipping around. Also add some crumpled up paper towels, or a small washcloth. They'll burrow under and feel safe. If they're young, or will be confined for many hours, place a small amount of water in a jar cover or bottle cap in the corner of the bucket. Finding them dead after caring so much is heartbreaking! Jun 23, 2015 at 20:32
  • This is a much more humane version of similar setups I've seen. +1!
    – Sidney
    May 19, 2017 at 19:37

Not a hack but cheap and very effective (no endorsement of the specific brand or sales pitch, this is just for illustration) http://www.victorpest.com/store/mouse-control/bm007-4 . This type is small enough to fit into spots the larger life traps do no and works really well.

Just put them out at a popular mouse spot with some peanut butter in it and the next morning you have a guest ready for re-location.

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