How To Catch Mice Without Killing Them

Spotting a mouse roaming around your house might cause you to jump out of your bed; however, it does not mean that you want that tiny little creature dead.

If you have ever witnessed the results of using glue traps, poison baits, and other kill-traps to get rid of mice, then most probably, you wouldn’t like to use them ever again in your home. Thankfully, there are ways on how to catch mice without killing them.

Mice poisons and traps are always available on the market, but if you want to be humane in catching mice, your options are pretty limited.

Sometimes, you just need to be creative when setting up humane traps; hence, here are some ways to catch mice without inflicting pain or killing them.

Live-Catch And Release Traps

There are many humane mouse traps available in the market today for people who want to catch mice without causing harm or pain.

You may check my recommendations of the best humane mouse traps.

If you are financially challenged right now and cannot afford to buy these humane traps, there are some alternatives that you can do in replace of these built-in traps.

You just need your imagination and creativity to create humane mouse traps. Believe me, all the materials required to make these traps can be found in your kitchen.

If you want to learn how to catch mice alive, here are smart ways to make a simple no-kill trap for mice.

Bucket and Spoons

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Large bucket
  • Spoon
  • Peanut butter

If you find evidence that mice love to roam on your countertops, then this trap is an excellent alternative solution for other traps, which are more deadly.

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To set this trap, place a large bucket against the counters.

Then, place a dab of peanut butter on the handle end of the spoon and balance the spoon off the edge of the counter, so the end of the spoon with peanut butter is hanging out directly over the bucket.

So, when the mouse crawls out to get the peanut butter, it will fall into the bucket and the spoon, where it will stay until you get up in the morning.

Bucket And Soda Bottle

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Plastic soda bottle
  • Metal skewer
  • Bucket
  • A piece of wood
  • Peanut butter

To set this trap, you need to run the skewer through the soda bottle and then rest it on top of the bucket, so that the neck part of the bottle is near one side of the bucket.

Put a dab of peanut butter near the base of the soda bottle.

Cut the piece of wood into half to serve as a walkway for the mouse.

As the mouse climbs out on to the soda bottle to munch on peanut butter, the bottle will then rotate under the mouse’s weight and eventually fall into the bucket like in this video.

Coin And Glass Trap

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Glass
  • Nickel
  • Peanut butter

To get this trap started, apply some peanut butter on the inside of the glass, and then place it upside-down on the ground with the nickel supporting at one end of the glass.

When the mouse enters the glass to get the peanut butter, the nickel will fall, and the glass will drop, trapping the mouse inside the glass. 

Scents That Repel Mice

There are certain scents that mice really hate.

Mice have a sharp sense of smell; therefore, implementing these certain odors at key points in your house will not certainly trap; instead, it will deter their presence, which is more humane than fumigating them.

Here are some scents that mice really hate:


Although people love the smell of peppermint, mice hate it. Mice have very sensitive noses, which makes the scent of peppermint too strong for them.

Buy some peppermint oil rodent spray on Amazon, and then soak some cotton balls. Then, place the peppermint-swabbed cotton balls strategically throughout the apartment, where you have seen mice or droppings.

It is an easy way to repel mice without inflicting harm or trapping them.

This method works best for indoors since it can help retain the strong smell of peppermint rather than applying outdoors where there is a possibility of rain that can wear off the scent.


Just like with the smell of peppermint, mice don’t like the smell of cloves. Like what you would do with the peppermint oil, just place the cloves on areas where you often find mice or mice droppings.

The smell of cloves is unbearable to mice that will repel them from entering your house.

It is a cheaper and eco-friendly option of getting rid of mice without killing them while making your home smell good at the same time.

Cayenne pepper

The strong scent of cayenne pepper helps not only to deter mice but also repels other pests such as ants, bugs, and roaches.

Just sprinkle the right amount of cayenne pepper in areas where you can find mice or droppings.

In case of contact with children and pets, you can wrap the cayenne pepper in old pieces of cloth and then place them in different home areas.

Aluminum Foil Lining

It may sound unbelievable, but aluminum foil helps in deterring mice. There’s something about aluminum foil that makes unnatural to them, and it is beneficial.

Almost everyone has aluminum foil in their kitchen drawers, so what you need to do is take aluminum foil and ball it up.

From there, place the balled aluminum foil where you have seen mice entering and exiting your house. Mice hate the sound and feel of aluminum foil, so it is an expensive and straightforward method to repel mice humanely from attempting to enter your home.

Tips When You Release A Mouse From The Trap

Since you are looking for humane ways to catch mice, you are also responsible when releasing them in the wild. Listed below are some precautionary steps when you are about to remove them.

Release the mice several miles away from your house. In this way, there will be no risk of the mice to find their way back to your home, since they can find their way home even if it’s 1.2 miles away.

As a courtesy to your neighbors, do not release them near another home or aa nearby residential center. You can release them in the right environment with enough access to food and water.

How To Prevent Mice From Returning

To ensure that mice will no longer come back after you release them, here are some helpful tips that you may try:

Block holes/dents/cracks in your house

Even after you successfully trapped the mouse and removed it from your house, you want to make sure that other mice cannot get into your home. To make this possible, make sure you have secured the following:

  • Look for any cracks in the foundation of your house and have it repaired by professionals
  • Block hard to reach holes using a ball of steel wool. Use caulk to secure the steel wool in place.

Keep mice away with dryer sheets.

Mice hate the smell of dryer sheets; therefore, they will avoid areas where dryer sheets have been placed.

Dryer sheets are best used indoors, but if you want them to use outdoors, place small stones to weigh down the corners since these dryer sheets are lightweight and can be blown away easily.

If you have wondered how to catch mice, you have different methods (listed above) on how to trap them without killing them.

These methods will help you make your house mouse-free without harming any animals in the process.

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