Mouse Caught in Trap Not Dead? Here’s What to Do!

Not all mouse traps are designed to kill. Some capture mice alive while others (like electric traps and snap traps) are designed to kill instantly. When a mouse is alive (instead of dead) and trapped, he or she must first be released into a controlled environment.

This is where you decide whether to kill it humanely or release him or her into the wild. There are different ways to handle this situation for different traps. This guide has all the details.

mouse caught in trap not dead

Mouse Caught in Trap Not Dead?

What to do when you find a trapped mouse that is still alive depends on the type of trap used. Read on to know what to do for each of the most widely used types of rat traps.

1. Mouse Caught in Snap Trap Not Dead: What to Do

  • Get supplies such as protective gloves, a sealable ventilated container, and disinfectant in place.
  • Wear your gloves and release the mouse from the snap bar holding it down. Place him or her in a container with vents (the controlled environment). The container may require nesting material for improved comfort.
  • Observe the mouse’s reaction to determine if he will survive (if released) or die. Drop some fresh bread crumbles or peanut butter at a distance within the container and check back later.
  • While it is unlikely for the mouse to be fully agile, if the peanut butter is consumed, that is a positive sign. Such a mouse just needs a bit of rest before being released into the wild. If it fails to eat the bait, you must consider killing the rodent properly.
  • If the mouse fails to eat the food, it is probably due to a hip or shoulder fracture. Such mice should be killed humanely.
  • Dispose of the mouse (if killed) properly and wash the snap trap with disinfectants. Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands with soap.

2. Mouse Caught in Glue Trap Not Dead: What to Do

  • Get a pair of protective gloves, a disposable dishtowel, vegetable oil, a sealed container with vents, a damp cloth, and some tissues.
  • Put on your gloves and place the towel over the mouse’s head. Massage the stuck part gently with vegetable oil to weaken the glue’s strength. Please avoid using too much oil to keep the waterproofing of the trap intact.
  • Carefully place a few tissues in front of the mouse for safe passage out of the trap. After release, some parts of the mouse might be covered in oil. Clean them gently with a damp cloth.
  • Place the cleaned mouse in a ventilated container and allow them to rest for a few hours. The container should include nesting material and must be stored in a dry and warm location.
  • Check back after a few hours to know the state of the mouse. If the mouse is agile you can release it to the wild or a pest control agency. However, if the response is not so positive, you have to decide on the most humane way to kill the rodent.

3. Mouse Caught in Bucket Trap Not Dead: What to Do

Bucket traps are designed to operate a kill or no-kill system. They can capture mice alive or kill them (if that is your preference). To kill a mouse via bucket traps, the bucket must be filled with water. 

In a scenario where a captured mouse is struggling to survive the pool of water, these are the steps to take:

  • Get a pair of gloves, a sieve, and sealed (but ventilated) container, and a dry (soft) cloth. 

Note: Locate a safe space (preferably outside your home) to carry out this operation.

  • Deep the sieve in the bucket to get the mouse out. Although the mouse should be tired at this point, it does not mean you should be sluggish in transferring it into the container.
  • Let him or her rest in the container for a few hours and check back with small-sized peanut butter. The mouse should have no problem eating it. 
  • Once confirmed safe for release, look for a spot close to where it was found and release the mouse.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands and properly dispose of all materials used. 

Ways To Humanely Kill A Mouse Stuck In A Trap

If death is the only option, you should consider any of these methods:

1. Asphyxiation By CO2

This is the most humane way to kill a mouse stuck in a trap. The procedure requires 2 chambers (the euthanasia chamber and the CO2 chamber) connected by a hose. 

Mice cannot breathe in the presence of CO2, hence, they are placed in the CO2 chamber to die a quick, painless death. Please note that this procedure is best carried out by a vet. 

2. Brute Force (Trauma) To The Head

After release, you can also kill the mouse by sending a powerful blow through his or her skull. You will be needing a very solid tool like a hammer to do this. 

Only brave homeowners are advised to do this and dispose of the mouse properly. You should also maintain all safety measures before and after the procedure.