Do Humane Mouse Traps Work? Must-Have Features for Humane Traps.

There’s more to humane mouse traps than just the “trapping” part. And if you don’t treat the entire relocation process with care, then why bother humanely trapping the poor little guy in the first place?

Do Humane Mouse Traps Work? Yes, a truly humane mouse trap, when used by a responsible, humane, human being does work for relocating an unwelcome mouse. Anything less and a mouse might meet a death worse than the traditional snapped neck.

This article will guide you through the entire process of set-up, trapping, monitoring, transporting, and finally, releasing. We’ll also explore the best “humane” traps on the market and why some of these traps are nothing more than slow, inhumane, death traps.

This will ensure your entire process of catching and releasing a mouse in your house, can truly be considered “humane.”

Let’s dive in…

What to Look For in a Humane Mouse Trap

There are several models of so-called “humane” mouse traps on the market that cater to shall we say “differences of opinion” on what exactly is meant by HUMANE.

For the purpose of this mouse trap article, our definition of humane is: having compassion for the mouse not only by method of capture, but through their entire time in captivity, and having an end goal of successful relocation.

For a sneak peak at the types of humane mouse traps we use, we recommend 2 different styles. Both can be found on amazon and we’ll include our affiliate link to the styles we recommend.

1 – This House Style (link to product)

2 – This Tunnel Style (link to product)

Before getting into why we prefer the above styles of a humane mouse trap, let’s have a look at what could be considered ‘the opposite’ of humane treatment.

The 2 Most Inhumane Features of a So-Called Humane Mouse Trap.

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Horrible Features

  • Traps Multiple Mice
  • Little or No Venting

Multiple Mouse Capture – there is nothing humane about multiple mice in a tiny box scared for their lives. The end result is bloody fights or death from stress or suffocation due to lack of oxygen.

Little or No Venting – as soon as the mouse becomes trapped in a humane style trap, he becomes stressed. This stress will cause him to breathe more rapidly. Without proper venting, he will either die from lack of oxygen or he will die of hypothermia due to condensation. Essentially, his breathe will steam up the trap, causing droplets to fall. The droplets saturate the mouse, lowering his body temperature and causing hypothermia.

Best FEATURES of Humane Mouse Trap

Adequate Ventilation – The most humane mouse trap will have plenty of ventilation. Holes should be on the sides AND top, not just one or the other.

1 Mouse Per Trap – to be truly humane, the trap must catch one mouse at a time. Once a mouse is caught, other mice are prevented from entering. If you think you have multiple mice in the home, and you’re really trying to be humane, then buy multiple, single capture traps.

Transparent (see through) Construction – Other things to consider is transparency of the trap. If you can find mouse traps that have a darker color but also transparent, that is ideal. These clear, dark colors perform double duty.

  1. they allow you to see whether or not you’ve trapped a mouse.
  2. the mouse can identify its surroundings, which reduces panic.

Easy Release – Finally, the trap should have an easy way to release the mouse. This is critical because if you’re the slightest bit afraid of opening the trap, you may drop it or even throw it. This type of accident would likely injure the mouse just prior to release.

Good places to set a humane mousetrap

The trap should placed at room temperature.

  • In a kitchen cupboard
  • along the toe-kick of kitchen cabinets
  • along an interior wall
  • center of the room
  • under a bed
  • inside a bedroom closet

Whatever you choose, set yourself a timer or reminder. Use your smart phone or watch and add reminders to check the traps.

Bad places to set a humane mouse trap

  • near an appliance that throws heat
  • near a noisy appliance
  • in a hot attic
  • near a heating/cooling/return air duct
  • on a window sill in the winter

Humanely Releasing a Mouse: Increasing Chances of Survival

It is highly unlikely that a mouse will survive if you relocate him miles away. So if you’re really interested in a successful relocation, think about a football field away, maybe two.

An ideal spot in a rural setting is somewhere with high grasses, marshy, or thickly treed settings.

In urban settings, a vacant lot, abandoned property, old industrial plots, etc., can help to achieve successful relocation.

Obviously you cannot control the outcome. Is there a barn cat nearby? Is there a snake living in that wood pile? Is that vacant building loaded with poison?

What you can control is the effort you put into thinking about relocation. So, before you set the trap, have your relocation place already picked out. This way, you gave it thought and the mouse doesn’t have to wait in captivity while you think.


Now that you know the best features to look for, buying a humane mouse trap is easy. But whether or not you can actually, humanely remove an unwanted mouse is entirely in your hands.

The trap itself is only “humane” for so long. You, the human, must be committed to the entire process, from the initial point of capture, throughout its entire captivity, to finally, relocation.

Even with the purchase of a recommended humane mousetrap, without a humane person behind the process, the mouse will die a slow, wretched death caused by hypothermia or starvation.

So please: fully commit to a humane process beginning to end….you’ve got this!

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