Mouse in the Trash Can

Finding this in our driveway last week jogged my memory of having a smidge of a mouse problem when we lived in Utah many years ago.

rat in dustpan


Our house was down the block from a huge vacant lot meadow. As you can imagine the critters living in nature sometimes got cold or wanted something tasty to eat so they snuck their way into human houses (it was our neighbors too, not just us) and struck gold in their garbage cans and trash compactors.

Every day when I’d open my trash compactor (a drawer full of old food! A mousey dream come true!) a mouse or two would scurry out, back into the netherworld behind my cabinets. Rodents do not bother me at all but this was getting disgusting. Who knows if those mice were breeding back there or something.

Mister bought several different types of mouse traps which the insanely clever mice managed to evade. Even the ones sitting right in the middle of the trash compactor. Our cat Sophie was idiotic about catching them as well (She was pretty much idiotic about everything, though). I’m sure if we’d had a video camera going it would have looked like an episode of Tom and Jerry. We had no choice but to try some of the more “humane” traps. I was completely happy killing the mice but that didn’t seem to be working so what the heck.

We purchased one trap that looked like a small plastic tray. Apparently the idea is that the top of the tray is incredibly sticky and the mouse’s paws get stuck to it and that’s that. So humane, right? No snapping of the neck or violent killing involved. Mister placed the trap in the trash compactor and left for work.

Within a couple of hours I went to throw something away and there was a mouse stuck to the trap. Hooray! Success! Only . . . now what? Do I let the mouse sit there until it starves to death? That hardly seems humane. What if the mouse panics and chews its hands and feet off trying to get away? I could picture a bloody scene with four little mouse paws stuck to the trap. A horrid scenario, but not out of the question. Should I toss the mouse and accompanying trap in the garbage can outside to roast slowly in the hot Utah sun? That seemed unkind, not to mention smelly.

What to do with a squirmy, trapped mouse? I came up with a quick and non-offensive way to put the poor little mouse out of it’s misery: I tied the trap with the mouse attached in a plastic Target bag, then rebagged it into another Target bag. I then placed the bag on my driveway directly behind one of my car tires.

You know what came next.

Although running over the mouse felt incredibly awful, it seemed to be the kindest option. It died quickly (I’m guessing. I didn’t check.) and I didn’t feel anything as I ran it over.

So be warned if you start getting mice in your house this winter. Not all traps are created equal. You may be forced to commit mouse-cide yourself.

11 thoughts on “Mouse in the Trash Can

  1. I love your method of disposal for that sad mouse stuck to your trap! Ha ha.

    The only time we’ve had a mouse problem was when we lived in the trailers at BYU. Once I saw a mouse scurry across the kitchen floor and I freaked. Like, standing on the couch screaming for my husband to catch it. It was ridiculous. Having that mouse there made me feel like my whole house was contaminated or something. Fortunately, we soon moved away and since then I’ve not had a problem. I do believe we have mice around here, but our cat is a major hunter and earns her keep by making sure we don’t see any mice in our house or garage.

    BTW, that mouse in the dust pan looks enormous!

  2. How is it I have never heard that story? That is disgusting. You need to note that “Animals were harmed in the making of this blog post”.

  3. Ohhhh how I hate mice!! I’m so glad we are not the only Utah residents with an occasional mouse problem. (I know we’re not – our neighbors have the same issues, stupid fields…!) And I am no where near as brave as you. My husband had to kill many, many mice when we lived in a canyon. I could not handle it at. all.

  4. sick!
    I’ve got a past with mouse problems in it… I never felt the need to be humane. (should I be admitting that here?) But some of my worst experiences in life involve animal homicide with my vehicle. (chipmunks, frogs, birds, a snapping turtle…) I would never be able to run over even a pesky mouse on purpose.

  5. Its posts like this that make me keep coming back to your blog! You truly know how to capture those special moments in life. 🙂

  6. How tragic!! I go with the good old fashioned broken neck traps. At least I dont’ have to go through the emotional dilemma of what to do with them once they’re caught.

  7. My most horrible mouse story occurred when I lived near a field in Orem. One day I stuck my foot into my shoe, AND THERE WAS A MOUSE IN THERE! I screamed bloody murder as I leaped and danced around, as did the mouse, beating a quick retreat. I shuddered for half an hour afterwards! GAGCHOKEHORRORS! That was a little TOO up close and personal!!!

  8. I stop by every now and then and catch up on your life. Even though you are a perfect stranger, I feel we are somehow connected through our similar associations and opinions. So I feel I can say this to you, as a friend: You need some pretty. I mean, not you personally, you’re gorgeous. But your blog. I scrolled quickly down to see what I’ve missed and found pictures of a dead mouse, a dirty couch, lice, and a hair clog. Eww. Bring the pretty, Jenny! I love your realness, but I also know part of your realness is homemade baking masterpieces and party planning, decorations, and darling kids. Come on, I know you’ve got it, just upload the pictures and teach us how to do something pretty sometime…because I can get pictures of gross stuff at my own house.

  9. Literally I just woke up to something playing around on the side of my bed. I didn’t know what it was and my mom and grandfather had jokingly told me it was a mouse after I told them about the sounds before this morning. The only difference is they told me it was probably in my walls which was why if I tapped the wall a few times it would go away. Oh how they were wrong, this morning I took my flashlight, a very scared 14 year old, and shined it down toward my garbage can because the mouse (that I prayed wasn’t there) sounded like it was right on top on the garbage. When I shine down, literally me and this small brown and white mouse make eye contact and they the mouse dives right back in the trash can. I try to turn around and face my wall because I didn’t have to be up for another hour or so and this mouse continues to play in the garage can. It is currently 5:51 am 38 minutes from the time I actually need to be up and because of a mouse I’m very awake. I found this blog post, when searching for ways on how to kill a mouse in a trash can. Though it didn’t give me the miraculous way of killing mice in trash when you don’t want to tip it over (what google recommended ????) it was still a good little read that helped me take my mind off the fact that there’s a mouse in or beside my trash can right now

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