How Should I Kill This Mouse?

I’d been noticing mouse droppings behind the trash can under my sink, so yesterday I went to the hardware store to buy some poison (the little bags of green pellets).

Poison is my preferred method of killing, since it’s silent and the actual dying happens out of sight—the little guy (I imagine) trots back to his apartment, kisses his wife goodnight, lies down for a nap, and never wakes up. Then, hopefully, the decomposition happens somewhere deep enough in the deepest recesses of my house (or better—he staggers outside), so I don’t have to smell the death, either.

Unfortunately, yesterday at the hardware store I was talking on my cell phone, and what I thought was a multi-pack of poison bags was in fact a combo-pack containing four bags of poison, two snap traps, and two glue traps. I didn’t realize this until I was home and I had opened the package, so—with my wife coming home soon, and wanting to be able to report that I had done my assigned errand—I put out all the traps: snap traps behind the oven, glue traps under the sink, poison bags behind the dishwasher. See, honey, I did my job.

Not so fast. Because after my wife had gone to sleep last night, I heard some funny noises coming from the kitchen. I opened the door under the sink, and found captive #1 stuck to trap #1, but not stuck enough to keep him from making a racket. So I did my manly duty: I swept it into the dustpan, carried it outside, tossed it trap side up on the ground and bashed the poor thing with a giant crowbar to put it out of its misery. I then picked it up with a grocery bag, triple-bagged it, and threw it in the garbage pail in my garage.

Overall, this was a highly unpleasant experience I did not care to repeat. Unfortunately, overnight captive #2 got himself trapped, and as we speak he’s trashing around under my sink.

Hoping there was a more humane (and, let’s be honest, pleasant-for-me) alternative to bashing it with a crowbar, I Googled it:

Yikes. How about …

Hmmm. The Google-supplied answers to my question fell into three broad categories:

  1. “Don’t use sticky traps, they’re inhumane.”
  2. Ridiculously more complicated and time-consuming methods than the crowbar strategy, including a) drowning it in a five-gallon bucket (or, impractically, in your toilet, if you don’t have a bucket and a hose handy); and b) gassing it with carbon dioxide—an approach that requires, first, a handy source of pure carbon dioxide, and second, some kind of bell-jar-of-death contraption. While I’m confident in my ability to build such a thing, the mouse is thrashing around under my sink as we speak, and option B would require additional time neither I nor the mouse has at this point.

So, in case you found this post through a search engine, and assuming it’s too late to not buy a sticky trap because they’re inhumane, how should you kill a mouse that’s already stuck to a glue trap under your sink?

  1. Bring it outside (use a dustpan, if that’s handy, or I guess, pick it up in a grocery bag [or two or three], being careful not to let it bite you. Do this quickly and try not to squeal.)
  2. Drop it on a relatively hard surface, trap side up.
  3. Bash it with a heavy instrument, preferably a sledge hammer or something that has a large surface area (so you don’t really have to swing it and you can be sure you get it with the first blow).
  4. Pick it up with a few grocery bags like you would dog doo.
  5. Throw it in your outside/garage trash cans.
  6. Use poison next time.




About Henry P. Belanger

Henry P. Belanger is a writer, reporter, and an editor-at-large at the Good Men Project. Contact him via email.


  1. Why does everybody think mice are innocent. They kill other creatures. Steal from each other, kill each other. eat their babies. These mice are criminals, remorseless, violent, criminals. 9 times out of 10 the mice you killed had it comming .

  2. Two mice were stuck in a glue trap in this little cabinet built into the wall by my kids’ art table. They were squeaking like birds. I was trying to concentrate on work, but once I checked it out and saw them, struggling, I tried to find a way to put them out of their misery. I wished for some kind of long, electrocution stick or something. It doesn’t feel great, but at least they are not squeaking, slowly and painfully dying. I put an unused glue trap where that one was.

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