There must be a humane way to kill rodents
The humane way to kill mice and rats
A popular choice, although sometimes animals can be caught by tail or limb – which isn’t a good way. Checking traps regularly, the trap design and mechanism and the availability of water or nesting material is best to avoid starvation, dehydration and cold weather. Make sure the trap entrance is fluid enough to not trap a limb or cause needless suffering to the animal.
Live traps need to be checked each morning and trapped animals then humanelly killed or released. Animals can’t die slowly. Available evidence garnered by the RSPCA suggests that the survival rate of relocated animals is often low, so you might think twice about relocation.
A well-designed snap trap is the more humane solution and are often provided in suitable sizes for mice and rats. Make sure, once triggered, the animal’s head is fully inside the trap area. Also check traps regularly to see if they can be smoothly set and reset. When designed and used properly, snap traps ensure a quick death to the mouse or rat and can even be reused.
Some tips to setting a snap trap:
Only put food in the food area of the tap. Keep the rest of the trap clean. Peanut butter, dried fruit or bread can be used as bait since both mice and rats are omnivorous (like us). Make sure the bait is fresh and place trap at right angles against a wall – along the rodent activity path.
Check traps every morning. If animals are struggling or in distress a rapid blow to the head with a hard object is best, but a reliable snap trap that kills the animal instantly is a far better alternative than a cheaper made contraption.
Other methods of killing animals
A quick and humane death is what we’re after. If poisoning is the only option, then a quick poison is best, followed by the swift removal of the dead animal carcass so that birds do not ingest the poison.
Suggestions for mouse and rat proofing your home
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the chances of mice and rats getting in.
- Store food in containers with very tight lids.
- Store pet food in a secure container
- Remove uneaten pet food from the feeding area.
- Get into the habit of sweeping up around food preparation areas.
- Remove litter and other rubbish around your home.
- Store rubbish with tight lids.
- Remove areas where mice and rats can hide (litter, debris).
- Check fly and security screens for holes
- Use metal trim to prevent gnawing around door bases and other gaps
- Seal all small holes entering the home
A detailed report on the humane control of rodents (Universities Federation for Animals Welfare (UFAW) website)