A glue trap in my garage caught a mouse. I consider it inhumane to let the mouse die in the glue trap. I am looking for a method to euthanize the mouse that meets the following requirements:

  1. Humane - Must be quick and effective.
  2. Safe - I got bit when I tried to remove the mouse from the board.
  3. Clean - Ideally just kill and throw into trash bin.

I am currently considering spending $20-$50 on a stun gun, but I'm not sure if a stun gun can kill a mouse in a few seconds.

Related questions:

  1. How do I find where mice are entering my house?
  2. How can I get rid of a mouse in my house?
  3. How can I remove mice from my house?
  4. How can I prevent mice from entering my house?
  5. What to block a hole with to stop mice getting in?
  • 8
    Mice can carry rabies, so if you got a bite it may be worth calling a doctor to see if it's worth further investigation.
    – Hank
    Aug 26, 2013 at 18:42
  • 4
    plastic bag...hammer...brick...
    – DA01
    Aug 26, 2013 at 23:04
  • 3
    As much as I LOVE the idea of a stun gnu, I'm going to have to fix that typo... Aug 27, 2013 at 9:38
  • 2
    @codism - The other thing the pest control company hopefully pointed out is points of entry. It is far better to keep them from getting in than having to deal with them once they arrived. Holes need filling, crack need treatment, or foundation borders that deter rodents. this way you do not need to deal with traps and hazards of disease that they carry. An ounce or prevention ...as they say.
    – Carl B
    Aug 27, 2013 at 13:28
  • 2
    Never do what Mike says
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 16:15

15 Answers 15


Wear a thick glove, the gardening kind is preferred. Flip a Ziplock or similar plastic bag inside out and cover your glove with it. Firmly grab the mouse (and its associated trap) with your gloved, "plasticked" hand and with your free hand, roll the Ziplock back out so you can seal it completely, with the mouse trapped inside.

Lay it on the floor, preferably a driveway or garage. Whack the poor thing with a heavy magazine or a shoe; make sure you hit its head for near-instantaneous death. It has already suffered enough; this will help it pass on quicker.

After you do this, please make sure you remove all the glue traps your pest control folks installed.


CO2 in a sealed jar.. small piece of dry ice.. should be very painless, mouse would go unconscious before dying. The NIH abstract listed here agrees CO2 is an effective and pain free method:

Helium would also work, bit harder to dispense from balloon to kill jar.

  • 3
    Also, don't seal the CO2 in a jar tightly: the idea is to let air leak out but saturate the remaining air with CO2.
    – wallyk
    Aug 26, 2013 at 18:57
  • 2
    I once used computer duster in a plastic bag to accomplish this.
    – mac
    Aug 26, 2013 at 20:26
  • 4
    If you don't have dry ice handy, mix baking soda and vinegar to produce CO2
    – AlexQueue
    Aug 26, 2013 at 22:07
  • 1
    @AlexQueue or just light a candle in the jar to eliminate the O2 Aug 27, 2013 at 9:09
  • 1
    The NIH abstract listed here agrees CO2 is an effective and painfree method: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15461437
    – HerrBag
    Aug 28, 2013 at 15:44

Quick, humane, and approved by the United States Marine Corps. Ooh-rah! enter image description here 'Course when you're done you have to clean out the waffle with a stick, but what the hell, you can't have everything, right?

  • 2
    So the after-mess cleaning up includes removing blood and glue from the boots and the surrounding area?
    – Codism
    Aug 26, 2013 at 19:50
  • 3
    Clean out the waffle? As if the gunk won't fall of on the 10 mile hump, or be washed off in the swamp you crawl through on the way to chow? It's also motivation to those behind you... Stay behind and this is what happens to you!
    – WernerCD
    Aug 27, 2013 at 0:53
  • 1
    Not sure how how daft answers like this get upvoted. Its not humane and neither are the people who upvote this.
    – Piotr Kula
    Aug 27, 2013 at 13:26
  • 2
    @ppumkin How is it not humane? The mouse is suffering, stuck to a sticky trap, where it will eventually die due to dehydration. Dying of dehydration is a long agonizing process, whereas stomping the poor bugger is quick.
    – Tester101
    Aug 27, 2013 at 13:55
  • 1
    @DA01 The glue is a bonus... it makes exercise harder by adding resistance to running/humping. Just gotta make sure to get it on both boots otherwise you end up lopsided.
    – WernerCD
    Aug 27, 2013 at 16:39

According to Cait McKeown (a National Mice Club (UK) member and judge), the most humane method of mouse euthanasia is chloroform. Unfortunately, the chemical is hazardous (even deadly in high dosage) to humans as well as mice, so it's difficult to obtain. Also impractical for most people, veterinarians sometimes use halothane or another anesthetic gas. With these methods, the mouse becomes unconscious without pain before death.

Other methods, such as breaking the neck (cervical dislocation), decapitation, drowning, and freezing are painful for the mouse. This may or may not be an issue for you since these are not pet mice, but most people will have a difficult time in execution. The "quick" methods might not be so quick if you make a mistake.

Perhaps the best method is a CO2 chamber such as used by herpetologists before freezing rodents for food. The cheapest source of concentrated carbon dioxide is dry ice, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends compressed CO2 gas in cylinders [PDF] in order to control the inflow of gas. Their instructions are:

Without pre-charging the chamber, place the animal(s) in the chamber and introduce 100% carbon dioxide. A fill rate of about 10% to 30% of the chamber volume per minute with carbon dioxide, added to the existing air in the chamber should be appropriate to achieve a balanced gas mixture to fulfill the objective of rapid unconsciousness with minimal distress to the animals. (Example for a 10-liter volume chamber, use a flow rate of 1 to 3 liter(s) per minute.) Sudden exposure of conscious animals to carbon dioxide concentrations of 70% or greater has been shown to be distressful.

If you regularly use sticky traps to control mice, you might consider building CO2 chamber (there are plenty of designs out there). But I personally prefer using snap traps which provide a much quicker death and are easy to dispose of.

  • avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf‎ <<--- 2013 American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals
    – mike
    Oct 30, 2013 at 23:55
  • @mike: That's a pretty long document. Could you point me to the section you'd like to bring to my attention? Or, alternatively, could you summarize the relevant bits in another answer? (Personally, I wouldn't use glue traps myself, since there are more humane extermination techniques.) Oct 31, 2013 at 0:36
  • Hi Jon. Sorry, I should have been more clear. I posted the PDF link as an additional resource for people considering an at-home carbon dioxide approach. That section starts on p24.
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 3:13
  • 1
    P34: "Strychnine, nicotine, caffeine, cleaning agents, solvents, pesticides, disinfectants, and other toxicants not specifically designed for therapeutic or euthanasia use are unacceptable for use as euthanasia agents under any circumstances."
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 3:14
  • 1
    P36: "Manually applied blunt force trauma to the head can be a humane method of euthanasia for neonatal animals with thin craniums if a single sharp blow delivered to the central skull bones with sufficient force can produce immediate depression of the CNS and destruction of brain tissue." ... "Manually applied blunt force trauma to the head has been used primarily to euthanize small laboratory animals with thin craniums."
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 3:17

If two out of three is good enough, you can take the trap away from your house and pour a little vegetable oil on the mouse. The glue will dissolve and the mouse can scurry off.


I have done this many times. Here is how:

Bucket of water. You can hold the glue trap away from you.

It is quick, simple, quiet, and I believe humane.

  • 2
    I'll confess to having done this, as I couldn't think of another alternative that I could actually bring myself to do, but I'm not sure how humane it is - drowning seems like a pretty awful way to go. I actually found the struggle very upsetting.
    – Jaydles
    Aug 27, 2013 at 22:07
  • @Jaydles Hold the trap away from you, and you can't see anything... Aug 28, 2013 at 1:05
  • 2
    Odd definition of humane @samsmith (if you can't see it struggle it's humane).
    – Bryce
    Nov 1, 2013 at 22:20
  • @samsmith: Ugh. You. Nov 5, 2014 at 11:50

You are correct that the glue board traps are not a humane way to address vermin. The best the mouse can hope for is to have it's nose stuck in the glue and die. If not, they tend to keep pulling and tearing until there is blood and it is a mess to look at.

First, find a better trap. Snap trap or something like:


Easy to clean, reusable, and fast kill.

If you still have glue boards with mice in them struggling, I would suggest putting into a paper sandwich bag, get a hammer, find the mark, and put it out of it's misery with two or three fast strokes. Use thick gloves when handling a loaded board.


Bag it, stick it in the freezer, wait less than an hour. I must admit though not all members of my household like this method.

mouse death chamber

Then find the hole the mouse entered through.


Put the mouse with the trap in a plastic grocery sack, put the sack in front of your vehicle's tire, run over the sack with the vehicle, and throw the whole thing in the trash. I may or may not have used this method before. :)


You can use nitrogen. It is a fast, safe and hygienic method. Just shower the mouse with nitrogen and throw it away.

  • WILD-CAUGHT RODENTS >> Unacceptable Methods >> Inhaled Agents >> Nitrogen and argon. P49 in American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals avma.org/kb/policies/documents/euthanasia.pdf
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 15:33
  • 1
    I'm very sorry, in my country it's a very common method.
    – TheSAS
    Oct 31, 2013 at 15:34
  • Which country? and common amongst whom?
    – mike
    Oct 31, 2013 at 15:36

Smack it with a rolled up newspaper. No blood, no guts, and doesn't take a very hard whack. Take a magazine and slide it under, and dump in trash bag.

  • I got a mouse on the run with a newspaper yesterday. There were indeed blood and guts. Maybe I just smacked it too hard though.
    – Doresoom
    Aug 28, 2013 at 18:52
  • 4
    @Doresoom you must have smacked really hard to get guts from a newspaper.
    – DMoore
    Aug 28, 2013 at 19:10

My method is to dig a small hole in the yard. Shovel up mouse/trap assembly and drop into hole. Stab/smash mouse quickly with shovel. Cover over with dirt. Stab shovel into nearby area of the lawn several times to clean any residue off. Doesn't get a whole lot quicker, and there's no mess. Plus, the mouse gets to become fertilizer for the lawn...


Add baking soda to a jar. Poke a hole in the top. Add the mouse. Add vinegar and quickly close the top. The CO2 is heavier than air and will mostly stay in the bottle.


I find the best way to do it is shoot it in the head with a BB gun. Quick with no mess. I couldn't imaging just stomping on it . That's kind of cruel.


Nuke it!

Season to taste. Cook to desired doneness. Do not overcook as dryness will result. Allow to cool after cooking. (Warning, contents may be hot.)

  • 1
    Other posters include humor and I'm the one with the down vote? Somebody lose their sense of humor for Halloween? Nov 2, 2013 at 4:06
  • 1
    Humor is not the reason this is getting down votes. You've ignored the first constraint of the OPs question, as This answer is neither quick, nor humane.
    – Tester101
    Nov 2, 2013 at 13:22
  • I don't see the OP saying "no humor please" and it made me laugh. But then again I am shallow. (But I am going to list a humane way of killing mice now...) LATER: Damn I can't as I am new here. If someone could add this. - CO2 is NOT humane. Mammals determine the level of oxygen in their lungs by measuring CO2 NOT oxygen. So a mouse will be struggling to breath. Other inert gasses such as nitrogen or helium (popular for humans) would work. If it were me I would place them in the freezer with some food in a cage and let hypothermia take its course - pretty much a gentle going to sleep!
    – BeNice
    Nov 14, 2019 at 13:13

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