Solve Your Mouse Problem With A Few Essentials From Your Kitchen

TikTokker Julie Kobylarz (@mousetales) has posted many videos about rescuing and caring for mice. But when confronted with a wild mouse exploring her kitchen cabinets, she takes action in the form of a large bowl with a bit of peanut oil in the bottom. The results are predictable and immediate. The mouse finds its way into the bowl and cannot climb out again. Kobylarz then takes the unexpected steps of cleaning and drying the mouse before checking it into a comfy hotel room to recover in, complete with a heating pad.

She's not the first person to use such a trap; the idea has been around for a long time. YouTube content creator Shawn Woods tested the approach in 2018 when his barn was overrun with house mice and captured a video of the trap catching seven mice in one night. With any luck, you won't have an infestation severe enough to capture this many mice in one night, but it's nice to know that you can. Woods also cleaned the mice and gave them a cozy home — in his case, to use the mice in trying out future traps to test ways to get rid of mice humanely.

How the Peanut Oil Bowl Trap Can Work For You

The bowl-and-peanut-oil trap is brilliant in its simplicity and efficiency. Mice are attracted to the smell of peanuts, which is one of the reasons mousetraps are often baited with peanut butter. An ounce or two in the bottom of a big bowl is likely to catch the attention of any nearby mice. The big bowl is essential because you don't want the mouse overturning it, and for the same reason, the trap probably works best for smaller types of mice. Assuming the mouse can find its way into the bowl (to help out, you might need to supply a ramp of some sort), it's unlikely to be able to climb out. The oil makes the bowl's surface too slippery, and the material doesn't seem to matter: Kobylarz uses a plastic bowl, while Woods uses a glass one.

It's important to check your trap frequently because you don't want to trap a mouse long enough to make it suffer from dehydration or lack of food. And don't use too much oil; drowning the mouse won't be any more humane than using other fatal traps. Finally, you shouldn't leave a bowl of peanut oil out indefinitely since it might attract bugs in the same way that using cola to get rid of mice does. As for whether you should clean and dry your catch like Kobylarz and Woods did, we'll leave that to you.