The only commercial options that work against a mouse infestation, unfortunately are the deadly ones. The live traps you can get, in my experience, only work a couple of times. I was told that this happens because the mouse, being trapped panics and starts excreting a compound that acts as a "fear" warning. This will signal other mice that this place is not safe. It is quite hard to ash out as well, so any trap you use must not induce panic in the mouse.

Now I don't like poison so I could either bankrupt myself on live traps or use the quick but deadly traditional spring loaded bar trap. The spring loaded version however has the possibility of being a bit less than deadly, breaking tails, legs or spines without killing the creature. I will not resort to that until I have tried every other option. ( and yes, I know that removing the foraging mice from the area will cause the nest to starve, which isn't the nicest thing in the world, but at least I gave some of them a fighting chance ). We needed a better live trap.

This live trap should cause little stress in the creature and keep him or her happy long enough so we could take the trap away far enough to set the mouse free. The solution was food and timing.

In a conventional live trap, the act of getting trapped is rewarded with a very small bit of food, a tight space and not much entertainment. What a mouse needs is a sense of success and accomplishment, not a "doh" moment.

I found the concept of "working for your food" somewhere and decided to implement this. The idea is that a big open box has a large quantity of some godly nectar for mice suspended in the box. The creature can look into the box, go in, have a sample, go out, inspect the thing and then decide that it's mission is to get that blasted cornucopia of goodness down. The second that the mouse accomplishes this feat and thus receiving a food parcel as big as it's own body, the door falls shut. This however does not bother the mouse because he or she correlates the "bang" with "success"!

The mouse high of success may or may not find out that (s)he's trapped but who cares!, plenty of food and space to eat and sleep. No worries!

The third iteration of this concept caught about 25 (different) mice is almost as many days after which the infestation was over.

The mously ambrosia we concocted was a mixture of peanut-butter and oatmeal. I never had any complaints and the cup was empty each morning (the biggest cost of this method in fact is the peanut-butter)

The "ecto" came from the fact that the trap looks a bit like a Ghostbusters trap, but the Penthouse Mouse ( Or mouse penthouse ) label was used only for version 4. We even contemplated adding some mouse furniture, decorations and entertainment to the unit, but did not do so in the end for fear of the mice not wanting to leave at all, rendering the trap useless.