You are here:

Mice/What to do with wild mice in apartment building?


I know your experience is with pet mice. I just thought I'd try to ask you though. I live in a 8 story high rise they have an exterminator that comes here. I'm terrified of mice but, yet love to look at pictures of them started talking to my house mice even named 2 I was unsure if they were large size mice or small rats Fattso & Speedy. Whatever mice I have remaining are just named Mousees. I have been doing much research about them. I have a studio apartment I started out with 3 mice I live on the 4th floor out of the 8 how I first discovered I had mice was I at one time had guinea pigs which some people do not like they think they look like a rat but, I loved mine I just had problems with 1 I had to take 1 back to the pet store she at play time it was their first out of cage time together my mini loop was in his cage minding his business didn't even come out even though his door was open Spice hoped in his cage & bit his ear & Star who was so sweet pounded toward her & she had a biting/nibbling problem. Anyway I heard very quiet noises I was throwing shoes I know that was mean but, my thought was oh no I have a mouse & I wanted to know where it was the 1st unnamed one on a weekend when no maintenance men are here & don't come for mice well it came out at night & ran toward a baseboard near where I have my computer 2 places they got in where my coat closet which is near where that baseboard is & at a baseboard heater now blocked with steel wool but, the exterminator told me the Mousees remaining can still get out.....but, my maintenance men told me no new holes. It turned out I'll call the on RIP-Resting In Peace was hiding in my coat closet the day the holes where blocked as the men left I was pulling my belongings out of the closet I was told by the 1 maintenance man I wouldn't see mice again I got to the last bag I had personal belongings stored in thank goodness I had bought stools to stand on by then we accidentally ran into each other I would have named this one Sly or Slick she ran high speed under my stool toward the living room part of my studio apartment....The one's the where my problem kids were Fattso & Speedy that hung out together both dark brown Fattso moved very slow it was very wide....they would run out in the open in the back of a futon I have I had put 2 storage totes thier I didn't know what do do with.....They would go then under my stove in the middle not were the tunnel traps the exterminator has all over the place. Due to them being smart using their whiskers to feel Mousees are alive but, I don't believe well I actually feel bad for them but, I'm cautious I don't want them running over me if they do come out & they haven't been. Fattso disappeared along time ago stopped coming around. Now thank goodness Speedy left cause it was getting too friendly to the point that 1 night I was on my computer hadn't seen Speedy for a long time I was going to through away my uncrustable wrapper I had in tin foil after I got off my computer but, I didn't have a chance Speedy went under my small stool I had at my desk while I was on my computer gee wherever Speedy was it smelled the peanut putter it's favorite food also mine cause it counts as protein I have hyperglycemia & hypoglycemia.....Then it Speedy came back the next night & this time went under my computer tower Speedy must have remember from the night before the peanut butter he didn't get. I was at my computer that night. Now Speedy seems to have disappeared I pulled my desk out the 2nd time the exterminator also was here after that time is when he added more traps under the heater 2 10" one's 1 in the kitchen & 1 right near the head of my bed additional in the kitchen.........I thought mcie or rats did not come near you that they went in the other direction of a human.....Speedy I figured was really hungery all my food is in containers or the fridge I empty my trash fre quently & also recycling we must keep in our apartments I wash whatever I put in ther very well I even bought baking soda to get rid of any smell of a can I wash. I pulled my desk out Speedy wasn't their I had to check cause I know they like to be warm under my computer tower is a great place. Speedy was moving a bit slower those to time I had my reading glasses on of course it looked bigger than other times but, even without it's grown Speedy must have went toward the baseboard heater I figured if Speedy was a rat would not have got 2 new Mousees that I know of. On accidentally is RIP & this Mousee was very small brown rough fur but, it's Resting In Peace they do not have a great life here......My questions are......I am a smoker & have to run fans they keep it so hot in here there are many seniors here/disabled/low in come it's run by a housing authority which I've gotten no where with but, they can not be her during the day or night & watch for Mousees to come out & have them leave peacefully.....I have not seen the Mousees I know there is at least 1 cause a very small grey one had come out from under my stove weeks ago that was when the other one went to RIP Rest In Peace......Anyway this has been going on for a while chirping, the clicking, bruxing, the Mousees chirp during the day I hear them running in the kitchen but, today when my stove & fridge were pulled out they are not nibbling on the food the exterminator put behind the appliances & no dropping I don't see droppings also I have heard this during the day & at night when I'm laying in bed Mousees gasping for air then it will stop after a while I also I couldn't believe it when I heard this snoring briefly. They have been chirping much today when since I was off of work due to ice I work at a school.....I've been feeling so bad for Mousees I got unscented chew sticks caue my 1 maintenance man said if they chew the steel wool & swallow that their stomach will bleed 2 appear to be staying where I put them the other accidentally went under the radiator in their corner I heard loud crunching so I figured Mousees where enjoying it.....Is there anything I can do for them until they are RIP Resting In Peace to help Mousees with there respiratory problems? I know it's not fun for them my last guinea pig Strip passed away cause of a respiratory problem it was hot in a trail home me & my 2nd ex were buying I wasn't thinking cause he was in an aquarium we brought him into the air conditioned bedroom well he got so sick I knew they could be directly in a draft or a damp room my 1st 1 I had when I was a teenager passed away of a cold I was living elsewhere I came home the 1st thing I asked is where is Rainbow? My mom just cried & told me what happened! I have mixed feelings of Mousees cause my guinea pigs were in the rodent family but, tame & a different look. The other thing that makes me afraid of Moussees besides I was afraid of them crawling on me is they startle me they make plenty of noise as I'm trying to go to sleep it sometimes sounds like they are playing, & squeaking I hear them sniffing too.....I agree they are entertaining just their noises they make gee.......I have tried to quietly get out of bed to see how many Mousees I have I'm sure they hear my 1st movement & they hid all the times. My 1st 3 did have my place to themselves I left many times being so afraid Fattso or Speedy  had followed me 1 night under my bed, Fattso or Speedy used to hide in a corner where I keep a mop & bucket once I think it was Speedy cause how he sped off when found Speedy came out from under the stove I was shocked cause Speedy walked along the baseboard it was the middle part that was their favorites my maintained men were here doing work then in my bathroom 1 said Speedy probably went in the corner where my mop & bucket where he wanted to see I said no no!!! That night Speedy darted under my bed another favorite place was under my digital piano on the side where the wire is for my pedals in the morning for a while I'd scream call Speedy names Speedy played peep a boo.....I was interested in what was so interesting in between my panio & futon cause they go their......Sly Slick & I startled each other each on Sly Slick the smooth haired long sleek grey one was coming out of my closet I was shocked & screamed back Sly Slick went I got in trouble for screaming.....Is it possible the 2 that hung together very dark brown found their way to another apartment? After all this is a high rise! This has been going on since August 2012 I just passed for an annual housekeeping inspection as I did other years. Other residents have put food on the traps to catch them I'm afraid I'll invite more in doing that the exterminator had told me do not put cheese on them.....Just recent I read the domesticated one's come from the house mouse.....Do you think it's possible the 3 larger 1's out of them at least 1 was a male & they mated & had a liters? It was like Fattso was chasing after Speedy just then there was Sly Slick I read they will even make nest in clothes I had a bunch of shoes in my bedroom closet.....I didn't see though Fattso with Sly Slick. I might not be afraid of them if they were tame! I can't even bleach my floors any more since they were sealed & I have read they dribble there urine all the time I can get sick from that! As you can see I don't know what to do anymore I missed talking to our exterminator when he was here for special service for me now for regular service he's coming Feb 1st but, I work mid day the Mousees might like it here too cause it's quiet during the day they are  quiet when I 1st come home from work then they start's heartbreaking these animals live like this.....Another question I have is do house mice go outside in the spring or do they spend their lives within a house in walls, attics, & hiding? Thanks for reading this I know this is a lot & I don't know if you can answer my question but, I thought I'd try.......

Dear Terri,

It helps if you can separate the questions out and number them. I am having a hard time figuring out what your exact questions are; but I will try to address the entire situation.

You need to figure out if you want to help the mice or hurt them; to kill them or keep them alive. I know it is not that simple. I have been in this situation too.

You do not want the mice to suffer, and yet you are letting the exterminator put out poison and steel wool.  This doesn't make sense. Death by mouse poison is terribly painful. It causes horrible suffering. And so does steel wool in their bellies. It makes no sense that you want to cure their colds and yet cause them far worse suffering.

There are other options.

1. Live with them. This is actually what I do! I am friendly to the wild mice in my apartment, though I try not to leave food out. I see them and I think they are cute. It is not strange that they may come to you-- they are used to you. But you have to decide not to be scared of them. Unless you try to catch them in your hand or pet them, they are not going to bite you.

However, maybe you aren't allowed to do that in your building, or don't want to (most people don't want to). It just seems that you feel affection towards them.

The other thing that I do is:

2. Carefully catch them in live traps and find a nice forest or meadow to let them go. Even a park (obviously you live in a city) will do, although you have to be subtle. And it is a bit of work to catch them. City mice are small, and smart. There are many live traps you can use; the most common is the Have-a Heart. This might not work out for you.

If you can't keep them; and you can't release them; your third option is to kill them *mercifully.*

3. Get standard, old-fashioned snap traps. The reason people use crueler methods such as poison is because they don't want to see the bodies. That is selfish. The discomfort you feel when you see a dead mouse is far less than the pain you inflict on a mouse with poison or a glue trap. Ask your exterminator to just give you standard traps, and when a mouse is killed, you can throw it away in the garbage outside.

The disadvantage here, besides having to see the bodies, is that occasionally a mouse is not killed. Your only option with an injured mouse that you want to kill, is to cut off its head (it is enough to sever the spine. The knife may not go through the skin.).

This sounds horrible. It is.

It can be a big disadvantage to both person and mouse when the mouse decides to live with the person. Everyone has to make their own choice about life or death, kindness or cruelty. It is a hard choice. As I said, I choose a combination of catching and releasing; and tolerating them. Bu tif you feel they need to be killed, do so mercifully. Use an instant kill, snap trap.

Yes, they do go from apartment to apartment. Other mice here eat poison in other apartments and come to our apartment to die, poor things. Your little friends may be living happily with someone like me, in your building, or they may have been killed.

They do also tend to go back outdoors in the spring. We see them very rarely in the summer.

As for whether they are sick, it is unlikely that all of them would be sick. They would die out pretty quickly. As they live together they may have scuffles where they squeak. You may be hearing perfectly normal mouse noises. If they were suffering in your apartment, due to the heat, they would go to another apartment. Or they would find another apartment. They like it with you.

If I have missed any of your questions, please write back and number them so I know what you need to know. I hope you can make a decidsion you are comfortable with.




All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions about raising mice and caring for them as pets, with knowledge from my 38 years of having fancy mice as pets. I have NO MEDICAL TRAINING and you should take a sick mouse to the vet; but if you simply can't, I will try to help you. I LOVE PHOTOS!!! I ALSO LOVE UPDATES! Let me know how the little tyke is doing later on, for better or worse, especially orphans. It also helps me to help the next person. Please first search first: use 'Natasha Mice Mouse' with whatever else your question includes. Or check out these links: **** YOUR FIRST MOUSE (my video; rough draft): **** TEN VIDEOS ON RAISING ORPHANS: **** SEXING MICE: **** And some GREAT MOUSE INFO SITES:


I have had mice for 40 years (since I was 5!). I raised them when I was a child but now I keep all females, and never fewer than three so that if one dies the others are not devastated, because they have each other.

I run Rats and Mice are Awesome on Facebook. The official name is Rats are Awesome.

B.A., M.A., M.A. in Linguistics: Yale University and University of Connecticut

©2016 All rights reserved.