In light of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently announced decision to do away with most household rat and mouse poisons along with most “loose bait and pellet products,” I thought it would be a fine idea to revisit a few devices that allow you to repel or humanely relocate unwanted rodent lodgers — no rodenticides of any sort (or flesh-eating furniture) involved. Just pray they don't find their way back to your home (as they often do). 

To be clear, under new EPA regulations, some types of rodenticide for residential use will continue to be available to consumers looking to annihilate things that go squeak in the night. The catch? Their formulas have been rejiggered to be less toxic and, in turn, they're now less of a serious threat to children, pets, and other living things of the non-rodent variety that are prone to putting whatever they find on the kitchen floor in their mouths.  

The EPA explains in a press release:

In 2008, EPA gave producers of rat and mouse poison until June 4, 2011, to research, develop and register new products that would be safer for children, pets and wildlife. Over the past three years, EPA has worked with a number of companies to achieve that goal, and there are now new products on the market with new bait delivery systems and less toxic baits. These products are safer to children, as well as pets and wildlife, but still provide effective rodent control for residential consumers. 

While many companies that produce rat and mouse poison products have agreed to adopt the new safety measures, a handful of companies have advised EPA that they do not plan to do so. Consequently, EPA intends to initiate cancellation proceedings under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the federal pesticide law, against certain non-compliant products marketed by the following companies to remove them from the market.

The EPA goes on to list non-compliant companies/brands and give some pointers on how to avoid rat (shudder) and mouse infestations around the house. And when those pointers don't work, there's always these poison-free, non-guillotine-or-glue-trap alternatives ...

Humane or not, how do you effectively deal with rodents around the house? Repelling or trap-and-release devices like the ones below? Newly less-toxic rodenticides? A stealthy kitty?


Humane "Smart" Mouse Trap @ ($13.10)

A bit pricey for a mousetrap, yes, but judging from the user reviews and the PETA seal of approval, this temporary holding cell for mice gets a cruelty-free gold star. Just put bait inside the "house" and when a mouse saunters in for a snack, the door snaps shut behind it. Can be cleaned and reused over and over again. 

Tip-Trap Live Capture Mouse Trap @ ($2.29)

Although not as spacious as the above mousetrap, the Tip-Trap is cheap, effective, and cruelty-free. It uses a trapdoor-type of entryway to quarantine mice, shrews and voles. Reusable. 

Victor Tin Cat Mouse Trap @ Ace ($18.49)

The Tin Cat from Victor is ideal for folks dealing with roving mouse house parties since this super-sized, humane device can trap up to 30 vermin at once.

Victor M753 Mini PestChaser Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent @ ($18.46/3 pack)

Here's the thing with most trap-and-release mouse traps: you have to feed the critters and then handle them. If you're like me, you may not want to do either of those things. This is where the Victor PestChaser — the Yoko Ono of mouse control  — comes in handy. It's a plug-in device that uses noise that's inaudible to humans but drives mice nutty, keeping them out of your home. 

Humane Mouse Trap @ Clean Air Gardening ($12.99)

Want to incorporate recycling into your mouse catching? Attach a regular plastic bottle (even 2 liters will work!) to this clever mousetrap that looks like a giant piece of cheese. After a mouse wanders through the cheese "entranceway" and into the bottle, an access gate activates, trapping the critter in the bottle. To free the mouse, simple take the device outdoors and rotate it upside down to release it. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

EPA plans to ban some rodenticides; Mice find no cause for celebration
Looking out for the safety of kids and pets, the EPA decides to ban some toxic rodent poisons. Here are a few pest remediation alternatives that rely on repelli