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Yeah, letting them go is the best idea. I've saved a ton of wild mice from work and I usually end up letting them all go in my backyard. I usually find a few mice and lizards in the house. It doesn't really bother me, lol. I think we have a family of mice living in a closet right now. My husband isn't crazy about them but he'll get over it. They were probably living in the house before we were.
 

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I found this via a google search, "what to do with live trapped house mice in the winter". I can't stand dropping them outside, even though I think I've found a great little new home for them. I work at my computer and hear them when they're just caught and I actually take the trouble to dress for the cold New England winter and take a flashlight (they come out at night) and walk them up the drive to a great stacked wood pile no one uses. They immediately run into the cave-like holes and I know that soft snow can be a great insulator.

But the Human Society says they'll probably not survive and... well... I can't stand that idea!

I don't think I'm being ridiculous. It isn't OK to live trap them then put them out to freeze to death. I put them in the same place so they can find each other and maybe they can stay warm by snuggling. I also leave them seeds and nuts for the transition because where are they going to find food if they're not born and raised outside?

I feel terrible about this.

Any other ideas?

I agree that keeping them until warmer weather would be terribly traumatizing to the mice.
 

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Sure mice are small and look fragile but they are meant to survive winter no worries. They dig tunnels in the snow, they know where to find their food, they know what to do to survive. I live in Canada so winter here is harsh but we have rats and mice too and they do just fine. Just release them.
 

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I keep finding deer mice within my home, and I give them large housing in my greenhouse, because I love mice and other rodents. Although they have lots of space and fun things to do that I provide, such as tunnels and hamster habitrails, I struggle with whether it's fair to the mice to be forced to be my pets, or to return them to the wild. I can increase their lifespan by keeping them, but is it a life that's humane and kind, or a mean thing to do to a wild animal. I've already released many deermice to our nearby woods, and I hoped that they'd by okay, but the mice are a prey species, just one level above insects as a food source for predators. I know that all rodents have a heightened sense of awareness, and are constantly in a state of stress as they struggle to evade the predators that love them as a food source. But there's nothing that I or anyone can do about that, so I keep wondering if I have the right to oppose nature by keeping the mice in captivity to keep them from being eaten. I keep reading on here that the mice belong in the wild regardless of my desire to expand their lives and to take care of them. I think that I'll keep releasing them, and hope that at least some of them can beat the odds, and not become some animal's next meal. The deermice are so cute, and that makes it even harder for me to release them from my care, but I know I should so they can have their freedom, however long that freedom will last. I believe that's the right thing to do for the mice that I care about so much.
 

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Good points about the differences between house mice and native wild species of mice.

I had a few mice in my house. I think they got in because, on a few warm summer nights, I left my front door open with only the screen door shut while I was dozing on the sofa, and one might have gotten in that way. I managed to corner one when they were in the front vestibule so that they had to go out the front door, even though they wanted to get back inside. I heard two others rummaging in paper bags at night, picked up the bags, and turned them loose outside.

I live-trapped the last three with one of those Havahart traps; one of them was very stressed when I released them. The last one I caught when cold weather had arrived, and I have them in a 50-gallon aquarium (no water, of course). It was being thrown out because it leaks; I'm going to make into a terrarium when I evict my little freeloader as soon as warm weather arrives. House mice aren't native to my area, of course (a city in the Northeast); since he came from outside, I figure he can go back out there (and since it's a male, he won't be having any little mice... although yeah, he does smell). Meantime, I wash my hands well after I handle anything in the tank, like his water dish or cleaning out an area of soiled bedding, and even avoid breathing in anything when I clean his home.

He seems to be losing some fear of me, but I'm sure he'll run like a streak when I put him back outside. He hides in the hay whenever I drop food in or reach in to clean an area.

ETA: @Mr. Mouse Lover. : it's kind of you to keep them inside; I think they have a much better life with you, protected from predators, than they would outdoors.

BUT...

You didn't trap them and bring them inside- they came in uninvited- although that's understandable, considering that it's safer and more comfortable for them than it would be outside. You're certainly not obliged to keep them if you prefer to give them the boot.
 

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GAH. I don't want to insult anyone's intelligence, but I have to clarify my post just above. When I wrote: "...I have them in a 50-gallon aquarium (no water, of course).", I meant that the tank was empty, not that I wasn't giving him water to drink. He kept pooping in the little plastic lid I put his water in (it held about 2 tablespoons of water, and I was always cleaning and refilling it) but he was drinking.

Anyhow: I was using hay as bedding (I had made it myself last summer when I was thinking about adopting another rabbit, and although my rabbits always used to love the alfalfa-based pellets I fed them, they also need good-quality hay). He made himself a sort of wigwam with it. But he died about a week after I first posted. I was paying careful attention to him and didn't see any signs of illness (I know most rodents avoid showing illness or weakness because that would attract predators on the lookout for an easy meal). I still think I did the best thing for him, since he wouldn't have had time to adjust from being in my warm house to winter weather outside (as the others I caught before him did). But yeah... now I'm wondering if I should have sent him back outside immediately instead of waiting for warmer weather.
 
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