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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Of mice and men



Historically, rodents have taken their toll on mankind -everything from spreading disease to the destruction of stored food. Don't take their threat lightly.

Years ago I had a cat that was a terrific mouser. During all the long years she lived with us, mice were not a problem. Alas, cats don't live forever. Since then we've other cats not worth their cost in kibble. We don't have a cat now so mice have to be dealt with by other means.

Poisons work, but I don't like to use them. Picture a mouse finding a quiet place somewhere in your wall to die. At some point that mouse becomes odor and flies. If it staggers outside of the house, it becomes easy prey for other critters. Those animals then concentrate the poisons and become sick. It's not an environmentally friendly method.

Then there are traps of all kinds. We tried a clever trap that required no bait. Picture a steel box with a hole through it and a windup crank. Mouse would go though the hole, trip a pressure plate and be swept into a holding area. The mouse would make a fuss, attraction other mice and they too would end up into the trap. Clever design that worked well.

There's always a catch, isn't there? The first one is that you've got a trap full of mice that have to be disposed of somewhere. Just letting them outside the house won't work as they'll be back. Every time I had to empty the trap it was a two mile drive down the road.

Occasionally mice would get injured or killed by the windup mechanism. Did you know that mice are cannibalistic? Let's just say that the trap ended up with a disgusting mess inside, so disgusting I threw the whole trap away.

Now I'm back to using the cheap and simple snap traps with a tiny daub of peanut butter on the bait lever. I don't like emptying the traps, but at least they kill quickly and without poison.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. Years ago in the late 90's, I lived in a place with the ex-wife and we had one mouse. I kept setting the trap and he kept stealing the bait and setting off the trap without getting caught. After a couple of days, I went for broke and used half a dozen of empty but set traps that he would have to wade through in order to get to the baited one. It was pretty elaborate and I, of course, caught him.

    Upon looking at him in that trap, I realized he was an old feller as far as mice go and must have been pretty smart to have made it that far.

    I felt like a louse that evening......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just had the bait stolen out of two traps. It's time to up my game. Must be another old feller. I won't feel too bad when I get him.

      Delete
  2. for good mousers consider a wild born kitten or yearling cat

    domesticated raised kittens and cats grow up addicted to friskies than wild food

    meanwhile someday you might see a human size spring trap baited with twinkies outside your door

    will you resist it?

    Wildflower

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have you seen the repeating mouse trap with a 5 gallon bucket of water?
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/easterly110.html
    here's a variation on the theme
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jezQKOl5q-w

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have one of those box traps; they work pretty well. I used to empty them with each catch. On my way to work, I'd stop on the bridge over our creek and dump them into the water below. I remember one that panicked and swam in a small circle until it either drowned or had a heart attack. One made a bee-line for the shore and probably became my neighbor's problem. Yet another sort of just floated under the bridge out of sight. Then I heard a huge splash and rings of big waves came from under the bridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Time to go fishing, now that you know that the bait to use.

      Those box traps do work well -as long as you can check them often.

      Delete
  5. When we were first married we had an old, old house with tin ceilings. Mice in the attic during the winter sounded like a herd of elephants! Snap traps were the only way to get rid of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can make a lot of noise for such small critters.

      Delete
  6. That pop bottle on a stick over a half filled 5gal bucket will get all of the rodents, rats and mice alike. They use them around some of the hog houses in my area. It will be a mess if you don't check it often in warm weather.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I heard of a guy who used mice as bait when fishing. He would put them on a wood chip and let it float off. After it got the right distance away, he would pull the mouse off the wood chip. He said it usually worked and he caught big bass that way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bass are almost scary in what they'll eat, so I'm not surprised.

      Delete
  8. I have 2 great cats, and I still miss Star.

    ReplyDelete