Daniel Gardner took a personal day yesterday complaining of “overworked typing fingers”, so I stepped up to the keyboard to share some thoughts on catching mice for the good readers of mX.
You may find it easier to read this textual version…
David M. Green on Mice
At first it sounds quaint or cosy – late at night to see a furry little creature curiously scurrying along the kitchen floor – but when one becomes three or four, and suddenly there’s rodents exploring cupboards, bedrooms and electrical cables, you’ve got a mouse problem.
Mice will eat anything. They’ll nibble through plastic to get to the loaf of bread. They once ate through my housemate’s underpants in our wicker laundry basket, through which they also ate.
Like skinning their natural feline predators, there are many ways to eradicate vermin. The obvious solution is to call a licensed professional ala Christopher Walken in Mousehunt.
But who has that sort of money? I can’t afford to hire major Hollywood actors for such menial tasks.
Besides, where’s the fun? Catching a mouse or three sounds like a great adventure.
My great grandfather caught rats in Adelaide during the Great Depression. He founded his own pest control business, so catching varmints should be in my blood.
Poison is an option. But not all poisons work immediately. You might find yourself with a decomposing carcass in an unreachable location. Not good for entertaining.
I say go for a trap.
Some years ago at a mouse-infested share house, my housemates and I built our own Wile E. Coyote-style trap consisting of a soup pot, a stick and a long piece of string. We just needed a small sign reading “Free Cheese” to complete the illusion.
Three housemates, a decade of university education between us, sat silently in the dark, trying not to laugh, waiting for a mouse to unwittingly crawl beneath the pot. But those mice are fast. When one did finally inch under, I pulled the string to release the stick but by the time the pot dropped, the mouse was long gone.
It was a blessing in disguise really – we hadn’t thought ahead as to what we would do once we actually caught the mouse, alive.
But if you’re buying a proper mouse trap, there are some traps for young players (pardon the pun).
Firstly, don’t use a RAT trap. Rat traps are for trapping rats. Not mice.
Mice are too light and nimble to activate the trigger on a big rat trap – they just lick it clean and mockingly leave it for you to find the next morning.
The best type of mouse trap is the classic wooden design with the metal spring-loaded snapping bar mechanism. They’re also very cheap – two for a dollar from your nearest discount retailer.
But still, these traps can suffer the same problem. The mice simply eat the bait with the gentlest of gnawing and live to scurry another day.
A great tip is to use peanut butter for bait, and smear it all over the trap. If the mouse has to crawl all over the trap it’s bound to slip up and SNAP!
But for the animal lovers, the best tactic might be to just learn to co-exist with our furry friends. That is of course until you can afford a nicer place.
David M. Green
There’s a mouse next to my computer!