A Better Mousetrap

…is the canonical example of when you don't need to advertise. But apparently somebody did make a better mousetrap, and nobody told me, so how was I supposed to know to go beat down their door? I guess the point is, word of mouth from satisfied customers will do your advertising for you, so here goes:

Last night, when I was putting the kids in bed, T told me to come listen, that there was something in the play table/toy box. I listened, and it was indeed immediately obvious that something was crawling around in all those toys. Since the table is right next to a sliding door, we opened it wide, and started making noise and removing toys from the other end of the table, hoping to flush it out the door. The dumb beast instead bolted straight towards our diversion, under a couch. So I lifted the couch to scare it out, and it (a mouse) finally ran in the right direction, right past the wide-open door (although maybe a 1-inch lip is the same as a 10 foot wall from the perspective of a sprinting mouse) and under the couch on the other side of the room, and then down the hall into the spare room.

If you've ever seen our spare room, you will realize that it is clearly impossible to shift enough stuff to find a mouse in there, and hopefully (except for maybe through the closet somehow), there should be no way for a mouse to escape except through the door it came in. So we stuffed under the door with a towel, and I went out to buy some mousetraps. And that's how I discovered these babies. better_mousetrap.jpgThey're a lot like the kind of plastic clip that you might magnet onto your fridge to hold papers, except it's bigger, and it's triggered. You never have to mess with the trigger to set it, or risk snapping your fingers at all. You just squeeze it open from the back (which sets the trigger), use a knife or something to spread some peanut butter on the inside roof, and leave the trap on the floor! After the mouse is caught (and killed) by the business end, you just pick it up by the squeezing end (no need to come even close to touching the disease-ridden carcass), and squeeze it open to drop the mouse in the trash. They cost more ($3.99 for a two-pack, as opposed to $1.99 for a four-pack of traditional), but the old ones are basically disposable (who wants to separate the mouse from the trap, and re-set the nasty kill bar?), and these seem indefinitely reusable, with much less skeeve factor. Basically, they're like lethal mouse tongs, except the mice will come to them, instead of you chasing the mouse under all the furniture!

Anyways, enough of my raving endorsement, and directly to the point. Did they work? Good news and bad news. The good news is that they worked great! So great that (bad news) this morning I found that we had rid the world of TWO mice. So we will be setting these traps every night until we stop catching mice. Hopefully we have only a small, temporary infestation due to the recent rain. If we continue to catch mice indefinitely, then I guess we would have to look into an exterminator (and no, we would never get a cat!)

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5 Responses

  1. Funny! Reminds me of the winter we lived at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, which was always visited by mice.
    Did you know we no longer have our exterminator?? :) That’s what allowed me to keep George of British choirboy fame last weekend. There’s still evidence of his previous residential habits, though, so when we repaint the living room this summer, we will get the drapes cleaned as well. Maybe that will be the end of the evidence.

  2. Being very stingy, I would boil the four for 1.99 type to sterilize them, and reuse forever. I also learned to be careful about getting a finger under the snapper. That can hurt. OUch

  3. I have also gotten snapped by the old fashioned kind before, which makes me appreciate the new kind even more — no need to put fingers anywhere near the death-dealing end of the thing!

    Update: 2 traps set in the kitchen last night, 0 mice caught! So either we only had two, or they all live in the computer room. We’ll try the computer room again tonight.

  4. Traps set all weekend, no more product — probably just a few refugees from the wet weather.

  5. I don’t know if you recall this Reuben, but back at the Gunnison house I remember opening the oven door to bake something and a multitude of mice scattered every which way. Upon further exploration we discovered the basement contained generations of mice. I (being in the state we were in then, ahem) don’t have a clue as to what we did to rid ourselves of the pests or if we did nothing and sold them with the house. We did snap a few rats (yes, rats) in the Wayland house garage a few years back. We even snapped two heads in one trap! Setting the old-fashioned traps are risky. Imagine getting your fingers caught in a mega rat trap. As you have done, we just kept setting them until there were no more caught. We bagged 3 or 4. Looks like you got the lot.

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