Mouse trapping made simple
Mouse trapping with traditional tools such as snap traps and repeating mouse traps can be a chore. Removing carcasses from a snap trap can be messy and difficult, particularly if you are using the snap bar variety as opposed to the more expensive clamshell kind. If you decide to use the repeating mouse traps, they work great but are not always the easiest to clean even if you use them in conjunction with a glue board.
If you are in a situation where you regularly have mice entering a structure, like a garage or out shed then you know what I am talking about. Sure you could use toxicants, but some people want a less toxic solution and others may not want the expense or the risk of smell from mice that die in the walls.
Several years ago, I learned about It’s So Simple Mouse Traps. Mr. Sowerwine, the owner, developed a simple trap for mice that is not only creative in its simplicity but can make trapping fun. He was kind enough to send me a sample. Unfortunately, I didn’t fulfill my obligation to provide a review. So this post is a belated fulfillment of that promise.
It’s So Simple Mouse Trap
The trap consists of a rod, a plastic line, and a screw. You have to provide the 5 gallon bucket, the bait, and the water. The traps works as follows. You lean the wooden rod against the bucket so that the baited plastic line dangles in the middle of the bucket. 3 to 4 inches of water is placed in the bottom of the bucket to prevent mice from jumping out (See my posting on how high mice can jump http://wildlifecontrolconsultant.com/house-mice-mus-musculus-jumping-abilities/). The water also acts as the killing mechanism. Then place the trap in a location where mice frequent. The idea is they climb the rod, see the bait at the tip of the plastic line and climb down to reach it. Unfortunately for them, they can’t climb back up and fall into the water. Trap then waits for the next contestant.
I love the simple design. I think people who have children can make the trap part of an educational program as children are curious about trapping and wildlife. The bucket and water make for easy cleaning and disposal of bodies. Just be sure to use 10% bleach and water to help eliminate at least some of the infectious nasties. Avoid direct contact with the water and always wear gloves when handling equipment. Remember, mice urinate frequently. So there is likely urine spots on the pole. Don’t wash this off as it will usually be beneficial in attracting other mice.
The downside of the trap is cold weather as the water freezes. You can add some alcohol to it to reduce the freezing temperature or perhaps some salt. Never add antifreeze to it as this is a deadly poison. I would suggest simply getting a taller bucket and leave it dry. 18 inches ought to be enough. If you want to catch mice alive, simply add cottonballs to help the mice stay warm and be sure to check the trap daily.
I also think this trap should only be used in a secure area, such as a garage or outshed. I would not recommend using it outdoors due to the risk of entrapping non-targets such as birds.
If you want to give the trap a try visit http://www.4dotranch.com/MT/index.html and make a purchase. I think you will find it a fun tool to use.
Stephen M. Vantassel is a certified wildlife control professional. He reviews products, consults and writes on wildlife damage management topics.
- House Mice (Mus musculus) Jumping Abilities (wildlifecontrolconsultant.com)