December 6th, 2008

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Basement Mouse

We used to have a mouse in the basement that was too [light, smart, dexterous] to be captured via traditional mousetraps. I'd set them, and when I'd check them a few hours later, the peanut butter would be gone and the trap would still be set and empty.

Last night, I constructed a trap using a 5 gallon bucket, a gallon and a half of water, a wire clothes hanger, a tomato soup can, a wooden ramp, and some peanut butter. This morning, I woke up to find a trapped mouse.
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A Better Mousetrap

A Better MousetrapOK. I took some pictures of my mousetrap. I'd also like to clarify a few things -- I didn't come up with this idea on my own. I first stumbled across it on the Internet a while ago, and then several months ago I'm pretty sure I read about theevilhalf using a similar method to catch mice. When I was talking to my parents about this the other night, my dad said that my grandfather used to use a similar method to catch mice in the warehouse. Once I decided I had an elusive mouse this time, I hit the search engines again and found several variations on this design. I decided on using the design that involved a soup can. Another popular variation involves an unstable plank. Hitting the search engines with terms like "bucket mousetrap" brings up lots of hits, including the design I used as a basis for mine and a YouTube video of a similar trap in action.

I whipped up my trap in about 15 minutes last night. Here's what I did:

  1. Puncture each end of a soup can, drain the soup.
  2. Thread a coat hanger through the soup can.
  3. Attach the coat hanger to the bucket, adjusting length of coat hanger as necessary. I bent the hanger so that the top of the soup can is a little lower than the lip of the bucket.
  4. Put enough water in the bucket to drown a mouse.
  5. Coat the can with a strip of peanut butter. (The instructions I found said to use bacon, but bacon is too precious to feed to mice.)
  6. Place the bucket in the basement and build a ramp to the lip of the bucket. Put some peanut butter on the end of the ramp.
  7. Go away.
  8. Come back later to find a mouse.
Disposing of everything simply involved dumping the bucket. I set up the trap again, in case there are more mice to be caught.

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Mouse Extermination Continues

I came home from supper tonight find three more mice have fallen victim to my new mousetrap. I highly recommend this method over traditional mousetraps.

Next task: find the hole that let them into the house to begin with and plug it.