Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mouse Problem?

        Have you ever heard anyone say they have a mouse problem? They almost certainly mean that these cute little critters have invaded their home space, leaving not so cute little black droppings in cupboards or in the silverware drawer. Yuck! Experience tells me that if you know there is one mouse in your house, you have many more.
       Every fall we have an invasion in our country home. Usually by this time of year the problem has been resolved through the use of traps. This year has been different. They didn't appear until a month or two later than usual and I'm still battling the hordes. So far I've eliminated about one and a half dozen of the little beasties. It's been a few days since I've seen evidence that they are still around, but with the continuing mild weather here in Michigan, I'm not convinced they have stopped moving around looking for their winter hang out so the traps are still set and baited.
Three mouse traps. The d-Con does not work for me.
The other two are adjustable and catch mice.
       If you share this problem, you might be interested to know what works for me in catching these little monsters. I have had no luck whatever with live traps that are supposed to entice the mice to enter to eat the bait and then cannot get back out. If I caught a mouse with one of these, I'd want to kill it anyway. Sorry, but where mice are concerned, I'm not a catch and release person. I will not use poisons. Traps that catch mice and hold them until you get around to checking them seem cruel and not terribly reliable. I use the old-fashioned traps that break the neck quickly and cleanly--usually. There are several of these on the market. One purports to be self-baited with a little yellow spring board that's supposed to look like cheese. I don't know what scent or flavor this type has, but in my experience it doesn't work. I don't recall ever catching a rodent with one of these. Further, if there is no visible bait, how do you tell if something has come around and eaten it and gotten away? If you think you can tell because the trap will have sprung because the mouse licked the "cheese" then you have more faith in the product than I do.
        Next time you want to catch a mouse, set the trap and touch the place where you place the bait with a stick or screwdriver. See how much pressure it takes to spring the thing. You'll be surprised at how much it takes. The good news is that with the Mouse Guard and Victor traps, you can adjust the pressure to hair trigger and actually get the little buggers when they are lapping up the bait. I use needle-nosed pliers to squeeze the metal protrusion that holds the wire that holds the killing mechanism. If you squeeze too much and can't get the wire to hold, adjust it the other way using the same tool. Don't use cheese for bait! Peanut butter is a much better choice, and it sticks very nicely to the trap.
       If you don't have a mouse problem, good for you! If you do, good "hunting."

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