A Better Mousetrap

We’re having a problem this year with our pantry being raided by field mice. After several attempts to exclude them, I headed off to Wal*Mart to get some mouse traps.

I’m not interested in poison, or even more cruel, the sticky kind which entrap them and let them starve or dehydrate to death, and the electrocution type are expensive. So I picked up a pack of the old-fashioned kill-em-quick snap traps and something else they had called a ‘Mice Cube’. Note, it’s really a ‘Mouse Box’, as it can neither hold more than one mouse nor is a cube. It’s made of cheap plastic and has a hinged door on the front which can only open inwards and is just held in place by gravity. Simple, clever design.

First up was the old fashioned kind, with the brand ‘Victor’ on them. These were really poorly made, and I snapped my fingers twice trying to set the traps. I’ve used other brands of these in the distant past and had no such trouble. I loaded four of them up with peanut butter, placed them in a corner per directions, and came back in the morning to find three of the four snapped, no mice, and all four devoid of peanut butter.

Crummy traps, but I’ve learned my foes apparently like peanut butter.

Next up, the Mice Cube. I put some peanut butter on some leftover French cracker-ish-toast-ish-bread-ish things I had leftover from buying some Boursin Fig, Raisin, and Nut cheese (mmmm) at Stew Leonard’s in CT last month which have the nice property of being heavy enough to drop in the cube, and easy to break.

First night: big fat field mouse. He’s probably in charge of food gathering and eats while he works. He got dropped off in the woods a couple miles away where there are no houses nearby. To drop off a mouse, just turn the trap upside down, the door falls open, and the mouse scurries away.

Second night: nothing.

Third night: First female. She made quite a racket trying to get out of the trap in the middle of the night. She also made an awful mess of herself – for $1.42 these are definitely considered disposable.

Fourth night: Smaller male. Calm, not too messy, wanted to climb on the trap once he got out. Weird mouse.

The Mouse Cube is made by a company called Pied Piper in New Castle, NH. I don’t see a website for them, but they seem to be located on a nice little spot of land over there on the seacoast.

Conclusion: Safe, easy, clean, humane, cheap mousetrap. A better mousetrap.