Thursday, June 24, 2010

A better mousetrap!

If you live in an 1800s farmhouse in the middle of fields and woods you will have mice. It is simply a fact of life. We'll go months without seeing a mouse, and then one morning we come down and find mouse droppings on the kitchen counter. They come up from the cellar I think, and make their way to the counter from behind the refrigerator.

And if you've been reading my letters for any time, you will know that we are vegetarians, and that our farm animals live until they die naturally, and thus it follows that we aren't going to catch mice in a trap that kills them. For years and years we have used the Havahart brand of trap and it has worked well. The mouse is then transported away from the house into a stone wall down the road. But for some reason, in the past couple weeks, the mouse would eat what was put in the trap but not get caught. Tom went looking for a new Havahart, thinking ours was simply old and not working well anymore. The store he was in didn't offer that brand, so he bought another called Victorpest. You may recognize the name. All the old killer traps were Victors. The Victorpest was a little bigger, and they claim it will hold 3 or 4 mice. Well, ours didn't need to attempt that particular feat because ... well, here's the story. In the evening, we caught a mouse. Tom took it outdoors, and set the trap again. He used peanut butter as they advised. Soon, there was another mouse inside. Tom trekked down the hill again. He decided to stay downstairs last night to see what happened. Over the course of the night, four more were caught, and Tom made four more trips, guided by the almost full moon. What a success!

Top and inside
Side view
Where we set it on the counter; the fridge is to the left of the lamp

14 comments:

  1. Words out that you guys are serving some great peanut butter and after dinner you get a fun ride back to the nest!!

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  2. Well, Staci, is is organic and good for them!

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  3. HI Nan: It appears to me, the wee mice picked your kitchen to hold their family reunion. It would also appear that someone has finally built a better mousetrap.

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  4. We've only had one mouse in our house in the past ten years, thank goodness. I can't stand the way they run so fast across the floor!

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  5. We don't have quite that big of a heart but we do get mice occasionally. All the bird seed is a magnet.

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  6. Wow! The most luck I've had catching mice was with an open Spicy Nacho Dorito bag. Scooped him up and dumped him in a field across the road.

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  7. I am ALWAYS looking for a mousetrap that actually works. Thanks, Nan!

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  8. Interesting trap...I've never seen one like it before. We tend to go with the old basic model. I just noticed your header photo, have you been enjoying your scapes? We're loving ours.

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  9. I've always wondered: how does one know it isn't the same mouse over and over?

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  10. When we had our farm in NJ we had field mice problems from time to time! I love Staci's post about the situation!

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  11. Donna, that is delightful!

    Les, they definitely aren't in town as much as in the country. We're also seeing bears and moose, but not in the house. :<)

    Lisa, we take our feeders down in April to keep - not the mice away but the bears!

    Andi, ah, we'll try chips if the pb stops luring them!

    Tinky, it is really working well!

    Niki, the scapes are all eaten now! I mostly just sauté them and mix them with pasta. Yum.

    J.G., answer: when the second one goes in a few minutes after the first one has been taken away. No way a mouse could run up the road and into the house and onto the counter that fast! :<)

    Sherri, it definitely is seasonal. We are just confused they are here now when the weather is warm and they should be outdoors!

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  12. 33 years ago when I lived in my 125 year old farm home - I had the same problem. It had a cellar with a sump pump in the basement and mice came in through the stone foundation. Really had a problem.
    No problem in my new woods home :)
    If I have a problem I will try your mouse trap.

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  13. Good to know - definately will file under future reference. Only part of me reading your post kept wondering - same mouse? Maybe you should paint a blue dot on its back!

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  14. Ernestine, our cellar is big stones. I've thought of doing a blog entry on it sometime. I can't blame the mice. Who wouldn't want a nice house to live in instead of a field with its myriad dangers!

    Susan, Great idea! I am quite sure there wasn't enough time for it to run up the road and get caught again!

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