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From hell's heart I stab at thee! Or maybe it's the other way around. - Qualified Perceptions
From hell's heart I stab at thee! Or maybe it's the other way around.
Our house has some mice. I saw one last week, which usually means there are many, so I've been putting out traps. Mousetraps are tricky - I snap them on my fingers half the time putting them down, but if I don't, then they aren't hair-trigger enough to go off, and the mice eat the peanut butter without setting off the trap. harrock does not get to set traps, after having taken pliers to his first trap to make it easier to set, resulting in it being nearly impervious to impact.

I've caught six mice, with probably a 50% success rate, and I tend to think of the traps that get their peanut butter nibbled off as the ones that the 'smart mouse' got to, and the mice that get caught as the 'dumb mouse'. It's a more dramatic story in my head, with the smart mouse, master mouse-thief, doing Indiana Jones tricks with the peanut butter and a bag of sand. Not that I've caught a bag of sand yet.

This morning, my mouse nemesis had STOLEN THE TRAP. The trap was *GONE*. Nowhere in the kitchen that we could reach.

They're coming out of the walls! They stole the trap! What do you mean they stole the trap, man, they're animals!

Except I'm probably the monster, and he's the awesome mouse thief hero, now probably missing a hand or a tail or something, vowing vengeance. He's probably saving the trap for later, and I'll find it on my pillow when it snaps on my ear.
16 comments or Leave a comment
merastra From: merastra Date: September 4th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Snaps on your ear

Oh noes, ear snapping! It's dangerous to be a mouse nemesis! I hope you don't get any ear snapping. Sorry about the mouse invasion. Clearly though, all villains should have you write their stories. :-)

We had to deal with that at the inlaws house too, 2 Christmases ago. We also blocked off the mice's egress to the outdoor goody-bonanza of birdseed. It seems to have worked. Given yours are probably not lured by birdseed, you'll have a harder time separating them from their food.

I think we used cheese. We tried different cheeses and they liked them all. (Fancy imported gouda vs something plainer like jack cheese).
izmirian From: izmirian Date: September 5th, 2013 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snaps on your ear

Yeah for a while we were putting out maybe 3 traps and catching a couple mice every day. But after just a few days we cleared them all out and they never came back. That was a couple years ago.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: September 5th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snaps on your ear

Yeah, we had mice once before, five or six years ago, but after trapping two they seemed to be gone. (Oddly, this time, there are more mice, but much less mouse spoor. They haven't gotten up into the shelves to leave droppings like last time - I barely noticed them. I guess the Sneaky Hero Thief Mouse has been giving them instructions on how to stay un-noticed.)
izmirian From: izmirian Date: September 5th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Snaps on your ear

Yeah you know it does seem like you're probably up against the PCs this time which is strange as I thought that you guys were the PCs :-)
navrins From: navrins Date: September 4th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, basically what you're saying is, you're helping evolve trap-resistant mice.

(I can't really blame you for that, I suppose.)
eccentrific From: eccentrific Date: September 4th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
More realistically, I'm thinking perhaps the trap probably caught the tail rather than the head...

I will also suggest chocolate chips as being more effective IME than peanut butter. You can wedge them down onto the bait area good so they can't be pulled up, and since they're solid they are much more likely to transmit movement (and thus set off the trap) when a mouse starts nibbling. Also, mice seem to really love chocolate.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: September 4th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Tail seems like something that would let the mouse drag the trap around, but I was having a hard time imagining how he was trying to get the peanut butter with his tail. :)

I think the peanut butter normally works well enough for me to not worry too much - if they nibble the peanut butter off the trap, then one, I can tell that there are still mice left, and two, I am training the mice to eat peanut butter from the traps. :)
twe From: twe Date: September 4th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Stealing the trap is extreme!
fxz From: fxz Date: September 5th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Let's just hope that Reepicheep doesn't call down the wrath of Aslan on your heads for costing him his tail...
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: September 5th, 2013 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Setting mousetraps is a bear. At least I am only trying to catch PCs and not mice. :} I have resorted to sanding the pins a wee bit to make them slightly easier to set ...

My limited experience so far with live-catch traps has been good -- the mouse has to actually go inside the trap to get the bait, though I suppose a sufficiently sneaky mouse might manage not to cause the door to drop while doing so. Then you have a live mouse to deal with, though.

I'd bet the mice are too timid to try to use the trap on you. :)
tallou From: tallou Date: September 6th, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
We had a brilliant perfect awesome live trap for a while. Then our neighbor borrowed it and used it as a dead trap and threw it away. Never found another that worked as well.
arcanology From: arcanology Date: September 5th, 2013 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're not just infested with mice, you're infested with dramatic mouse heroes. You should go review Top 10 on how to deal with that.

Also, extremely clever of harrock to break the first one.
nuclearpolymer From: nuclearpolymer Date: September 5th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I mush up a bit of bread with the peanut butter, and it hardens into a clump that really sticks to the bait thing pretty well. (And for rats, I use a piece of Slim Jim, with a piece of dental floss threaded through it, so it can be tied down to the bait thing.)
fredrickegerman From: fredrickegerman Date: September 5th, 2013 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sadly, the time a mouse made off with our trap, it was to then crawl thoroughly underneath our oven and die inside the broiler mechanism. Required a great deal of disassembly.
countertorque From: countertorque Date: September 5th, 2013 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sadly, this is the most likely stolen trap scenario. Everybody loses.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: September 7th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
We managed to get the not-a-broiler drawer out, and in fact the mouse and trap had gotten under the oven.

But in my head, the Mouse Hero will be the one larger mouse that I caught after that (and then the peanut butter stopped disappearing), and Reepicheep has fallen.
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