I will start off by saying I am not proud of myself. I am certain there will be some people who, on moral grounds, are offended by what I am attempting – deep down I might be one of them.
Perhaps I should explain – a while ago it was discovered that I had a rodent and it was crawling around in my kitchen. I heard it scratching one night and then noticed a loaf of bread tunneled into. I don’t normally leave it out, so this was a crime of opportunity. It also confirmed the strange noises that keep me awake at 3am sometimes are not just in my head. A few days later it was bolder and showed itself, thankfully this time my cat saw it too and held a vigil in that room for a few days.
I tried a live trap rigged with bait at the end of a tube that would drop when crawled into. The tube would fall into a tall bucket that the mouse (hopefully) could not jump out of. This did nothing for several weeks and I gave up on it.
After a month or so with no sign of the rodent running about, I assumed it was hibernating – since my live-trap did not work whatsoever, and no other food had been spoiled. Then it woke me again at 3am. Next day, I searched for signs of mouse activity and found a brand new bag of quick oats now had nibble marks all over the bag and a hole tunneled right into it.
Well, now I am losing sleep, food and patience. I can’t have a disease carrying creature where I store and prepare my food, and the live trapping was not working. Besides that, I live in the suburbs – the mouse is likely to come back either to my home or another, and if I drop it in the country more than likely it will be eaten by it’s field mouse cousins if not a larger predator. Did I mention that it’s also -30C at night here lately?
Maybe that is all just rationalization of a course of action after the fact. After a few weeks of Zyban and fighting a nicotine addiction I just do not care. This little creature, however cute, has to go for sanitary and sanity reasons.
I bought some run of the mill snap traps. Four for a dollar. I baited them with peanut butter and some of the spoiled oats. I have been checking them twice a day for mice. Nothing. On the weekend I looked closer at two of the traps that where more out of the way – not only was there no mice, there was no bait!
It seems the creature or creatures where able to lick the peanut butter off the trigger without releasing the spring.
Part of me figures “no problem – now they will trust the traps.”
Dutifully I am more careful with the peanut butter this time and tried to set the traps a little more sensitive. There was no peanut butter on either trap again this morning. Someone commented to me that now I have pets, since I seem to be just feeding them.
Tonight I did some tests and confirmed that these traps take a fair bit of weight to release, and I know for a fact that mice are very light. I took some time to mix some honey into the peanut butter and I set the traps as close to being ready to snap as I could. My hope is the honey will make the bait stickier, thus causing the mouse to get more aggressive with removing it. I also spread it along the whole trigger with the idea that the longer it’s there licking – the more chance it has to set it off.
Furthermore, I moved one of the out of the way traps that was untouched along the wall with the original two.
I think part of my problem with this whole ordeal is that the traps are emptied every night – I was blissfully thinking that they had not been around when there where no droppings and nothing eaten. If this fails, I might try impaling a piece of bread onto the peanut butter coated trigger, or rigging something up to make the trigger larger, thus giving more leverage.