Build a Better Mousetrap

“If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor…” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yep, build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door, but you are just going to have to reseed the lawn, and that’s not the purpose is it? You want to catch the little bugger scampering in your wall. You could just get yourself a cat. Now, living in rural Pennsylvania in what was basically a converted barn, I expected to have a rodent problem. I also expected my cat to catch mice. Luckily, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, or catch a mouse.

The traditional spring trap works with mixed results, the mouse can grab the bait and run, you can forget to check the trap, only to be reminded that you’ve caught something by the stench that greets you when you come home from a long day at work, or your children and pets can delight in setting it off. Believe me. You do not want to be weaving storytelling magic at 1am when a trap goes off and the pet hamster goes missing. I also found sticky paper to be a cruel way to catch mice, and mice soon learned to avoid the areas containing the sticky surface.

You could go with a small live trap if you’d like, but why go to all the expense when a little duct tape, a cardboard paper towel tube, and a 5 gallon bucket can be quickly transformed into a cheap trap trick?

Just position the tube on an edge of a counter that has been visited nightly by your furry, little pests. Tape it down, leaving about two inches hanging off the edge. You are going to want to put a slight crease in the tube right at edge of the counter. Smear a little peanut butter in the tube overhanging the bucket that you have prepared to catch the vermin, and when the mouse enters the tube to take the bait, the tube bends and slides him into the waiting receptacle. You can then release him in your neighbor’s garden!

A frugal friend once suggested this to me years ago, and it has actually worked on several occasions, except for the times that Hobo, the cat actually decided to let his curiosity out, and knocked my contraption onto the floor.

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