Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Thing #242--Build A Better Mousetrap

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

All of the students at my tutoring center are working on a correspondence curriculum that leads to a high school diploma; although each is at a different point in the program, none of them enjoy the class they're currently doing. Yesterday they were looking for any possible distraction to keep from working.

Halfway through the day one of them went into the kitchen area and thought he saw a mouse. I assumed he was making it up, so I walked into the kitchen; a couple of seconds later a mouse ran across the room and under the refrigerator! I tried to be cool about it but I gave a little scream. Pandemonium ensued. Each student had a theory of how to take care of the mouse, all of which involved some type of violent death. I tried to get everyone to sit down, but that wasn't working. All of a sudden the mouse darted out from under the refrigerator, made a circuit around the room and went under the stove. That was enough for me!

I told them all to call their parents to let them know that sessions were canceled for the day. I called the office, told them about the problem, and suggested they do something right away. As the students were cleaning their things up, I kept making furtive glances into the kitchen. The last thing I did before I locked up for the day was put a new bag in the trash can; when I opened the drawer to get a bag, there was evidence the mouse had been there too.

Today I bought mousetraps for work. I hope that the problem will be resolved already when I get there, but my serenity is going to rest on making sure the mice are gone. I went to the local drug store to see what was available. Much to my surprise, there was a small section devoted to mice extermination.

The biggest percentage of the section was devoted to baits (rodenticides in technical language). There were small boxes, larger boxes, and something that looked like the silica packets that are enclosed in boxes to take care of moisture. These were the least expensive options, but I passed on them. Mouse poisons take time to work, and there is a risk that the mouse could die (and decompose, then stink) while inside a wall. Not a risk I want to take.

There were also several types of mousetraps. In addition to the old-fashioned spring-loaded bar mousetrap, there was something called the "Better Mousetrap" which looked like a large plastic chip clip with a heavy-duty spring inside. It looked like it would be easier to set than the standard type. However, all mice traps have the same basic problem: at some point there's a dead critter to take care of! I chose to purchase something that was billed as "no view, no touch" traps. You bait them, set them (with a little mouse entryway on the side), then check them. If the entryway is closed, there's a mouse inside, and you toss the entire trap! They were more expensive, but worth it to me.

I'm putting the traps and some cheese in my work bag and taking them to work with me. I'll add my traps to whatever the janitorial staff felt inclined to put in the area; hopefully the mouse won't make another appearance!


  1. Try baiting with peanut butter if the cheese doesn't work.

  2. Yup - peanut butter is a better match than cheese usually. Or - chocolate - the little buggers have good taste [I too love peanut butter and chocolate]!

    I have lots of experience dealing with mice. Those "better mousetraps" were the source of much trauma in my previous life [they aren't so good @ killing the mice, more just torturing them FOR HOURS]. The old-fashioned traps were our favourite after testing everything else [poisons, audio/radar devices, real exterminators, glue traps, herbal stuff...].

    Bonne chance!

  3. It's been two days, with no sign of any critters (and nothing in my traps). Maybe the janitorial staff took care of it?