Monday, October 22, 2012

A better mouse trap

About a month ago, I learned that my upstairs neighbors had a run-in with some rodents. They'd caught three mice in a week. Ick. Compulsive kitchen cleaner that I am, I was unperturbed, reassuring myself that this sort of thing would never happen in my kitchen. (Not that I am accusing my friendly upstairs neighbors of being slobs or anything, but they probably don't scour the countertops or floors as much as I do.) Then about three weeks ago, as I was settling into bed, I heard it. Scratching. Distinct and persistent clawing sounds coming from somewhere on the far side of the apartment. I stealthily padded across the carpet to see if I could narrow down the location, but by the time I got to the tiled kitchen, it had stopped.

Two nights later, as I was sitting at the laptop working at the kitchen table, I heard it again. The lights were still on and I was sitting about six feet away from the scritch-scratching. Agh! BRAZEN little bugger, this one was. Still, I didn't get a visual on my uninvited guest.

The next night, as I settled down to do a little reading in bed, I heard something that sounded like a plastic bag rustling. This time I bolted across the apartment wielding a heavy frying pan, sprinting to the kitchen just in time to see a furry intruder scamper out of the small trashcan and disappear behind the counter somewhere. The next morning, I borrowed the electric mouse zapper from my upstairs neighbors, whose furry interloper population seem to have moved down to my place. I set it with a nice, stoneground wheat cracker slathered with organic peanut butter. What mouse wouldn't want that (as a last meal)?

Apparently not this one.

A day or two after that, the little bugger took a bite out of one of the tomatoes I had ripening on the counter. The counter!! Where I knead my sourdough bread! Blech! I scrubbed the counter down, then disinfected it, then scoured it again the next morning just before I started making bread. Then, concerned that maybe some gunk in the mouse trap was blocking the sensor, I scrubbed out the zap trap with an old toothbrush -- finally, something useful that my ex-boyfriend left here -- and put in a stale cracker with some stinky brie rind. That should do it, I congratulated myself. What mouse could resist?


Now, I know it's getting colder and all, and outdoor creatures are in search of a warm, safe place to snuggle up for the winter. And I am an animal lover through and through. I actually capture silverfish and spiders and crickets when I find them in my bathroom, carry them outside, and let them out in the garden. I've made a relative truce with the squirrels and rats that scamper through my garden on occasion. But I cannot abide rodents in my kitchen. This is war.

Today, after lunch and a stop by the bike shop for a new front wheel, dad and I made our way to Logan Hardware to prepare my apartment for a serious anti-rodent offensive. After some debate in the pest aisle, dad suggested that I try out a few different mousetrap models. He and I have a wager on which one will work best. My money's on the covered one (which, incidentally, has a lower probability of Ibti finger damage), while dad stands by the cartoon-style, old school snap trap:

We'll see who's the smart one now, Nibbles....


  1. A friend on google plus used a pint glass, quarter coin and some peanut butter. Said it caught his.

  2. V is for Victory. Gets em every time. Peanut Butter is the way to go. I much prefer those over glue trap, which are also Victories, but a slow and painful victory, not a fast and quick one. Good luck!!!

  3. So, who won the challenge? Tsk tsk. Mice nowadays are getting smarter and can even know when a trap is set for them. I know that the zapper didn’t work out, but I still find it as the best trap. If you’re still having problems, I suggest that you place bait in an unfamiliar place for a few times. Once the mice feel safe in that place, that’s the time you set the trap.

    Annabelle Millard

  4. I remember my granny scolding me whenever I said the bad word “R-A-T” while we are placing the mouse trap around our old house. She said the rat will know the location of the trap and our effort will be useless. Weird, isn’t it? But I found out from an article that they are 9th placer among the smartest animals, along with dogs and cats. Still, granny’s assumption is dubious. Hehe! You just have to be strategic in placing traps. Better put it in places you know they frequent.
    Bridgette Adair


Thanks for your comment! Just making sure this isn't spam.... Thanks for your patience. :)Ibti