Traps are an easy and inexpensive option for getting rid of mice at your home or office. This article will tell you more about how to set up a mouse trap.
Most of us laugh our hearts out at the sight of a cunning little stray mouse beating the air out of a foolish, cocksure cat. I am talking about the popular Tom and Jerry cartoon. In reality though, mice are very commonly found in American homes and farms, and cause a lot of trouble. The damage that they cause can look small, but if not dealt with immediately, even a single stray Jerry can make your life as miserable as Tom’s. Even today, conventional mouse traps are one of the most effective ways of getting rid of this pest. They work by trapping the rodent by force, by killing it, or by pinning it down alive. But only buying it does not accomplish the job, one must learn how to set it up in order to make it work. Setting up the trap at wrong locations can be hazardous if you have small kids or pets at home. Let us go through what all things are required for the setup, and the procedure involved.
- Mouse trap
There are a variety of mouse trap designs available these days. The most common is the tried and tested spring-loaded bar trap. It has a very simple design with a press trip on one side and a heavily-loaded spring on the other. The trip, with a place for the bait to attract the rodent, when pressed will release the loaded spring which unwinds in a very fast strike. Now you can imagine the fate of the mouse trying to eat the bait! There have been several other innovative traps available, like the mouth mousetrap, electric mousetrap, live-catching mousetrap, or glue trap, but none have replaced the most popular and the simplest spring-loaded one.
The second most important material is the bait. To attract the rodent towards the trap, it is important to lure it with something that it likes a lot. Mice are generally fond of household items like peanut butter or cheese, either of which can be used as a bait.
- Protective hand gloves
You will need this to remove the trapped mouse which will be dead if you are using a loaded-spring or an electric trap.
- Start preparing the trap in the evening, as a house mouse tends to wander in search of food when light and activity are minimum.
- Prepare the bait in advance and serve it on the tripping plate. Make sure not to load the spring before loading the bait, as your hand might become the trap’s first victim otherwise. Salami and bacon are also considered as potential baits.
- Locate the locking clip holding the U-shaped bar in place. Release the bar and pull it back as the spring coils to its maximum potential.
- Now comes the issue of placement, which is very important considering that a mouse always has preferred paths while wandering. Lay the trap where you generally notice the animal or its droppings. Kitchen is usually a favorite area of mice. Placing the trap in the most probable path can increase the chances of pinning down the menace. Mice always prefer to move along walls as it minimizes the chances of being spotted. Placing the trap perpendicular along a wall can be the best option.
- Now, with the trap laid, all you (and the mouse!) can do is pray. Keep the trap laid overnight as this will maximize the chances of the mouse finding the bait and subsequently falling in the trap.
- Laying the trap at night also ensures that if there are kids at home, they stay away from it. Also, it is generally a good idea to keep your pet chained when you have set up a trap.
- If, in the morning, there is a dead mouse in the trap, get rid of it while wearing thick protective gloves and wash yourself with an anti-septic later to avoid any infection.
- Discard the mouse in a double polythene bag and put it in a trash can. Lay the trap again if necessary.
Although these traps are very effective, it is surely not a preventive measure. There is always scope for more mice entering the house and then you will have to again do the good work. Also, this technique is not advocated for use on farmhouses as there may be a few hundred mice there, and it is impossible to kill them all one by one.
Note: Disposal of trapped or dead mice is often a messy affair and may include blood. Avoid doing it if you are too squeamish.