February 11, 2004
The Importance Of Redundant Weapons Systems

The mice are back. I've caught four in the last two days. The fourth one stepped on a trap when I walked into the kitchen an hour or two ago -- perhaps he was too busy running away from me to watch where he was going. It only trapped his hind legs and he tried to crawl away, squeaking pitifully. I was just thinking I would have to step on him to put him out of his misery when he tried to crawl over another trap between him and the stove, which went off and killed him. I'm beginning to understand a little better why I'm getting mail for eight or ten previous residents. I've also learned that raspberry jam is surpisingly ineffective as mouse-bait. I ran out of cheese yesterday, and have only caught the one mouse since baiting all four of my traps with jam. It's not that they've been nibbling the jam successfully, either, since the traps are all still fully baited.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 11, 2004 09:26 PM

Jam is too sweet for them. Peanut butter. They can't resist it.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on February 12, 2004 12:54 AM

Use butter.

Posted by: AllenS on February 12, 2004 04:32 AM

Peanut butter works llike a champ.

We got overrun one year after a very wet spring in SoCal; they started invading houses when the food outside dried up.

Posted by: timekeeper on February 12, 2004 11:05 AM

Dogs and cats can do rats in.

Posted by: ellie on February 12, 2004 08:39 PM

Peanut butter... but, really, a cat would be much more effecient, as well as sleeping on your feet at night and keeping them warm!

Posted by: Sgt. Mom on February 13, 2004 11:15 AM

Cats are more efficient mouse killers, but peanut butter will never leave a mangled critter corpse for you to step on when you get out of bed in the morning.

Posted by: Just Me on February 13, 2004 05:26 PM

why don't you just get one of those high pitch (humans can't hear it) noise makers which means the mice won't even come near your house,more economical in the long run and nicer to the mice :)

Posted by: Jon on February 15, 2004 06:05 AM

I once was defending a lawsuit over a catbite and hired an animal behavior expert who informed me that only 40% of domestic cats will hunt mice.

I didn't have the heart to ask who had actually published a study on such a thing.

Posted by: Robin Roberts on February 16, 2004 12:06 PM

If you're still getting mice, then they've got to be coming from somewhere. Do you have vacant property adjaent to yours? You have to take out the infestation at source.

And peanut butter or chocolate is the bait of choice.

Posted by: David Gillies on February 19, 2004 01:17 AM

Caught one with peanut butter only minutes after reading your post. No nasty mess, either. The trusty little Havaheart live trap has been reloaded in case there were friends and the rat has relocated to a wood a half mile up the road (with two neighbors' houses being closer, but I didn't say that).

Posted by: Geoffrey Barto on February 21, 2004 05:44 AM

Peanut butter is great, but soft and easy to lick off the trigger bar without setting off the trap. I've found if I put p'butter on a piece of paper, and then roll the paper into a tight tube, so it's sandwiched 'butter/paper it works great. The little bugger has to nibble on the paper to get to the inner 'butter, and wham! Also, mice are wall huggers, so if you put the traps close to the edges of rooms, or by the side of the garage door you'll get more "hits". In fact, with good placement you don't even need to bait 'em.

Posted by: Gus on February 22, 2004 09:17 AM