Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Best mouse trap

Seems every fall we have an issue with field mice in the barn where we store dad's old 1962 Volvo . They find a way to get in and chew the small wires and the interior upholstery . They do a lot of damage . The overdrive is now non operative as they chewed the wire to the solenoid that engages it . To repair it I will need to disconnect the drive shaft and lower the transmission in order to access the top of the transmission where the wire was chewed . We have tried just about every deterrent in the book but nothing seems to stop the mice . So more aggressive methods were in order .
 Remove the wire handle on a five gallon plastic bucket and straighten it . Drill two holes near the edge on opposite sides of the bucket . With an ice-pick punch holes though the center of the ends of a beer can and thread it on the wire . Center it and add some small rubber O-rings to keep it centered on the wire . Slip the wire in to the holes you drilled in the bucket and bend the ends over to secure in place . Fill the bucket with about three inches of water . If you have below freezing temps use radiator antifreeze . Using a drywall screw and a two foot piece of wood add a ramp for the mice to climb up . And finally smear a thin ribbon of peanut butter around the middle of the can.
About one week's haul last November . They climb onto the can , it spins , they loose their balance and go for a swim . It is a simple system that keeps catching mice without need to be reset so you can leave it unattended for a few days and it keeps working . Works real well and seems to put a dent in the population that the local foxes don't seem to care to go after . So far it is the first year I have not found any mice inside the Volvo .

12 comments:

  1. You seem to have thinned down the population some!

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    1. It does seem to be effective for now .

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  2. I just need to find one of my old buckets that doesn't leak, I wonder if they could climb out of the bucket with out the liquid? I used to make small traps out of tin cans, it involved a coat hanger and rubber bands and that captured them alive but some times the lid would cut their tails off.

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    1. If you don't put water in the bucket they won't climb, but they WILL jump out unless you use something taller like a garbage can. With the water in the the bucket you can at least put a dent in the population. If you go to Shawn Woods' page at; https://new.mousetrapmonday.com/category/mousetrap/
      He has plenty of videos showing how they are quite capable of jumping out along with a plethora of other homemade and store bought traps.

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  3. Those traps put a dent in the population. While I'm gone for the winter I put poison blocks in my basement. Not the "green" way to go, but they do the job. When home I'll use various traps. Had one of those baitless windup traps. Worked well, but they would turn on and eat each other if I couldn't get to the trap soon enough. Pretty gross.

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    1. Yea we tried the poison blocks too , but the mice just wind up eating the poison and crawling in to the car to nest and die. Not so much fun when it smells like dead mice inside the car when the weather warms up . And they still have the time to do some damage . The peanut butter on the rolling beer can really seems to attract them and they don't hang around in the barn long enough to explore and find a place to nest and breed in the car . I think its the young ones that chew on the wires . There are a number of variants on the bucket trap . Some with a teeter-totter, swinging cups, and tilting lids as well as commercial variants. I'll be trying out a few more as time goes on .

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  4. I've 'bookmarked' this page for next Winter. The only time we have a real problem with Mice is in late Autumn when they want to come indoors for the warmth. This year we dealt with them quite quickly, so there are none left to try your method on. Thanks in advance; it looks so good!

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    1. Right now with our 25 degree below zero Celsius temps the mice are not active. But they do reproduce every six weeks and thus are looking to make new nests to rear their average brood off twelve . Best you can hope for is to cull some out and keep the population in check . I usually find them in the Volvo in the fall and spring . This is the first year I tried this method and it seems to work well . No nests in the usual places .

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  5. I use a "catch 'em alive" trap, and haul them out in the woods, and let them go. Who knows, in my next incarnation, I might be a mouse! And then, there's Mrs. Brisby, you know....
    ;-)

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    1. Sending them back into the woods is not going to keep them from coming back and chewing on the wires on the old Volvo. A mature mouse can produce a fresh litter of twelve every six weeks. Best I can hope for is to eliminate them before they hang around long enough to find a comfy place to nest and make a mess of things. I just set up another bucket in mom's basement and caught seven in the last three days. But with my luck I am just creating a strain of super agile mice that can win a log rolling competition.

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    2. I should have been a Hindu, I guess. Can't stand to hurt animals. I guess there are worse personality quirks to have, though...

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    3. If you'd been born a Hindu, you'd have saved yourself a whole lot of money instead of buying all those guns and ammo. LOL. I know what you mean. I don't like seeing animals hurt either. But I can't have the mice chewing wires that could later put us in danger. And the mice aren't all that nice to each other either. The same trap can be made with a teeter-totter lid so you can trap them without the water and yet are unable to jump out so you can keep them alive, but they just attack and cannibalize each other in the bucket.

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