Category Archives: Gadgets

The best little mouse trap…evah!

I know I’ve been writing a lot of tech posts lately, but I hope I’ll be forgiven for this one. It really is more about design than tech, and I have photos to prove it. 🙂

Exhibit 1 – the inside of the mouse trap complete with left-over cream cheese and mouse poop:

Exhibit 2 – the mouse trap from the front ‘entrance’:

Exhibit 3 – the mouse trap closed:

My photos are half-way decent for a change, but I bet you can’t figure out the mechanism. -smirk-

So how does this odd-looking contraption trap a mouse and keep it trapped without killing it?

As a friend of mine would say…so glad you asked. 🙂

Okey dokey…the following video shows the mouse trap [called Mice Device] in action:

You may have noticed that the mice in the video all pushed past the ‘door’ of the mouse trap to get at the bait inside. As the ‘door’ only opens one way, once inside they couldn’t get out again. I’m not doubting the results, but I can tell you there is no way a wild mouse, caught by a cat and let loose in the house, will push past an unfamiliar barrier [the door], no matter how delicious the bait inside. That’s why I latch the ‘door’ open to encourage the mouse to go inside. Despite this, however, the mouse I evicted from my pantry this morning took a day and a half to enter the trap.

To show you what I mean about latching the door of the trap open, here are a couple of photos of the mechanism:

This is a closeup of the arm, inside the trap. The white stuff you can see on the flat, shovel-like end is left-over cream cheese [the bait]. The bit in the middle allows the arm to swing up and down like a tiny see-saw. The cylinder at the other end is a counter-weight so the shovel end is always up…unless there’s bait holding it down.

Now, when the arm is ‘up’, the clear plastic ‘door’ [hinged at the top] is closed, because there’s nothing to hold it up:

And now for some bits of the mechanism you can’t see:

Attached to the bottom of the arm mechanism is a tiny latch. The latch moves in a slot through the top of the tunnel. When the arm is in its normal position – i.e. with no bait – the counterweight at the end of the arm pulls the latch out of the way so the door can swing freely.

In the second illustration, the bait pulls the see-saw in the opposite direction. If the door has been pushed up [to open the passage], the latch will engage, and the door will stay up:

 

The one, tricky part is securing the door with the latch. I’ve found that the following sequence works every time:

  1. poke the finger of one hand in through the front entrance and push the door up,
  2. with the other hand, press a piece of bait onto the small spike located on the flat end of the arm,
  3. carefully release the door
  4. release the arm

If the bait is heavy enough to hold the arm down once you release it, the door will remain open until the mouse goes inside and tries to remove the bait. This will cause the door to close, trapping the mouse inside.

The bait I used was cream cheese because it’s dense and fairly heavy for its size, plus it was the only cheese I had. In the past I’ve tried bread [not heavy enough], bread with butter and popping corn [to make the corn stick to the bread], and hard cheese. Honestly, the soft cream cheese was the easiest to work with because it sticks easily and is ‘heavy’.

I’d really like to recommend this mouse trap, but I bought mine a few years ago and can’t remember where. A search online produced the video of the trap in action, but no stores that stock it. If you ever stumble across a retailer selling the Mice Device, please let me know as I’d like to buy a couple more in case this one breaks.

cheers

Meeks

p.s. I released the mouse into a clump of agapanthus with the left-over cheese as a farewell present. 🙂

 

 


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