Saturday, February 03, 2007

An unwelcome visitor

mouse trap
A simple rat/mouse trap using a bucket, newspaper, cardboard ramp and bits of cheese.
mouse trap
A simple rat/mouse trap using a bucket, newspaper, cardboard ramp and bits of cheese.
commercial mouse traps
Thinking that my trap wasn't going to work, I went out and bought some mousetraps.
You may have been wondering what's brought on my recent obsession (*) with killing poor defenceless animals? Quite simply, I woke up a week ago to find a mouse in my kitchen. It scampered away as soon as I arrived and wasn’t seen again until I returned from work that day. Again it scampered away not to be seen until the following morning.

And so it went on, day after day.

Mice are very cute but they’re still vermin. Not vermin in a rat kind of way, of course. If anything untoward were to come of it being in the kitchen, it wouldn’t have been much more than mice droppings and nibbling away at any foodstuff it came across.

Nevertheless, I decided to get rid of him.

And rather than go out and buy a mousetrap, I decided to try something I’d heard about before. Fill a bucket with water; cover it with newspaper that has had a cross cut into it with a sharp knife; sprinkle cheese on top. A rat would easily jump on to the paper to get at the cheese but a mouse is a lot smaller so I created a ramp to the top by balancing a piece of cardboard against the bucket.

I fully expected to find a drowned mouse the morning after setting up my contraption but it had managed to get the cheese without mishap. ‘Oh well, so much for that,’ I thought and went out and bought some mousetraps. They're very flimsy, made from plywood and thin bits of wire. Definitely mousetraps as opposed to rat traps. Very cheap too - less than 2 euros for four of them! Despite having bought them, I decided to give my contraption another go. I made a bigger cut in the newspaper so that there was less chance of it being able to take the mouse’s weight.

It worked - no more mouse in my kitchen!

A much better way of disposing of a mouse than having his body broken by a conventional mousetrap, don't you think? And definitely much more humane than the glue traps Ambling Sheep drew my attention to. Yes, I know that my contraption could have been even more humane by leaving the bucket empty. But what would I have done with the captured mouse?

There you have it, the reason for my going through my past experiences of being an animal murderer.

dead mouse
Do NOT click on this picture
if you are of a sensitive disposition.
You've been warned!!

(*) part 1, part 2, part 3


Blogger Bill said...

I had windered about your recent obsession with obliterating poor defenceless moles! ;)

However, many years ago (about '72 when I lived in a crumby bedsit in Balham in south London) I got rid of a mouse by the ramp-bucket of water method, although my idea was to place the cheese on a little upturned yoghurt tub in the bucket, like an island; I'm pleased to say that the first night I tried it I wakened to find an 'ex-mouse' in the bucket in the kitchen.

5:54 pm  
Blogger Bill said...

Of course that should have been 'I had wondered ...' - put it down to too much Rioja! ;)

5:55 pm  
Blogger Terri said...

Congrats on your disposal, Nomad. And thanks for the laugh - I just caught up on your dead critters posts and I laughed so hard Hubby turned up the volume on the TV downstairs - well written!

7:41 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

As a child I loved moles and cheered when one bit my brother... a few years ago when I had a mouse problem I got a trap that didn't kill and then released the mouse into the wild...

3:15 pm  
Blogger Alan said...

That trap looked very humane unless you tell us that the receptical that the rodents fell i9nto through the newspaper was a food blender !!! We live in hope.

7:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked damn it!

A long time ago, when I had a beautiful, but rather large Zulu maid, Florrie, a little shrew made its way into my home. Not wanting it to be mauled by one of the dogs and not wanting myself to be nipped by the thing, I decided to let it lose in a nearby field.

With feather duster placed over the shrew to prevent escape, I called for Florrie to bring an empty shoe box. I don't speak Zulu, Florrie didn't speak English, but I somehow conveyed that as I lifted the feather duster she must cover the shrew quickly with the box. I thought things went according to plan, when with a squeal and jump from Florrie, the box appeared to be in position. With lid ready to slide underneath the box, I carefully lifted the box to find no shrew.

"Hau!" I said to Florrie.

"Hau!" Florrie replied and lifted her foot to show me one very dead, very flattened shrew. I burst into tears.

Some six years later, whilst back on a visit to the area, I bumped into Florrie, she immediately said "Hau! Wena lo ena kala skattie mena blalla lo goundan!" (Something like "You are the person who cried when I killed the rat")

So I too, had made an impression.

5:33 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

anonymous: Nice story! It seems that your Zulu improved a lot in 6 years! :-)

4:38 pm  
Anonymous Stephen said...

Thanks for the article, very effective information.

8:10 pm  
Anonymous screen recorder said...

Well, you made me smile! Thank you for sharing! But I feel also a little pity! Poor mouse!

6:11 am  
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