Friday, January 11, 2008

A better mousetrap?

We've been having a plague of mice this winter. Living in the country as we do we expect to get the occasional mouse in the house especially in the winter. Normally we get two or three between November and March.
This year its been over twenty! I'm catching nearly one a day. Our neighbors all seem to have the same problem. For whatever reason (global warming? Carbon emissions? ) the mouse population seems to have exploded. I'm even catching them in one of the spare bedrooms which isn't used at all and has absolutely no source of food for a mouse. I've been around outside and blocked up every conceivable place where I think a mouse might get in. No luck. The little devils are so small that they can squeeze in just about anywhere.

Up to a few days ago I was using conventional mouse traps. You know, the wooden ones with a spring, a wire arrangement and a little platform for the bait. I was using two, one under the kitchen sink & one over in the spare bedroom. The bait was a bit of cheese or, this being France, a small piece of pate. As mentioned this was working pretty well, but I did have a number of misses where they got the bait, but didn't get trapped and there were days when I forgot to reset that trap(s).
The other day mouse droppings turned up in the linen room so Linda asked if I'd get more traps as it didn't seem that two were enough. So while we were in Villefranche I dropped into Pole Vert. (Now, you have to get you 'Verts' straight in France as there
is Pole Vert and there is Point Vert. Both national chains. Pole Vert is a post of farmer's hardware store. An amazing mixture of stuff for the farmer, everything from clothes to machinery to pipes to horsey stuff to mouse traps. Point Vert on the other hand is a combination of garden stuff plus general hardware. Everything from plants to fertilizer to pipe fittings to wine to clothes to, yes, mouse traps. Whatever, both seem to do pretty well & are fun to wander around being pretty good for one's vocabulary of farming & garden items. Not as much fun as the quincaillerie though.)

Sure enough Pole Vert had a stock of the classic mouse traps. So I picked up a couple, but there right next to the checkout counter was a display of SUPER CAT!

I've read a saying somewhere to the effect that "build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door." I don't know who said that, but it has always stuck in my mind. Well It seems that somebody has built a better mouse trap!

Here it is the Super Cat mouse trap. This is the picture of it closed. They come two to the pack and cost about 4 bucks. The promise is that they're easy to use, safe, effective and require no baiting.

Naturally, I had
to buy a two pack to try out.

So, when we got home the first thing I did was to read the directions. (being a BSEE I do stupid thing like reading directions)

So simple that even I could understand them. Push down the lever and remove the cap on the bait platform.

Once a mouse is caught just push down the lever again to drop the corpse into the garbage. Your trap is the automatically reset.

Couldn't be simpler.

So I set both traps and placed them. As a test I also set my old conventional trap next to the Super Cat under the kitchen sink.

Super Cat worked! I caught three mice in a row. AND the mice preferred. if that's the word, Super Cat to the old fashioned trap.

In fact after a few days of this I'm not catching mice any more. I think Super Cat has cleaned them all out.

Thus, it looks as if somebody has actually invented a better mouse trap. I was intrigued and noticed that there was an Internet address on the packaging ( so I had a look. Turns out that this company makes a number of interesting products including 'humane' version of the mouse trap. They've just introduced a trap for voles & moles which I'm trying to buy as the moles are chewing up our lawn and, so far, traps, noise makers and bombs (yes, really!) haven't done the job.

All I have to do is find somebody in France who stocks the mole trap.


Thomas said...

Thank you for this review. I'm getting one myself now.

Anonymous said...

So this trap does kill the mouse? I just bought a pack because I believed it just trapped them and you could take it outside and set them free. I don't want to kill anything! :( How does it work? Crush them? The trap is sooo small! If so, I definitely can't use it. :(