Partial follow-up on mysterious snap-trap thief

Thanks for the suggestion that were posted after my inquiry.
Well I've tried the string with the peanut butter trick. The foot plate comes with a hole at the end so it was easy to thread a short length of cotton kite string through the hole, tie a square knot in it, and cut the string leaving about 3/8" tails beyond the knot. I really worked the peanut butter into the threads of the string and put a healthy dab on the area around the hole and toothed part of the foot plate. I've had 2 failures. Both times the string and foot plate look as though they were put through a dish washer! That's one agile tongue on that critter!
I know that the trap can snap, because very gentle pressure with the end of a screw driver, or even a firm nudge of the entire trap causes it to snap.
I know that I've got something bigger than insects because just yesterday I clearly heard loud fast scratching sounds coming from behind the wallboard on the common wall between the garage (where I've set the trap) and my dining room. They stopped immediately after I pounded the wall once with my fist.
On to the piece of chicken as bait. If that doesn't work, I think that I'm going to have to try a different type of trap. Unfortunately, when I read the on-line user comments about the other common types, there are many complaints for all of them about failing to catch anything but droppings.
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I used the cheap Victor traps when I had a mouse infestation and had no problem killing mice. Maybe 1 of 20 tripped traps empty. Peanut butter or cheese. The real solution was thorough cleaning and strict rules about food. Sealed all holes too, but if there's food they'll make new ones. They'll pull steel wool out strand by strand, so forget that unless you add an adhesive to the wool. Came home from work one day, and saw what I thought was broken crayon pieces on the floor inside the entrance door. Thought one of the kids did it. A bit later I was horsing around with the wife and the recent baby and ran into the hallway with the baby. Caught sight of the last mouse running from the door to hide behind the step carpeting. Got a broom and killed him. Wasn't crayon on the floor, but the bottom door seal. It was about 10 degrees outside, but that mouse was trying to get outside of my house by chewing through the door seal. He knew it was no place to be, even if it was warm.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

I would frequently have the peanut butter eaten off of the trap, with the baitholder left clean as a whistle.
Then I did two things: I increased the sensitivity of the traps by adjusting the lever arm catch, and I thickened up the peanut butter with a little bit of flour.
I never had a mouse get away with the bait again.
Jon
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I have discovered that cockroaches can make surprisingly load scratching sounds that sound very much like a rat scratching or chewing on something.
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On 11/30/2010 1:46 AM, Larry Fishel wrote:

I doubt that the problem is roaches. First of all, I've never seen one live or dead in this house or in the garage; and this house, built in 1970, is not so tight that they would be kept out of the living spaces if they were in the walls.
I saw some Tomcat spin traps on sale today (2 for $3.25) and figured I'll try them. Not a big investment. I've baited one with peanut butter as recommended on the box and set it where the snap-trap had been keeping some critter well fed for a week or 2 (on the floor of the garage, up against the inside front wall of the garage, about 1 foot from the garage door rail. We'll see what happens next.
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Never found mice hard to trap. One night in my ma's house caught about a dozen in a cigar box trap I made. Just cut a door in one side and screwed a bent piece of tin to cover the cutout when the box was closed. Used an almost straightened bobby pin to prop it open at the end away from the cutout, the bottom of the bobby pin stuck through a little piece of cheese. I could either hear the box close or I'd check once in a while. They were pretty bold mice. I dumped them in a high cardboard box sitting on a chair. Figured I'd let them loose somewhere, and spare their lives. Fell asleep on the couch and when I got up there was a hole chewed through the cardboard box and they were all gone. Bastards. That's when I said "No mercy" and took to using Victor traps. Maybe you're not dealing with mice, but some kind of alien species. Be careful.
--Vic
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