Rat trap: Snapped on my finger today (yellow plastic paddle trigger is too sensitive)

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While I was working on my pool equipment, I heard a rat next to me rooting about in the pool heater.
At one point, the soft furry guy even showed itself, seemingly oblivious to me, inches away from my face walking along the pipes... but I wasn't quick enough to snap a picture before it scurried back into the heater.
So, I put out a couple of those horrid yellow-plastic-tabbed rat traps, where it snapped onto my finger, as I tried to set the the super- sensitive trigger. Ouch!

I swore I'd throw them away and get new all-metal rat traps in the morning!
Anyway, I wasn't back working on the wires, only two feet away, for more than five minutes, when I heard the tell-tale snap.

The rat died immediately as I was there within five seconds and it wasn't moving at all:

I felt really badly for the little guy, but I can't have them chewing on the wires in the heater (which might be why the heater isn't working):
Just curious: Q: Do you also have trouble setting those plastic yellow-paddle rat traps? (Next time I get traps, I'm going to buy the all-metal-trigger ones!)
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On Fri, 17 May 2013 08:46:55 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

If you saw one, there is a half dozen or more still around.

Never needed one, fortunately.
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On 5/17/2013 4:46 AM, Danny D. wrote:

I've got the mouse sized traps and noted they are sensitive and had to bend the trigger a little to make more stable.
I do like the trap because the large paddle platform seems to do a better job. I've had a lot of the all metal ones with peanut butter bait having been licked off without triggering trap.
This type trap is far more humane than the traps that enclose them where they starve to death or the glue traps where I've seen one almost gnaw off his leg to escape.
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?

We used to live in an OLD home built circa 1906 when insulation and sealing against critters was not a high priority. Norwegian roof rat influx and I got 12 rats within a week. Victor killed them all except the patriarch! That bar snapping down on his head only made him angry. He went a good twelve feet dragging the trap trying to get away, where I found him and finished what 'victor' had started. I always spray Raid Flea spray around an 'expired' trap. The second a rat starts to die, their temperature starts droping, the fleas evacuate, and that's a whole new infestation don't want.
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On Friday, May 17, 2013 2:46:55 AM UTC-6, Danny D. wrote:

That looks like a deer mouse not a RAT. We don't have rats but we do have deer mice which spread the hanta virus.
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On Fri, 17 May 2013 07:55:49 -0700, Roy wrote:

It did look kind of small for a rat - and it had big eyes and ears - but it had a rat like tail, so I had thought it was a rat.
Googling, I agree, it's probably a deer mouse, especially since the belly was white, and the ears were big, and the head smallish.
When he looked at me, eye to eye, across the pipes, I thought it was very cute for a rat. Now I know why. It was a big mouse. Plus it didn't act scared in the least by my presence.
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wrote:
the all-metal-trigger ones!)

That is a roof rat (rattus rattus) AKA tree rat, fruit rat or for the Florida chamber of commerce types a Palmetto Squirrel.
http://gfretwell.com/wildlife/rattus_rattus.jpg
The other principle rat in the US is the Norway rat (AKA sewer rat, river rat etc) They are bigger with a shorter tail.
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On Friday, May 17, 2013 10:16:25 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

And you are full of shit.
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wrote:

Look at the picture again and the bucket lid it is sitting on
"The deer mouse is small in size, only 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 cm) long, not counting the length of the tail." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peromyscus_maniculatus
That is bigger than a deer mouse
Roof rats have white bellies too. I killed dozens of them around here. I got a real good look at them
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wrote:

Look again
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/dead%20rat.jpg
That sucker is 6" long if you roll him over on his belly, almost 12" with the tail. That is easily twice as big as a deer mouse.
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On Friday, May 17, 2013 11:37:31 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

After a second look, I would say that my conclusion was the right one. A deer mouse for sure.
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wrote:

If they call roof rats deer mice where you live, that is OK by me but that is a roof rat. A deer mouse is about half that size.
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On Fri, 17 May 2013 12:16:25 -0400, gfretwell wrote:

I left it outside last night where it aly, and just now, I went outside to snap another picture to confirm its identity - but - it's gone.
I'm not surprised. Once we had to kill a rattler and it was gone within 15 minutes of putting it outside.
There are no dogs or cats (totally enclosed gated property), so it might be the vultures that got it over night or in the morning. We often see a bobcat. And we can hear the coyotes. One or the other is eating well this morning ...
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wrote:

There are all sorts of critters that would pick up a free meal like that. I would bet on a raccoon or a possum. They have no respect for fences, it would not even slow them down much. A raccoon can climb a brick wall. That is one reason it is so hard to keep them out of your attic.
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On Fri, 17 May 2013 13:44:51 -0400, gfretwell wrote:

In a way, it makes me feel better that at least one animal got a fresh free meal. It's sad to kill an animal - but at least it didn't go totally to waste.
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wrote:

Times are hard. The economy is worse. There are a lot of hungry and starving people. One of your neighbors probably took it home and cooked it for dinner. -OR- What did your wife cook for dinner last evening? Maybe you ate it, and didn't even know!!!!
Or you have a cat in the neighborhood, and cats are your friends whern it comes to rodents.
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On Sun, 19 May 2013 03:23:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@workshop.com wrote:

Not true at all. Cats start by killing everything else that is easy and then start working on the rats that are expanding into the larger food supply available because everything else is dead. Cats will never make a dent into a rat population. They breed faster than cats can eat them.
Someone here loves to tell us about Towser the wonder cat that killed <pick a number> of rats but they never say there was a shortage of rats for Towser to kill.
If you have a lot of cats, you are moire likely to have rats and very little else..
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On 05/17/2013 01:46 AM, Danny D. wrote:

I purposely set my mousetraps to be "too sensitive", then slowly back it off until they can hold without going off by themselves. This obviously results in a lot of immediate trips, which leads to an important lesson: don't put your finger inside of the action, and always expect it to trip.
In other words, learn how to hold the trap so that your body parts aren't exposed to damage.
Jon
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On Fri, 17 May 2013 08:07:52 -0700, Jon Danniken wrote:

Understood.
It's hard to describe, but you MUST put your finger on the yellow paddle in order to set it!
Of course you know that - but you're supposed to hold the force of the spring with one hand while you 'juggle' the pressure on the yellow paddle with the other hand (which is in harms way while you're doing that!).
If you don't put your finger on the yellow paddle, and delicately juggle the pressure until the yellow paddle 'takes', the trap won't set because the trip bar won't hook the little lip on the yellow paddle.
I tried putting a small stick or pebble under the yellow paddle to angle it upward, and, well, that works ... but it's problematic to set and remove.
So what you're forced to do is hold back the spring with one hand, and with the other hand, you adjust the paddle to the right point (which is easy). The hard part is that you slowly allow *some* tension on the spring to *hook* the yellow plastic paddle, until it takes.
The problem is that it keeps slipping off! It takes a *lot* of tension to hold those lousy yellow paddles. Muuuuch more than it takes to hook the metal type triggers!
LESSON LEARNED: * Never buy those yellow plastic paddle type rat traps! *
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On 05/17/2013 09:18 AM, Danny D wrote:

[snip]

Aye, it is definitely a balancing act. A lot of the difficulty for me was "anticipating" the hammer to snap over, which made me nervous, which made my hands shaky, which led to more frustration. Once I was able to be calm about unintended trips (easier said than done), it became easier. It also helps to develop your technique on a mousetrap first.
The key, as you said, is to hold the hammer down until your other hand clears the action.

I definitely prefer a metal bait pan myself, partly because I find it easier to modify the catch on the bait pan than the hold-down lever.
Jon
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