I'm trying to rid my garage of what I suspect are mice. I've set a
d-con snap-trap mousetrap but no matter how I bait it or adjust the clip
that holds the snap control bar when the trap is armed, something keeps
stealing the bait without tripping the trap.
The critter obviously likes the bait that I'm using (pieces of almond)
because the bait disappears in 24 hrs or less. I've tried first coating
the bait clamp with peanut butter, and have even used a long nosed
pliers to crimp the bait clamp so that it bites into the piece of
almond. Regardless, the critter cleans off all the bait as if I'd put
the trap through the dishwasher. I've partially straightened out the
clip that holds the snap control bar to a more vertical position so that
the trap will snap with even less pressure on the bait clamp than is
"normal". The thing is really on a hair trigger, but still the bait is
stolen without tripping the trap.
I don't want to spend a fortune on those use once and discard box traps.
Any suggestions what could be my thief and how to modify what I'm doing
to give me a better chance of catching this thing using the snap trap?
not sure what's getting your bait. I had a similar experience years
Try a bit of cooked chicken...not too cooked, so the meat fibers are
still somewhat strong.
Slip an 1/8" x 3/4" fragment under clip and squeeze down with pliers
to secure it.
Don't cut the meat with the clip but squeeze so its in there tight.
The baiter stealer won't be able to lick the meat away, they'll tug on
it & trip the trap.
I've heard but never verified that roaches can be mouse trap bait
I like to use peanut butter as bait- and tie a short piece of cotton
string to the trigger. [mason's cord, cooking string, whatever, as
long as it is cotton so it hold the peanut scent.]
The peanut butter is usually gone when the first mouse gets caught-
but the string will catch a few more over the next week- then I give
it another dab of peanut butter.
I picked up a couple of those little red & white plastic jobs this
year. The ones that you don't have to touch the mouse end to set or
release. [They were out of the cheap victors- I think these were $5
for two at Lowes- Ort ho 'Press 'en Set']
They have a well for the peanut butter and it seems to work well. I
change peanut butter in them every two weeks and have gotten a mouse
two weeks after setting it. Never had the bait stolen and never had
a 'miss'- but they do seem a little weak & kill by strangulation
rather than breaking necks.
Good suggestions. I was so intrigued by bait disappearing I set up a video
cam with Nightshot IR capability to see what was happening. The mouse just
took a flying leap at the bait, knocking it off and then scooping it up and
running off. What was most interesting is that within minutes of turning
off the light and leaving the room, the mouse struck. That's smart because
it really optimized their "time on target" without my returning. It took
almost 100 seconds for the mouse to make a return trip, so I realized it
must be living outside the kitchen. One mouse was so small and light, it
just stood on the treadle, never triggering it. His big, fat daddy did not
fare as well. Caught the little guy using a huge, heavy cashew that added
enough weight to the treadle so little mousie finally did trip it.
I finally solved the problem like you did. I used a big blob of peanut
butter to secure a pistachio nut to each treadle (I was using three kinds of
traps - wooden and steel spring, D-Con doghouse type where you don't see
*much* of the dead mouse and the little Victor snap traps that look look
like binder clips). The D-Con traps with the doghouse opening were the most
successful because they forced the mouse to enter from a specific direction.
The other traps were approachable from all angles and the high-speed hit and
run approach often put them out of each of the snap bar.
Threading the bait would work, too, but that's too much work for me when
Skippy "glue" seemed to work first time, every time. I should post the
videos to YouTube because it's pretty amazing to watch the little critters
denude the traps without getting popped.
I bought some "humane" traps (only if you get to them in time) that have a
one way trap door, but no mouse ever went into one.
We acquired two Jack Russells after the last "winter mouse move in" and the
tilt traps we've switched to have stayed empty. Apparently establishing a
beach head in the house isn't as easy as it used to be with two neurotic rat
hunting dogs on duty 24 by 7. Even the squirrels cross the street to avoid
coming near the house now.
My dogs are remarkably well-trained and only go loco when a squirrel gets
within striking range. I credit watching The Dog Whisperer. It's almost
natural to mis-train a dog because they're so attentive to gestures and
other cues and they learn that doing bad gets them attention. That's the
number one critical error in dog (and maybe people) training. Don't give
them attention when they act up or they'll be acting up forever.
They started out living in the basement (as rescue pups not even expected to
live) in incubators and as they learned and behaved, they were given more
access to other parts of the house. Like cops, the worst thing you can do a
Jack is "run them out of the pack." Only recently have they been allowed on
the bed with us, and only as long as they don't get antsy and wake us.
One's got the rules down pat. The other is still learning that bed access
is a very special privelege that's easily revoked. They actually thrive on
constant training and interaction. Sitting around bored all day is what
turns them into yippy little monsters along with masters who think
everything they do is "precious" as shown by the dogs not understanding what
the words "no" or "get down" mean.
Once they understood good behavior results in privilege, and bad behavior
results in a few hours in "isolation" they bucked right up. Too bad today's
kids aren't as trainable. No one who sees them believes how unlike the
undisciplined yippy ankle-biters many JRTs are. They get that way because
they're too smart and they get bored easily and make trouble (like a number
of posters here!). You have to make sure they always have something to do.
One of them will take any old rag you give her and methodically tear it into
1 by 3" strips like some sort of machine.
The big problem is they are always looking to move up to Alpha Dog status,
especially when I do things like throw perfectly good chicken bones in the
trash that still have a few meat molecules left on them. That horrible
waste of food upsets them quite a bit and that's when I have to flip them on
their backs and hold them that way until they say uncle and admit that they
aren't moving up to lead dog, at least not today!
And by the way, they're fearless. Here's a story about a Jack that treed a
Of course, fearless often equals incredible stupidity since they do tend to
try to boss around dogs that could easily eat them if they could catch them.
When they play with my neighbor's Golden Retriever they work him over like
"good cop, bad cop" - one lets him get *almost* near enough to grab and then
the other comes flying out of nowhere to blindside the poor Golden. It's
clear from watching them work that the wolf genes are still alive and well
in there somewhere . . .
On Wed, 24 Nov 2010 18:01:30 -0500, "Robert Green"
Right. Like kids.
You got that one right! The neighbors reaction to the little bastard
attacking ankles is "Why are you frightened, he doesn't bite". "Bullshit he
doesn't! Get the little piece of shit in his own yard before I step on it."
There *is* a leash law here, but they don't care. They also don't care that
our back yard and porch are next to useless because every sound we make has
them (the Jack and a mini-wiener) barking, running back and forth along the
fence. The cops have been called (not by me) so many times they have their
house up for sale to get out of the neighborhood.
THe neighbor on the other side has a yellow lab. He woofs once in a while but
is quite well mannered (other than crapping on my lawn once in a while).
If I ever need 1x3" strips of cloth, I'll remember that.
My first thoughts too: "He said the cougar was probably not hungry enough to
attack Jack." ;-)
Goldens aren't very bright, but they're great family dogs. I've had two (one
part border collie).
Grew up with a Golden and an Irish Setter. Great family dogs but ot-nat
oo-tay right-bay. The Golden had many trips to the vet for ingestion of all
sorts of hazardous objects. Birth control pills, sponges, rope, entire
shoes, money ($60+!!!) and more. The Setter had hyper lightning phobia.
She would climb in the tub at first hint of thunder and shake so hard the
tub would ring like a bell. Vet eventually put her on Valium which made her
less scared of the storms but had other bizarre effects.
Oh, yeah. At the first thunder clap our Golden would *dive* under the nearest
table, scattering everything on it, under it, and with ten feet of it. As it
got older the dog went deaf (constant ear infections) so thunder was no longer
a problem. OTOH, it didn't hear the bear in the back yard, either. I had a
hell of a time getting the stupid dog in the house.
I used to swear by the tilt traps, but apparently the local mice started
a school on how to defeat them. After a month or two of finding the bait
missing and the trap un-tripped, I gave up, and haven't seen a mouse
since. But the weather is getting cold, so I expect they will be
returning shortly. Maybe this new generation never got the training.
And no, HeyBub, I'm not gonna get a cat. I'm gone ten hours a day, so I
can't let it out, and I refuse to deal with the stench of a litter box.
(and they ALL stink, no matter what the owners say.) Besides, I am
allergic to cats. And before the flames start, I LIKE cats.
Not sure what your trap looks like, but I've tried some of the fancier
traps without success as no matter how I attach the bait, it gets eaten.
I prefer the Victor traps where bait looks like big piece of cheese.
Ones I bought were very sensitive and I had to adjust but they are best
traps I've used.
Buy a Tin Cat by Victor. $15. A sheetmetal live trap. No poison, no
resetting. Can hold up to 10 mice at a time. They work great.
Either that, or a five gallon bucket with 8" of water in it, and a soda can
strung on a wire across the top so it spins. Put peanut butter on the can.
Mouse walks out, can spins, mouse drops in water and drowns. Again, no
poison, no resetting, no limit to the number of mice you can catch. Just
put a dab of bleach in it, and leave it there permanently for the occasional
mouse. Watch if you have very young children, and check it often because
they ferment rapidly and get really skanky. And probably cheaper than the
$15 tin cat.
They both work super.
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.