I’ve loved every second since we moved out of the typical stifling suburban cul-de-sac and into “the country” last year. Caring for our livestock (Yes Wife, chickens and composting worms are livestock), starting the garden, walking our woods, harvesting apples, mowing with the boy, feeding hand-split wood into our stove on a snowy day… it’s all been grand.
Of course, that’s me talking. If you ask my beautiful bride, she’d likely point to a few gripes she has. Today’s post highlights one of those, just so you don’t think everything is Norman frickin’ Rockwell all the time over here.
We’ve had mice. Not an enormous infestation by any stretch, but in the last year we’ve caught several and have “detected” a couple others that have obviously gone to that great big cheese wheel in the sky… while inside our walls.
After asking the neighbors what’s up, they chuckle, shrug, and remind us it’s part of the life and we better get used to a little scratching in the walls each year when the temperature drops. Of course that doesn’t make Joanna feel any better.
So out of love for my woman, and no desire to co-exist with Minnie long term, I cashed out bookoo bucks for an exterminator service to take a walk around and put us on a pest control program. Just until things got under control. I then fixed some small issues like door weather stripping and set out a few commercial traps. For months we thought our furry little friends had moved on to greener pastures.
Then a few nights ago, we heard it again.
Jo was not pleased. I was not pleased.
This. Meant. War.
I decided $#!t needed to get real. Only the heaviest duty, homemade, redneck looking mouse trap would do. (Yes, I admit it, with darkness still falling way too early and an eight month pregnant wife retiring soon after, I’m sometimes looking for projects.) Take this, Mousey!
Our primary problem area is an outside water closet that houses the furnace, water softener, hot water heater, etc. I’m betting it’s too easy for them to come in where the well pipes enter from underground and I’m not sure how to best seal it off other than stuffing a little steel wool, so I wanted a trap that could catch multiple critters at once if needed. The beauty of this setup is it can keep on keeping on without needing to be reset after one little guy loses his battle with Mr. Snappy while his buds scurry away.
Plus it was free since we had all the materials needed, thanks in part to a perma-stocked mini fridge. Want a Gentlemanly Mouse Terminator of your own?
Stuff You’ll Need:
- Five Gallon Bucket
- Wire Clothes Hanger
- Empty Aluminum Can
- Scrap Wood or Similar for Ramps
Stuff You’ll Do:
Remove the long, straight section of a wire clothes hanger.
Drill two holes on the opposite sides of a five gallon bucket.
Procure an empty aluminum 12 ounce beverage container.
DIY Selfie is optional. (As an aside, this was my first ever selfie and I’m now thinking about uploading at least 24 a day since I’m pretty sure the internet needs more of that kind of thing.)
Drill two holes on opposite ends of the empty can.
(As another aside, please note order is important to these instructions. Alcohol consumption leads to the drilling, as you’d expect.)
Thread the wire hanger through a bucket hole.
Thread the wire hanger through the can.
Thread the wire hanger through the second bucket hole.
Bend the ends of the wire hanger to keep it in place.
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter all over the can, making sure one side isn’t heavier than the rest.
Lay a couple ramps leading to the bait.
Wait for hungry vermin to climb the ramp, walk onto the wire hanger, try to set a dainty foot on the freely spinning can for a PB feast, and spin off, falling into the bottom of the bucket.
Adding three or four inches of water to the bottom of the bucket is optional depending on whether you’re a cold blooded killer of mice or a rodent relocation specialist. However, I’ve heard anecdotal evidence from the all-knowing interwebs that mice have the ability to somehow jump straight out of a five gallon bucket. Now that’s impressive! So we added a little water for a permanent solution. I figure it has to be more humane than those terrible glue traps which will just starve the little guys to death. I have no problem with small rodents doing their natural thing in the acres of woods allotted to them. They just aren’t welcome in the house.
Here… Mousey mousey mousey…
I can say this thing is darn effective. Over the past two months, I usually find about two a week. More important, we now have not heard any late night scratching, which is a welcome relief. I hope my plan is working of catching them in this outside closet (since this is likely where they enter) before they can get into the rest of the house.
Question of the Day: What do you like least about where you live?