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Thread: The Case of the Vanishing Mouse Trap

  1. #1
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    The Case of the Vanishing Mouse Trap

    Last night I saw a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor, so I set a trap alongside a baseboard in a place where I had seen mice before. When I got up for breakfast this morning I found that the trap had vanished without a trace. It makes me wonder if I might have rats as well as mice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Last night I saw a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor, so I set a trap alongside a baseboard in a place where I had seen mice before. When I got up for breakfast this morning I found that the trap had vanished without a trace. It makes me wonder if I might have rats as well as mice.
    A mouse can drag a trap quite a long way, if it's caught by its tail. In our previous house, I found a vanished trap in a neighbouring room, pulled hard against a gap in the kitchen base-board, with a short length of severed mouse-tail still in the trap.

    Grant Hutchison

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    If it were a rat (or mouse) the trap should be around there somewhere in the vicinity, unless the rat/mouse "hole" was bigger than the trap. If in the kitchen it may be under the fridge or stove? Years ago a mouse got inside the electrical control panel on our stove and electrocuted itself. After days of the suffering through the "death smell" I dismantled the control panel and finally located it.

  4. #4
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    I searched a wide area, including attempts at looking under the large appliances by getting one eye close to the floor and shining a flashlight under them. I found nothing. I set another trap under the sink where I had seen the mouse the night before. When I got home there was a mouse caught in that one. Meanwhile a corner of the other trap had emerged from under the clothes washer about two feet from where I had set it. I pulled it out and it was covered with dust bunnies and perhaps some mouse fur. I don't know whether or not it was the same mouse. I have had two traps set in the same places since midnight last night, and so far no further action. For all I know there might be a dead or dying mouse under the washer.

  5. #5
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    One time after finding an obvious intrusion under the kitchen sink I set a mouse trap and later found it moved some distance and empty. I put it back in its original position and set another in line with it facing the opposite direction, thinking two would would be harder to evade by a mouse. Later, while near the kitchen I heard a double snap and a loud screeching. It turned out a decent sized rat had tripped both, with its head caught by one and its tail caught by the other. The one on the head hadn’t been strong enough to kill it outright, but at least it couldn’t flee. I had assumed mice because I couldn’t find any decent sized holes, but forgot how good even rats are about getting through small holes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    One time after finding an obvious intrusion under the kitchen sink I set a mouse trap and later found it moved some distance and empty. I put it back in its original position and set another in line with it facing the opposite direction, thinking two would would be harder to evade by a mouse. Later, while near the kitchen I heard a double snap and a loud screeching. It turned out a decent sized rat had tripped both, with its head caught by one and its tail caught by the other. The one on the head hadn’t been strong enough to kill it outright, but at least it couldn’t flee. I had assumed mice because I couldn’t find any decent sized holes, but forgot how good even rats are about getting through small holes.
    Story finishes too soon. What did you do with it?

    I ask, not out of sick curiosity, but of genuine interest in a non-gross way of disposing of live rats. So far, drowning is my go-to. But that's horrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Story finishes too soon. What did you do with it?

    I ask, not out of sick curiosity, but of genuine interest in a non-gross way of disposing of live rats. So far, drowning is my go-to. But that's horrible.
    Heh, I wanted to leave that out. I put it in a plastic bag and removed as much air as reasonably possible. Perhaps better than drowning, but I doubt it would be pleasant.

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    Forgot to include: it was a zip lock bag that I sealed. It didn’t last all that long and the trap arm may have done some damage.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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    You folk need to go to the DIY thread and build a better mousetrap.
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

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    A bit of a one-time thing. I bought a couple of rat traps (instead of mouse traps) after that and worked on blocking entry. Though there was that time my cat ran into the house and immediately ran for a bathroom, holding a live rat in her mouth. That time the only improvised rat control tool I could find quickly was a plunger I happened to have in the room, after I closed the bathroom door. Dealing with the rat required a fair bit of work since the rat was quite mobile. The story isn’t for the squeamish and I certainly wasn’t happy with my cat at the time, though over time I found a certain humor in the idea of going after a rat with a plunger.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2020-Feb-25 at 03:48 AM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Heh, I wanted to leave that out. I put it in a plastic bag and removed as much air as reasonably possible. Perhaps better than drowning, but I doubt it would be pleasant.
    Whack 'em on the head. Does need a bit of conviction to do it cleanly, though, and I imagine it's unpleasant for all concerned if your heart's not in it.
    Mice can be flipped by their tails to strike their heads against a piece of stonework--we had a little home invasion by mice that seemed to suffering from toxoplasmosis a few years ago, and I could just gather them up by hand, poor little fellas. But the only injured rat I've dispatched, a long time ago, involved a heavy pair of gardening gloves and a salmon priest. (It had been mauled by next-door's dog, and there was a lot of flapping around going on while the poor creature lay on the lawn suffering.)

    Grant Hutchison

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    Some years ago, in tying to chase a rat out of my garage, I wished I had one of my old hockey sticks. I figured that with this I could block his progress and flip him away as needed, without getting too close. I really didn't want to pulverize him. I do feel bad about harming the little monsters, but really, what is one to do?

    I was skeptical about a baited, electrical device that I got from the hardware store, but it really worked. One morning I found a tail hanging out of the thing, and disposal was pretty easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Whack 'em on the head. Does need a bit of conviction to do it cleanly, though, and I imagine it's unpleasant for all concerned if your heart's not in it.
    Mice can be flipped by their tails to strike their heads against a piece of stonework--we had a little home invasion by mice that seemed to suffering from toxoplasmosis a few years ago, and I could just gather them up by hand, poor little fellas. But the only injured rat I've dispatched, a long time ago, involved a heavy pair of gardening gloves and a salmon priest. (It had been mauled by next-door's dog, and there was a lot of flapping around going on while the poor creature lay on the lawn suffering.)

    Grant Hutchison
    I correctly guessed that "salmon priest" meant a club for dispatching fish, but had to look it up to be sure. Today's learning experience!

    Oh, and it's called that because it administers the last rites....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  14. #14
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    Yes, I had to look up “salmon priest” too. Amusing term. Now I’m curious if that’s strictly a British term or if it’s something I never heard of because I don’t do a lot of fishing.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  15. #15
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    Anglers' priests come in different sizes, the salmon priest being the largest I've encountered. I believe they're called "fish bats" in the USA.
    Modern ones are lead-weighted steel with rubber grips; mine is a fine old brass and wood object, looking a little like this.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Anglers' priests come in different sizes, the salmon priest being the largest I've encountered. I believe they're called "fish bats" in the USA.
    Modern ones are lead-weighted steel with rubber grips; mine is a fine old brass and wood object, looking a little like this.

    Grant Hutchison
    People who fish for halibut around here tend to take a gun. They can get huge. The guy who got the baby raccoons from under my house had a picture of himself with one. It was longer than he was.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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