Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Field of Battle

Sorry if the picture makes you queasy but it's a lot worse in person. I buy mousetraps a bagful at a time. I've stuffed mouse thruways and hideaways in this house with steel wool. I've tried poisons, glue traps, live traps -- nothing works as well as a classic Victor spring-loaded trap, which I haven't been able to find for a whole year. Instead, Victor now sells the "Easy Set" (TM) model with the large yellow plastic bait platform supposedly scented with invisible mouse attractant.

After a year I am qualified to say that the new model does not work well. The "cheeselike" platform, complete with Swiss-like holes, has never worked; I dollop the platform with never-fail peanut butter. The trigger is so stupid-sensitive I have to hook the end with a pliers to set it. Worst of all, it doesn't kill mice outright. Good traps kill mice instantly, snap, by breaking their necks. I hate meeses to pieces, but worse is hearing the trap snap beneath the sink and then hearing struggles within.

These two mice were caught within 20 minutes of each other. The one at the top went first, and writhed and knocked around for 10 minutes while I fought to hold my dinner down --because as much as I hate any mouse, I won't pour bleach on it or hammer-crush its skull to put it out of its misery, nor will I put it to sleep in my freezer, as some humane people do. So I have to listen to it die (meanwhile fearing that it won't die, that it'll get away). The other body shows the problem with the "Easy Set" model. Instead of hitting the mouse on the neck, the large platform permits the mouse to nibble from the edge where the trap hits not the neck but the "craniofacial" region. This is not a quick, humane kill. They wriggle, bleed and convulse. I like the older model which they don't sell in the hardware stores around here any more. They do sell it online, though.