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A Better Mousetrap?

The common mousetrap is a design that has been around forever and inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson to say "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door."  It is one thing to create something totally new and another to improve on what has already been created.

I have to admit, the whole concept is downright dastardly: lure a mouse to a hair-trigger, releasing a spring-loaded bar that breaks his neck, back or skull.  The altenatives aren't much prettier.  Glue traps snag the critters in a tacky substance they can't break away from.  The "jaws" trap bites them in half.  Common poison kills by dehydration.  It just doesn't pay to be a mouse.

I prefer humane traps, but even they will cause the mouse to die from stress if you don't get them out fast enough.  If you to release them into the wild, you need to go far as the tiny rodent's homing insticts are quite strong and you may end up infesting your neighbor's house by mistake.

Homemade traps are just plain cool.  It's a great starter project for anyone to try to catch a mouse, preferably live.  I once created a trap out of a Quaker Oats box, a plastic bowl and some thread.  I cut a hole about an inch off the ground and ran the thread across the bottom middle of the box.  The other end went outside the box, suspending the plastic bowl from above.  When the mouse entered the box via the hole (which was high enough so he couldn't just dart out) he would nibble on the bait-covered thread, releasing the bowl to land on top of him.

I don't think there is really a better version than the original design and don't think there ever will be.  It sure is fun to try, though.


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