I''ve used these traps for over 20 years, and if there''s any product that rates 5-stars, this one does. It always works, without fail if you know how to use it and where to set it. We live near a huge open field in the Rocky Mountains where thousands of mice spend their...
I''ve used these traps for over 20 years, and if there''s any product that rates 5-stars, this one does. It always works, without fail if you know how to use it and where to set it. We live near a huge open field in the Rocky Mountains where thousands of mice spend their summers in relative peace, avoiding hawks and owl hazards as necessary, but when the snows begin to fall they think about coming indoors to keep warm. In their place, you''d do the same. So every winter our family begins the annual mouse hunt, a competition based on visual acuity, mouse recognition, trap placement, and a scoring system which values both total number of mice caught and the speed of each catch. We wager on how many and how fast daddy can bag them. I am the unquestioned mouse master and, although I''ve contrived live-catch mousetraps of my own, I use Havahart traps exclusively for competition purposes. When the kids were young, they''d yell "Yay Daddy!" every time I''d score a mouse, and we''d parade him in the cage in triumph before bundling up to convey the terrified creature back outside for a live release. We''d have to jot down the time of first sighting of a possible mouse or fresh droppings to avoid quibbles about how long it really took daddy to catch him. On my best day, I positiomed the trap in a likely place, set the catch, and I was walking away when I heard the gates clang shut. I thought I''d just set the catch poorly and returned to re-set it when I could already hear the mouse jumping around inside. Last year a visitor from Europe spotted a mouse and reported it, and I told her no problem, I''d have the mouse in half an hour. She scoffed at the boast, but when I produced the captured mouse in 20 minutes, she thought it was a trick mouse I''d trained to do that to impress visitors. All it takes is confidence in the trap and the skill to know where to position it, and how to bait it.
As for "confidence," I learned tonight that Havahart has been making this same design for about 70 years, a testament to a design that can''t be further refined. It''s made of galvanized sheet metal, not of cheap plastic that an aggressive mouse can chew through. The trap will work like new for decades. The parts don''t rust or get brittle with age. There are no springs to lose tension over time. They are easy to set and to handle with a mouse inside, and release of the mouse is easy even in the dark outside. They clean easily after use. If you''re not catching the mouse, it''s not the fault of the trap.
Havahart recommends peanut butter and birdseed for bait, which is unnecessarily messy. We don''t keep birdseed around anyway. A 1" square of bread with peanut butter on top will work every time. Put a dab of peanut butter on the bottom of the bread cube to "stick" it to the trigger-paddle so it doesn''t fall off. Any peanut butter residue left on the paddle after use can be blasted off with a stream of hot water from the sink.
Placement of the trap is key to success. You place it exactly or very near to where you''ve spotted (or suspect) a mouse, or where you''ve found fresh droppings. If a mouse came there recently, he''s still nearby and coming back to or through the same place once the lights go out. Just set the trap and go watch television or go to bed. When the metal doors slam shut, it produces an identifiable clang you can hear across the house. Just check the trap in the morning. If you don''t catch the mouse in 8-10 hours, the trap''s in the wrong place. I set two traps to hedge my bets.
Mice come into the house where warm air is bleeding outside near the ground. They follow the path of warm air escaping. If you''re getting a lot of mice inside, you need to search for ground level air leaks, including clothes dryer vents which (although well above ground) have firewood or something else stacked up beneath the flapper. Outside plants near the vents can be mouse ladders.
When it''s cold, mice will cuddle-up next to the threshold of an exterior door where warm air is escaping between the threshold and the door bottom. They''re just laying against the threshold keeping warm when you suddenly open the door and they get surprised and tumble inside in a panic to escape. If you think your mice are getting in that way, just give the door a gentle kick at the bottom before opening to give them a chance to boogie before the door opens inside. Then adjust the threshold height to eliminate the warm air escape.
Doors left open for some purpose are an open invitation to mice. Kids are the most likely cause, but adults leaving the door ajar while shuttling packages or luggage inside from the car is another likely suspect. Whatever the specifics be, the mice are following the path of escaping warm air.
I''ve read several reviews that contain suspicious information where I''d beg to differ. The first is that Havahart traps, now made in China, are flimsy and inferior to the old ones made in the USA. I''d love to have them still manufactured in the USA, however the new trap I received from Amazon today is EXACTLY the same as the ones I bought 20 years ago. I inspected and even weighed them side-by-side. Each weighs 11.20 ounces (319 grams) and the measurements, design and construction is identical.
You don''t need to wash the trap with bleach afterwards to remove "human odor," unless you''re somehow worried about viruses or something. If anything, human smell would be an attractant and the smell of beach residue would drive them away. Just shake out any droppings after use when you release the animal, wash out any peanut butter residue with hot water in the sink and air dry the trap. I agree with the reviewer who thinks "mouse smell" on the trap from prior catches would attract rather than repel other mice.
Released mice don''t "remember" how they got in and travel back from miles away to find your house. They don''t get smarter every time they get caught; that''s ludicrous. Go a reasonable distance from the house to release them if you''re worried. If there are 10,000 mice in the fields around your house, releasing one back into the wild won''t make any difference. IF a mouse does somehow get back in, it''s because you haven''t found the warm air breach in house security that let him in to begin with, and which will be obvious to all mice in the vicinity. Don''t store dogfood, birdseed or people food in the garage, especially in winter, and especially near an exterior door.
If you have kids, involve them in the live release process. It''s a great opportunity to talk about nature, the sanctity of life (flies and mosquitos excepted), good karma building, and how dead mice with broken necks, or poisoned mice decaying in the cupboards, is a real bad idea. And each time you release one and they yell "Yay Daddy!," take a bow because the kids will be happy and you''ll be a hero for awhile.