One night, my wife informed me that a mouse was sleeping in my beard. This event occurred one week before our holiday. The poor devil was warm among my whiskers and not easily evicted. I managed to eject the interloper, but he was impossible to catch. Code Yellow.
During the next few nights, the tiny fiend danced among our flower pots and cavorted around our bedroom. Periodically, it sprinted across our bed. It was imperative that I capture the animal. I did not want to leave our apartment for two weeks, while it played. I tried all the known baits. This process culminated with peanut butter, which is reputed to be an irresistible bait. The trap was cleaned and it was empty. At night, the beast would celebrate with a folk dance on my pillow. Our departure time loomed and I redoubled my efforts. Code Orange.
I tried new locations for the trap, all to no avail. I ruled out the use of poison, because a poisoned mouse will always die under the floor or inside the walls. Our nerves were suffering the effects of sleep deprivation. I found mouse excrement on my Stereo! Code Red.
The mouse cleaned the trap even when the bait was tied on. I noticed that the trap did not shut if I lifted the bait-tray up. Voila! Animals have a fixed upper jaw. The moveable lower teeth are used to bite. This was the solution. You must know the foe. The Modified Mousetrap was born and I caught the mouse.
To make your own:
Take a standard mousetrap. Take a piece of tiny dowel or bamboo skewer and cut a piece two centimeters long. Drill a tiny hole in the dowel. Use a piece of electric wire to drill the hole. A standard pin should fit in the hole. Insert the pin and bend it ninety degrees. Split a raw almond. Carve one of the pieces into the shape of a violin, as pictured above. Tie the piece of almond to the dowel with thread. Push the pin assembly into the wooden base of the mousetrap. One end of the dowel must be on top of the bait-tray. Set the trap. Put it in a concealed location. The trap will close whether the bait is lifted up or is lowered.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.