Mouse Traps and Human Traps Are an Age-old Problem



“Warning! Some mice were harmed in the research for this column. Some of the images contained herein may not be appropriate for small children or squeamish adults.”

I mean to say a few words regarding varmints (a good word that comes from “vermin”) of the rodent variety.

Humans share the world with an incredible variety of creatures. Many are beautiful, even inspiring. Some are also amazingly useful. (I’m thinking filet mignon and boots.) But some are pests. Let pests multiply, even if you have kind motives and an empty head, and you get pestilence. (I’m thinking plague, “Black Death.”)

I like where I live, and I like most of the neighbors, two-footed and four-footed, who live around me. A friend saw three deer in our front yard one recent morning. Too many can be a problem and eat the wrong things, but I don’t mind some help keeping a 10,000 square-foot yard mowed.

But the nearby field also brings in much smaller four-footed mammals. If they were stealthier, hid better from my wife, and didn’t have such appalling hygiene, we might not have a problem. But they are not, and we sometimes do.

This world really could use a better mousetrap. I’m afraid the old standard wood and wire model is still the best. Just add cheese (or peanut butter), and bang! He’s dispatched, bloodied and bug-eyed. Then, frugality versus squeamishness, you can either dispose of the body and re-bait, or toss the whole thing—hide, hair, and all. I just don’t enjoy baiting the things in the first place. I don’t enjoy misfires during baiting. Slaaaaapppp!

I once fired a BB gun at a garage mouse but missed. The ricochet caught me in the forehead, providing my sons with years of hilarity.

So I went to glue traps. Bait ’em with bird seed or peanut butter. The critter climbs on and finds himself “steadfast, immovable.” You might even catch a couple at once. But then you’re caught in a dilemma with a live rodent staring at you pitifully.

Somewhere on the way to the dumpster with my first wiggling catch, I (stupidly) opted for “release.” I’d pull him off with forceps and let him go. A very bad idea for both man and mouse.  Better just dispatch him quickly. Other alternatives (none good) involve turning the card over and a quick stomp, or heavy object to the head, or drowning in a bucket of water. (But the little bubbles . . .)

If your heart really gets the better of your head (don’t tell my wife), you can take the stuck up mouse to the field, and hose him down with WD40. If he doesn’t drown, he’ll scamper off smelling like fish oil and you can catch him again.

Tired of disposal dilemmas, I have now acquired a 15-inch-long plastic tube with a flat metal floor. Add peanut butter. Plug the contraption in. And before he can eat PB&J, the mouse gets hit with 8000 volts. He won’t care how you dispose of him. It seems to work and is pretty safe unless you’re a varmint or a tea-cup chihuahua with a taste for peanut butter.

We might do well to ponder the types of traps that we humans flirt with. Mess with them much, and we’ll find the only real question is how long the death will take and how many folks we’ll take down with us. Our Creator has warned us about those traps, and he’s paid an enormous price to clean us up and release us, free and empowered to live new lives.


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Copyright 2016 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.



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