Death by chocolate

A mousetrap developed by scientists at the University of Warwick is set to bring a new meaning to the phrase ‘Death by Chocolate’.

A mousetrap developed by scientists at the University of Warwick is set to bring a new meaning to ‘Death by Chocolate’. The novel invention leads mice into temptation with the irresistible, alluring scent of chocolate essence without the use of bait.

A collaboration between the University of Warwick’s Innovation Direct service, a free consultancy service for SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) and Sorex, a Cheshire-based manufacturer of rodent control products, resulted in the development of the mousetrap, which is made from chocolate-scented plastic.

A key part of the venture was to test what foods mice are most attracted to. Various essences were put into a cage to attract the rodents, including cheese, vanilla essence and chocolate. In contrast to the popular view that cheese is the mouse’s favourite nibble, trials of the mousetrap carried out by Innovation Direct showed that most mice prefer chocolate.

University of Warwick researchers the helped Sorex to develop a chocolate essence enhanced plastic material and conduct injection-moulding trials. Unlike other traps, chocolate essence is added to the plastic that makes up the mousetrap during production, so is an integral part of the product.

Having just completed trials, the product is now being sold in the hardware and agricultural sectors and there is already interest in the product from other industries.