More mice musings

Since my last dissertation on mousetrap design and development, e4engineering readers have been writing in with many a fanciful suggestion as to how our erstwhile publisher Dan King can rid his loft from squirrels. As many of you may remember from the former piece, a week or so ago, I had purchased two humane mousetraps to capture some mice which were populating my mum’s house. And after examining the traps in detail, I had set my son the task of designing a less expensive solution with which to catch squirrels.

Since the thesis was included as part of our fortnightly newsletter which was emailed out this week, a number of e4 readers have suggested several innovative trap designs to rival those that I purchased at the local Focus Do it All Yourself store. It seems that no-one could wait for my son to complete the task himself, showing, if I might say, a decided lack of confidence in his abilities.

‘You can catch the little rascals (mice) using a baited milk bottle propped up at an angle on a book or something similar,’ said Bill Sharples from Tyco Electronics In Preston. Well thanks for that Bill, but we’re actually talking squirrels here, not mice.

‘I understand that peanut butter works better than cheese,’ chirped Simon Muncey from Meridian Recruitment. ‘The mouse liking for cheese appears to be more of an ‘old wives tale’ than fact,’ he felt obliged to add. Well, thanks for that Simon. Please refer to my earlier comment to Bill regarding subject matter.

Bob Shanks at Sandvik had some more useful advice. ‘If Dan wishes to remove squirrels from his loft, the easiest way, and cheap, is to put some ammonia in a can, say an empty bake bean can, with an old piece of rag as an evaporation wick and place this in the loft. The squirrels will only be too pleased to move residencies, usually within hours. If Dan has a large loft, more than one may be required. Also ammonia does evaporate so it may need replenishing. It is wise to keep the loft door closed, other wise Dan may find that the rest of the household also leave within hours.’ Thanks for that, Bob.

Another Bob, this time a one Bob Castle at Fairport Construction Equipment, actually detailed his design, although he admitted that it was untried and untested.

‘How about taking a large square section plastic pop bottle. In one side cut down three sides of a flap and fold it down to ninety degrees to fill the section of the bottle. Just to the outside of this flap, cut the bottle through, to remove say the top. Fold these edges up to make a picture frame of three sides trapping the flap (staple the sides as required. Push up the flap and place some food in it; allow the flap to return to rest against the turned in edges. The squirrel should go for the food, push under the flap to gain entry, and the flap should then return to lock against the folded in edges.’

Who wants to be the first to try this one out, then?

If you’d like to subscribe free to the e4 newsletter to keep abreast of other important engineering issues like these, then you can do so by clicking on the Newsletter link on the home page or just by clicking <a href=’’>here.</a> It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes, so sign up now.

We can promise that you won’t be bored.