Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

semi-auto mousetrap, Gen III

In response to what I have experienced as a chicken rancher, I just built my third semi-auto mousetrap.

The first one had to be inside a chicken coop that had baby chicks along with adult chickens and roosters. I had to study up to figure out a way to eliminate a major community of mice who were eating chicken feed, drinking their water and, most importantly depositing mouse poop all over everything.

The odds on their creating an unhealthy environment were very high.

While the essence of this device came from other people, I adapted, adjust and re-invented it my own way.


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One of the features I did not like from my first copy was that it required disassembly every time in order to empty the bucket of drowned mice and refill with fresh water. Thus I made my second one right away, using an upper bottomless bucket with the working parts and a plain, lower bucket that could easily be dumped and refilled with water.

In operation, this tool offers rodents an easy path up to a mouse-sized entrance. Enticingly out of reach is a can with peanut butter smeared around it. It appears to be an easy jump from the high dive to the can with food on it. That is correct, but the can with a rod through its center is extremely unstable. None can balance there. All fall to their death.

Regarding productivity, this tool will outperform half a dozen of the best store-bought mousetraps while being incredibly easy to empty and reset. With a serious infestation, the first 24 hours might find half a dozen mice bodies in the swimming pool. They taper off until none are left in places they do not belong, eating food that is not purchased for their consumption.


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The top view to the left shows spacers on either side of the roller can. The original design I copied allowed the can to shift to one side or the other which I found unsatisfactory. A couple short stubs of 1/2″ pipe keeps the spinner centered.

The view above right shows wholesome Adams organic peanut butter smeared around the can.

Nothing but the best for their last supper.

Or quick snack before going swimming.

As we all learned in childhood, eating before swimming is dangerous.