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Slightly OT- Improving the mousetrap?

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by James, Mar 1, 2007.

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  1. James

    James Guest

    It seems one of the disadvantages of using water from bath / washing machine
    is that the bloody mice get in from where the hose exits the house. One (at
    least) of the little buggers refuses to be beaten, cunning mongrel eats the
    bait off the mousetrap, craps, and scatters away unharmed!

    What sort of current does it take to kill a mouse? And not knowing much of
    the anatomy specifics and resistance of a mouse body, what sort of voltage
    do you suppose would do the trick? :)

    I thought a nice idea might be to use 240v, with just a smear of peanut
    butter on the active and a metal plate below connected to the neutral, only
    thing is I dont want to kill anyone or burn the place down (although that
    would get rid of the mice).

    What about a flash circuit from an old camera? I know last time i got a kick
    from one of them it hurt like all get up and left a nice burn mark in my
    little finger :)

    Food for thought, albeit a kind of impractical geekish way to go about
    killing a bloody rodent....

  2. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I solved the problem by building a mouse-catching gadget out of a
    coffee can, some rubber bands, bits of paper clips and a trigger circuit
    which discharges a big electrolytic cap into a solenoid to make it close.
    Then I put the mice into a mouse house I got at a pet shop. Some
    wild mice become very tame after a while when they're well fed, and
    they're pretty intelligent.
    I wonder how Leo would like the idea of an electronically-triggered
    mouse catcher as a project?


    PS: No, it doesn't use a microcontroller. ;)
  3. James

    James Guest

    I was considering the solenoid idea triggered buy interupted IR beam cct,
    that way if the beam is aimed correctly the mouse doesn't have to be gnawing
    hard on the bait to trigger it, what differs is I'm not really too
    interested in keeping the mice live :)


    P.S. I wasn't planning on going to the extent of using a micro either, seems
    like a waste, especially since I only have ATMega32s laying around at the
  4. Mark Harriss

    Mark Harriss Guest

    Most pet shop mice seem to get cancer these days, maybe they have lab
    mice genetics that make em susceptible to it. You could breed yours
    with them to improve the breed.
  5. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    There are plenty of conventional possible solutions to the problem
    in your local supermarket. Poisons, devious plastic mousetraps, etc etc.

    One of them should deal with your rodent(s) effectively. :)

  6. James

    James Guest


    Baits means they die for sure, but then you dont know what inconspicuous
    crevice they've crawled into to die until you smell the rotting rodent.

    I did have an interesting thought though. A length of tube, an IR detector
    mouted a few inches in and the bait a little further down. The end of the
    tube connected to the vaccuum cleaner, triggered to go on for a 10 seconds
    or so. after a few seconds spinning around in the barrel of the dyson it
    would be totally fucked up :)

  7. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I seem to vaguely remember the Japanese coming up with an idea like
    that a long time ago. Once the rodent was collected, it got dispatched
    with a burst of CO2.

  8. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    I like the cheeseless mousetrap. It consists of a ramp with a razor
    blade at the top. The mouse climbs up the ramp, peers over the edge,
    and moves his head from side to side saying "where's the f***ing

    - Franc Zabkar
  9. **I had the same problems. Modern mousetraps (rat traps) are crap. The
    spring lacks the power to crack their little necks and the trigger mechanism
    is not reliable. I resorted to baiting. It works very effectively. In fact,
    I found that snail baits worked VERY well. MUCH faster kill than regular rat
    baits. Trouble is, 'round here, I need to protect the native wild life from
    the baits.
  10. Ogo

    Ogo Guest

    Well you could use a biological agent which employs chemically advanced
    technology to seek and eliminate the problem and it also disposes the
    collected mouse material as fuel as well, leaving behind a fertiliser that
    it then returns to the soil. This is refered to as symbiotic and helpful
    intigrated technology.
  11. L.A.T.

    L.A.T. Guest

    You refer, I presume, to the tried and proven "Ball-bearing Mousekiller".
  12. Ogo

    Ogo Guest

    Yup! cute and cuddly too (Unless you're a mouse!)
  13. Jonno

    Jonno Guest

    It deepends on the moisture content of the area. We once cleaned out a
    dead cat that would revive the odorous content whenever it rained. It
    took an electrician to "find" the reason for the smell when he went to
    rewire the house and drew their attention to the source of the smell,
    having experienced this problem a few times during the course of his job.

    They paid him a small bonus.
  14. Absolutely correct. BBC "Tomorrows World" c1996, shot in Tokyo August
    95. Tens of mice died for that story :).
  15. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I couldn't find any reference to it on the net and wondered if I
    imagined it. Thanks for confirming the story. :)

  16. rebel

    rebel Guest

    Unless you want to turn rodent elimination into a hobby in itself, forget the
    technical approach. The only type of real mousetrap that works is those
    octagonal ones with four holes. Get one (even though nowadays they are chinese
    plastic instead of SouthAussie wood).
  17. Peter Howard

    Peter Howard Guest

    I made a mouse electrocution device some years ago. Imagine, if you will, a
    spare SC electronic ignition module driving a car coil with HT connected to
    several pointed electrodes 100mm above a horizontal 50 mm metal disc. The
    metal disc is attached to a long and very lightly spring loaded balsa wood
    lever so any disturbance like a mouse hopping onto the disc causes the other
    end of the lever to withdraw a tab from between an IR led/diode pair. This
    triggers a 555 timer for 10 seconds which sets off a second 555 oscillator
    running at around 100Hz which drives the ignition module. Whole thing was
    powered from the 12V workshop car battery. The lever and tab device was to
    keep the artificial lightning bolt away from the trigger electronics.

    My then 8 year old neighbour was very interested in the blue sparks and
    ozone smell and was an eager assistant in my trial runs using several cherry
    tomatos. I wanted to ensure that 10 seconds of lightning at who knows how
    many kV would not cause an organic bag of moist material to explode and
    scatter itself all over the kitchen. It didn't. The tomatos just warmed up a

    Did it work? Yes it did, over several nights of operation. However, the
    trap had to be reset after each victim and the disc and base needed to be
    thoroughly washed, though not because of mouse blood and guts. The corpses
    looked unmarked and peaceful. Mice have acute senses and won't go near a
    trap that smells of death. It was a pain getting my jury rigged spring
    loaded lever reset just right. Something did go wrong eventually and my
    555's and transistors were fried by EHT.

    The 8 year old cried when he saw the first victim, a pretty little champagne
    coloured beast with a black face. (My mice seemed to have a large admixture
    of petshop mouse genes). All I could say was "welcome to adulthood" where
    you often have to do things you'd rather not do. I was, however, encouraged
    to see that the kids addiction to mindlessly violent video shoot-em-ups
    hadn't blunted his sensibilities.

    After that I resorted to the biological control agent mentioned in another
    reply. (Meow).

    Peter H
  18. quietguy

    quietguy Guest

    Living in the bush and suffering periodic mouse infestations, I concur re the smell - but
    you get used to it in the house after a few days, and after a week or two it aint too bad

    But my biggest problem is the little buggers that invade my 4Runners ventilation fan -
    somehow they get in there, though I can't figger out how, and when I turn the air
    conditioner on the fan goes clunk clunk clunk (for a long while) as their little heads get
    banged around. Then in a day or so whenever the fan runs the car is filled with the stench
    of dead and decaying mouse, and that lasts for weeks and weeks.

  19. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I know what you mean. Once a rodent died of apparently natural
    causes in the cavity between the walls. We never did work out where the
    appalling stench was coming from, until much later when a builder
    discovered the remains while doing other work.

  20. budgie

    budgie Guest

    A cousin in his uni days had a veewee beetle, and one (mouse) managed to get
    into the heating duct that (from memory) has outlets either side of the rear
    seat, at floor level. Bugger never escaped, and the smell was even worse if you
    had occasion to use the heater on a cold day/night.
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