Trapping Mice in the Garden


I found the garden trap door closed, bait gone, and no critter inside again. What must be happening is that their tail stops the door from latching on the way in. They eat the bait, turn around and push out. The door then latches behind them. Saved by the tail.

Blue whiptail lizards are often saved by their tail too. The tails break off when they are attacked, and wiggle on the ground like a bright lure, allowing the grey camouflaged lizard to scurry away.

Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That’s exactly how I feel this week after five mornings of finding my squirrel trap door shut, the peanut butter gone and no critter inside. He’s got to make a mistake eventually, right? I used to have a horrible time trapping moles because they can become trigger shy and backfill the tunnel right up to the trigger without touching it.

I found that by cutting a close pin in half and clipping it on the trigger that the mole will set off the trap without the dirt touching the trigger, the dirt pushes against the close pin which pushes the trigger. I had to make a change because the same thing over and over wasn’t working.

When you’ve scraped all the peanut butter you can get out of the jar, put in some dry cat food and put it in your garden trap. The jar will keep the cat food from getting wet and mouldy. You will attract raccoons, skunks, possoms, squirrels and the neighbors cat.

Peanut butter works great in mouse traps and the small squirrel traps because you can smear it all over the trigger and underneath it, which forces the critter to move the trigger. Cheese drys up and gets crumbly and doesn’t adhere as well.

I put a mouse trap in the squirrel trap last night and, sure enough, there was a mouse in it this morning. Not a teeny tiny mouse either but a full grown one. It’s amazing what they can squeeze through.

I once put a mouse trap in front of a mouse hole under a bush in the garden. The first two nights I caught two adult mice, the next three nights I caught juvenile mice and the next three nights they were babies. I emptied the nest by the mice hierarchy.


Grandpa's Garden is an ever changing collection of garden thoughts.

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