The Superior Intelligence of Kenyan Mice

Here in our apartments, we have regular visitors, including friendly lizards, skinks, chameleons, beetles, bees, spiders, slugs, and oodles of mosquitos. Once in a while some cockroaches. Occasionally a bird. And MICE. This week we undertook a major mice-eradication effort.

When we were in town recently, we found this metal rat trap.
When this picture was taken, the trap had been set in this set position for TWO DAYS. Empty. Just accumulating fresh mouse droppings all around it an ON it. Evidently Kenyan mice are much more intelligent than American mice.

So I set to work on a different type of trap.
It's essentially a ramp leading to a bucket in which a tin can with bait is suspended. Theoretically, the mouse leaps from the ramp onto the tin can, where he scrambles for balance as the tin can spins, causing the poor animal's descent into the bucket from which he cannot escape. The mice did not fall for it.

So I did some on-line investigation, which means that I was getting desperate. On-line investigation is a last resort here where lately it can take 10 tries and/or 10 minutes to load a web page. But at last the search yielded directions for assembling the perfect trap.
A baking dish on a tray is propped up by a bent stick. Peanut butter lures the mouse to jostle the stick, causing his certain entrapment as the baking dish falls.
And it works! Fantastic! Not surprisingly, Anna really wanted to keep the little creature. And even I had to admit that he's a cute little mouse. Cute and smart, but finally outsmarted.


Kimberly said...


RC said...

cute smart and dead?

Eric said...

Good work! You could also try an empty cardboard tube with bait in one end balanced over an empty bucket or trash can. Then the mouse will walk through the tube for the bait and fall into the can.

Eric said...

Here's a link: http://boingboing.net/2006/02/28/howto-build-a-humane.html

Anonymous said...

Heath... I love your face in the photo! (-:


ellen said...

Actually U.S. mice are just as smart. In Minnesota we've tried everything to no avail until we discovered "BOBCAT URINE" on the internet. That's right, we actually paid good money to buy a bottle of urine, but it works. You put a couple of drops on a pad around the house and they go smell their natural predator and will not come near.