Saturday, September 22, 2007

ISS mouse traps are humane.

Some have questioned the humanity of this type of trap.

When using a liquid, victims only survive a matter of minutes. Of the over 200 mice I have caught during my use of the ISS (It's So Simple) traps in lethal mode (since I came up with the idea June 25, 2005), I have never found a live mouse. Early on, I was checking every half hour or so (you know how a kid is with a new toy). I watched one mouse actually experience the trap (he climbed the ramp, went for the bait, and fell) and must have died from the shock or humiliation as it was dead almost immediately; by the time I got from my vantage point to the trap, the mouse was dead. They are not instantaneous death, but not inhumane by any means. Don't forget the story of Noah and the Ark!

A container at least 15 inches deep needs to be used when doing live catch. When used without water (some bedding and some food in the bottom) it is probably the most humane of any mouse trap. It is large enough to be able move around however most animals caught will just grab a bite to eat (that is why they came in the first place) and curl up and go to sleep until someone comes to take them on a trip.

I have not used an empty bucket trap very often (mostly because I don't like mice, but also don't want to give my mice to someone else) but I did want to test the concept to make sure it worked and have only caught two mice in that mode. I gave the first one to my cat and decided I did not want to be part of that cycle any more. If you have never watched a cat kill a mouse, don't, it is an awful experience. She played with it for a while, throwing it up in the air, letting it run a little and then pouncing on it. When she was done entertaining herself, she crushed it and then ate it, head and all, leaving a small part of an intestine for me to dispose of. The other one, I drowned. I poured water into the bucket to see how long it would take to die. I timed it and it took one minute and 58 seconds.

If one is absolutely agai
nst drowning mice but still wants them dead, there are a couple of alternative options. Once the mice are caught in the dry container:

(1) Use car exhaust to euthanize; takes about the same amount of time as drowning. With the engine on your vehicle running, hold the open end of the container up close to the outlet end of the exhaust pipe. Exhaust gases are heavier than the surrounding air and will drop into the container.

(2) Crush the skull with a blunt object (a brick should work well). With the victims in the bucket still, any mess you might have would be contained and cleanup can easily be done with a garden hose.

Personally I prefer drowning. Disposal is as easy as flushing down the toilet or pouring the contents of the bucket out on an open fiel
d to feed whatever happens to find them first. I use tongs and retrieve them form the liquid. From my outside traps, I give them a fling; the Magpies love me. From my inside traps, I usually flush them, but have put them in plastic sacks and then in the garbage.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is pathetic that you enjoy killing these animals. The way you descibe it is like you are proud. Why could you not relese these mice in a field. You are a disgrace!!!!

Rob said...

Anonymous -

I live in a rural area and it's morons like you that set mice "free" that then proceed to infest my house. You're ignoring the fact that mice set loose in a field will probably be eaten by a hawk or other predator, if they don't freeze to death first. Mice only survive because of humans and you're kidding yourself if you believe setting them free in a field is giving them a better life. Killing them quickly is probably the most humane thing you can do.

And speaking to your comment about the author: if I could sell such a simple product over the internet, and solve people's rodent problems, I would be proud as well.

Ben said...

Anonymous-
You're an idiot. Do you know that for every mouse killed by humans, another 1000 or so are born. Plus after mosquitos rats and mice are the most prevalent carriers of disease. Quit watching the Disney channel and hugging trees.

I've never used the ISS before but I'm gonna give it a shot. I used to use sticky traps. Once they got stuck I'd wack them in the the back of the neck. I figured it was "nicer" than letting them starve to death.

Either way thanks for the helpful blog!

mousebait said...

Well Thanks for the blog. I want to give it a try if ever. So I can do this at home. Well I will think it over but if you set free of these rodents they will destroy your things and will spread out diseases right? Some comments are right but these are animals that contributes in spreading out diseases and they should be killed.

Anonymous said...

I am all for eliminating rodents from my home. My hope is to be able to do it in a humane way. Thanks so much for the information here.

ChickieBooBoo said...

Thanks for the info, I'm going to try this. I have mice in my chick brooder house and they crap EVERYWHERE! In the feeders, waterers, feed bags, anywhere they can get to! Every morning I find the feeders full of mouse crap, and my chicks eat it until I get home to clean it out!

SmellyTerror said...

Hey, good stuff. Just regarding humane killing: drowning is actually pretty awful - not so bad for the human since you don't have to do much of anything, but it's not a good death for the critter.

Freezing is actually much better - if you have a chest freezer or something, just put the bucket in and get it back out the next day. Doesn't take too long, but they basically just curl up and slowly drop off. Much better than drowning.

...unless the water in your bucket is really cold, of course...

Anonymous said...

I know from experience that this bucket and drowning method do not work. Funny thing the way it happened. I read your blog yesterday morning and that evening when my tenant came home, she came back outside to tell me that when she went up to her apartment, she found a mouse in her kitchen garbage can. The can did not have a bag in it as she changed the garbage the night before and never put a bag in it.

When I went to look the mouse started going crazy (right when I began to grab the garbage can to take it outside). He also immediately began scaling the garbage can. He would have made it out had I not shook the can to make him fall to the bottom again.

So right there, this tells me that this bucket trap is not very reliable as some mice are able to scale smooth surfaces.

Not knowing really what to do with the mouse (how to kill it) I remembered that in your blog you said that drowning a mouse is nearly instant.

I was a little hesitant since your bucket method seems to already be a joke at this point, but I tried it anyway. BIG MISTAKE!

I dumped the mouse from my tenant's can into a 5 gallon bucket then immediately began to fill the bucket with water.

The mouse kept swimming around and around. Scared, but swimming none the less. And it was worse now because with the bucket half full of water, he did not have far to go once he could get a good footing to scale the inside wall of the bucket and be free. So I took my garden watering wand and proceeded to stop him from scaling the wall of the bucket and also tried to keep dunking his head to drown him. But he would cling onto the head of my watering wand sometimes and I felt this was not working. No sign of fatigue, no sign if imminent death. So I started to move the bucket around to slosh around the water to make it hard for him to keep his head above the water line. NO dice.

All in all, this whole incident from the time I filled the bucket half way with water was about 20 min. 20 minutes and this little mouse was swimming and going strong.

I had just about had it. Not only did I have other things to do what this was not a very humane way to kill anything, not even a disgusting mouse.

So immediately I had an idea. I brought the bucket into the garage and poured about an ounce of gasoline in the water...


BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That mouse was dead in about 15 seconds, with noticeable affects immediately. After about 12 seconds he looked dead, then he started paddling his legs again (though floating on his side). He did this for about 3 seconds and then he died for sure.

So please, if you read this blog, I hope you read my comment before trying this bucket trap. It is not very effective and can prove to be more of a pain in the butt than need be. Bucket traps might be OK to use for types of mice that cannot scale smooth surfaces and cannot swim, but why chance it.

Just so you all know the mouse I dealt with was about 2 inches in length from nose to tail and his tail was about 3 to 3.5 inches long. His fur was gray at the top then tuned brownish once it got to the middle of his body then turned to with at the bottom.

Fred Sowerwine said...

Anonymous,
For your situation, a brick might have been the better choice. Very few mice can get out of a dry, slick sided container that is 15 or more inches deep. Yes, if the sides are such that the mouse can get a grip, a MOUSE CAN CLIMB VERTICAL. Putting water in on top of a adrenalin pumped up mouse is sure to invoke the survival mode.

I think you are wrong to bad mouth the bucket traps after an experience that has done just about everything wrong if you were to use a bucket trap right. A bucket trap with liquid works best with two to three inches of water. Adding soap, cooking oil, windshield cleaner (or gasoline) will speed up the drowning process. Part of the reason most mice drown quickly is the shock of falling into the water (or liquid) unaware. Once adrenalin goes to work, all bets are off. I personally have never came upon a live mouse in the water. My only experience with such was once when I put water (kind of like a tsunami) in on top of a mouse in a bucket (I have no idea how long it had been there), but it drowned in a minute and 58 seconds which I timed in the interest of science.

You may not like the idea of drowning and your mouse may have been a good swimmer, but in my experience most mice drown within two minutes (and in my book that is better than starving to death, being eaten by a cat or many other means of demise (God’s method is to drown as per the story of Noah’s ark).

The fact that you found a mouse in a garbage can proves that the bucket trap concept works. The idea of a trap is contain the victim (some traps kill as well as contain). Once the victim is contained, what one does with it after has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the trap. Whether you like the bucket trap concept or not, all variations are highly effective and the ISS (It’s So simple) bucket mouse trap is the easiest to acquire and use.

Anonymous said...

I inadvertently used this method and it works. I had a mouse problem I got one of them with the traditional mouse trap and found his buddy in the trash can trying to jump out and i must say not sure 15 inches is high enough for these Michigan mice. This critter was jumping about 1 foot and a half easy. So after reading this I filled the trash can about 4 inches high with water and added about a cup of bleach took the can outside and in 10 min when I went to check the mouse was dead.