"Burglar" Loves Chocolate! October 24, 2013
We were burglarized recently. A great deal of destruction to roof, walls, steel doors, and the alarm was effectively bypassed and destroyed, so we had a whole new system installed, cleverer, with more sensors, and way more SENSITIVE. The first 2 nights SOMEthing set off the fancy new alarm, which brought a flurry of sheriffs, guns drawn... but there were no signs of break-in, just several tiny droppings. Pretty clearly it was a critter, not a human. However, the humor and relief in this wears thin, trust me, for us AND for Law Enforcement.
The guys talked of traps (looking oddly miserable as they did) and poison baits (my partner actually winced).
So the 3rd day I spent an hour+ searching for a Havahart that we could use that very evening!
Plenty of places had them --but not actually in stock, online only, with a 1 to 2 week delivery. Pffft.
Ultimately a high-end boutique pet store owner made a run to her distributor; we paid twice the usual price, quite gratefully!
She offered, as does the Havahart company, excellent instructions on how to set it and what to use for bait.
But... well I suppose I might as well admit that I already had my own ideas on what to use for bait (and oh I do hope none of my local LE guys read this...) because, er, I knew something. In fact I was pretty sure we'd been feeding the culprit for nearly a year on scraps. I'd seen the remains. So, ordinary granola bars or even peanut butter for bait? Naaahhh.... I knew s/he'd leave those kicked aside. But any chocolate coating? Oooohhh... Gnaw marks! Utter decimation! Clearly a chocoholic.
So I buttered my new trap with a blob of dark chocolate truffle, gooey as peanut butter so it would stick into the opening in that bait plate.
Let's talk a moment about that plate. IT HAS TO BE LEVEL. If it's not, only the lower side will trip its door; the other suddenly holds startlingly firm and wide open.
I figured out that it really depends on how far across the width of the trap the wires are positioned. They slide loosely a significant distance.
You want only that last quarter inch of the end of the bent long wire to overlap the quarter inch end of the bait tray wire. Do NOT let the bait tray's wire "elbow" get overlapped or the tray will NOT be truly level.
Other reviewers have mentioned that the X-small trap is tricky to set and the drawings are too tiny to be really clear. It IS touchy. You're propping a round wire parallel along another round wire that's been only very slightly flattened. But it's do-able, folks! Twenty minutes of careful fussing/experimenting/practice...
...and we now have ...a pet Dwarf Hamster! Goodness knows how she first came here, but rather than being chucked outside to scavenge trash and fend off predators, she lives in an assemblage of wires and tubes and whirly bits and deeeep litter (almost as interesting as our attic and walls) and dines daily on the healthiest grains and fruits and veggies and yes kitty kibble --and tiny treats of finest dark chocolate truffles!
And we ALL thank you, Havahart!
Great trap for mice September 19, 2013
I use peanut butter, which I apply from the back of a teaspoon. If the trap doesn't set easily, the reason will be that I didn't get the peanut butter balanced on the tray, and that's an easy fix.