In search of the perfect mouse trap

3 10 2013

We had the second of two AWI conference calls yesterday about a rating scheme for rodent control products. Last time we all agreed that ultrasonic repellants are super-humane, and that glue-boards, anti-coagulants and the neurotoxin bromethalin (that – get this: has NO ANTIDOTE) are cruel and cause considerable suffering.

However, faced with an array of snap-traps, wierd killing traps that squash rodents’ bodies, an electric shocker, and “live” traps (that frankly often kill), we needed a second call. Should we bung them all into some middle category, or, recognising that there are real difference at the extremes (if a murky grey area in the middle), try and divide them into two? For example, the “Snap E” from Kness, and the venerable Victor (that looks like it’s been killing mice since Gold Rush days) have good kill to injury ratios, while the feeble Tomcat Plastic trap you can set off on your finger without it hurting (and so it often injures mice without killing them).

The call was tricky (and ocassionally surreal), because none of us could see each other, we’re all waving our hands around, and occasionally there would be a *bang* (“ooops, sorry!”) as someone set off a snap trap by accident. But in the end we went for a 2-level scheme for all traps and killing devices. Fingers crossed the hardware store chain  likes it.