“ Brand: Rentokil / Misc House Type: Mouse Trap „
I know I am going to upset some members with this review and from the off I apologise. However this review is for a mouse trap that kills mice - not a so-called "humane" one.
Whoever coined the phrase "as quiet as a mouse" must have never had experienced them in their house. Sadly I have had the misfortune of being kept awake at night by mice gnawing at my kitchen door and have refrained from using that term ever since.
This gnawing is one of the main reasons they are pests - mice have teeth that do not stop growing so they have to gnaw to grind them down to avoid serious discomfort. One thing they like to gnaw on is wires if they are inside a home, and many household fires can be put down to the innocuous mouse.
So quite apart from the fact they are incontinent and spread disease through their droppings and urine, and they breed at an alarming rate, they are, quite frankly, a major nuisance.
It wasn't until we had mice in our home in London that I learned a little about their behaviour and how one can avoid getting them in the first place. The main thing you can do is keep your surfaces clean and free of crumbs, ensure your bin has a lid which is kept closed and most importantly, ensure any possible entrances for mice are sealed.
If you see a hole in your wall that a pencil can fit into, that means a mouse can get through it and possibly into your home.
When we had our last (touch wood!) infestation here in Edinburgh, the situation was more complicated because of the building I live in.
My home is in a period townhouse which has been converted into two homes. The basement and ground floor are my neighbour's house, and they have the garden too. I have an entrance hall on the ground floor and the two other top floors.
Next door on either side are buildings which are used as offices - and one had been disused for some time. Enter the mice.
In spring 2007 a company started work on refurbishing this building and as you can imagine, this meant that the mice had to find somewhere else to go, and needless to say, they found basement properties either side of this work in progress the best bet.
It was my husband who first spotted a problem - one Saturday evening he noticed a mouse, bold as brass, running along the work surface in the kitchen, and hiding behind the toaster.
He called me and grabbed a mop while I grabbed a broom and we moved the toaster. The terrified mouse jumped up and ran towards the area under the washing machine and dish washer but was too slow - our kitchen is fully fitted with everything built in so it couldn't get under there without another jump and my husband managed to strike it a glancing blow with the mop.
He finished the mouse off and I double bagged it and headed off out to dispose of the expired rodent, not wishing to have it rotting in my kitchen bin over the weekend.
It was obvious to me that the mouse had got in through my neighbour's property downstairs so I went to have a chat.
My neighbours are lovely - very friendly, helpful and highly educated. However a trait I have often found in highly educated people is a lack of common sense, and this is what I encountered when I informed them of the mouse.
Mrs Neighbour is a doctor and looked only vaguely concerned when I informed her of what we had found, saying "oh yes, we saw some droppings but didn't think much of it". I found this very strange coming from a member of the medical profession with two children under the age of five in the house, but refrained from commenting.
I then decided to purchase some poison to see the blighters off, but this was a bad move - it meant I had to periodically check for corpses before any bad smells became evident and I also must admit I don't like the slow death these poisons inflict on mice. Sadly a cat wasn't going to be an option given my daughter's fear of them.
Next, I had a conversation with Mr Neighbour, who is a keen mountaineer and has no fear of sheer drops, but turned into jelly when I informed him I had seen another mouse. He nervously informed me he had seen a mouse run up the curtains in his bedroom which had "scared him to death".
I pointed out the fact I could see several entry points for the mice in the basement area and suggested fine mesh wire to seal them up. He assured me he would deal with it and this left me hopeful the infestation could be contained.
In the meantime I was getting rather depressed at finding droppings all over the house - including my daughter's bedroom which completely grossed me out - and having to deal with poisoned corpses.
So I decided I had to get something a little more palatable to deal with the problem and upon browsing Amazon, came across the Rentokil electronic mousetrap.
I suppose you could say this is the mouse equivalent of the electric chair - except it obviously needs far less volts to see the condemned off, and mice are not renowned for sitting down.
The mousetrap is black plastic and rectangular. It has an entry point which you should bait - apparently peanut butter or chocolate spread are better baits than cheese - and a large battery compartment. This needs four AA batteries to power it and there is a warning light which flashes when the battery is low. Rentokil claim that you can get up to 50 kills with just the four batteries.
You need to place this on the floor with the entry point running beside the wall - mice have pretty poor eyesight and like to have a side surface close to them when running around - and wait for it do its job.
Once a mouse enters this, it will be electrocuted as soon as it hits the two wired plates in the part of it I call the execution chamber - and you will be met with a flashing light to inform you a mouse has been dispatched.
What I liked about this was the fact I didn't have to deal with traditional traps. I openly admit I am squeamish and an electrocuted dead mouse seemed marginally more pleasant to deal with than one which had been seen off by a tight spring. Also, mice are evolving all the time and many have worked out how to reach the bait on traditional traps without setting the trap off - a problem Mr Neighbour was having.
So - did it work? For me, yes - the Rentokil electronic trap caught three mice before the infestation could be declared over -and I was relieved I did not have to touch the deceased mouse at all - I just had to open the lid at the top of the so-called execution chamber and empty the corpse into doubled up carrier bags before putting it in the bin.
You are far more likely to catch a mouse overnight - they tend to hide during the day - so if you use this you need to get into the habit of checking for a flashing light indicating it has killed a mouse every morning.
I left the mousetrap out for some time afterwards but fortunately there were no more sightings of mouse droppings and no flashing lights on the trap so the house could finally be declared mouse-free two months after the first sighting. So far they haven't returned - no doubt helped by the fact Mr & Mrs Neighbour got their act together and sealed all entry points in the basement.
I appreciate some people find these devices cruel, but I find the humane traps to be rather pointless - you have to take the trapped mouse at least 5 miles away from your home to ensure it doesn't return. Most people are unaware of this - and quite possibly catch the same mouse over and over again.
You can buy Rentokil Electronic Mousetraps on Amazon for £14.63 - they can also be found in B&Q and other home retailers.