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Honey Do List: It's a trap!

There is probably no greater icon for mankind’s ingenuity and creativity than the mouse trap. The U.S. Patent Office has issued thousands of mousetrap patents over the years and still gets applications for about 400 each year.

Since this is the time of year when the little critters are looking for food and warmth to tide them over the winter, here are a few things to consider should they invade your home.

The presence of these visitors will often be discovered in the form of droppings in cabinets and drawers. If these are found, you should take quick action to get rid of these disease-carrying varmints. That means it’s time to choose a rodent-control method. Place rodent-control measures in locations where you noticed droppings. You may also want to place them near your hot water heater, furnace or anywhere else that might provide warmth.

There are many kinds of products available for purchase. Most traps kill rats and mice, but there are also “live” traps available. While “live” traps may seem most humane, there is the problem of letting rats and mice go. Where do you release them once you’ve caught them? What will happen once they’re released? They’ll most likely find another place to inhabit, causing headaches and potential health problems for other people.

The safest and most effective way of eliminating rodents is to kill them. Try snap traps or poisons.

Old-fashioned wood traps are probably most economical, but they can cause injury if they are accessible to pets or children. When using this type of trap, make sure they’re set up where kids or the family dog can’t reach them. Wood traps are not designed to be reused. Rodents often urinate when caught in wood traps. The urine is then absorbed into the wood, making it unlikely that other rodents will come into contact with the traps in the future.

Plastic snap traps, while more costly, are reusable and often designed to be placed in areas where pets and children have access. They can provide a quick and final solution to your rodent problem. Bait traps with peanut butter, which rodents find irresistible.

Next, we’ll look at poison baits. Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

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