Posted by: winteridge | September 16, 2007

Build a Better Mouse Trap…

Recently my daughter has been having problems with mice in her apartment.  That brings back memories of the “Tug Hill Mouse Trap” we used to use at our hunting camp.  I’m not sure where we got the idea: seems like my brother Lee came up with it.  I remember our old neighbor Jim Bartlett, the Mayor of Pitcher Road, saying he and his father used to use something similiar.  And someone said they heard the idea from Mike Virkler, of Lowville, who used to taxi deer hunters into the Adirondack backwoods with his team and wagon.  Of course, it was the Adirondack Mouse Trap then.  Mike, you may recall, built a beautiful log home on a remote lake in the Adirondacks, which was later dismantled and rebuilt at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain.

Anyway, for the mousetrap, you need a bucket of 10 or more quarts.  Fill it with 3-4 inches of water.  You then find a metal soda or beer can and punch a hole in the center of both ends.  A .22 works well for this.  Secure the can on center of a wire across the top of the bucket.  Then you bait the can with some food that attracts a mouse; bacon grease works well, or my favorite is peanut butter, either smooth or crunchy.  The little mouse climbs out on the wire and onto the can to get the food, and is dropped into the bucket.  Works every time.  You just need to empty the bucket every few days and add new water and maybe more pb.

I have seen a mouse ride the can for a few seconds, like a log-rolling lumberjack, but not for long.  We have experimented with the humane treatment, taking the bucket outside and letting the mousie go, but we gave that up when we noticed damp mice back on the bucket a short time later.  They don’t learn.

It was great entertainment for those long evening at hunting camp, when darkness came at 4 PM.  I also remember sitting on the sofa with a BB gun (until someone stole it), shooting the mice as they ran up and down the rafters and walls.  You had to be careful with ricochets, though.

I just remembered the THMT.  Have to mention that to my daughter.  She hates taking the mouse out of the regular traps.



  1. Would this make a great Youtube video or what?

  2. Nice article in the Syracuse Post Standard last week by Dick Case on Mike Virkler and his log cabin, which was dismantled and rebuilt at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake. It is a beauty. I will see if I can find a link to it.

  3. Best mouse trap ever.

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