How To Look At A Mousetrap


Insight Pest. “Mousetrap – Generic.” Flickr, 17 April 2017.

If you live in an old house, you have probably had, at one point in time, experienced the invasion of mice into your sanctuary. It is common not because of the assumptions that houses are not well kept, but because mice are very sneaky rodents. They can squeeze their way through any cracks or crevice.

If you have found yourself in this position – discovering little dark droppings or trails of your stolen bits of food – you are then aware that there are many ways to approach the situation. Your first instinct is to call an exterminator, but your research on Yelp finds that these services are unreliable and expensive. So, you opt for a do-it-yourself approach. In that case, you discover the following types of mousetraps:

  • Electronic traps
  • Ultrasonic repellents
  • Adhesive traps
  • Multiple catch traps

The list could go on…

While the technology has developed and the Internet swarms with home remedies, I have found, based on conversations with other victims of mice, that the classic wooden mousetraps are most effective.

This simple, but effective contraption is often taken for granted in its use to society. Hamlet sets up The Mousetrap to confirm his uncle’s involvement in his father’s death. The term, here, is used figuratively rather than literally. However, from this scene created to reflect the effects of a mousetrap, this re-enactment can be seen as manifestation of Hamlet’s anxiety.

Much like Hamlet’s need to confirm, I first set up wooden traps to prove my suspicion of mice lurking somewhere in my family dwelling. Prior to such actions, I became obsessed with realizing the mysterious sounds of the night and the cause of damaged items in my room. I searched and cleaned every corner. I stayed up for hours in the dark, aiming a flashlight below from the safety of my bunk bed. My family dismissed my frantic behaviour as merely paranoia. That being said, the presence of such trap in my household reflected on my own anxious state.

The unfortunate site of a trapped mouse the next morning affirmed that I was not just going crazy. And, more action could be taken in order for the issue to be rectified. As the prince once said, “let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung” (Shakespeare 3.2.248-249). It was the ultimate punishment for the mice that had entered unwelcome.

To my dismay, this process of setting up traps continued. Becoming a nightly routine for weeks, I was careful with the kill bar and the quick metal hinges. I followed the high recommendation of using peanut butter as bait and always remembered where traps had been laid. I was cautious not to lose any fingers when preparing the trap or injure a foot from absent-mindedness in the dark. Take it as you will, but I have concluded that mousetraps can be just as harmful to humans.

From this experience, I can no longer pass through the aisle of a department store and passively observe these products being taken down the shelves. I shudder at the site.


Works Cited

Elkins, James. How To Use Your Eyes. Routledge, 2009.

Pest, Insight. “Mousetrap – Generic.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 17 April 2017,

Shakespeare, William, and Sylvan Barnet. The Tragedy of Hamlet: Prince of Denmark: with New and Updated Critical Essays and a Revised Bibliography. Signet Classic, 1998.

“Victor® Easy Set® Mouse Trap | Model # BM032-24.”, 1 Feb. 2018,