A very dangerous mousetrap

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/16/a-very-dangerous-mousetrap.html


you can buy mouse traps that electrocute mice on Amazon. A bit lower power, they run on 4-AAA batteries. I’ve got one and they work.


Kills AND cooks…now that’s the better mousetrap.


As neutral is bonded to ground at the main panel, shorting neutral (white wire) with ground (green wire) across the metal mesh region yields no actual impact. It’s that hot (black wire) sticking up in the air that el roedor (and you) must avoid, but I will assume that is where the bait goes.

Should this “trap” actually be activated I would expect the circuit breaker to be thrown due to the instantaneous shorting of hot to grounded neutral.


They probably have a penny where the fuse would go.


A robotic metal mouse might throw the circuit breaker, but an organic mouse has resistance.

However, connecting the neutral and ground wires guarantees that the GFCI breaker would trip as soon as the mouse touched the hot lead, so this trap wouldn’t actually deliver enough current to kill the mouse if plugged into an outlet in a kitchen, bathroom, or outdoors (under current electrical building codes).


Not for use in bathtub!


Why is your mouse in a bathtub?


I came to the comments to post exactly that link.
In a previous apartment with a mouse problem I got one of these and it worked great.

However, after the number of dead mice eventually started to go down, I started to get a bit lazy about checking this trap… a mostly-enclosed box like that with a dead mouse inside it in the middle of a hot and humid summer: oh boy.

Still, the fact that I scraped/scrubbed the goo out of it must mean that I liked that mousetrap.


A nice slice of Raclette cheese would finish this off nicely.

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A plain old Victor snap-trap works fine, only costs pennies and a dab of peanut butter.


I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they work considerably better.

Mains current is a bit scary because AC can cause uncontrollable muscle tensing(so you can’t necessarily drop the wire you’ve foolishly touched); and if your safety features are dubiously code compliant the circuit will happily deliver enough energy to start causing ghastly thermal damage before the breaker trips; but especially in 120v land, resistance is often not futile; and unless dealing with broken skin or other flavors of weakly dielectric bad luck, humans at least can often escape with minimal damage just because not much current actually flows.

Something running on triple A’s isn’t going to be going for a thermal overkill; but is probably DC-DC converted to a suitably alarming voltage, at which point even pretty minuscule current can throw off cardiac function and ruin your day.

I can’t find any references on how dielectric mice are; and experimentation just for BBS seems ethically excessive; but I’m not especially sure that 120v mains would necessarily be a reliable kill for a mouse or rat. If you do find a low-resistance path, you can deliver north of a kilowatt, which is ‘halt and catch fire’ territory; but ‘deeply aversive, not lethal’ seems like a very possible outcome.


Because it needs a nice long relaxing bubble bath at the end of the day. It’s hard out there for a mouse.


It’s Saturday night?


Well that’s how they know they got a mouse, duh


Build a more dangerous mousetrap, and the current will burn a path to your door.


Perhaps the tub is more affordable than an apartment.

Am I the only one bothered by the non-insulated wire staples? Safety first people!


The electric traps are cleaner and easier: when you’ve caught the mouse, you turn the trap over to dump the corpse into the trash (or your neighbor’s yard), toss in more bait, toggle the switch to reset it, and you’r ready to kill again.

Dumping corpses into your neighbor’s yard can’t solve all your problems