Advice on Building a Better Mouse Trap

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People often say they want to "build a better mouse trap," which means they want to create something that lots of people want and need, but that is better than what exists today. You might want to make your barn or arena better, or offer different services than the other barns in your area, or you might even want to figure out a different way to word a boarding contract that works better for you and the horse owner.

Mice are a nuisance, they carry fleas and disease, and they leave “mouse gifts” throughout the house, barn, or outbuildings. But do you really want a better mouse trap, or do you want a better way to keep mice from causing you problems?

Some people don’t like the old-fashioned spring traps because then they have to be baited, set, and if successful, you then have a dead mouse (and blood) problem that you have to get rid of. So someone invented a covered, disposable trap where you couldn’t see the dead mouse and didn’t have to get close. And someone else invented a mouse trap that was already baited. Still others created super-sticky mouse traps that caused the mouse to get stuck inside a box, and basically it died of thirst and starvation.

There also is poisoned mouse bait. But when the mice ate the poison, and a cat or dog ate the mouse, then there was illness and sometimes death in the pet. Or if the domestic animal got into the poisoned bait, it could cause illness or death. Then someone else came up with a poison that was harmful to the mouse, but not to another predator preying on the mouse. Professionals use that type of mouse (and rat) poison to kill the mice. Still might not be for everyone.

Then someone else decided to use ultrasound to drive away the mice and rats (a little reverse Pied Piper). I’m not sure how well that works, but it sounds interesting.

The point is, any problem needs to be looked at from a variety of angles, and solutions need to be viewed that way as well. If you want to "build a better mouse trap" of a boarding contract, then do your research, talk to your boarders and even talk to other boarding farm owners.

The solution to mice might not be a building a better mouse trap, it might be owning more barn cats! What is your solution?