In place of the wire cage, a glass preserve-jar was substituted. A few bits of cheese were then dropped inside, and the top of a funnel inserted into the opening above. This completed the trap, and it was set on the floor near the flour barrel. On the following morning the jar was occupied by a little mouse, and each successive night for a week added one to the list of victims. A stiff piece of tin, bent into the required shape, may be substituted for the funnel top, or even a very heavy piece of pasteboard might answer.
Very effective extempore traps may be set up in a few minutes by the use of a few bowls. There are two methods commonly employed. One consists of the bowl and a knife-blade. An ordinary tableknife is used and a piece of cheese is firmly forced on to the end of the blade, the bowl is then balanced on the edge, allowing the bait to project about an inch and a half beneath the bowl. The odor of cheese will attract a mouse almost anywhere, and he soon finds [Page 136] his way to the tempting morsel in this case. A very slight nibble is sufficient to tilt the blade and the bowl falls over its prisoner.
In the second method a thimble is used in place of the knife. The cheese is forced into its interior, and the open end of the thimble inserted far beneath the bowl, allowing about half its length to project outward.
The mouse is thus obliged to pass under the bowl in order to reach the bait, and in his efforts to grasp the morsel, the thimble is dislodged and the captive secured beneath the vessel. Where a small thimble is used, it becomes necessary to place a bit of pasteboard or flat chip beneath it, in order to raise it sufficiently to afford an easy passage for the mouse. Both of these devices are said to work excellently.
A sheet of common paper, smeared with a mixture composed of molasses one part, and bird-lime six parts (see page 97), will be found to attract large numbers of flies and hold them prisoners upon its surface.
Spruce gum, warmed on the fire, and mixed with a little linseed oil, is also excellent. For a genuine fly trap, the following stands unrivalled.
Take a tumbler, and half-fill it with strong soap suds. Cut a circle of stiff paper which will exactly fit into the top of the glass. In the centre of the paper cut a hole half an inch in diameter, or, better still, a slice of bread may be placed on the glass. Smear one side of the disc with molasses, and insert it in the tumbler with this side downward. Swarms of flies soon surround it, and one by one find their way downward through the hole. Once below the paper, and their doom is sealed. For a short time the molasses absorbs their attention, and they, in turn, absorb the molasses.