This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The String-brick Trap (Fig. 92) consists of two pegs, a piece of string, two or three peas, and a brick. To form it, push the two pegs (7) into the ground at about 6 in. distance apart, thread two or three peas on soft packthread, string or twisted matting (k), tie this tightly to the pegs, the peas being in the middle, and place the brick (l) in a slanting direction on the bait (m). Then the ground being quite level and firm, down falls the brick when a mouse nibbles through the peas and string, the latter steeped in toasted cheese "fat" just where the peas are placed, tempting the mouse to nibble it through more quickly.
Fig. 92. - String Brick Trap. References: j, pegs; k, string; l, brick; m, bait.
Various forms of fatal traps, always the most humane, may be had of ironmongers, such as the "Irish " with from 3 to 6 holes, catching by the head, and the "Electric" crushing the animal by a stroke-down wire.
Traps for catching mice alive comprise numerous forms, such as the "Tinned Wire," single and double entrance, and " Improved " of both those. "X. L" wove wire in three compartments, and the always set and baited Acme, Premier, Excelsior, and Perpetual, in sizes catching up to twelve mice at a time, may be had of ironmongers or the manufacturers (Messrs. J. J. Thomas & Co., 360 and 362, Edgware Road, London). We do not, however, advise the catching alive methods for outdoors, and even indoors it is mainly followed to afford sport for juveniles in tempting worse than useless cats to mouse.
Mice, like rats, are readily poisoned, but within doors it is liable to lead to unpleasant consequences on account of the animals dying beneath flooring and in outbuildings, quite apart from the poison or the poisoned rats and mice being consumed by cats and dogs. Waterton's recipe is still in vogue, viz., Two pounds of coarse brown sugar and one dessert-spoonful of arsenic are thoroughly mixed with as much oatmeal as would fill an ordinary washhand basin. Dose, a tablespoonful placed from time to time in the runs frequented by the rats or mice. Shallow vessels of water should be placed near the poison in order that the animals may attempt to quench their thirst induced by the arsenic, and thus die on the spot instead of in their holes.