Aaaah, if only it were a real fireplace... (notice the glow of the yuletide light bulb behind the plastic logs)
I still can't wait till I get to tear this crappy fake fireplace out. We've been using this 2nd family room as a work and storage room since we moved in, but with Christmas coming we need to make room in the main family room for the tree. Extra furniture and the computer can go in this room for a while. Before that happens, there is a LOT of cleaning to do - all the tools, boxes, new appliances, etc need to be moved around for room. Lots of fun . . .
This is also the room where the Great Mouse Eradication of '07 is taking place. My fear is that now that we've moved so much stuff around, that they'll go elsewhere. To help keep the odds in my favor I finally picked up the Victor snap-traps - 8 of 'em. 4 in this room, 4 in the basement ('cause I think they might be coming in there and then migrating upstairs), 2 in the garage, and 1 on the stairs. Yeah, I know that adds up to more than 8. Included in the counts are the crappy traps I've been using plus one covered trap for the stairs that the cat probably won't get caught in (and oh, I'd feel so bad if that were to happen...).
I've also looked at the TomCat traps in a little more detail and think I understand why they don't kill the mice quickly.
When the mouse trips the trap the jaws close quickly, but don't gain enough momentum and don't have a strong enough "snap" to really feed the mouse a cup of hot death. The Victor traps, on the other hand, use a thin metal bar which travels 180 degrees, allowing it to gain some good momentum. Plus, that bar is a lot thinner than the "jaws" of the TomCat trap meaning a more localized impact on the mouse. For a comparison, hit your hand with a rubber mallet and then with a regular hammer. Which hurts more? The smaller face of the hammer.
To test my theory (and look like either an idiot or a God to my kids), I put my finger in each trap. By far, the Victor trap scared me more before the experiment and did hurt a lot more. The TomCat didn't hurt at all, while the Victor trap hurt like hell.
Get ready mice, I'm bringin' the pain!