"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's always interesting to see cutting-edge technology being used to solve an age-old problem (in this case, pest control).
British building services firm Rentokil has given the old standby a 21st century upgrade, adding a wireless module to its traps so that they can notify maintenance staff by email when a rodent is caught. The data collected also helps staff identify problem areas, and enables proactive (and hygenic) control of outbreaks at customers from pharmaceutical plants to restaurants and even Wembley Stadium.
Using small doses of carbon dioxide gas (instead of toxic chemicals) to dispatch the hapless rodents qualifies the product as a green, humane alternative, making it doubly saleable.
However, having worked in plant maintenance (and having read the "top 10" list below, from Fish & Chips & Fast Food magazine) makes me wonder whether scientists shouldn't work instead on something a little more medieval for the damnable little things.
Top 10 Mouse Facts
1. Mice aid the spread of diseases such as salmonella;
2. Mice can have eight litters a year and 16 pups per litter;
3. Mice are incontinent and leave a trail of urine spots behind them;
4. Mice produce up to 80 droppings per day;
5. Mice will feed from 20-30 different food sources in one night;
6. Mice are very agile and can climb vertical walls, jump and swim;
7. Mice can enter buildings through gaps just 7mm high;
8. Mice prefer chocolate to cheese;
9. Mice can survive without drinking if their food contains 15% water;
10. Mice have incisor teeth strong enough to gnaw through mild steel.