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How to Stiffen the Spring of a Mouse Trap

November 27, 2021
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Rodent problems are universal, and people around the world address these problems through using mouse traps, which have proven effective and even more innovative through time. The heart of an effective trap is the spring, what is called a helical torsion spring, or simply a torsion spring. It's a spring that operates on a twisting motion, which tends to bounce around and be ineffective in turn. Some people are bothered by this, which is why they want to stiffen the springs of their mouse traps. 

So can mouse traps springs be stiffened? Yes they can, but it can be tedious. You can try using a pair of pliers and manually twisting one of the ends of the metal spring around the bar of the trap. This adds another coil to the spring, making the torque and tension even greater, which will make the snap more powerful, leading to more chances of killing mice. 

Read More: Facts About Mouse Traps That You Need to Know

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How to Make Mouse Trap Spring Stronger

Before understanding how to make the spring of the trap stiffer and stronger, it would first be helpful to know what a helical torsion spring actually is. 

What Is a Torsion Spring?

A helical torsion spring, simply called a torsion spring, is one of the different types of springs that people commonly use in daily life. Other types of springs are the compression spring (found in pogo sticks and mattresses) and the extension spring (found in trampolines). The torsion spring can be found not only in different types of traps but also in a common garage door, except it uses a much larger version of the spring. Another name for the torsion spring is "clock spring", because it's commonly used for analog clocks.

What Makes a Torsion Spring Stiff?

The torsion spring is essentially a metal rod that’s spun around a bar to create coils. The ends of the torsion spring generally don’t face the same way. Using Hooke's Law, it will show that the greater the end of the spring rotates around, making a coil, the greater the force. More coils tend to mean more force. Think of it like twisting a rubber band. It can only twist so much; the more you twist it, the greater the force that it releases once unwound.

How Torsion Springs Work on a Mouse Trap

Common types of mouse traps -- flat snap traps, catch-and-release traps -- use the force released by the tension spring to hold back the bar, or the "hammer", until it's time to kill. 

When looking at the common trap, you’ll notice that the spring in the middle has its two ends facing opposite sides of the trap. One end of the spring is usually twisted around the hammer, while the other end lies flat on the base of the trap facing the other way. When you pull back the hammer, you're simultaneously twisting the spring once more. These springs are already wound so tightly that when you release your hold of the hammer, the tension you generated from twisting the spring once more finally gets released, flinging the hammer forward with a powerful force.

Stiffening the Torsion Spring

Note that tampering with the spring of a mouse trap may permanently alter the spring itself. The more coils on a torsion spring, the greater the force output. That's because the more that you twist it around, it's as if you're building and storing energy. To stiffen a torsion spring and make it more powerful is to add more coils. This can be difficult and tedious done alone and caution is advised.

Take a pair of pliers and pull the end of the spring that isn't attached to the bar. There should be an excess amount of it protruding outward from the spring, laying flat on the mouse trap. What you can try doing is pulling that and twisting it around the hammer. The spring tends to “fight back” if you try to twist it around the hammer, so make sure that you have the mouse trap clamped down securely.

Pull the end of the spring over and under the spring to make another coil; it must twist around completely or else the spring may not be as effective anymore.

Learn More: How to Safely Open a Mouse Trap

Reusing Mouse Traps Maintenance Tips

As time goes on and you use the trap more and more often, the spring is bound to loosen up. There are a few things that you can do to prevent this from happening.

Always Check the Spring's Condition

To check if the spring is still wound tightly, try setting up the trap once more. This time, use a straw to trigger it. If the trap lifts off the ground, it means that it's snap is still powerful. Checking up on how your traps are prior to using them will help you catch if there's something that needs to be cleaned or if it needs to be replaced already.

Always Keep It Clean From Rust and Dried Mouse Blood

Blood can spew from dead rodents caught in the trap. It's also possible that peanut butter or hazelnut spread used as mouse trap bait can be left over in that area. 

To clean a mouse trap, it's recommended that you use a cotton swab and warm water. People tend to also use cotton balls as part of the mouse trap bait, so make sure that those pieces are gone as well. 

Try to be as thorough with cleaning the mouse trap as possible. Mice have excellent senses of smell. If they detect blood on the trap, it will make them avoid it even more. Mice can also urinate on the trap which signals to other mice to avoid the trap altogether.

Additionally, while cleaning or handling a mouse trap that you plan on reusing, use gloves. Kitchen gloves or dishwater gloves -- even putting a plastic bag over your hand as you place the trap can help. This is because as you touch the trap, you unintentionally rub some of your scent on the trap as well. When mice get a whiff of the scent of a predator -- i.e. you -- they’ll avoid the trap even more.

Knowing When to Replace a Mouse Trap

After some use, the mouse trap will begin showing signs of wear; there will be rust, the wooden platform may not be as clean, or the spring may not be as tight as before. In either case, it’s still recommended practice to replace traps at least once every year -- or more if you use it often.

Since mice tend to urinate on the trap itself, it will begin to build up in the wooden platform. It will get harder and harder to wash off, making the trap less and less effective. When you notice that the trap is no longer catching mice, or if the spring mechanism is no longer working as effectively, that's the sign that you should think about replacing your trap.

Additional Simple Non-Spring Mouse Traps to Set Up

Since spring traps can become tedious to maintain, there are different kinds of mouse traps that are simpler and don't have a spring in them. You can use these along with your spring-loaded traps to further deal with your mouse infestation.

Glue Traps

This is one of the types of no-kill traps that people often use. As one of the trap kinds that don’t kill mice, it has led to multiple ethical and moral concerns about the mice. A glue trap won’t kill a mouse immediately nor is it the kind of trap that allows you to relocate the mouse to a different location. A glue trap will keep the mouse on it for as long as they starve or gnaw their limbs off just to get out alive, making it less humane than other traps. Still, this is a springless alternative that's available in the market.

Electronic Traps

This is one of the more modern traps for getting rid of mice. Electric traps tend to be easier to set up because all it takes is a few batteries and switching it on or off.

Electric traps kill mice much faster since it administers a fatal shock when mice trigger it. Since it comes in a box, it can be much easier to dispose of the mouse carcasses without having to touch them with your hands, which is always ideal.

Live-Catch Traps

This is one of the kinds of no-kill traps that you can find in the market. Live-catch traps come in different shapes and sizes but all serve similar purposes: capturing mice to be relocated later. These traps tend to be more humane in the sense that there is no killing involved.  When you're relocating the live mice that you've captured, take them as far away as you can. Mice have been known to return back to their nests when they're as far as a quarter of a mile away from them.

Relocating mice is going to depend on your state's laws. In some states, it may actually be illegal to relocate mice. Relocating mice may also have effects on the local wildlife, which aren’t the regular habitat of certain house mice.

Read More: How to Get Mouse Trap Glue Off Cat Paws?

When to Contact Professional Pest Control Services

A female mouse can produce about 32 to 56 pups in a year. If you aren't able to contain your pest problem, it may lead to a mice infestation. Aside from having frustrating pests scurry around the house, they also pose another problem if left by themselves. Mice are common carriers of dangerous viruses that could harm adults or be highly dangerous to children.

If the traps simply aren't working, then it may be time to call a professional. Professional pest control services are thorough with their procedures. This is to ensure that there are no mice nests left behind, and to prevent recurrences of rodent infestations. Having professionals take a look at your house will also help you gauge how serious your pest situation is. For professional pest control services, you can look into Positive Pest Management.

Contact Positive Pest Management for Your Pest Control Needs

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Positive Pest Management has the highest-quality pest extermination tools, techniques, and methods carried out by our team of experts in New York City.We offer our services to  New York City and Nassau County in Long Island , as well as nearby areas.

We understand how big of a hassle it is to have a mice infestation, and we'll take care of it for you to set your mind at ease. We don’t only handle rodents but insect infestations as well. To know more about our services, visit our website or contact us today.

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