Farming Advice and Folklore: Mouse Trap Tricks, Potato Wart Remover and Pet Feeders

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including mouse trap tricks, potato wart remover and pet feeders.

| September/October 1987

  • Dogs feeding bowls
    Each pan is anchored by driving a stake into the ground through the center hole. Our pets can't tip these bowls over or carry them off, but it's easy for us to lift them off the stakes to clean them.

  • Dogs feeding bowls

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including mouse trap tricks, potato wart remover and pet feeders.   

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

Mice Demise

After having a mouse drag a trap right into its hole, we found the thought of rodents dying inside our walls to be unappealing, to say the least. Our preventive measure was to nail the mousetrap to a board (use large-headed nails placed around the perimeter of the base, rather than through it, to keep the trap from splitting). Added benefits are that it's easy to hold onto the board while setting or emptying the trap, our hands are less likely to get stung if the trap is sprung accidentally, and, by using a long, thin board, we can place the trap in hard-to-reach areas where the mice prefer to roam.

—Tom and Susan Dinkledine
Russiaville, Indiana

We use mothballs to keep mice and rats at a distance. In the house we place one or two pellets in each box of stored clothing, papers and books, and we tuck several into the insulation on the backs of appliances. We also use the aromatic pellets to protect bags of seed in the barn. We just cut a tiny hole in each bag, stuff a mothball in and tape over the hole. Sacks of animal feed can be protected, too, but place the repellent outside the bags, as otherwise the feed would be contaminated. Mothballs are effective for three months when enclosed and for about a month in the open, so we're protected year-round for about the cost of one mousetrap.

—Terry Waldrop
Goodspring, Tennessee

Happy Hour in the Greenhouse

I mix cocktails for my houseplants. First I add an envelope of unflavored gelatin and a teaspoon of instant coffee to a cup of very hot water. Then I add one-half teaspoon of dish detergent and a full ounce of whiskey. I pour this into a gallon jug and fill to the top with cool water. Used every so often, this tonic seems to provide a real "pick-me-up" for my plants.

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