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As a mouse enters the trap, it must stick its head through a rubber ring-which instantly contracts and suffocates the little bugger. When a mouse scampers into RADAR's tunnel and crosses two consecutive infrared beams, the trap seals shut and floods the chamber with a deadly dose of carbon dioxide. If traps don't take care of your mouse problem, maybe it's time to switch to chemical warfare.

Poisonous baits sold in pellet form, or in newer putty formulations, turn the natural tendency of mice to gnaw and nibble against them. So-called rodenticides come in a number of varieties, but the most common are anticoagulants. These compounds cause internal hemorrhaging, ending a mouse's life in a few days.

If you choose this route to kill mice, however, keep a supply of vitamin K1 around: It's an antidote to the anticoagulants that you can give to cats and dogs if they eat the poison, Fredericks says. Other creative chemistries for dispatching mice include metal phosphide-laced baits, he says. When zinc phosphide reacts with the acid in a rodent's stomach, highly toxic phosphine gas forms.

Vitamin D is another killing agent. The vitamin makes mice absorb too much calcium from their food, while leaching the mineral from their bones. The resulting hypercalcemia excessive levels of calcium in the blood damages the heart, kidneys and other organs. Fredericks points out that all pesticides, including rodenticides, must be approved by the EPA and are regulated by state agencies.

In other words, custom cocktails are not available.

Rat Trap - Death of a Rat

Mice are frustratingly elusive, nibbling on food left out at night and vanishing during the day. But, unbeknownst to the rodents, they leave signs that reveal their movements. Those signs just happen to be in UV. Mouse urine fluoresces in UV light, so shining a black light around can show where the rodents pee. Simply leaving traps wherever you find mouse droppings might not be the best approach, though, says Douglas Stern, managing partner at New Jersey-based Stern Environmental Group.

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His company developed a fluorescent powder that could help you track mice back to their nests. To get the powder onto the mice, load it into a box with food or dust it onto cotton balls, which the mice nab as nesting material. Then follow the footprints, which appear under UV, to find where the mice have set up shop. This lets you set up traps there, or seal off an outside entry point if mice are entering into the house from outdoors. Meanwhile, major manufacturer Bell Labs has also started selling rodenticide food pellets doped with chemicals to make mouse feces glow green.

Release the hounds! Exterminators today are taking a cue from law enforcement and turning to dogs' supersensitive noses for smelling bed bugs, ants and termites. Dogs are just beginning to enter the field of mouse control, Fredericks says, but canines could potentially sniff out rodent headquarters.

Cats, of course, are the traditional nemesis of mice. Based on biomechanical and functional-morphological analyses and on a reverse biomimetic approach via mechanical modelling and computer simulations, we identify a combination of hydraulic turgor change and the release of prestress stored in the trap as essential for actuation. Our study is the first to identify and analyse in detail the motion principle of Aldrovanda, which not only leads to a deepened understanding of fast plant movements in general, but also contributes to the question of how snap-traps may have evolved and also allows for the development of novel biomimetic compliant mechanisms.

The snippet could not be located in the article text. This may be because the snippet appears in a figure legend, contains special characters or spans different sections of the article. Proc Biol Sci. Published online May 9. PMID: Anna S. Received Jan 3; Accepted Apr Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract The fast motion of the snap-traps of the terrestrial Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula have been intensively studied, in contrast to the tenfold faster underwater snap-traps of its phylogenetic sister, the waterwheel plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa.

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Keywords: Aldrovanda , Dionaea , finite-element model, plant movement, reverse biomimetics, mechanical modelling. Introduction Venus flytrap snap-trap physiology and mechanics are well understood [ 1 ], in contrast to those of the waterwheel plant Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Material and methods a Plant material Plant material of two Aldrovanda vesiculosa ecotypes was provided by L.

Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Discussion Until now, the actuation of the A. Figure 6. Acknowledgements The authors thank Sandra Caliaro for help in thin-sectioning and Dirk Rohleder for kindly nursing the plants.

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  5. Data accessibility The datasets supporting this article have been uploaded as the electronic supplementary material. Authors' contributions All authors contributed to the conception and design, analyses and interpretation of data, drafting or revising the article; A. Competing interests We declare we have no competing interests. References 1. Faster than their prey. New insights into the rapid movements of active carnivorous plants traps. Bioessays 35 , — Molecular evidence for the common origin of snap-traps among carnivorous plants.

    How the Venus flytrap snaps. Nature , — Comparative kinematical analyses of Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula snap traps. Beilstein J. Ashida J. Studies on the leaf movement of Aldrovanda vesiculosa L. Kyoto Ser. B 9 , — Poppinga S, Joyeux M. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa.

    Iijima T, Sibaoka T. Plant Cell. Ecological steps to a snap-trap. New Phytol. Lehtinen S. Understanding the Venus flytrap through mathematical modelling. Skotheim JM, Mahadevan L. Physical limits and design principles for plant and fungal movements. Science , — Adamec L. How to grow Aldrovanda vesiculosa outdoors. Plant Newsl.

    The biology and cultivation of red Australian Aldrovanda vesiculosa. Uniformity of organellar DNA in Aldrovanda vesiculosa , an endangered aquatic carnivorous species, distributed across four continents. Field growth characteristics of two aquatic carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis. Folia Geobot. Schindelin J, et al. An open-source platform for biological-image analysis. Methods 9 , — R Development Core Team.

    R: a language and environment for statistical computing. Neinhuis C, Edelmann HG.

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    Methanol as a rapid fixative for the investigation of plant surfaces by SEM. Gibson LJ. The hierarchical structure and mechanics of plant materials. Interface 9 , — Dynamic coordination of cytoskeletal and cell wall systems during plant cell morphogenesis. Colombani M, Forterre Y.

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    Biomechanics of rapid movements in plants. Poroelastic measurements at the cell scale. Methods Biomech. Toward a new generation of smart biomimetic actuators for architecture. How does Europe PMC derive its citations network? Protein Interactions. Protein Families. Nucleotide Sequences.

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    Functional Genomics Experiments. Protein Structures. For any requirements specific to your State or Tribe, consult the agency responsible for pesticide regulations. Herbicides Herbicides. Surfactants Surfactants. Ants Ants. Roaches Roaches. Insecticides Insecticides. Fungicides Fungicides. Bedbugs Bedbugs. Rodents Rodents. Miticides Miticides. Repellents Repellents. Flies Flies. Spiders Spiders. Plant Nutrient Plant Growth Regulators. Equipment Equipment.

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    Termites Termites. Earwigs Earwigs. Fleas Fleas.