With perseverance and professional assistance, Delta inventor Gary Chism has obtained a patent for his adaptation of a mouse trap.
Like many great inventions, "The Trap" was designed to solve a very real problem. At Chism's rural home, mice were getting into his shop. When he tried mouse bait, he wound up poisoning a skunk that then died in his shop, leaving a foul odor. He then invested in a number of wood traps, but they quit working after catching one mouse.
"The mice were overtaking me so I came up with this idea," he said. "The original was very crude, but the first night I caught five or six, and the following night I caught four or five."
The concept is very simple, he explains. The mousetrap is positioned over a five-gallon bucket which is filled with water (if you plan to kill the mouse) or soft material such as kitty litter (if you plan to relocate the mouse). The plastic mousetrap is placed over the bucket -- but first you coat the barrel with peanut butter to lure the mouse in.
Chism's mouse traps are more expensive than many alternatives, but they never wear out. They are low maintenance --- no chemicals, no resetting and no messy cleanup. Chism says they're also safe, silent and reliable. The trap cleans up easily with soap and water.
The original concept has been modified to address a design flaw that let the roller slip out. Anyone who purchased The Trap before the design modification is urged to contact Chism by email at thetrap2015 email@example.com. If you've been unable to fix the problem, he'll be happy to help.
Since he began pursuing his patent, Chism says he's seen knock-offs on the internet, but it doesn't appear they would be as effective. Because ideas can be stolen so easily, Chism cautions other inventors to work only with individuals they can trust. He's now working up to mass production and has lined up an investor who's willing to fund production if he can obtain large orders.
In the meantime, Chism has located an Eckert firm to produce small quantities of The Trap, which is being sold locally at Delta Hardware, Sisson Feed and The Hungry Lion.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.