The elevated end holds a removable cap into which the user places bait (cheese, dog food, or some other tidbit). A hinged door is attached to the front end of the tube. When the trap is open, this door rests on two narrow stilts attached to the two bottom corners of the door.
The trap works with simple efficiency. A mouse, smelling the bait, enters the tube through the open end. As it walks up the angled bottom toward the bait, its weight makes the elevated end of the trap drop downward. This elevates the open end, allowing the hinged door to swing closed, trapping the mouse. Small teeth on the ends of the stilts catch in a groove on the bottom of the trap, locking the door closed. The mouse can be disposed of live, or it can be left alone for a few hours to suffocate in the trap.
Martha believed that the trap had many advantages for the consumer when compared with traditional spring-loaded traps or poisons. It appeals to consumers who want a humane alternative to spring traps. Furthermore, with Trap-Ease, consumers can avoid the unpleasant mess they encounter with the violent spring-loaded trapsthere are no clean-up problems. Finally, the consumer can reuse the trap or simply throw it away.
Marthas early research suggested that women were the best target market for the Trap-Ease. Men, it seems, were more willing to buy and use the traditional spring-loaded trap. The targeted women, however, did not like the traditional trap. They often stay at home and take care of their children. Thus, they want a means of dealing with the mouse problem that avoids the unpleasantness and risks that the standard trap creates in the home.
To reach this target market, Martha decided to distribute Trap-Ease through national grocery, hardware, and drug chains such as Safeway, Zellers, Canadian Tire, and Shoppers Drug Mart. She sold the trap directly to these large retailers, avoiding an View More »