Think like a rodent on your next mouse hunt


January 9, 2024

Photo: Anna-av/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Anna-av/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Actor Christopher Walken has played some unforgettable roles in his career. But in my humble pest control opinion, his best (and most educational) performance was as “Caeser, the Exterminator” in the movie “Mousehunt.”

This 1997 comedy classic follows two brothers who are trying to rid their recently inherited mansion of a crafty house mouse. When the brothers realize they may be in over their heads, they turn to pest management professional (PMP) Caeser and his expertise to save the day. Hilarity ensues.

I’m not saying Caeser did everything right as a PMP in this movie, but:

  • He showed up on time and well prepared.
  • He conducted a thorough inspection and took meticulous notes.
  • He collected evidence and identified his pest.
  • He even set client expectations.
Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Caeser’s best teaching moment, though, came when he explained to his client that “to catch a mouse, you have to think like a mouse.” I wonder whether Walken realized he was quoting Pest Management Professional Hall of Famer Dr. Austin Frishman, BCE-Emeritus, with that line?

The next time it feels like sly rodents are evading your control methods, try the following:

  • Re-inspect to ensure you didn’t miss an entry point, exploited food source, or other conducive condition.
  • Bait unset traps and let them sit for a few days to give apprehensive, older adults time to adjust to them.
  • Check your device location and placement to ensure each one is positioned in the most appropriate — which is not always the most convenient — site.
  • Lastly, if rodents have a preferred food source on the property, this could serve as the ideal attractant for traps and other devices.

About the Author

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Dr. Bentley is director of training and education for the National Pest Management Association. You can reach him at

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