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RATS GET TRAPPED BY TEXT MOUSAGE; PEST-KILLING MACHINE THAT PHONES HOME.

Byline: By Paula Murray

A NEW rat trap catches rodents - then sends a text message to alert pest controllers.

The device contains a mobile phone cell which springs into action once a kill has been made.

And the text message - or mousage - function is not the only hi-tech feature of the trap.

Instead of the traditional method of using a spring to catch mice and rats, rodents are killed painlessly by a gas capsule which is released when the trap is activated The sophisticated device, which looks like a white plastic box, can even ensure that only rodents are killed.

If other animals, such as rabbits or squirrels, step into the box, they will be released unharmed.

Pest control company Rentokil have commissioned two firms to design and build the device, nicknamed "r@ trap" because of its text message function.

When a rodent is killed, an inbuilt cellphone unit in the trap, described as "a mobile minus its microphone, display and speaker", sends a text to Rentokil staff in the area.

They come and remove the pest, so squeamish customers don't have to.

The text system also means the trap can be emptied and reset as soon as it has done its job.

Pest controllers believe the device will be particularly useful in offices, where rodents can bring down entire networks by chewing through computer cables.

The text alerts mean firms will be able to get an accurate picture of how serious their rodent problem is.

Nigel Binns, chief biologist with Rentokil, said: "Rats cause massive network failure in some places. But constant monitoring will lessen the chance of that happening."

The device contains pressure pads which recognise the weight of rodents.

Paw pressure from heavier creatures - even baby rabbits - will not be recognised and the door will not close.

The UK firms commissioned by Rentokil to build the trap are Wyless and

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END OF THE RODENT: The; hi-tech machine is designed to kill only mice or rats then sends out an text message
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 17, 2005
Words:336
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