British inventors have come up with a new way to catch mice - by luring them into a chocolate-scented trap.
In tests, the smell of chocolate proved irresistible to rodents, more so than vanilla or even cheese.
Chocolate is an integral part of the product
Thanks to a little ingenuity, chocolate mousetraps are now on the market.
They don't need bait because they are made of a special plastic enhanced with chocolate extract.
"The uniqueness is that the essence is within the plastic," says Ricky Singh of Innovation-Direct at the University of Warwick, which offers support to small businesses.
Scientists at Warwick helped Sorex Ltd, a Cheshire-based pest control company, design and test the technology.
It is well known in rodent circles that mice are partial to chocolate and the firm had come up with the idea of using a cup of melted chocolate as bait.
Subsequent trials by the two teams led to a way to add chocolate essence to plastic and a potential breakthrough in rodent control.
"The partnership has led to the development of a unique product that is baitless, making it very easy to use in just one step," says Martina Flynn, Rodent Control Product Manager with Sorex Ltd.