Friday, October 19, 2007

Those pesky critters.....

Reading Janet's blog yesterday brought to mind my battle a couple years ago. I opened my silverware drawer one day to find itty bitty mouse turds. Yuck! I actually couldn't believe it. I've lived here all these years and have never had a problem with those critters. So, keeping in mind the old quote, "know your enemy", I went to my trusty computer and googled "mice". I read all I ever wanted to know and then some about them.

We were raised with "Mickey", courtesy of Disney. Mice are supposed to be cute and sweet and make you go "awwww". This is definitely the other side of the coin here. This mouse in my house was causing a problem. I can't say I felt any sort of fondness toward it at all.

I trudged to my local hardware store and stocked up on mousetraps. I bought 6 of them. The guy there talked me into buying some sort of 'glue pads' too......DON'T EVER DO THAT! I'LL TELL YOU WHY IN A BIT. I only got four of those, thank heavens!

I read that one mouse can produce up to 80 turds a DAY. Hard to believe, isn't it? Also read that they have poor eyesight and tend to run with their side against the wall so you should set the trap against a wall, not in the middle of the floor. And THIS tidbit just made me feel so good. They LEAVE A TRAIL of mouse pee so they can find their way back and also as a map for others. AAA has nothing on them; they have their own little trip-tik. I won't go in to just HOW FAST they multiply but it was enough for me to want them out quickly.

I have one drawer next to my stove that I keep all sorts of envelopes containing mixes like gravy, meat loaf seasoning, cheese sauce, etc. Needless to say, my little visitor had found that drawer and was having a real ball ripping into every single one and trying them out. I think he bathed in the cheese one. That was the first place I set the traps. I put one at the back of the drawer and another one at the front just in case the first one missed him. I put two more traps in a bottom cupboard that I found some more turds in. Two more went under the sink, just in case.

The next morning I got up and opened that drawer like it was going to explode. I was amazed to find not one, but TWO mice, one in each trap. I checked the bottom cupboard and also found those two traps filled, under the sink got me nothing.

I reloaded and waited. Where I had thought I had ONE, I had FOUR. This time I used some of those glue pads in the bottom cupboard along with the traps. The next morning I checked to find the two traps in the drawer filled again and in the bottom cupboard the glue pads both contained a mouse, WHICH WAS STILL ALIVE.

Now this is the hardest part of my story. A dead mouse is just a dead mouse, but a live one is cute. Those big soulful eyes and cute little ears. The glue pads had them caught good and secure but they were very much alive and totally confused. This is why I say to NEVER buy those because I had to do the dirty work of killing them and I still feel guilty over it. I did it the most humane way possible (drowning) if you can honestly think that killing anything is humane. It was horrible and I never want to do that again.

All in all I killed nine mice that had taken up residency in my humble abode. Mama had shredded an oven mitt of mine in the back of one rarely used cupboard (only wide enough for cookie sheets) and made herself a lovely little nest. These cute little things caused me a LOT of work. Everything had to come out of the cupboards and drawers they had wandered through and everything had to be washed. The insides of the drawers and cupboards with bleach water and everything else in the dishwasher. I had to throw away all the mixes.....about $50. worth, not to mention placemats and of course the oven mitt.

I remember reading on the internet that if you can put a pencil through an opening, a mouse can fit through it. I never did find out how they got into my house......maybe it was just one that got in and the rest were all her children. But now I am ever vigilant. I am constantly looking for signs that they might be back. Maybe I should get a cat again.


fiwa said...

Oh my god, I totally sympathize with that story. We had an infestation of mice at exactly this time last year because we thought we'd try leaving our dog door open all day while we were at work. Big mistake. Huge. We saw one, my husband caught it and swore that was it. He ended up catching 13 before it was all said and done.

I slept in the car the first night because I was so creeped out by the thought of mice running around my house - I can't believe you took care of the problem yourself -that is brave!

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and love it....we have to keep our humor don't we?!!
Pam 'Oh Da Woods

Ordinary Janet said...

Oh. My. God. I don't know what I'd do if I found one in here, let alone a whole extended family. I'd probably move to a motel and get an exterminator. And I thought I had problems with dead birds and a crippled squirrel outside.