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Dial M...

I've become a mouse murderer.

A couple of weeks or so ago, I noticed some tell-tale signs of a rodent incursion. You know the signs. Being the stupidly optimistic type, or more likely in denial, I just thought that maybe they'd go away. It's been super rainy, and then super hot, so maybe they just came in to escape the weather and will then go on their mousy way.  Unfortunately my dog is a complete weirdo (one of her many nicknames is, in fact, Weirdsmobile) and doesn't eat her food all at once. Many dogs ravenously empty their bowls as soon as you fill it.  She just grazes when it suits her. Which apparently leaves a delicious and nutritious buffet for opportunistic mice.  When I actually saw a mouse run from the dog's dish to the cabinet, pause to look over its shoulder at me, and then disappear into a tiny crack, I knew I had to do something.

I took to Amazon to research my DIY extermination options. I hastily eliminated live traps (sorry, but catch-and-release really doesn't seem a reasonable solution to infestation) and glue traps (the very definition of cruel and unusual). Traditional traps were also a no-go.  Call me a coward, but I really don't want to look at little, bloody corpses or, heaven forbid, touch them.  I like the idea of poison. It's a sort of passive-aggressive method of mousicide - just leave it out in a convenient location. If they come get it, that's on them. It's just the dangers of sneaking in to unsuspecting folks' homes and stealing food.  That food may not be safe for vermin consumption. But there is the issue of where the erstwhile thief goes to die. If, for instance, they just go chill in the crack though which they came and succumb there, one might not learn of the mouse's passing until it became odiferously obvious. And that's a whole other problem.  I'd rather not have to hunt down decaying remains hidden in inaccessible places. (I was actually surprised that one can purchase poison from Amazon. I guess they really do sell everything.) Another option that presented itself was the "no-see, no-touch" traps. They come in various shapes, sizes, and methods of execution. They're like tiny dungeons that imprison and kill the little interlopers.  I was skeptical, but thought it might be a cleaner, more controlled way to rid myself of this nasty little problem.

I purchased a pack of these traps, and some poison as a back up.  I placed a few traps in the kitchen using peanut butter and a piece of dog food as bait, since they seem to like dog food so much. I would check them a couple of times a day, and nothing. After a several days of this, I had almost given up.  I decided to check them when I got home from work, and I caught one! It gave me a perverse sense of accomplishment to have successfully captured and killed one of the buggers.  Optimistically, I thought that might take care of it, but I left the traps out just in case. Sure enough, I caught another.  Feeling like an anti-rodent vigilante, I put out a couple more traps. I thought surely that'll be the end of it.  Yeah, right.
The other night I was sitting in my chair where I happen to have a view into the kitchen.  I saw something out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a plump little gray-and-white critter creeping under the edge of the cabinet toward the dog's dish. Like a loon I yelled at it, scolding "Mouse!" It stopped and looked at me and then scuttled back into the shadows for a moment. Then it started back toward the dish. While I'm looking right at it.  The unmitigated gall!  I jumped up and started toward it and it ran across the kitchen and took a flying leap over one of the traps into a crack.

So, I'm checking my traps and I'm doling out the dog's food in small portions.  It's a war of attrition. I may yet resort to poison, or call in professional help. I've even thought of getting a cat since my dog is useless in this regard. Give her a bug, and she'll relentlessly pursue it. Give her a mouse and she'll sniff around a bit, watch the kitchen for a while, and then get bored and go lay down somewhere else while they raid her bowl. Traitor.  If they weren't such sneaky little disease-ridden smug home-invaders, they might be cute. But no. The mouse must die.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Oh, ugh. I'm surprised that your dog won't even try to chase them down, especially since they're eating her food.
Jul. 1st, 2014 03:19 am (UTC)
I know, right!?! I would think she'd at least protect her bowl.
Jun. 30th, 2014 10:04 am (UTC)
Big dogs generally aren't great mousers, and its surprising the number of cats who are into 'catch and release'. Poisoning is the pragmatic approach.
Jul. 1st, 2014 03:24 am (UTC)
You're right. One can't rely on pets to do one's dirty work. I've caught another one today. Yuck.
Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
We can't use poison because this area is really strongly trying to encourage the return/rebounding population of the birds of prey. But the old fashioned traps have worked pretty well for us.
Jul. 7th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
I've resorted to both methods now. Hopefully it'll put and end to the invasion. I wish the birds of prey around here would thin the rodent population. We have plenty of hawks and owls about. :-)
Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC)
Mice are SO adorable.. when they're outside or in a cage. Running about willy-nilly in one's home? Not so much.

Poison and traps are fine, but until you find the source of entry they're just going to keep a-comin'. Probably be worth it to hire someone to find and block the entry points.

... and pray none of them are pregnant. EEEEK.
Jul. 7th, 2014 03:00 am (UTC)
Ugh, I know. I had that thought when I spotted one that was suspiciously fat - overindulging on the dog chow, or getting ready for a population explosion... The hazards of living in a very old house, I suppose, is lots of little nooks and crannies that aren't sealed up tight.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )