Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weston, we have a problem

If you give a mouse a cookie,
He’s going to ask for a glass of milk.
When you give him the milk, he’ll probably ask you for a straw.
When he’s finished, he’ll ask for a napkin.
Then he will want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache.

Thus begins a favorite book by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I used to read this to #2 son and we'd always laugh at the ending.

Last week, however, I wasn't laughing. Late Thursday afternoon, I opened my pantry for some reason and saw something move. I had some items stacked precariously on one shelf and thought something had slid out of place. However, upon closer examination, I found myself face to face with this:

I was not amused. I had no mouse traps. I didn't have any problems last fall. So I called the office here at Weston Ranch and asked if mouse trapping was provided by maintenance or was I responsible for that. Maintenance Guy was soon at my door with a new-fangled plastic, disposable trap that we baited with peanut butter (Earth Fare brand with no high fructose corn syrup) and left on the pantry floor. An hour or so later, I saw something scurry along the outside wall of my living room and was concerned I had more than one rodent.

Apparently there's a mouse epidemic because one home improvement store just down the way was fresh out of regular traps. I didn't want the more expensive disposable ones, especially if this was going to be an ongoing problem (ohdeardogpleaseno!). The other store, which is right in front of my apartment complex, had plenty and I also bought a two-pack of plug-in ultrasonic pest repellent units. Hey, I'll do whatever it takes to keep the mice away.

I baited two more traps, put them in strategic spots, plugged the repellents in and then waited.

I woke up the next morning with traps still set. Rats! I mean, mice!

I had to leave for a while for lunch with a friend who was here from out of town, and when I got back, the traps I'd put out were still set, HFCS-free peanut butter untouched.

But when I opened the pantry to throw away my junk mail, BINGO! The beady-eyed little varmint had nibbled and let's just say he didn't return home because he got caught up in something else. I have a photo but I'll spare you the details. I did post it on Facebook since my friends there were following my great mouse adventure. One guy commented "First corpus delicti photo I've seen on facebook!"

To be sure I'd eradicated the mouse population, I re-baited two traps and placed them on the pantry floor. And ever since all I've been doing is feeding the mice very expensive peanut butter. Somehow they're eating the peanut butter and not springing the traps. Upon the advice of a Facebook friend, last night I tossed the trap that had already caught a mouse and used another from the pack of four I bought. She said sometimes the triggering mechanism loses it's sensitivity and an elephant couldn't set it off.

So my mouse tale has spared you from more trivia as I continue to work toward 50,000 words and that ever-desirable "You're a Winner!" screen on the NaNoWriMo website. I'm at the halfway point!

Had any animal adventures lately? (And Smarty Pants, Problem Child and Instigator are excused from this exercise because we all know they've had animal adventures galore. ~grin~)

NaNo Word Count
26684 / 50000


Laurie said...

Every year especially this time of year we get a few mice in the house. We have tried to find their entry way... with no luck. We have put steel mesh everywhere. We've closed off the roof vents, the fireplace. They still get in. Lately we hear them in the wall behind our shower so my husband goes behind the faucet and dumps down the D-con pellets. It gets rid of them. Unfortunately, it doesn't eliminate the problem. You have to find the place they enter your place. My neighbor swears by the blocks of poison. We tried that and the block disappeared. They actually dragged it off. I'm sure it eventually killed some of them. I don't like to touch the traps so I don't use them.

We recently had a bat too. OMG I'm terrified of them. We have all of our windows covered in plastic so we just opened the front door and it went out pretty quickly!

Maven Linda said...

The electronic pest repellents don't work. Found out the expensive way.

We have to watch out for mice when the guys cut and bale hay, because it runs the little buggers out of the fields. Rats and flies are the two life-forms I have no problem exterminating. No guilt feels whatsoever.

Angel said...

Luckily, never had that problem since I moved off the farm. But at that time, cats worked pretty well. :) Not only did they catch the ones that came in, but I think maybe they served as a bit of a deterrent. But this is always the time of year they would make their way indoors, and with that field behind the apartment complex, they probably moved indoors at harvest.

We always used peanut butter on the traps too. Maybe you should get some of the cheap kind, it might stick better. :)


Problem Child said...

No mice here, thank dog. (Although one time when I did have a mouse, we tried to get the dog to catch it and she looked at me like I was insane...)

We do have gerbils, though, and I really don't see the difference between gerbils and mice, but AC insists there's a difference. I told her a cat wouldn't see the difference, and when she gave me the strange head-tilt, I reminded her that if the gerbils get out, I will borrow a cat...

Smarty Pants said...

Blogger ate my first post. Quick summary - I won't kill mammals. DB or the cats might, but I won't. Now incects, reptiles, etc., are another story.

catslady said...

I had a dog that use to catch them and now I have cats but unfortunately they manage to get in our dropped ceiling and that's when the traps come out. We got one that is disposable so you don't have to see the poor little critter lol.

It's the mouse outside that I'm having problems with. He lives under my steps in the back of the house. He also totally empties out the cat food that I leave for my ferals/strays. My inside cats go nuts throwing themselves at the sliding doors but what do the outside cats do - NOTHING!!! go figure. I've decided I must have hundreds of pounds of cat food under my steps/house taken one piece at a time(sigh).

Instigator said...

Well, you're not alone in the great Mouse Hunt. We caught a big fat one earlier this week in our pantry. :-( I've thought we had a mouse for the last couple weeks but Zilla tried to convince me the nibbles out of our food were from the cats. Boy am I glad I didn't listen to him. I'm hoping he didn't have a far no more mice and no more evidence of one.