Monday, November 14, 2005

Eeek!

I was baking in my kitchen on Friday and pulled out a tipsy cake (like a fruitcake but edible) that I had been priming with liquor for the holidays and had temporarily stored on a lower shelf in my cabinets. It was wrapped in Saran Wrap and then a layer of tin foil.

A little scattering of tin foil pieces caught my eye. Then I saw it. The corner of my little tipsy cake was missing. Something had chewed through the tin foil, the plastic wrap and taken out a chunk of the cake.

I spent the weekend in denial. I am not a fan of small, fast moving things with fur....especially in my house. Actually, this is probably an understatetment. More accurately, I am hysterically afraid of small, fast moving things with fur in my house.

By Sunday I came to terms with the fact that a mouse had entered my kitchen. When I first moved into my house I cleaned and repainted all of my cabinets. As part of this process I had also caulked every gap in the room.....except one corner. So, it was fairly easy to determine where the critter was making his entrance. I said a quiet little prayer and pulled out the refrigerator. Thank heavens there were no little corpses laying there, but sure enough I spotted a gap between the wall and the cabinet back. I spent time shoving steel wool in each and every crevice. Those too small for steel wool received caulk.

The foundation of my house is somewhat unusual in that it runs about 18" up the side of my house. There are only small hairline cracks that I have filled in religiously since I move in. So, once again, it was pretty easy to figure out where the critter had entered the house. By the make-shift, wood front steps into the house (more on this topic in the future).

I went back into denial.

Today about lunchtime I was surprised to hear some wood gnawing going on behind the baseboard near my front door. Off to Menards I went. I cleared out the "pest" aisle and returned home with many different kind of traps, pellets, hardware cloth, and expanding foam.

I won't go into morbid detail, but let's just say if he is smart he will steer clear of the peanut butter. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do if I actually do catch something. I can only imagine there will be phone calls made, bargaining & pleading and large sums of money changing hands.

Two thing struck me as quite funny in this process. 1) That the makers of those traps actually advertise them as being reusable - as if; and 2) I managed to attract the mouse who thought he needed a cocktail.

More as it happens..........

6 comments:

Patricia W said...

I can handle just about anything except mice and rats. If I spot one I go into hyper-freakout screaming and trying desperately to get on top of something. I don't know why. I hope your varmint gets lost but I have found that some day-glo blue d-con rat and/or mouse pellets are extremely effective. Generally the mouse/rat will leave after consuming the poison in search of water thereby ridding you of the job of dead rodent removal.

Annie Mouse said...

Hi there, it sounds like you're focusing on prevention, which is great to hear, and a good suggestion for all of us!
In regards to patricia w's suggestion, please, please, please be mindful of using poison to deal with pest problems!! I did wildlife rescue for several years, and few things were as disheartening as getting a call from someone that an owl or hawk was wobbling around their house looking funny after eating a poisoned mouse. It can kill these natural predators who help keep the mouse population down naturally. Conversely, in the suburbs and city, this is a terrible way to accidentally do in a neighbor's cats, which is not the bext way to build friendly relationships.
Snap and kill mouse traps are can be a little upsetting, but are infinitely more humane (how would you prefer to die?), and if that feels too mean for you and you have a large wild area a few miles away, Have-A-Heart traps might be an option.
Good luck!

Patricia W said...

I didn't think about that. I have two cats that have been with me for 5 years and neither has ever eaten a poisoned mouse. Maybe my cats have been lucky and a bird somewhere hasn't. I'll keep that in mind Annie Mouse. :)

Saple said...

Whenever I set mousetraps I always announce it to the mice and tell them "if they are smart they will leave now!"

My mouse trap disposal technique involves a flat shovel, brown paper bag and a long stick..

Place flat shovel near trap, use long stick to move trap onto shovel, place trap in brown paper bag, grab paper bag with plastic bag covered hand and run squeeling outside and place by trashcan...

The last thing I do is say a little prayer over the mouse...

StuccoHouse said...

Saple - I had to laugh out loud at your routine....it is so close to what I did. I stood there with my little peanut butter trap and said out loud. "If you are smart, you will leave now unharmed - otherwise this is not going to end well for either of us."

Annie - Thanks for the reminder about poisons!! My parents have a cabin (deertracksandtrails.blogspot.com), so I'm pretty hip to the effect on the food chain. My neighbors cat Snowball is too cute to risk hurting. I did buy some poison pellets thinking that I would drop them in the wall holes before I sealed them just in case, but maybe I'll skip them.

Patricia - I have an unnatrual fear they will get into my hair or on my clothes. Not good.

Can't quite bring myself to check the traps yet today.....

Jocelyn said...

I guess I'm a farmgirl-type because mice don't gross me out. I think I'm worse with bugs.

We get no mice in here because of our little vermin killer terrier.

My Mom just said she caught a mouse in her place in a sticky trap and she didn't want to touch it so she left it there squirming and then in the morning it was gone. I say flush 'em.

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