Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stuart Little Must Die!

Cute in a sweater behind a car wheel, a pain in the ass shitting all over your kitchen counter. . .

We've got mice.

More than just a couple of them. It started a few weeks ago when an occasional glimpse was caught of a little shadowy object scurrying across the living room floor in the wee hours of the morning. Then it became more than just an occasional glimpse. Their little droppings were found on the floor in the pantry; in E.'s dresser drawer; and on the kitchen counter. They got into a box of E.'s school papers, chewing them up and forcing M. to throw them all out.

Why are we getting mice? I'd guess with the home construction a couple of doors down. Why are they getting inside? I'm guessing it's because of the hole I cut in an upstairs wall while expanding the model railroad. Sure enough, a close look along the stud walls inside the upstairs utility space I'd accessed was showing plenty of little mouse turds.

It's not that our place is dirty, mind you, and attracting the cute, cuddly little vermin. It's just that they've apparently found a convienent way into the house. I started our defense of the casa with a few glue-sheets, a flat plastic tray with sticky stuff on it that mice could walk onto but not leave. This produced quick results within a couple of days. We also tried a "mouse hotel," a plastic box with bait (peanut butter) that a mouse can walk into but not leave. While it caught a mouse pretty quickly, M. didn't like the idea that the mouse just waited out his captors inside the box, alive. M. has been busy sanitizing places the mice have been (amazing how much they crap and piss), and has organized the pantry with all foodstuffs in plastic containers.

M. hasn't yet climbed up on a chair, but she's getting close. . .

Over the past week, the number of mouse sightings has increased. There's a reason something is said to "breed like mice." I'm close to calling exterminators. I did contact Orkin; they want to sign me up, of course, for a full year of bug and rodent treatment, more I want to spend. I just want to kill the damned mice, I can do much of what Orkin wants to do, namely, place traps around the house. As far as the "entry points" to the house, Orkin will point them out to me, but it's up to me to plug em up.

These kick ass. Batting .750 in the first 12 hours after their placement. . .

So, we've stepped up the offensive. I filled a couple of visible gaps in the utility space with expanding foam (apparently these little suckers can squeeze through a 1/4" opening!). And we distributed more glue trays where mice have been active. Last night, we headed over to Home Depot to add to our arsenal. They sell a variety of poisons, of course, as well as deadly electronic mouse tasers, electronic noise-makers that are like listening to nonstop Slim Whitman-for-mice, and a number of "humane" mouse traps. The hell with humane. I want to kill.

We left with more glue trays, a pack of D-Con "No View No Touch" mouse traps, and some packets of poison. The trap promises that once caught, you won't have to look at the dead mouse (for a contrarian view, here's a blogger equating these sterile killing machines with the Holocaust). Sort of a Mouse Hotel with a deadly check in. You stick some bait inside, and "lock and load" the trap by turning the case til it locks into place, then place it and wait. The mouse walks in, touches the trigger, and the can of whoop ass smotes him dead. We placed a four-pack of them last night; by this afternoon, we'd dispensed with three mice. (I couldn't resist opening them up to see if the mice were really inside, and really dead. And they were). And moments after disposing of those, I. discovered another mouse had just wandered onto the glue tray in the pantry. That's been a highly-productive afternoon: four mice no longer in the residence.

The poison packets will be our tactical nuclear devices, our last stand of ridding the vermin ourselves before calling in outside troops. Apparently, mice chew into these poison packets, which makes them extremely thirsty, causing them to stroll out into the open looking for water and (here's the best part) die.

I. thinks these little mice are cute, even when writhing and squealing and unable to move on a glue tray. Next stop: trash bin.

I'm also headed back to Home Depot for more plywood to seal up the unused portion of the utility space, filling gaps around the pipes with more expanding foam. That, hopefully, should close off what I think is their entry point.

If that doesn't work, I'll take a clue from Dick Cheney and institute waterboarding.

Poor Stuart Little. He'd best not fuck with me any more.


SDP45 said...

I used a glue tray once to catch "Mickey" and found that he had struggled so hard to get away, he had ripped his stomach open. What a bloody mess that was. Still, I caught him!

Anonymous said...

Do you have cats at all? We have a very active 13-year old kitty who still gets the little furry creatures every time. We're getting a few grey-and-white deer mice in the house since it's now turing cold up here.....

Fred H

BEK said...

"Anonymous" Fred H axed if we had cats:

Nope. We had one, but it freaked my wife out. And since she has an aversion to seeing dead mice, it wouldn't do since cats like to catch mice and then haul them around to proudly show you their trophy.

I'd love to have a cat, as would the boys, who'd be bonkers over a dog as well. But right now at least we're a pet-free house (except for those mice).

We're winning the battle so far--no new droppings and no mice sighted in the past 36 hours.


Anonymous said...

That is good! We have a few critters coming in (it's getting cold here in Madison but my wife has since gotten used to the "little gifts" Whiskers brings to her once in a while. The cat's 13 years old so if the mice giver her exercise, we do appreciate that!


Fred H

Whiskey said...

Hey BEK,

You haven't been turning your catches loose in the NOC, have you? The 2nd shift Marshall dispatcher caught one IN HIS CUBICLE on Saturday. He turned it loose outdoors so that it could live to strike again...

To quote Frank Costanza: "I will not tolerate infestation!"