Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Of Mice and Corinne

I like to consider myself an animal lover. I've always had a special place in my heart for animals of all kinds (bugs don't really count). If the animal was furry and cute, I was in love. Of course, there are your usual housepets I loved, dogs, cats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, chinchilas, and so on. Then, of course outside animals, cows, horses, donkeys, pigs, anything on a farm. I even thought house mice were cute, and was one of the few in my 8th grade class who didn't freak out when a little grey mouse decided to sit in on a math lesson. I just figured he wanted to learn.

However, in recent years, I've found myself more and more prone to hate certain animals... yes... certain furry animals. Our old apartment was over-run with stray cats. At first, I felt sorry for the little cats, and tried my best to get the animal shelter to come out and catch them. Then the female cat had kittens. "Hooray!" I thought, "now the kittens will get management's attention and the animal shelter will catch them and they will be adopted!" Much to my changrin, the kittens were not captured, and instead, grew up and started having babies of their own. One time, a little kitten crawled up in my engine and got stuck. Thankfully I heard the kitten before starting my car, and managed to fish the little guy out. I called animal control to let them know I'd caught one, and they came out to collect it (they'd come to collect animals, just not trap them). Yet, even after talking with the animal control officer, they did nothing. Our apartment was overrun with cats, so much so that we began tracking fleas inside. In to where my precious baby, my beautiful 7 month old baby was learning to crawl. I started down a path I'd never thought I'd go down. I started hating those cats. I'd hiss at them, stomp at them, I was angry at them. But more than that, I was angry at the woman downstairs who refused to stop feeding the cats, thus keeping them around.

Thankfully, we moved away before I ever snapped, and I went back to loving animals again, even stray ones. Several weeks into our new home here in NC, we had a little visitor. A little grey mouse had gotten himself caught in one of our ceiling lights. We carefully trapped him (and his fried little buddy) in a trash can and promptly did the humane thing to do.... released him into the woods across the street. Problem solved. Or so we thought.

This this past saturday, we were cleaning the house, and I decided to do more than just a standard wipedown of the counters, and move everything off and scrub really good. As I moved the flour/sugar/tea canisters, I noticed little black droppings everywhere. Upon closer inspsection, it was obvious we had more visitors. This time, it wasn't just one. Angry that our little friend hadn't appreciated my saving him from proper drowning in the toilet, and instead had brought back a party, I set out to the local hardware store. We purchased two traps that looked easy enough to use. Gone, I thought, are the days of the old fashioned wood traps that are near impossible to set. In their place are the new plastic, easy to set traps. We purchased two and set home, gloating in our smart purchase, hoping to wake up the next morning with two dead mice. That was not the case. The little buggers still ran around our kitchen (as evidenced by their droppings everywhere), yet didn't venture near our traps.

The next night, we set the traps out again, this time with pieces of cracker set down deep in the trap. We awoke the following morning only to find our traps cleaned out, and little cracker crumbs strewn about the counter along with fresh mouse droppings. Infuriated, we headed back to the hardware store, only this time to purchasee some poison, because these mice just HAD TO GO. We set out the poison, inspired by the hardware store man who went on and on about how mice LOVE to eat this stuff, and how quickly they'd be gone. Just for safe measure, we set the traps out again, this time, baited with peanut butter. This morning, we awoke to find our traps cleaned out again (they licked the stupid trap CLEAN) and the bait/poison untouched.

I am beyond insinced. I have no idea what to do now. I may go out and purchase 50 old fashioned wooden traps and line the walls and counter with them, hoping a bloody massacre of mice will happen. Have any of you had this problem? I'm at my wits end cleaning the counters off every morning with clorox, and I'm trying very hard not to think about where else these little vermin may be roaming.


Anonymous said...

Get a cat? We have 2 indoor and 2 outdoor cats, and we don't have a mouse problem.

Or, do you have a contract with an exterminator? We have one with Terminix to spray monthly, and part of the contract includes ANY pest--mice, rats, etc... are part of the deal and they will bait and trap them.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a mum of 2 (a 5 yr old son and a 7 month old son) and I just found your blog. I am over in the U.K., but we live on a farm and had mice a few years ago and like you've said, we tried the poison and the traps without any luck, then we got one of those electronic rodent repellers that you plug into the wall socket, they are safe and use high pitched sound frequencies that are not heard by humans and drives mice crazy, thus leaving your house. We have had these now for 2+ yrs and not had any mice since...worth a try if you can get one in the U.S.


sarcy said...

I recently bought a house that had been vacant for a year, so the mice apparently thought it was theirs. This trap works like magic: http://www.victorpest.com/store/product.asp?dept_id=54&pf_id=M252B

I found one at Target recently.