Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mouse Saga aka War has been declared

Mouse Saga…War has been declared

Now as some of you may or may not know, we live in a single wide, and on two sides of our single-wide are corn and soybean fields, almost as far as the eye can see. Now there are several reasons we are living in a single wide, the biggest one however, is that our “mortgage” is our barn, which is also how we make our living. So we have foregone the comforts of a nicer home, so that we may eek out our dream job. (however, home ownership is within our grasp…). Now don’t get me wrong, the single-wide is very nice as far as trailers go and was built in ’94…so it’s not like we’re living in a 60’s trailer or something. When we purchased our single-wide the last owners thoughtfully left a few of the appliances (stove and refrigerator) and some old falling apart desk and matching shelving unit (definitely from the 70’s). But I digress…

Now I’m a live and let live kind of gal, I mean you stay over there, I’ll stay over here and we’ll go our separate ways…but when you come in on my turf…well, you’ve just declared WAR! Now typically, fall is the worst because all the critters are looking for their Florida vacation spot for the winter. This is when I typically start seeing “evidence” of the miniature snowbirds moving in.

I have learned that apparently my silverware drawer is a highly sought out vacation destination for these miniature tourists and I have learned that I no longer keep anything of any value or that we plan to eat with in those drawers. Also, anything under my kitchen sink (where I suspect to be a miniature monorail system) seems to be Disneyland for those under 3” high. I have FOUND evidence.

I have also discovered that apparently the dog food that is stored near the stove in a trash can type of container is like an edible ball pit for our small furry tourists and gets lots of attention. So I definitely have a “slight” rodent problem.

Now, I’m not a squeamish kind of gal. I’ve always been “country” at heart. My first pet was a mouse, Mickey (hey, I was 6!). He stayed in a cage on my dresser and ran on his squeaky wheel all night. He even escaped a few days after Easter, thus giving my mother a heart attack (mostly because she couldn’t find him), until he was spotted basking in my Easter basket.

With the purchase of my first horse, I boarded the horse and had a bag of grain for said horse, kept in a small barn…nothing says cardio vascular work out like two mice scurrying up your arm when you reach into the bag of said grain. And nothing says “heart attack” when you reach into the bag again to find a literal party of those left behind!

So you see, I’m not squeamish when it comes to rodents, I even share Mickey Mouse’s birthday!

So this past winter, we had a rodent theme park complete with monorail system going on underneath my kitchen…I know this because I and my “hounds of hell” heard them and because every once in while, a wayward tourist would make a dash across my living room. This usually brought out the mouse traps….

…now we HAVE tried D-Con, which is basically “rat poison” and the gist of the poison is that the rodents want to search out a water source and thus want to go OUTSIDE for their demise. Well I’m here to tell you nothing will wake you up out your morning fog to find a rodent sitting in your bath tub (remember that water source?). We have also discovered that they WILL go outside, as long as OUTSIDE means the heating vents of our home. Nothing like smelling decaying “something” for weeks on end as the heater runs. (although, if you need to get rid of a nasty smell, open up a can of cheap ground coffee and let it sit out, it will absorb the smell…when you are finished , throw away the coffee, this also works for unknown refrigerator odors and such… ). So D-Con is out, we’ve tried…

So, onto the mousetraps. Now I’ve “heard” that mice like peanut butter (I know they like jelly beans, but not immediately available)…so I put peanut butter onto the ends of the traps and after several tries, traps are set…nothing says “spring into action” when trying to set a mouse trap down…so knowing that just the mere placing of the trap sets it off, I’m satisfied and leave the trap to do it’s dirty work. The next morning I check on my trap and lo and behold MICE DO LOVE PEANUT BUTTER…they licked the end of the trap off… disappointed, I grab said trap and snap, it went off leaving me to jump backwards…ha!

So for my next try, Peanut butter and what goes well with peanut butter (yes jam, but that’s lickable also)…but CRACKERS…set trap, next day, well, the mice are getting fat! Off to try peanut butter and bread…set trap, next day, I just know they are setting up a picnic area around the trap, the red checkered table cloth left behind was a tell tale sign. So I’m trying to figure out WHAT will set the trap off for the mice, because it works 100% of the time EVERY time I go to pick it up. So off to my pantry and I discover RICE CRISPY Treats…and yes…it works! So NOW I’ve found something that works and apparently works well, because I’m now “offing” entire mice families…actually caught 2 mice in one trap… I’m a flipping genius!

So, after awhile, I’ve personally made mice an “endangered” species in our single wide and go about my business. Now remember I said our lovely home came with appliances? Well the refrigerator has been on its last legs all summer, not keeping the milk cold, etc. The door won’t stay shut, etc…. well, apparently a “Survivor” decided to go explore Mt. Refrigerator as found by the evidence…ewwwww!!!!! It was decided that Mt. Refrigerator was DONE and removed by the nice men from the appliance store.
So, off with the traps again and success, I no longer see any evidence. Until…..

…I was sitting at this very computer, completing another Paula’s Ponderings and I turn around just to see yet ANOTHER survivor ON my stove, dash down underneath my burner….sigh…

War has yet been declared again…at least I know that Mouse Cryptonite = Rice Crispy Treats!

No comments: