Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Of Mice and a Woman

I wouldn't call myself girly or squeamish. Oh, sure, I am increasingly fond of make up, but that's no indicator, and toss a bug my way and I'll casually pick it off my shirt. However, a recent set of home invaders has put this self-characterization to the test.

A couple of months ago, our tenants kindly sat me down and told me the news: mice had been spotted in their bathroom. How they intuitively knew that I would be horrified is brilliance on their part (although they could have left out the part about the mouse touching the sides of their legs). An exterminator was called and I figured the whole situation would sort itself out without my ever having to look at a rodent.

I was mistaken.

A while later, my sister gently informed me that mouse droppings were on my attic stairs. After some initial panicking, I googled. I performed thorough cross-examinations of mouse elimination strategies of those living in single-family-homes-circa-1920. I searched for inventive solutions at Home Depot. The results seemed to work: the droppings ceased and the tenants hadn't spotted a mouse in ages. My ears stopped perking up whenever I heard a rustling sound.

And then it happened. The thing I feared most. The experience I thought would lead me to jump on a chair and squeal: I saw one in my kitchen! The mouse and I both froze in place, staring at each other in horror. I don't think either of us could believe what was going on. I guess it was a blessing or whatever, as I ended up finding the place the darn things were coming in from.

But the weirdest thing was ... I found the mouse kind of cute. Seriously. The little ears and the nose and the soft white body. I mean, not cute enough to want the lot to stick around (ew), but not the worst thing ever. In terms of yuk, I would definitely put poorly drafted contracts ahead of mice.

I am not all zen about it, though. Since we are not out of the woods yet, I'd welcome ANY mouse eviction strategies you have. Like, now. Oh, and please.


  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had both mice and cockroaches in various flats when I was a student, and, FWIW, I'd take the mice anyday.

    Not that that's much help to you. Have you called the exterminator again? A lot of them offer a guarantee, so if you're still seeing mice, they might come round and redo the job for free. Otherwise, I'd try another exterminator.

  • At 12:50 PM, Blogger Karen said…

    A white mouse? I've only ever had dark ones. I thought white ones lived only in lab mazes.

    When I see them, I jump on a chair and squeal "EEK!" It's involuntary.

    When we notice droppings, hubby puts out those plastic traps smeared with peanut butter before bedtime, then clears away the corpses in the morning.

  • At 11:15 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    Awww... I like mice. I used to keep them as pets. But those were contained in neat little Habitrails, not out and about pillaging our cupboards and pooping willy-nilly all over the place.

    I don't have any experience with the latter, but I do wish you good luck. I'm glad to hear that you find them cute, though -- they really are!

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's not a problem we've confronted ourselves (touch wood!), but I used to work for a lady who occasionally got them, in an old, old house in the Beaches. Apparently the first thing to do is put all the boxed (croutons) or bagged (oatmeal) food you have in your cupboards into Tupperware containers they can't chew their way into -- or put it in the fridge. If there isn't a food source out that they can access, they may get sick of hanging around, or at least won't call their friends to come by.

    My grandparents occasionally had little mousetraps out in the basement when I was a kid -- the old-school snap-down kind, and my grandpa said they always work. I've heard from people who've used the no-kill glue traps that they're much more traumatic"empty," and I won't go into all the gruesome reasons why.

    Good luck! I'm grossed out enough by centipedes, so I really feel for you.

  • At 10:39 AM, Blogger Libby said…

    Thanks for all of your kind words and wisdom. Mission Eliminate Rodents is well under way: we found one in a trap this morning. (It was grey, btw -- thanks, Karen!)

  • At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    we,ve had mice for ages now and have tried everything from humane traps (useless) poison (they EAT it!) to wooden death traps (not for the squemish. The best mouse-catcher (other than a cat - to which I'm allergic) has been glue traps - not the small mouse, box-traps, but superglue rat traps. They catch them, but you have to dispose of them. After the first 3 I was no longer feeling sorry for them. When they got into my laundry and then in my pantry I was no longer mouse-friendly!

  • At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jen in SC says: We had a mouse a few years back and used a humane trap called - snicker - the Mice Cube. You can Google it for one that you might be able to afford, or travel to a local mice trap purveyor. I cannot vouch for the long-term success, but it caught the ONE mouse we had on the very first night we sat it out. We used peanut butter on a cracker and were careful to try to wipe any human scent off the outside of it.

    The rub is that you then have a *live mouse* to do something with. We drove ours to a park and let it loose. It was super-cute but if you can't bear to be around mice you will have to get someone else to pick up the Mice Cube, as you can very clearly see the little feller.


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