Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Day - March 13, 2008

After so many months without spotting a single mouse in my house, tonight I had my first sighting in a long time.

Field mice were a constant problem in my kitchen several years ago. The worst was when they would climb up the back of my gas stove and emerge onto the stove top, from where they could get access to the entire kitchen counter top.

At first, out of humane concern, I would try to capture them with live capture traps. I would put some peanut butter in them, and when the mouse would enter, I would yank the string I attached to the trap and the trap door would snap shut on them. After that, I would drive down the road and set them loose on the grounds of the Plainview Middle School. But just when I thought I had solved the problem, another mouse would take the place of the ones I got rid of.

Like the proverbial liberal who becomes a conservative after being mugged, I got sick of trying to capture them alive. I started setting out the box glue traps at various points on the kitchen floor or stove top after either a live sighting, or more commonly, seeing their droppings on the stove top, which bore a close resemblance to chocolate sprinkles. "Fuck em! Let them suffer!" I railed in frustration.

By far the most annoying moment was when I came upon a mouse trying to get at a covered bowl of trail mix on the kitchen counter. The stunned mouse froze for a moment and looked right at me. Unfortunately, a nearby drawer where we keep things like pens and other miscellaneous items was open, and the mouse ran in there. From there, it had access to the two drawers below, where we kept microwaveable contains and pots and pans. We had to throw away so many things and disinfect the drawers and the pots and pans after I saw how many mouse droppings were in there.

In order to keep any more mice from using the stove to get to the kitchen counter, I blocked up the back with blocks of wood. It appears to have worked, as I have not seen any evidence of mice on the stove top of counter. However, as tonight has made clear, they are still finding a way to get into the house. I do not know where the point of entry is, but I will have to continue trying to find possible ways of getting in and blocking them up. Meanwhile, I have set four glue traps in the kitchen and dining room area tonight. That mouse is dead meat!


John Morales said...

And after all, both you and the mouse are meat machines.

Anonymous said...

Get a cat.

Do not leave food out.

That would take care of the issue.

There is no need to kill anything.



The Geezers said...

A tip for you...

The mice almost certainly get into your house through small foundation cracks. If you seal these up with mortar, you'll find that you solve much of the problem....once you get rid of the current residents, that is.

And go ahead and kill 'em. Death is part of life.

Tommykey said...

Corey, funny thing is, my wife wants to get a cat. Will look into it this weekend.

Thanks for the tip and the support Mercurious!

bullet said...

Just having any cat will probably make them move to an easier target. We got a kitten when we were in Queens and they vanished. If they're persistent, you might need an older cat that already knows how to kill. It's a little frustrating to find the cat has caught a mouse but is now just letting it go and catching it again, like a fabulous new toy.

We used one of those ultrasonic electric doo-dads at my office in midtown and that seemed to work, too. Not as much fun, though.

tina FCD said...

Well, we sure don't have a mouse problem...we have 5 indoor cats. Sure get tired of cleaning cat boxes though.

Joe said...

We too had a mice issue last year. The neighbors got forclosed on and the condo was vacant. When the movers came something got disrputed becasue we had mice every day downstairs in the kitchen. We used traps and eventually killed them all. It was a PITA to toss one in the garbage, reset the trap and before I got halfway up the stairs, I'd hear the trap go off with success. I feel for you.