Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Out, Out, Brief Rodent ...

Ah, fall, the time when a young woman's thoughts turn to falling leaves and pumpkin pie and peering around the basement door hoping not to see any quarry in the mouse trap.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this mouse post. I've since had another mouse experience, though I was pretty sure I knew how that little bugger got in the house.

But this mouse? He was grey, not the usual brown. So either he was a geriatric or he was a different sort of mouse. Great. My basement is the epicenter of rodent integration.

I should have been expecting a mouse when I went downstairs to empty the dehumidifier this morning. Lately, I've noticed the earplugs (in case you're wondering, I wear them when I mow the lawn) I keep in the basket on the table by my front door in places where earplugs shouldn't be. Like on the floor by the door, several feet away.

But I wasn't thinking about that this morning. I looked at the trap because I always look at the trap, but the trap is almost always empty. Just the way I like it. But today, not only did I see the telltale tail and rear feet, I thought I saw a second tail. Oh man. Two mice?

I went downstairs with a garbage bag, two paper towels, and a plastic knife with a dab of peanut butter on the end. And then I went back upstairs. I just couldn't empty the trap. Ew. Ew, ew, ew.

But I put on my grown-up hat, went outside, got a pair of work gloves out of the garage, went back downstairs, put a paper towel over the trap (it's not the usual kind of mousetrap, it's a black box with a little mouse-sized opening so when the deed is done, we killers don't have to see the carnage), picked it up, depressed the little lever over the trash, and listened for the soft "thud."

Thud. Ew. (Just one mouse, by the way.)

And then I put the paper towel over the trash, put the peanut-butter bait in the trap, reset the lever, and gingerly placed the box back on the floor.

And then I took the trash outside. Far, far away from the house, just in case the mouse becomes zombified and goes all George Romero on me in the night.

I detest mouse disposal, but I do feel a weird little sense of triumph when I muster up the wherewithal to do something that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Now let's hope the trap stays empty for the rest of the fall. And winter. And spring. And summer. Fingers crossed that I stay mouse-free.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the mouse was gray and a bit larger than your usual mice, it was a field mouse. They come inside when the weather gets cold. I've killed more than a dozen of 'em in my basement, but then again, I live in the woods. I prefer the open spring traps because then the little mouse carcass lies there for a while, as a warning to all the other meeses who invade my space. I hate meeses to pieces!

9:11 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

You and I both, hating the meeses to pieces.

But if the grey mouse is a field mouse, what are the usual little brown mice?

9:12 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

I wear earplugs when I mow too. My neighbors think I'm strange.

Once you have a mouse problem, you always have a mouse problem. There's only one good type of mouse, dead.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, I used to have *more* of a mouse problem, but then I found where they were getting in my house and sealed that off. The penultimate mouse most likely came in my basement window one night when I had it open because I had a hose out the window, pumping out my sump pump. This mouse, though? Not sure how he got in. But the trap is empty this morning.

So if I have a mouse every year or two, I can deal.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The smaller brown ones are a type of house mouse that usually live indoors. The field mice usually live outside, but can't resist a basement. I've had mouse experts out who have never found where they're getting into my house ... but they get in, though not nearly as many as used to since I plugged in these sound wave devices in my basement storeroom (mouse headquarters) and upstairs near one of my attics. I think I've only had one since then and that has been a couple of years. Of course, nobody has been able to explain how the black snake got into my laundry room, either, so there you have it. I think I hate the idea of a snake in the laundry room worse than the mice dancing in the walls. Now, if I could find a permanent solution to the nation of chipmunks who have taken up residence around my house and who run up and down the gutter drainpipes, I'd be very happy (that and the woodpeckers drilling on my house). Oh yeah, and the spiders. Living in the woods has its liabilities.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

...depressed the little lever over the trash, and listened for the soft "thud."

Thud. Ew.
Keep in mind that a thud is far more preferable than a "plop". ;-)

11:33 AM  

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