Monday, February 20, 2006

Mouse of the House Part 3

A mouse of superior brain power was what I was dealing with. Well not superior to me, just to other mice. At least that's what I told myself in order to sleep at night.

The live catch traps and glue traps were not working so it was time to make the the exterminator.

And as a bonus, the one we called was giving free estimates. She came out and searched the house and attic, inside and out, and found no signs of entry or more mice. So I just asked her, "Where is this thing right now?". She replied that it was possible that it was IN in the furniture. I had a mild heart attack and sat down. Also she said, there could be more than one. I had a more severe heart attack and fell over.

After she had done the inspection I was ready for the "getting rid of the mouse" part. Perhaps she would bring in a box that housed a mouse seeking cat or tazmanian devil or something. The solution: more glue traps. I took her to the bookcase and showed her the other glue trap that the beast escaped from. I even showed her a Power Point presentation on how I thought the mouse escaped, complete with mug shots of suspected accomplices.

She assured me that her glue traps were way better. These you fold to make a little tunnel. The mouse goes in and "oh no I'm stuck and surrounded by other sticky surfaces!". There was no way the mouse would be escaping from these babies, however she suggested that it may be time to get the conventional mouse traps of death.

As soon as she left I started flipping furniture. I would flip a piece and yell "AH-HA!!". I peeked under our sofa that was by the door leading to the garage...."ah-ha?". OH CRAP. There was evidence that the bottom lining of the couch had been gnawed. I ran my hand over the area slowly and OHMYGODTHEREISAHOLE! It'

I immediately went out and bought 2 snapper traps. The mouse had just pushed me too far.

That night I put out all the traps I had which were now numbering at around 8. I put a good size chunk of Hershey's Kiss on one of the new glue traps and put that sucker right under the hole in the couch; a good bye kiss. Several glue traps were placed around the sofa with the snappers placed as a second defense in case the glue traps only slowed him down.

I thought of perhaps placing 100s of traps around the area ala Tom and Jerry. But then I remembered that usually ended with 100s of traps attached to Tom with Jerry hitting him with a frying pan. Just to be safe, I locked all the cooking ware in a closet.

The next day I jump out of bed, confident that the mouse had been caught. And.....Nothing. No mouse and no poop; yes I was still checking every morning. Did it just move on to some other house? No it was here. It was playing mind games.

After a couple more mouse-less mornings I was leaving for work and happened to look behind some stuff in the garage. Sacre-bleu. Mouse poop. I went back to the door that leads to the house and examined it. There was perhaps enough room between the weather striping and the door for something small to squeeze through. Maybe that hole in the couch was a coincidence. Maybe that mouse has been living out here and coming into the house every night.

That night I put the mouse traps of death in the garage. What started as me "not wanting to hurt the thing" had turned into me "wanting its head on a pole"...or at least a toothpick.

The next morning I slowly walked out into the garage with flashlight in hand, because if things went bad I could at least throw it. I peered around some boxes and almost peed myself. The mouse. Was caught. And was really, most sincerely dead.

My god it was over. It was finally over. Of course I had to completely clean out the garage because there was mouse poo everywhere; oh lysol, my old chum. And we did bust open the bottom of the couch just to be sure there weren't any "surprises", only to find nothing. But the bottom line was it was done. The tyranny of the mouse had come an end. And as an added bonus we haven't had anymore mice since. No poo and no gnawing. Apparently it had been alone. We are safe.........for now.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Mouse of the House Part 2

Well it's Friday and would you look at that...I'm updating my blog just as I said I would. Who would have thunk it possible?

If you are just joining us, here is what you missed if you are too lazy to read part1. Mouse is in my house, lots of poo, lots of lysol, internet scares me and I say the F word a lot.

Now on to Step#2 catching the mouse.

I head to Lowes to see what they have in the "catching the mouse" department. Even after all the poo, the fear of death and several heart attacks, I didn't really want to kill the mouse, just get it the hell out of the house. With this in mind I bought a "live catch"trap. Mouse goes in, door slams behind it, scary music plays, the mouse pees itself, I find mouse scared and crying for its mommy in the trap, take trap, drive miles from house and open trap allowing mouse to run free and torment some other family....or get eaten by a snake or hawk; these were the pictures that appeared in a balloon over my head as I gazed at the trap.

That evening I placed the traps (I bought 2) back to back, right in the middle of our pantry floor. I turned off the lights and went to bed with visions of trapped mice dancing in my head.

When I check the pantry the next morning, like a kid on Christmas, neither trap had been sprung, yet there is mouse poo along the wall. I look at the trap packaging "place traps ALONG wall.....dumbass"...oh f-f-f-f-f-f-for god's sake. If only I read that last night. Why oh why do I not read directions. It is my gift, my curse.

Ok fine. So the next night I put both traps up against the wall in the pantry. And the next morning...nothing. Wonderful. I then go on my morning routine that I called "checking the house for poo." Remember in Alice and Wonderland the cards sang that song "We're painting the roses red...." well I sang "I'm checking the house for poo..." (it will be available on my next CD).

Sure enough I find some poo behind some furniture. O-K it's back to Lowes to see what other kinds of traps they have.

Glue traps. They don't kill the rodent but you run the risk of finding the thing all stuck to it in some weird ass fashion. But as live traps go there really weren't many other choices. So that night I but out the 1st traps I bought and the glue traps, because more traps can only be a good thing.

The next morning I came out and one of the glue gone. Oh my god it ate it, was my first thought. My second thought was that I was going to come upon this thing all stuck to the trap in some weird ass fashion. I wasn't sure which to hope for... So with flashlight in hand I start looking for the trap and I don't see it...anywhere. Now the doors to the den, we usually keep closed. I opened them up and there was the trap up against the side of my bookcase.

And no mouse.

Is this thing playing games with me? Did he push the trap around the house for fun last night? Upon closer inspection of the trap I notice foot prints. The mouse got stuck in the trap all right. But with it's unstuck leg, it dragged itself until it found something to pry itself off the trap; the opening between my bookcase and wall. Very good mouse, you win this round.

I imagined him back at his lair laughing at me. Calling up his other mouse friends on his mouse cell phone, bragging at how he dragged himself across the floor and escaped "the man". "Yes..this is what I'm telling you...I had three legs stuck to this was nuts. But you know...I've been working out recently... so...yeah...a couple times a week.....well my legs are pretty strong now...right....yeah drug myself all over the was hilarious you should have seen me."

Clearly this was no ordinary mouse. It was call someone...

On Monday: surely an exterminator can take of the problem.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mouse of the House Part 1

Well one of my New Years resolutions was to update my blog on a weekly basis. And as you can see I am failing miserably. But fear not my three loyal readers, for I am going to try really hard to update this puppy every Friday. This will give you something to look forward to during your long boring week; I'm so thoughtful.

So the title might have you thinking I'm going to write something about Disney. Perhaps something interesting about the Disney Pixar merger. Nope. This is about a real mouse and the hell it put me through.

Turn the way back machine to late last summer. I am at work doing that animating thing I sometimes do, when my wife calls to inform me the sugar in our pantry has been gnawed. Of course my first thought was gremlins, but then I remembered they weren't real. Also in the pantry was an array of little bits of poo. Lovely a mouse is in the house.

That evening I come home, inspect the crime scene and dust for prints. Nothing. The little bastard was wearing gloves. So now it was time to play that fun game "How the hell did it get in here". And after going over the rules and picking team names we set out through the house looking for entry points.

No signs of gnawing on wood or furniture...nothing...except A LOT of mouse poop. Yes the more we looked the more we found, all around the baseboards of the house. I was so mad I nearly asploded.

Step #1 clean up all the poo.

Lysol became my new best friend as I went throw the house spraying and wiping...and cursing, while my wife kept Wonder Pea out of the way. It took a lot of time and A LOT of Lysol but finally the poo was cleaned up. Then I made a critical mistake. I turned to the internet to find out about what kind of mouse we may be dealing with.

The internet, usually a trusted friend, returned all kinds of nightmare scenarios of how certain mice/rats that are common in our region can have poo that will kill you: A. if you don't clean it up properly ie no sweeping B. you say the F word while cleaning it up. I wasn't entirely sure that I followed the 10 step program to cleaning up mouse poo(i did sweep a couple times) and I was sure that I said the F word at least 500 times while cleaning up.

I was certain that we were all going to die.

After having several heart attacks my wife took the internet away and put it up on a high shelf where I could not reach it. This only helped a little since my "good" imagination was working overtime. My wife pointed out that I was probably more likely to now die from the gallons of Lysol I sprayed and inhauled, than any mouse poo. That almost, kind of, didn't really make me feel better. Plus, eventhough we cleaned up everything, the house still felt tainted by the mouse. I told a coworker that I just felt like burning the place down and rebuilding.

But now it was time to focus on Step #2 catching the mouse

Next time: The importance of following directions....