Saturday, January 17, 2009

He Ain't Mickey

Stevie has written about her ongoing battle with the gray squirrel who has moved in for the winter. Pretty funny stuff. Her tenant pays no rent, and she's pretty flustered about the whole situation. I laughed a lot until today. when I found that I have a visitor in my snack cupboard. How he knew that's where we keep the good stuff, I don't know. He actually climbed up a wire, gnawed a hole in the back of the cupboard (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and comfortably came to visit, chewing into a bag of sunflower kernels, a bag of pretzels, and a box of graham crackers. Lest someone doesn't get the importance, allow me to say it plainly.
I went into hyper-mode. Snacks were thrown away. I mean, this is actually the highest cupboard in the kitchen. I was vacuuming up droppings. Sanitized the cupboard. The empty cupboard now has one lonely box of decon in it. If we get no activity, we'll seal the hole with steel wool, and patch it. I'll sanitize the thing again. Wait. Watch. Perhaps I may, after a time, bring myself to store snacks in it again.
We are a country home. In the fall, field mice will try to move into the basement. It is their way. I'm not such a baby about it. They were especially aggressive this year, perhaps knowing something that we could not about the coming winter, had actually gnawed a hole in a door going into the basement. We put Decon down, like we always do, and in very short order, found no more evidence of mice. We blocked their entrance, thought we had the problems solved.
I'm pretty matter-of-fact about mice in the basement, but we never had them move upstairs.(why am I hearing the Jefferson's themesong? MOOOOOOOOving on up, to a deeeeee-lux apartment in the skyyyyyyyyyyyyy!) This guy (these guys? oh. Please God, don't let it be more than one...) has moved right in and made himself at home and I am a little frazzled about this. Not nearly so matter-of-fact about this one as I am his well-mannered cousins who wait patiently in the basement for us to begin setting out the poison.
I am ever so sorry that I laughed at you.
I will not do it again.
I solemnly swear.


Anonymous said...

Oh no. I am trying not to laugh with you.
It could be worse - it could be rats....

Bush Babe said...

ONE mouse... just one?? Oh darlin', he's just a scout. I am still doing battle with our little "mickey mice"... and it just ain't nice.

What I cannot believe... that they are surviving your cold snap!!! Tough rodents indeed...

steviewren said...

I accept your apology and feel your pain.

I am amazed that mice in your neck of the woods have never gone for the good stuff before now. What kind of mice are content with only the basement? I could tell many many stories of mice in my pantry. Last time I found evidence of a visitor I moved any untouched food to the refrigerator or freezer. To this day, if you want to make lasagna you have to look in the freezer for the noodles.

I have an aversion to putting out poisons. I'm afraid someone I love will accidentally touch the stuff. Conventional mouse traps defy me. I can't seem to get them set correctly and don't want to inadvertently break a finger. That means that there is only sticky paper in my arsenal of critter weaponry. I hate sticky paper.

I won't say anymore....just that it's a hard life....for man and mouse.

Mary Paddock said...

Oh Debby. You need a cat--I have lots of mousers I'll let you borrow. :)

One of the rental houses we lived in for a few years was right next to cattle barns. Mice were a fact of life, but generally the cats kept them under control and in fear for their lives.

One winter in particular we had a huge infestation, so bad that I began keeping all our food, silverware, and dishes in sealed plastic containers and disinfecting the counters every morning. The cats couldn't keep up (too much of a good thing, I guess). Because of the cats and dogs and the boys, I couldn't very well poison them. At first I tried the tiny humane traps (like I said--I like rodents). That didn't help; I just became a taxi service, transporting them to other quarters miles away only have others ready for their ride the next morning. Then I moved to mouse traps--setting several at a time. After two weeks of trapping and killing several every night, they got the message. My husband joked about putting their tiny carcasses on tooth picks and lining the foundations with them, but apparently seeing your buddy die was enough; the influx stopped.

The next summer a three foot foot king snake with one eye (dubbed "One Eye" of course) moved in under the house. No more mice at all after that. If you don't want a cat, I could see if he's still there and send him to you instead. :)

Debby said...

Mary, we always had mousers. They did a good job. Now, unfortunately, we have Buck who is one hell of a 'cat-ter'. We can no longer have cats.

BB - they move inside during the winter. Nice and warm inside. So far, I've only seen the scout. Hopefully, we can kill him before he goes back to amass the troops.

Stevie - I've no aversion to Warfarin-type products. They're not poison. The mice succumb because they are so small, but the dosage reqired to kill a human or a pet would be many times over. You can also build a bait box to lock the poison if you like and I can tell you how. This is war, and I use every tool in my arsenal. Except sticky traps and one eyed king snakes.

Rhu - dear heavens. Rats would be worse.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Mice! Eek! So we BOTH had cause for singing The Jeffersons the past week. (You know, because of my honky post, not because I have mice...thank goodness).

Pencil Writer said...

Just be glad you don't have a "Bat Cave" lurking under a corner counter!

Lilly's Life said...

Oh I cant do mice at all! Give me spiders any day though. By the way, thanks for visiting my blog and I know what you mean thats what I thought, what happens when the dog dies? Its going to be sad....I'm sure they have a contingency plan!

Anvilcloud said...

I've heard that there's always more than one, but one hears a lot of things. Good luck.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Hello Debby, Thanks for coming by today! Edward and I appreciate your visit and welcome you anytime. As for your mouse...I know I would shriek, too! I have always thought I should look at them in the same way that Beatrix Potter would have done, but I don't have tons of confidence in my ability to do that. As for Edward, it's squirrels that drive him nuts!!

MuseSwings said...

I heard if you see one you aren't seeing the other hundred. Oh...wait.....that's cockroaches. Nevermind. With mice, it's probably just one. Can ya blame the guy? It's cold outside.

Kelly said...

Every so often they work their way into our house through the bathroom cabinets. My weapon of choice is a trap. I like that instant gratification! (works best with peanut butter)

Then there was the time my husband decided to shoot one with a bb gun as it sat on its haunches peering at us. Ever hear that old saying about getting shot in the eye with a bb? That's exactly what happened only it wasn't the mouse... it was my husband! Bounced out of the cabinet and into his eye!! Didn't hurt him, though, thank goodness.