Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Runaway Ralph

We now interrupt Food Week in the Small World in order to give you an update on some rodent happenings.
A couple of weeks ago, my parents spotted a mouse in our garage. We weren't home at the time, so we were hoping it was just a little guy that was taking a quick tour of the place and heading back on outside. However, then we began to see some "evidence" that perhaps we had some unpaid tenants in the garage. Let's just say when J. put O's booster seat back in his car it had some black flecks on it that were not chocolate cookie crumbs.
Sunday, we moved all of the toddler transportation items out of the garage onto the driveway, and swept a pretty extensive collection of these crumbs. No signs of nests, although there is a hole in the wall (J. swears it has always been there) that looks eerily like the entrance to Jerry's home.
O. and his friends from next door spent a good part of the afternoon engaging in their own mouse hunt throughout our house, carrying with them assorted rackets, flashlights and baseball bats in case they spotted something. No sightings.
I picked up some traps at the grocery store, both the old fashioned snapping kind and some of the glue variety. The glue ones advertise a natural anesthetic, so we went that route, thinking it cut down on some of the cruelty factor, and these seemed the best choices for an area where my kids play.
No results on day one, though O. was sure to tell everyone he saw not to touch the black trays in his garage.
This morning, as J. left for work, he is pretty sure he startled a furry visitor that was sitting by the door and sent him straight onto the glue trap. He was attached by a couple of feet and some fur on his back, but he was trying his hardest to get himself free. Now I was starting to doubt our choice of the glue trap.
J. decided to shovel him into a plastic grocery bag so that the kids and I wouldn't have to witness him struggling there all morning. (Do I have to remind you of O's reaction to the giraffe shirt? Can you imagine a DYING mouse? We saw a dead mouse outside of Home Depot six months ago and he still talks about it.) He volunteered to take the bag with him and chuck it out the window, but I thought that didn't sound very responsible. So he threw it in the trash can, which was already quite full because we missed trash day last week, plus the whole garage cleanout event.
As I was getting the kids buckled in the car on our way out later in the morning, I heard a distinctive "rustle, rustle" from the vicinity of the trash can. I peeped in, and sure enough, looking right back at me was Ralph S. Mouse, obviously having chewed through said grocery bag. He was still stuck on by at least one hind leg, and had glue all over him. So much for the anesthetic. I picked up the other glue trap and stuck it next to him, hoping he'd wriggle around on top of it. (I know, I know. I should have put the trap on TOP of him. Did I mention he was furry, had cute little ears, and was looking right at me?)
I left him in there, hoping against hope that the anesthetic or the heat would conk him out, and planning my disposal method from there. I knew if he was still alive I wouldn't be able bash him myself. After a couple of phone calls and discussions with others, I got a couple of alternative plans. One friend suggested I take the whole bag thing and back over it with the car. My mom said I should just wheel the trash can down to the curb two days early and weight it down with something. My brother would probably tell me to smash it with a rock (Ask him about his friend the possum). J. and I finally settled on a plan to throw the trap into the woods for the snakes/hawks, which is of course what we should have done in the first place.
However, all aforementioned plans are moot, as when I returned home, there was of course no sign of the little mouse at all. Just a grocery bag trampled down on top of a glue trap. I set all new traps, this time with some Sunbutter treat in the center of each to tempt his gluey little self. Maybe he'll run into some of his friends and he'll act as mouse velcro, and we'll catch a whole cluster at once. At least we have a living lint roller running around, collecting the loose dirt.


Molly said...

I hear you on those rodents. I had one that escaped both the "catch & release" friendly one, stole the food off the cruel snap one and then to top it all off too off with the stickie trap and to this day I have yet to know where the trap and/or the mouse managed to go. We even moved out of that house and never a sign. I think personally the stickie ones creep me out because once I heard one screaming, and I mean SCREAMING. Who knew mice could scream? Very unpleasant for my karma. Good luck...

CaraBee said...

When I lived downtown in a rowhouse, it was almost impossible to keep rodents out entirely. Shared walls do not make for good pest barriers. Every now and then one of the little beasties would find its way into my house. Typically, the cat would round the unfortunate thing up and I would find its slobbery carcass the next day. Once, though, my little predator caught one and brought it to me as a present. The little bugger was still alive when the cat dropped it on my foot, while I lay in bed. After I stopped screaming, the cat and I rounded it up and I took it outside with the intent of setting it free, hoping it would run off, never to return. Only, I tossed him a little harder than I meant to and basically threw him to his death. Man, did I feel guilty.

tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

Bleeecccchhhhh... I haven't had rodents. YET. I think it's just something everyone gets to experience. Fun stuff of adulthood.

I don't know what I'd have done. But that's what I got MARRIED for, right? To kill cute little mice and bury dead baby bunnies :(.

mep said...

Oh. So sorry you're having to deal with this.

Unfortunately, I know from experience that the old fashion neck-cracker is the way to go.

You've experienced the downside of the glue trap, and I can fill you in on the perils of the blocks of poison if need be.

Keep us posted.

Cynthia said...

No fun indeed:( I hate my ant problem...I'd freak out if you added mice to the mix:O Good luck.