Friday, January 4, 2008

Rodent Wars

A couple of weeks back, I started to notice the tell-tale signs of a mouse invasion. I tossed out several sticky-pads, (they've added a great new touch by the way - medicine that helps them sleep! Which is sooo much better than the days when an angry mouse, hopelessly stuck in place, throws a hissy fit in the middle of the night and wakes up the house, filled with easy-to-put-into-hysterics women and teen girls...but I digress...)

Within a short amount of time the traps had snared two drowsy mice. After that they stayed empty, and I hoped the problem was over, although I admit I was too busy to notice, despite my daughter's insistence that they could still hear them at night. ("You just think you can hear them!") All that wishful thinking came to an abrupt end on New Year's Eve. My husband took my son to a Jazz game, and my girls and I loaded plates with every kind of fattening food imaginable and settled in for four hours of "Gone with the Wind."

Our mice, however, planned a more lively new year's event. As we sat on the basement couch watching our movie, they partied just above us, somewhere between the basement ceiling and main story floor. And when I say partied, I mean it. They ran, skipped, galloped, danced, and and tangoed back and forth, back and forth. I envisioned roller coasters, ferris wheels, rock bands, and a couple of high-rise condominiums. I don't know how many. I don't even want to guess. A lot. A lot more than should be in a single house.

So New Years Day for me was the start of "The Hunt". I'm told that mice generally stay within 10 to 15 feet of a food source, so the key is to find their food source, clean it up, and lay the traps there. But the area they were holding their carnival in was nowhere near any food source. I did discover, though, a cabinet with a discarded (and empty) bag of Chex Mix, and enough mouse poop to fertilize a garden. It was more like 30 feet from their siting, but close enough. I cleaned it up, and, out of desperation, put actual poison in its place. I generally won't use the stuff, but desperate times and all that...

Sadly, there was no sign of a nibble on those traps, or any other traps, by the next day, so I got truly desperate. I cleaned every cupboard and room that could potentially have any food anywhere near it. My kitchen and office both look like a bomb went off. Any food items in eatable packaging has been stored in plastic bins. I have about 100 traps scattered from one corner of the house to the next, all empty and untouched. Nothing. Nada.

I'm thinking those mice must have had a hot dog stand at the carnival, cause they're not eating my food. One of my girls suggested that they're cannibals. I don't know. Maybe.

So here's the wierdest thing. And I'm NOT making this up. Yesterday, my 8-year-old got home from school, and informed me (I had my head in the office closet, searching for mouse poop) that there was a trail of blood in the driveway. Seeing as how he's an 8-year-old boy, I was skeptical, but of course I went to investigate. There was a trail, but it looked more like rust than blood. It went all the way up the driveway, and ended at my daughter's car, which had just returned home after a day at the high school. There was no puddle of anything under the car, but both right-side tires were wet with the red stuff, which did smell oddly blood-like. And a scan with a flash-light at the under-side of the car did show what could be described as a small, non-descriptive, hairy blob just behind the front tire. We searched the road, and discovered the trail went on a long ways, but there was no sign of road kill anywhere. When we returned from our search, we realized that the car was making the entire garage smell like raw hamburger.

So here's my theory. The mice (highly-intelligent little buggers) saw that they were up against a crazed maniac, gave up, fled the house, and threw themselves under the first car tire they came across, leaving nothing but a rust-colored trail of liquid in their wake.

I know you think that's crazy. I think that's crazy. But since my traps - every single one - were still empty and neglected yet again this morning, that's the only logical conclusion I can come to.

Just in case though, I'm out to buy more traps...


Candace E. Salima said...

Oh my goodness, Suzanne. You have my utmost sympathy! Good luck on your mighty mouse hunt O Great White Hunter!

you know who said...

Little Sister, The answer to any mouse problem is a cat that is cabable of catching mice and eating them.

Before you say EEEWWWW YUCK!!! The cats don't even need to live in the house, or even catch (and/or eat any mouses) They only need to live in the yard and the mice (yes they are pretty bright) will find a more friendly house.

Yes! it does SO work!

Karlene said...

We were victims of the mouse invasion last month. One day there was a little poop on my kitchen counter. The next day, about 40 poops. I also found a boatload of poops in my dresser drawers as I was rearranging some things. Apparently they like those rice stuffed socks you can use as heating pads.

We only caught two and there hasn't been poops in the kitchen for a few weeks.

And this cat thing? We have three cats and a dog and they are absolutely useless!

Suzanne Reese said...

Rice socks? I think my daughter has one of those, I better check it out. My neighbor swears by her cat, and has offered to loan it - but I'd have to put with hives and not breathing, so I figured I'd keep fighting. I've found two more recently!