Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Words for November 21, 2012

I have an update on the mouse-in-the-house situation.

If you’ll recall, I mentioned that we had a slight rodent problem. Such is the case for anyone living in an older home that lacks complete structural integrity.

I grew up in the country, in a farm house that was very old, and that had a foundation with a few gaps here and there. We would have mice from time to time.

I get teased for my insistence on always looking for the bright side of any situation. In case you were wondering, there really is a bright side to having a few mice in the house. As long as you have those mice, you know you don’t have rats. Apparently—and this is one of the nuggets of wisdom my mother passed on to me—the two types of rodents won’t live together. Now I’m not sure if that’s scientifically proven, but it’s true in my own experience.

That old house in the country did have rats occasionally, most notably when the chicken farm down the road botched their planned fumigation against their rat infestation and sent a veritable herd of them charging down the road in our direction. This happened twice, by the way, about 6 years apart.

But I digress.

You may recall that I’d told you we had purchased those plastic “humane” traps. They were designed to lure the mice in using this nugget of a tablet supposedly irresistible to the little buggers. Once they munched on said tablet, they would doze off to the land of mouse dreams, and you could then carry the box outside, and slip the tiny sleeping beauties out onto the grass.

The traps didn’t work because the mice refused to be lured.

Mr Ashbury set these traps aside, in much the same way he set the problem aside. And the mice did what mice do. They thrived and multiplied.

I reminded Mr Ashbury this past Friday that he really had to take care of the rodent problem. So he went out (again) and bought more of the old fashioned, wooden snap traps. In the mean time, I had made a rather interesting discovery.

The mice, apparently, had a secret something they were stealing and eating: kitty treats. You know the ones I mean, the ones that have the television commercials showing cats jumping through walls, or leaping several stories in the air just to get one of them.

Our cat, Spooky, is addicted to these treats. The fact that the mice seem to like these tiny treats as well kind of make sense, if you follow and then expand that rule of logic that says that you can eat whatever will eat you.

I decided to test the viability of using a kitty treat as bait by placing one inside the plastic, one-way door humane trap.

Half an hour later I heard the sound of plastic rattling. Sure enough, when I checked, there was a small rodent looking confused as he tried but was, of course, unable, to get out of the box.

I’m not very girly, I’m afraid. I had no problem picking up the box, taking it outside, and turning it upside down on the grass hill several feet out the back door. The mouse showed his appreciation for this move by scampering out of the now open box, and running like hell away from the house.

Mr. Ashbury’s new old-fashioned trap did have one victim, but in light of the excellent new bait—and because we just want the mice gone, not necessarily dead—he put the killer-traps away, and has, instead, been loading the humane ones with kitty treats.

Apparently this is one temptation (pardon the pun) the little critters can’t resist.


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