Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Okay, So We Have A Mouse

I live in an old house. Not a hundred years or anything, but 66 years. I love it. It's been a part of my life for 34 years now. I haven't always lived in it, but it's been with me. When we moved back to my home town and started searching for somewhere to live, this house was for rent. Shawn called and left a message for the owners. When the idiot (some day when I get over it, I might explain why that's his name) called he started to tell me about the house. I stopped him and said, "Let me tell you about the house." I gave him a brief history of my life with it and he wasn't impressed. Then he asked me to tell him something about the house that no one else would know. I had this. I told him that since the closet in the downstairs bedrooms has a door in each room there was a chain lock on the inside of the east closet door. He had to go look! When he found the lock he'd never known was there he told me we had the house. We bought the house from another idiot a little over a year later.

I've never lived in a new house and honestly hope I never do. I love history. I love owning something that had a life long before I came along. I love the stories, the memories, and the history. Most of our furniture is old. Almost everything is from someone else in my family or from good friends. I pick new pieces that look old. It's who I am.

But part of owning an old house is pests. I know that my cousin Robin lives in a newer home and has ants, (wonder how she'll feel about me sharing that...) so I don't feel bad about our ant problem. I hate to spray something because of Jackie 'O' so I went searching for a better option. I've tried a line of chalk and fresh mint leaves, but they haven't worked. I finally started using something my neighbor gave me to use around the pool. An orange liquid that kills them slowly enough so that they get back to their colony and infect everyone. The only problem, apparently living right outside my kitchen door, is about a bajillion colonies. I think since March I've spent half the time battling. I thought I had them beat just recently. After all, we'd had a cold snap of a full day at around 75 degrees. But I woke up to this.

Please don't judge me.

So now that you know that about me...I can tell you about the gnats. I'm so stinking tired of gnats. They're not the gnats I grew up with. These are in your face all up in your biz'ness gnats. Attack gnats. I have tried two different homemade traps and neither one is an overwhelming success. I'm about to stop buying fresh food. Anyone have an amazing tip to pass along??

Oh, and now to the title of this post. Sadly, yes, we have a mouse. Okay okay. Apparently we have a mom mouse and some baby mice. We don't live in squalor. I promise! We do live next door to someone who has large outdoor dogs with large outdoor dog dog food. He's told us before that he has mice because of that. Oh joy.

I don't do snappy traps. No way do I want to wake up to that. So we buy the glue traps. This is the third time in 12 years that we've had to do this. I've had to remove a used trap once. It took me 20 minutes to decide what to use. I finally decided on the longest pair of kitchen tongs I own. I hoped to never have to do that again.

So are you ready for this?? We've caught 5. 5 tiny little vermin. When Kennedy had a friend spend the night I couldn't decide what to do with my nightly glue trap. I didn't want her running home and telling her mom that we have mice. (So instead I'm blogging about it for the world to read.) I decided to wait until they were in bed and put it out. Then I'd simply hide it in the morning when I left for my long run. As I was trying to get everything together and get out of the door I almost forgot about it. Luckily it caught my eye as I went into the kitchen because it had been moved. Who in the stink would have moved it? I'd found the sweet spot to put it. I am the professional here. I assumed it was Shawn. I put my foot on it to pull it out from under it's hiding spot, the stove. Since my hands were full my foot was the only option. Heaven forbid I put everything down. It seemed like the trap was stuck on a rubber band. I could faintly see it as I'd pull the trap out and it would slide right back in. Finally as my Gatorade was slipping, it broke free of the rubber band and I was able to stow it away out of sight. All with my foot. I know I know, I am so talented. I didn't give another thought to it since I had 6 miles waiting for me.

When I got home I headed to the pantry to grab the first thing I could find to eat. I kind of feel a bit hungry after Saturday's long runs. My eye landed on the glue trap I'd hidden. It had something on it. Something...gray...and furry...yep, leftover mouse. It hadn't been a rubber band...it had been a mouse and that was his tail! I did a little heeby jeeby dance and went to wake up Shawn and tell him the story. Really, things like this should be shared. I've waited to tell you all so that you wouldn't judge me...but I think we know by now I can't keep my big yap shut.

So please tell me that someone out there has had a mouse. I need to feel like I'm not the only one. And while you're at it, if you could tell me that you also have ants and gnats, I'd love you forever.



thelifeofaParish said...

well i can happily tell you i have not had a mouse since living here (next door to you, so keep your mice) but....we have these stupid little bugs that are on our windowsills. i have researched them and they are called springtails. they are near microscopic, but i can see them. please tell me you have these. it makes me feel gross!!!

Unknown said...

I got you all beat! I'd share details but it is a long story so I'll just write about it later today. :)

Unknown said...

Here is my story. Hope you feel better now.


Robin said...

I still have ants, but mine are tiny compared to yours!

A couple weeks ago we thought we had a mouse in our wood pile. Greg tried trapping it. He never caught it. Tuns out it was a squirrel chowing down on all the rotten peaches that had fallen from our neighbors tree. Glad he didn't catch it!

Nicki said...

Newly following you! I will be honest..I can't read the mouse post yet because I am supposed to be working. However, your post with the extension cord...priceless!!! Can't wait to read more!


Miss Barnard said...

I used to live in a house that had so many mice I couldn't stand it. It was a rental and when I rented it, I didn't know about the mice. That house also would have slugs get into the kitchen and once a snake. However, no ants.
When I moved to a different town, I had a few mice and ants. It drove me crazy because I am a clean person.
My husband and I now live in an old farm house next to his farm. I have seen no signs of any mice or ants, but we did have a snake in the basement once. Oh, and an armadillo who is soon to meet his maker because of the holes he is diggin in my yard looking for grubs. Oh the fun!

jean said...

Yes, I have mice - somewhere. I saw one scurry under the water heater last fall, and IMMEDIATELY went to Home Depot to get a trap - the kind that they go in and the door closes & they can't get out. That way I don't have to see them - and can pick up the trap w/o tongs! :-) I have poison in the garage - up on the shelves so the cats don't get it. I put out about a dozen "green chunks" every day in the winter until they quite disappearing. Should be a fun winter...(UGH) I had ants the first summer I lived in my house, but didn't see any this summer. Have you ever tried the dish soap in water trick for gnats? You'll have to google it to find the details - I've only have a few pesky gnats (fruit flies) flying around the kitchen this summer so didn't bother to try to eradicate them. Good luck!

Sheila said...

I don't have them in my house, but in my camper. We had tons of ants this summer and several Terro traps and the little cardboard squares didn't work. I finally resorted to putting drops of Terro directly on the floor and the kitchen sink. A couple weeks ago, I discovered the mice had found a bag of birdseed under the kitchen sink. Took the seed out, and last week found their stash of acorns in there and poops in drawers and cabinets. Hubby put several sticky traps and green poison cubes out last week. I'm almost afraid to go up there tomorrow, wondering if there will be corpses and if our whole camper will smell!

Jamie said...

Yep - mice...you can read about it here:

and here:


also had a major ant problem once, until i figured out my disposal was leaking under my sink and they were all surrounding the water like a fountain of youth. didn't work out so well for them, youth-wise.

Unknown said...

I agree, the original snap traps are pretty gross. I want to get one that completely seals the mouse so I don't have to deal with the mess it can leave. Victor has a new kill and seal trap that encloses all of the mess; I think I might try it.