Thursday, July 17, 2008

The art of killing mice

So it's to safe to say that I have a mice problem. The problem has intensified recently since my new neighbors moved in and brought along with them a fearsome cat which has caused a mass migration of mice from the first floor of my apartment building to the third.

Don't get me wrong. I really don't mind the mice that much and would totally be fine with the idea of co-habitation. The problem is that they shit all over my kitchen. That's just rude. I don't shit in their kitchen.

My first encounter with the bastards was 2 years ago. It was when the weather turned cold when I first began to notice their presence. The mice had decided my kitchen was their equivalent to our Palm Springs. Measures had to be taken. My first wave of "attacks" against the mice horde went surprisingly well. I placed some snap traps baited with peanut butter in various locations around the kitchen. This initial tactic was very successful, albeit messy, and I foolishly thought that was the last of the mice.

And it was for a while. Until the following winter. The mice were drawn to my kitchen like sailors were to V.D. "Well, it looks like it's time for the snap traps again boys" I said aloud and dutifully placed several traps around the kitchen. I awoke the next morning eagerly awaiting to see at least 2-3 dead rodents. I think I may have even said "I tried to warn you." Much to my dismay, there were none. Not one of the traps had been triggered. Yet, somehow, the little assholes managed to eat all of the peanut butter off the traps. I felt like they were laughing at me from inside the walls. I was infuriated. Still, I had to tip my hat to them for their talent. What kind of mice was I dealing with?

After several more frustrating attempts using the snap traps and peanut butter, I decided I should consult with my landlord a self-proclaimed expert in these matters. He concluded that I should use a combination of glue traps and steel wool. He had his "crew" install some steel wool behind my stove and sink. Apparently the steel wool would cut their paws and tongues off when trying to get to the kitchen and it's precious bread crumbs around my toaster. While this sounded a bit over the top at the time, I was beginning to run out of options.

A few weeks passed and nothing happened. Success! I gleefully imagined a mouse with a maimed paw and newly developed speech impediment struggling to warn his cronies about the dangers of the "Kitchen." This sense of accomplishment would not last long however. Once our new neighbors moved in, the mice came back and these mice were tougher than any of their previous brethren.

Throughout the next few months I tried to think outside of the box and used a variety of methods to deal with the rodents. I had a brief success with sonic mousetraps that emitted a high pitch frequency that warded off the mice for a while. Apparently, mice can adapt to this sound and within a couple months the mice were clearly unaffected by my high-tech wizardry. Another failure was my use of peppermint oil soap that supposedly is very unpleasant for mice to smell. I'm pretty sure my mice licked the damn soap off the counters.

I have to confess that I had pretty much given up on beating the mice over the last month or so. I still placed traps every now and then, but I never expected to trap any mice. This past weekend I was at a cookout talking about my problem with the father of one of friends. He bestowed upon me a tactic using snap traps that I had never thought of. He explained that if you wedge a sunflower seed in the trigger part of the trap the mice will have a tough time loosing the seed and most likely set the trap. Of course!

So my dear readers I am glad to report that I have killed two rodents in the same number of days using this clever, yet simple tactic. I feel triumphant with this knowledge and these two dead mice. Kind of like what Arnold's character Dutch felt in Predator when he said "If it bleeds, we can kill it."

Here's to you Mr. Spacco.

1 comment:

Brendan Charles Huffman said...

Sounds like you need a Peggy!

Triumphant return. Excellently written. Congrats on your rodent murdering!