Friday, March 6, 2009


So, this was a bad winter for mice apparently. We had some? one? a colony?

They were absolutely driving me mad. We tried the freakishly scary snap traps. Snap traps are just as scary as having to cut the blue (or was it RED??? it's the YELLOW???) wire to dismantle a bomb. You hold your breath, say a prayer and slowly as possible release the lever. It either ends in a "phew" or a yelp.

We tried the sticky traps. They collected dust and the random food that Miles tossed on them to attract the mice.

Oh. And, by the way, we did put peanut butter on the snap traps. I did NOT put a wedge of swiss cheese on there. I know better.

I tried "spin traps". And also an "easier" snap trap that you pinch like a clothes pin, but it doesn't snap except when it catches a mouse (which is NEVER). I also used a "sure-fire" mouse attractant which supposedly works better than peanut butter. It didn't.

But, despite all these traps around the house, the deposits of mouse poop kept coming.

So, I got out my trusty laptop and Googled "homemade mouse traps". One site suggested this homemade trap which included a bucket of water and a plank-like tipping thing. If only I had a five gallon bucket and 15 hours to make it.

But, it probably wouldn't have caught a mouse anyway.

We even saw that mouse on several occasions.

Probably the most memorable mouse moment was when our dear Makoto still lived with us.
I remember it like it was yesterday....

She was in the dining room studying quietly. The children were long in bed. And I finally found my way to my room, snuggled in, turned off the lamp and--DANG IT--I heard something maneuvering its way through the register! CREEPED. ME. OUT.

I whispered frantically, "BRENT! It's in our room! The MOUSE. I heard it!"

Faster than you can say "squeak", I jumped up, turned on the lamp, threw a pillow to block the crack under the door. Brent covered both vents with Calvin's Institutes (they have been used more as props than anything over the years). Oh, we were making a ruckus. I was squealing and shouting "Brent! Over there!" We were jumping on our bed to scare the mouse out from under it. The bed is on casters, so I started pushing off the wall to move it. We made some unusual noises.

oh. Did I mention that all Makoto knew was that we just went to bed? She had to be a little unnerved wondering...

Finally, I eked out, "Makoto!" "Makoto!"

no response.

Again, but just above a whisper calmly, "Makoto?"

"Yes?" she answered timidly.

"The mouse is in our room. We need something to trap it." I had resumed my frantic whisper.

Now, this got confusing, because even though she'd lived in our home for two months, she couldn't quite figure out where we kept a plastic bowl. So, I had to exit to fetch something to trap it with while Brent stayed on guard.

Now, I know you can't really trap a mouse with your bare hands and a bowl. But, how were we going to sleep that night knowing it was there. (And WHY? What was in there to attract it???)
Anyway, friends. We got tired. I got to the point where I could imagine the mouse crawling on our bed without feeling an adrenaline rush. Eventually I fell asleep.

But one day, I set this up (like a 9-yr-old).

I know. You're jealous of my engineering skills. Drool on.

The next morning, I caught this:

I know. Good thing I didn't mix any D-CON in with those Cheerios.

About a month later, I went upstairs and found a dying mouse shivering on the carpet. Even though it was barely moving in place, I was pretty freaked out and shaky. Brent transported it outdoors and that was the short and happy life of that mouse. So, it died of old age or D-CON. Not sure which. Doesn't matter. It's gone. But, I'm sure I'll see its cousins next winter.


Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Cute jammies by the way :)


Anonymous said...

That was histerical, Jenna!! I loved the way you described everything, especially the "bedroom" segment. All you need for next winter is a cat!!

(I know we have a mouse in our house, even though I've never seen it. Just the evidence. Take that back..Natalie and I saw it in the garage once. I thought about getting a cat for that reason. Don't know if it works, though.)

I've been known to stand on chairs at the sight! I understand, and I'm very thankful our gerbils haven't learned how to escape.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

awesome story. really.

we laughed a lot.

we were actually quite relieved to find someone talking about rodents openly. we have had some seasons of misery with roof rats in the attic and mice in the walls. right now - knock on wood - things are quiet. and fortunately, we have never *seen* one alive OR any of their poop in the living space of our house. just in the attic and storage shed.

by the way, our pro rat killer, Kenneth, who loves his job, ONLY uses REESE'S peanut butter on our traps. we have caught 3? rats in our attic? maybe 4? in 2.5 years. and he put out poison for the mice which apparently made them all run away and die some place else. haven't heard them in the walls in over a year.

tara thinks this is a long comment, but i know how much you love comments, so i will keep telling you about our rodents.

one time, this summer, we smelled a dead one and of course it was like 100 degrees and we had to do something before the whole house reeked. we seriously had no money to spare that month - law school books are killer - and so i had to handle it myself without calling Kenneth. I could not bring myself to untrap the rat (he was huge), so i cut the string attached to the trap and the rafters and threw the whole thing away - trap and all. makes me siiiiiiiiiicccccccccck just thinking about it. props to brent for disposing of the mouse. actually, a mouse is way less sick than a rat. but props anyway.

ok. that's all.
good night.

Carol said...

I have a mouse story, also. See what you started Jenna. I was living in an older house when I was in college & was studying for finals on the couch one day. We(my roommate & I) had seen signs of mice & were also trying everything to trap them. For a couple days the most lovely smell had been progressing through our apt & I was pretty sure something died in the wall,register, etc. Well, I got up to reposition the cover on the couch & I'm in my bare feet & my toes step on something soft,furry,& squishy under the front of the couch. I had an absolute fit & yelled for my roommate Leanna. She was little & petite. I was shocked what she did. She grew up on a farm & had no problem picking that dead mouse up by his tail & disposing of him. The thought of it still amazes me!!

Embrace Grace said...

OK. This is super-ooper funny!
I have some GREAT mouse stories!
This is so funny because Jillian just thinks, "Hey look! Free food!"So cute!

Sarah said...

Yep...loved every morsel...although I think I enjoyed hearing your bedroom scene over the phone first. My goodness...the probs you have had with these mice!!! EEEEK!! You are THEE woman for setting up your own trap!! LOVE IT!! We had a mouse at our place in LA...came through a hole in the back of our oven...crawled up on the counter and proceeded to take HUGE bites out of my favorite fruit!! PEACHES...He took one bite out of every ONE each time. Even did it through the plastic bag!! the bites were enormous...i was sure it was a rat. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!!

Karla Anne said...

This post ranks right up there with the "gangrene" post, Jenna. I had quite a belly laugh going! :)

I hate the snap traps, but they do work, at least here. Even on moles, apparently. Who knew moles could get into houses, too?!! :(

Kim said...

I don't know whether to be creeped out or to laugh histerically. I can totally imagine you freaked out. And I loved that you tried to use Calvin's Institutes to block the little mousey. Don would be proud.

Ched said...