Thursday, November 10, 2011

Of Mice and Very Small Men

There is a mouse in my house.

I saw it for the first time last Friday, while I was nursing S. and watching my fiftieth consecutive episode of Mad Men. I closed my eyes and hummed and stayed in my rocking chair until Jeff came home... forty minutes later.

I saw it again--or thought I saw it; it was a corner-of-my-eye kind of thing--on Wednesday, and immediately left the house under the pretense of getting a latte. S. was my unwitting accomplice.


It had been well documented that I am terrified of rodents. If Carrot Top giving me an erotic massage is my 10th circle of hell, my 11th is the hallway at the Museum of Natural History which is part of the "North American Mammals" exhibit but which I have alternately christened "The Hall of Rats." It's literally a bunch of rodents tacked up to the wall. (Granted, they're behind glass, but seriously, anyone with a hammer and some nails could do this at home.)

Anyway, I don't know what to do. Most days I spend 6 hours alone in the house with no one to protect me from four-legged critters but a tiny man who spends most of his time vomiting on himself and smiling toothlessly at walls. Moving, according to Jeff, is not an option. Any tips that don't involve just growing a spine? I'm thisclose to ordering an anvil and some sticks of dynamite from the Acme Corporation...

P.S. For those of you not sick of baby posts, I wrote about failed sleep-training over at Aiming Low. I may or may not call my son "the world's greatest cockblock." (He totally is.)
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28 comments :

  1. pull out your fridge and stove and REALLY clean the area, then, inspect under your kitchen sink. place traps all around your kitchen (behind fridge, under sink, under stove). But, don't use glue traps. they just cry with this horrible sound that will haunt you forever.

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  2. Offer him a better job. There are plenty of rodents in Congress, and it pays well and has benefits. He'd probably take it in a heartbeat.

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  3. Anonymous8:03 PM

    JAWZ mousetraps baited with peanut butter. Also, put anything edible that is not a can in the refrigerator or freezer if possible, immediately, or decant into a glass or metal container with a metal top. Yes, including bags of sugar. They love eating bags of sugar. Yes, your bread. Yes, your bananas. They like to eat what you eat, and they pee on it while they do it, and then they leave tousie merds (my grandmother's polite terminilogy). Plus, they will chew up your sheets and tablecloths and stuff. AND get into your garbage and eat that. My mice were partial to shrimp shells.

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  4. How about a an exterminator? Is that even an option in an apartment building?

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  5. Anonymous8:51 PM

    There are these things called D-Rodent or something like that, they look like wedges of cheese and you open them and there is mouse poison in them, only bad part is you have to find where it died and get rid of its poor little body.

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  6. My boyfriend bought one of those no-kill mouse traps (because he's a giant mouse-loving douche) and put a little spoon full of peanut butter in it. We had him within the hour. The problem with that is, then you have to let him out somewhere. We live in Maui, so there's lots of giant fields (or the church parking lot we chose)... I don't know where you could free a mouse in NYC without looking like a crazy person.

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  7. Set snap traps with peanut butter smeared on them and make Jeff remove the dead mouse bodies. :/ We get them sometimes too. Blech.

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  8. Anonymous9:10 PM

    Get one of those cheap, wooden, old fashioned traps and some peanut butter. No cheese. Jerry fooled us all into thinking his kind fancy the cheese. Not so. Wait to hear the *snap* then when Jeff comes home POUNCE on him to check it. Good luck.

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  9. Sometime this week I saw a commercial for mouse traps that actually looked decent. You set a bait inside the trap and the mouse has to go all the way into the trap to get it. Once it's in there, it triggers the door to close. Whether the mouse is dead or not, it can't escape and you just throw the whole trap out and you never have to see or touch the mouse!

    This is the actual company that makes them:
    http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/productTemplate.jsp?proId=prod10230002&itemId=cat50086

    Aaaaaaaand here's an Amazon link for them: http://www.amazon.com/Ortho-0320110-Defense-Contain-Mouse/dp/B001H1HHYS

    Hope these help!

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  10. Chrisy in Chicago9:59 PM

    Make Jeff set up some non-deadly traps. If there is anything worse than a mouse running free, it's dealing with the aftermath of a squashed one. Also, i would avoid the traps that are sticky. The caught mice cry, chew off their limbs...and then die.

    Happy thoughts! Puppies and daisies! La la la!

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  11. Kristin H.11:09 PM

    This might not help your situation because it might make you never want to kill one.. But it's awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqlQS5CCmwI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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  12. First, you (or Jeff) needs to do a pretty good cleaning, and get rid of crumbs and food in flimsy packaging that might attract mice. Peppermint oil, which smells nice to me, is repellant to mice. Also, mice won't chew steel wool so if you can find their points of entry and stuff them with steel wool, possibly sprinkled with peppermint oil, you can likely keep them out. I'm pretty killing-adverse, and this worked for me. Good luck.

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  13. You're going to have to find out where they're coming in and plug the hole. Steel wool works wonders.

    Mice don't like mint, so placing a few leaves around the entry zone help too.

    Good luck!

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  14. I share in your terror...we found a mouse the other day too. Yuck

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  15. I'm also a massive rodent-hater, thanks to a slight mouse infestation in a rather skany house I shared when I was at university. It got to the point where I couldn't enter my bedroom without shouting and banging on the door for 5 minutes, just in case a mouse dared to confront me face-to-face. My friend tried spraying perfume on the places they were coming out of... Don't do this; it just made my room stink, and didn't seem to be a problem to the mice.

    I realise I haven't actually given you any actual advice, I just needed to rant about my hatred of mice.

    Good luck!

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  16. They make these amazing little things that you plug into the wall that emit a frequency that mice can't stand. I swear they work wonders. I've been using them for 6 years since a mouse problem and haven't seen one since. Good luck!

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  17. They make these amazing little things that you plug into to the wall that emit a frequency that mice can't stand. I swear it works. I haven't seen a mouse in the 6 years that I've been using them. Good luck!

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  18. Been there. Been afraid to do that. Wrote a blog in July on it. It was humorous, but they are no joke. Traps are fine as long as you have someone to empty them...immediately. Otherwise, it quickly turns into a really bad science experiment. Copper wire or steel wool at points of entry work, but unless you are sure they are out at the time terrorizing someone else, you'll still need to capture or exterminate. Good luck!

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  19. Putting anything in a box (cereal, etc.) into tupperware and filling their entry holes with this foam stuff worked for us. I never knew about the peppermint oil but that sounds like it would smell good. I didn't want traps because a. poison in our house...no or b. me removing rats stuck to glue or smooshed in a trap hell no.

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  20. I will take the fact that you've posted this as evidence that you're laughing at your own pain....so my snickering at the "giant pussy" label considering the subject matter and the fact that you've just given birth shouldn't offend. ;-)

    I feel your pain--the rats in New Orleans are much bolder, likely to pull up a chair and glare at YOU to turn off the lights. Most of the above suggestions are very effective, though...I wish you luck with that.

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  21. P.S. I thought you might also get a chuckle out of the fact that my approval word was "mouspe"....somebody's got a sense of humor....

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  22. Anonymous3:45 PM

    here at my house we recently had the worse mouse infestation I've ever witnessed and what successfully got rid of them for us was:
    -wire mesh over any holes where they might be getting in (especially around behind the stove)
    -set trash can traps (put a toilet paper tube with peanut butter on the end balanced off a counter top, with a TALL trash can under it. They crawl into the tube to eat the peanut butter and fall into the can.) release them at least a mile from your house. (seriously we caught 12 of the suckers with this method, 5 kinds of store bought traps did nothing)
    -store all food in glass or metal jars. everything. even if you don't think it's really edible like uncooked rice or loose leaf tea. everything.
    -wipe counters etc. with peppermint oil, apparently mice don't like the smell.
    Good luck!

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  23. I also vote CAT unless one of you is allergic. Seriously, once or twice each fall, some intrepid mouse will work its way into my house, get tracked diligently for a day or two by my cats, get killed and eaten, and no more come in until the following fall.

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  24. Rats are actually generally quite nice animals, it's the goddamn mice you have to be worried about. Napoleon complexes, I swear!

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  25. Burn the house down, collect insurance and then rebuild? Since moving is out of the question, that is.

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  26. How timely. We have a super mouse that can leap from shelf to shelf in a single bound. We know this because of the plants that have all the earth dug out of them. They (I assume there is more than one) can also go up and down our stairs. We figured out they're coming in under the dishwasher where a hole is left so that the door can open.

    Get Jeff to block every hole he can find with steel wool. He will cut his fingers if he doesn't use industrial gloves. If you set a trap, use a glove or they will smell humans and stay away. We caught a mouse when in Manhattan but French mice but be more cunning. Or something.

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  27. We need to exchange Watch Instantly recommendations to kill time while nursing, seriously. I've been through Mad Men, The Tudors, Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Father Ted, Better Off Ted, Raising Hope, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and now I'm on Weeds and The IT Crowd. And he's only 2 months old today...

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