Friday, May 07, 2010


Tuesday morning I decided that enough was enough: the laundry was going to meet its maker. I marched to the playroom/laundry room, set up my computer to watch Parenthood, and filled a glass of water to sustain me through the chore desert. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye in the toys, but when I turned my head there wasn't anything. Stupid contacts, I thought.

I arranged the laundry baskets and picked up the first shirt to fold when MOUSE MOUSE MOUSE

A small brown mouse ran across the toys, near the socks, and ran under the couch.


I screamed.

It just seemed the right thing to do.

Then I moved to the office one room away, and screamed.

Then I walked into the hallway and screamed.

Then I walked backwards to my room across the other side of the house, did the heebie-jeebie dance, and screamed again.

WE HAVE TO MOVE, was the next coherent thought I had.

The second was that I had to tell Twitter, because this is the kind of thing Twitter can help you with. I immediately received several suggestions.

Torch it, torch it now, said La Yen.

Burn it down, said Stephanie.

Move, said Jenny.

Would you like to borrow a mouser? asked Amelia.

All viable options, people, all of them. I weighed the idea of bringing a cat into my house (the concept never seemed so appealing: why aren't we all cat people if they can kill rodents on command?) I then had to counter-balance crippling dander allergies with the fear and disgust of disease-carrying vermin.)

I went to the store and bought four mouse traps. The better kind: plastic, quarter circle-shaped and just an inch or two wide, they purported to trap and kill the mouse INSIDE the container so you don't have to see or touch a disgusting mouse. I set the traps with peanut butter and push down the lever. Once the lever pops up, you got yourself a mouse there, missy. I set two in the laundry room and two more downstairs and went to an uneasy bed. Well, I went to my uneasy bed after checking the mousetraps twice. Someone on Twitter (again) told me once they caught a mouse within two hours of setting traps.) I was severely disappointed at the lack of instant mouse death and completely skeeved when I finally hit my pillow.

The next morning dawned, and after being convinced out of my bed, I walked to the laundry, and found that the trap had done its job: one dead mouse, contained within the trap. I called Other Half and told him we got the mouse.
"Wow," he said, "I thought it would be harder to catch the mouse."
"Why is that?"
"The movies make it seem so hard. There are entire films about how catching mice is almost impossible. Maybe we just had an exceptionally dumb mouse."

I kept the other traps out just in case it was in a gang and not a lone gunman. None of the other traps have caught a mouse, thank goodness. I couldn't  of handled it. We would've had to move.


dalene said...

i have a cat for that...

The redhead said...

Loved the play by play of when and where you screamed. Now all you have to worry about is where that varmint deposited it's excrement. Trust me. I've blogged about my son eating a Cheerio that potentially had spider poop on it, and now I worry about it on a daily basis. You may still have to move...

Marianne & Clayton said...

Wait, spider poop? Redhead, can you elaborate? See if this story of Azucar's was a giant spider instead of a mouse I would move, and I don't even live in the same state.

Kerri said...

Delurking to say I wish I could say I don't know how you feel, but our first house? Total mouse house. They just tolerated us rooming with them.

Just a couple of examples: Sitting on a blanket in a bedroom with my first baby, when a mouse ran across the corner of said blanket. Also, coming home from vacation and finding mouse poop in the baby's crib.

I have many MANY more stories. Just thank me for not sharing.

We finally moved, for this and many other reasons. It took me a few years before I didn't inspect every piece of dirt in the new house to see if it was mouse poop.

Oh...and they did get too smart for traps. Amazingly, those high sonar things actually seemed to help, though.

I hope this was an isolated incident and that you will live many happy mouse-free years.

sarah k. said...

That's nuthin. I catch mice with my bare hands.

rookie cookie said...

I pictured you and your moving van driving down the drive way and the mice, standing by the front door, flipping you off and yelling, "Piss off suckas!"

rookie cookie said...

But they were saying it with a British accent. I think all mice talk like they roam the streets of foggy London.

The redhead said...

Marianne... To tell you the truth, I don't know if spiders poop. I never really thought about it. But apparently my subconscious mommy brain thinks so because I freaked out when my son ate a long lost Cheerio. You can check out the post I did on 4.29.2010 for more juicy details.

annie said...

i would have screamed too. did you know there are holes where they come in? loose flues and other random places. my parents had to have an exterminator come to find all the holes and stop the parade of mice (and their poop...on beds!) in their house. yuck. i'm so sorry!

Britty said...

What's a mouser?

I grew up with mice running around my bedroom at night. I could hear them eating my leftover Easter candy stash. I was freaked out until my dad pointed out that it was only Fievel running around. Then I wasn't so scared, but it was still gross.

Kelly said...

I had a mouse problem last year and it was awful, and very hard to get rid of them. It would bother you way too much if I were to share the things our exterminator shared with me about mice and their abilities.

One thing I will tell you though (and I bet I'm not the first) where there's one mouse.... there are sure to be more. I'd keep your traps out for now. Good luck!

girlsmama said...

Sadly...there is never just one. Keep your traps out and move them around every few days.

AzĂșcar said...

The traps are out, and in various places. Nothing so far. The thing is, I HEARD the mouse come in. I heard something in the garage, which has holes the right size for a mouse to sneak in (tiny.) I went to check and although I could hear that something was inside the garage, I couldn't see it. The room I saw it in is directly above the garage, sharing wall space. We also live close to a river and woodland, which always increases the chance of mice and creatures.

I haven't seen any other signs of mice, even though I'm always looking (I'm paranoid about vermin/bugs in my house.) I'm still keeping the traps out.

Donna said...

i once broke the lease on an apartment because i saw two scorpions in my kitchen. terrifying.

britty...a mouser is a cat.

A Few Tacos Shy... said...

I am really annoyed at your success. That is just not fair! The mouse that invaded my house was a naughty little bugger. He licked p-nut butter right off the traps!

Stef said...

I get the hebbie jebbie dance! YUckity yuck! See, yet another excuse NOT to fold the laundry. If my boys would have found the mouse they would have thought it was great and it may have become motivation for them to do the laundry. Sighhhhh...hope that was the only one...GULP!

b. said...

We live out in the middle of acres and acres of farmland (you've been here, I know)...we have mice. We've tried traps and they work boys prefer the poison pellets.

I typed out the reasons and then deleted them because...well, just because.

Don't have a great place!

lisa said...

I will probably not sleep tonight and we are not neighbors that I am aware of.

I hate creepy crawly things. It is why I don't camp.

Vanessa & Tyler said...

Ok when I realized it was about mice I could not read it. Really I just can't even look at them in the pet store. BUT it is nice to know that someone else watches Parenthood AND they signed it for another season, yeah!

-vanessa from inevergrewup

Vern said...

"Maybe we just have an exceptionally dumb mouse". Too funny.

Sarah said...

Get a cat. Ew.

by...K@ Ashcroft said...

Forget about the poop the mouse may have left behind. Worry about the tini tiny BABIES that mouse may have left behind! Yikes!!!!

BTW a mouse can get in your house if there is an opening 1/4 inch. CRAZY I know!

My boss had mice. I caught 7 myself while daughter was house sitting.
Then my boss caught the Mother of them all (no pun intended) it was a roof rat. HU-MON-GEOUS!!! GAG!!

But honestly, I would take the mice/ rats over the scorpions and cockroaches ANY day!

Jillybean said...

FYI, spraying a mouse with 409 won't hurt it, it will just make it's fur look ratty.

Please don't ask me how I know this.

Geo said...

I have an entire mental file devoted to mouse stories. The worst one from my current digs is the one about when the very nice hoarder family next door were moving. There was a giant pile of furniture and stuff in their back yard which was apparently Mousie Mecca. When that pile got cleared off, all the displaced rodent souls found their way into our house. Homeless no more. I nearly lost my mind. And as much as I loved our neighbors, I really wanted to hurt them. Gram lived with us at the time, and I tried my best to keep our invasion a secret from her—she would have flipped out. I covered the house in deadly peanut butter traps and worked overtime to keep the dog out of them. One by one they fell, until there was just one tenacious baby mousie eluding me. I'll never forget standing in Gram's parlor, listening to her talk, and noticing that mousie run right past her, from behind her chair toward the kitchen. I found a reservoir of self-control I never knew I had. I did not scream. I did not start. I did not leap onto a chair. And Gram just kept on talking, none the wiser. After a literal face-off with that mousie in the basement, I managed to obliterate him too.

The End.

But I am scarred for life—always seeing phantoms now.