About a month ago, I was invited to the Flames game with my cousin and some of her lovely friends (Thanks Janine and Spencer!). It was a ton of fun. I arrived home tired, happy and ready for bed. I got ready for bed and was reading sedately in my bed when I heard a gentle rustling in the kitchen area. Naturally I assumed it was a home invasion. I grabbed a paring knife and proceeded to search the house. About three long minutes in I realized that home invaders do not generally make gentle rustling/crackling noises like a plastic bag being moved and that it was probably a mouse. I changed tack from closets to cupboards and identified what I thought to be the source of entry.
I went back to bed feeling that I had generally gotten as far as I was going to get at 1:00 am with the calming confidence that I had blocked their entryway and that mice, while gross, are unlikely to kill me in my sleep. I’d like to take some time to thank Wine for my general state of calm at this point. Had I made this discovery without Wine by my side, I may have been less sanguine.
I awoke in the morning refreshed and ready to assess the real damage. At this point, Wine and my sense of calm rapidly abandoned me as I realized that the mice had made a lot of headway in one short night.
I did not photograph all of the turds but everywhere I looked in the kitchen I found more. Drawers, floor, and window sills were all compromised. Naturally, I proceeded to power clean the entire kitchen and carefully seal all potential food sources in either glass, rubber or metal containers.
Feeling that I had both removed all traces of the mice and made my mouse the most inhospitable mouse environment possible I went to home depot for the killing machines. I was a little overwhelmed by choice at first and generally uncertain about how I wanted to handle the little vermin. I initially installed some sort of high frequency mouse deterrent in my icky crawl space where I suspected their entry point to be.
I also placed a large volume of mouse poison underneath the sink. For those who are thinking “Wait! How fast acting is this poison? Is it like Iocane powder? Do they die right away or do they crawl into your walls and die there?” Well my friends, according to the lovely man at home depot who helped me out they apparently eat the poison and go outside searching for water and die there. I had high hopes. Just to be on the safe side, I also purchased some of those glue pads that stick the mice as they walk over them if the poison wasn’t enough. My parents had success with this strategy in the past and I was optimistic. Unfortunately glue quality does seem to vary and while it was clear that some poison was consumed and the pads were in the right place, the mice footprints across the pad suggest that they are not quite sticky enough.
During this time, occasional mouse poops continued to appear and re-sterilizing the kitchen prior to every meal was getting a little tiresome. I had come to the conclusion, however that the mouse and I might be in it for the long haul and I believe it was at this point that the mouse received a name. Norman became the personification of Mr. Mouse. I received several suggestions from friend during this time on how to manage the mice. M suggested the “Supertrap,” involving a bucket filled with water, a string, a can painted with peanut butter, and certain death. S suggested the classic mouse trap with a nicely aged parmesan as a less messy alternative to the peanut butter classic. I decided against the bucket, mostly because it seemed like a moderate amount of work and I was tired from all the cleaning, and opted for the Parmesan charged classic trap. Unfortunately, it appeared that the mice could remove the Parmesan without initiating the trap. My goal was to kill not feed so I replaced the cheese with sticky, gooey peanut butter. This was, as S pointed out, much messier and I set off the traps a few times while loading which, while not fatal to humans, is unpleasant. I also decided to be aggressive and create a mouse minefield. Sorry Princess Diana. This was the ticket. I went to bed hopeful that this would finally be the end of the mice.
Approximately 7.5 hours later I awoke. I emerged from my bedroom, mercifully mouse free the entire time, and encountered Normina, limp, dead and making her final poop. During the naming process, there were many discussions on the gender of the mouse and I attempted to determine the gender prior to tossing out the body. I found the following website quite helpful in my determination that Norman was in fact a Normina: http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm. Don’t get your hopes up though. The website is slightly less fun than it sounds.
Once Normina was extinguished I was hopeful that the problem was resolved but unwilling to declare victory. I can now say that after 3 weeks of no more poops, VICTORY IS MINE!!
See you in Hell, mice.