November 7, 2010 My Closet Doth Stinketh
This morning I noticed a very foul smell coming from my closet. I knew immediately what it was.
Towards the end of the summer is the first time I noticed the sign. In a couple of the window sills, after we returned from our summer travels, I noticed droppings. I wasn’t sure it was that, so I shrugged it away as dirty windows from being gone so much. A few weeks later, one evening when Alan and I were visiting with each other I was certain I had seen a “shadow” run across the kitchen. The next night he saw an actual mouse.
I know to some this would be the worst pest. Mice don’t really bother me. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t like them. It’s not the worst pest though. For several weeks I kept forgetting to pick up traps at the store. The kids began to also see mice. “I saw a shadow run across my floor,” they would say. The oldest decided she couldn’t sleep in her room because she had seen them in there. I thought this was ironic, because if it had been in a cage she would have thought it was adorable.
After many shadow sightings, and much effort to work together to remember traps, I finally got round one of traps. I guess there is still some PETA left in me from high school. The first traps I bought were mouse friendly. I bought one that was like a box that the mouse would get trapped in and then you could set it free. The others were snapping kinds. Because of the young kids and our dog, I didn’t want to get anything that might hurt them. Unfortunately, they were a little to mouse friendly. The mice could eat the peanut butter without setting the traps off. The mouse box one was also a flop too. The mouse figured out how to climb out. He did climb in, but he didn’t stay in.
So it was mice score 1 and the family 0.
Round two, in hopes to not harm the kids and pet, I decided to try glue traps. They were suppose to be self baiting with scent. I thought they smelt a little like popcorn. After a couple of days we finally caught one in the boy’s room. It was a small house mouse. The kids thought it was a baby, but it was just small in size. The mouse wasn’t very far on the trap. I didn’t want it to squirm its way off, but I didn’t want to kill it. I told the kids to take it outside until Alan got home. They said it worked its way off, but I think they helped it off the glue. Either way, it was freed and they put it in an old cage to show me. The oldest thought it was cute. (Like I said earlier.) After admiring the mouse, they set it free out in the field. Such humanitarians! I reset the trap, and for the week after the only other things we caught were two beetles, a cricket, a small spider and the Baby. (She and Sweet T. were playing with them.)
We still had mice.
It was time to bring out the big guns. I sent Alan out to the store and he came back with many gadgets. He bought a package of old-fashioned snap traps. (The kind made of wood with the fake cheese on it.) He bought some scary Jaws looking, easy to set traps, and also mouse poison. As soon as he opened the package of poison, Daphne ran to him for a nibble. This made us very nervous. It made the Boy even more nervous. He almost couldn’t sleep because he was worried that Daphne would get into the poison. We hid the poison in places she could never get to (one under each couch, one behind the washer, and one in the Oldest’s room.) We baited the death traps with peanut butter. That night we killed three. The next morning there was another. The next morning another. And then one more.
After four days we looked under one sofa to see how much poison was left. They ate the whole block. Under this particular sofa we had seen the mice run into the couch to hide, like they were nesting. My fear is that they would die inside. The other blocks of poison had been chewed, but not completely devoured. We threw them away.
So this morning, while I was getting my shoes I noticed a foul smell. By this afternoon it was overwhelming. Alan cleared the closet, and sure enough there was a dead mouse on the shelf. I forgot to mention that at least six of those mice we caught were in our bedroom. Hopefully this means that there are no mice in the sofa. If so I know that my sofa shall stinketh too.