I Hate Meeses To Pieces!

by Jayne A. Hitchcock


When we first moved into this house, we had mice. But our two dogs, Bandit and Guin quickly took care of them (they were originally bred to hunt small game and don't eat them, just "slime" them to death and patiently wait for a snack from me afterwards).

For two years, it's been a nice, quiet house.

Then in March, the scrabbling began. In the walls, in the attic, and then a very large-sounding mouse (more likely a squirrel from the sound of it) sliding down the heating pipe from the outside and making a little "oomph" sound as it landed in the house. Cute the first time. I actually giggled.

But when this happened EVERY night it became a bit tiresome. The mouse seemed to know just where our bedroom was and would be under the bathtub in the bathroom, right next to the bedroom, scrabbling away at two and three in the morning.

The last straw came on the day Bandit patiently sat on the bed and stared at a small shelf sitting on top of our dresser. The shelf holds a bunch of stuffed animals my hubby has given me over the years. Bandit was extremely intent on the animals and at first I thought he wanted to play with them. But he was looking at the shelf itself, so I began to remove each stuffed animal and told Bandit there was no mouse there.

Then I saw the tail. Then a little grey body scurry behind the stuffed animals. Like an idiot, I shrieked. Bandit jumped on top of the dresser and stuffed animals began to fly through the air. Now I was standing on the bed, watching Bandit in amazement as he scrabbled behind the shelf, then stopped and looked at me for help.

I gingerly got down off the bed and tipped the dresser up. Bandit scrabbled behind it, underneath it, but no mouse. He came back out. Suddenly I shrieked again and pointed. Bandit (he's really smart and I am NOT making this up) followed my finger. There was the mouse running under the bed towards the closet. Bandit whipped around the bed and came thisclose to getting that mouse.

That did it. I knew I had to get rid of the mouse somehow (notice how I keep using singular? We really thought it was just one mouse). We didn't want to use glue or regular mousetraps. We couldn't use poison because of the dogs. So I called our rental agent. He suggested ammonia. This was a new one on me. He told me to put ammonia in small dixie-like cups in the areas I could reach where the little rascal was running around.

So I did. And it actually worked.

For two nights.

The scrabbling began again. In our bedroom wall. It was a very pissed-off mouse. I could picture this mouse with a gas mask thumbing his paw at us. I tiredly got up, grabbed a flashlight, made Bandit get up, and checked the places where I'd put the ammonia. All of the cups had either been knocked over and gnawed on, or a little hole had been made in the bottom and the ammonia had drained out.

Now it was war.

I placed new ammonia in plastic and glass dishes in the same places. Take that, you meeses!

Again, it seemed to work. Then the scrabbling began again. I was tired and beginning to think that a mouse shish kebob sounded good about then. Someone else suggested mothballs.

So I spread the mothballs where the dogs couldn't get at them. They worked for a few blissful quiet days. Then the scrabbling began again.

I gave in and went to K Mart to their "rodent/pest" department. I cringed at the usual mousetraps, then saw a different kind that caught my eye. I hated the idea of killing the little critter, but frankly, I was at a loss as to what to do. A friend suggested one of those traps to release the mouse somewhere else, but someone else told me mice are known to "home" and would return. I had no alternative.

So I look at this new mousetrap. It was a clamp-like device. You squeeze it open, put peanut butter (their recommendation) on the little springy thing and set the trap where the mice are heard. So I bought two of these traps. When I got home, I put a dollop of peanut butter on each spring and set the traps in front of the washer in a closet off the kitchen. Within minutes there was a SNAP. I cringed. I was not looking forward to this. Although Bandit was. He was sitting very still in front of the closet door, waiting for me to open it. I had to put him outside first.

I opened the closet door and there was not one mouse, but TWO caught in ONE trap. Both were dead. When the spring is sprung, the clamp snaps their little necks and they die instantly. I was a little relieved they were dead. No blood, no mess. I got a plastic bag, unclamped the trap and tossed the bag in the garbage outside. I figured that was the end of that.

But no, the traps went off again. And again. And again. And again.

By the end of that night, over a dozen mice had been caught. Seriously. We were talking mouse infestation. I was not pleased, nor was my hubby. But Bandit and Guin were having a field day watching us catch these mice. They got so into it they actually caught a few themselves.

My hubby wanted to cheer me up (I really didn't like killing these mice, but I was worried about the diseases they carry) and drew a little something on a wipe-off board we have on the fridge door.

It was a cartoon of a WWII-era fighter plane with me in the cockpit with a "thumbs-up" and a little mouse head with ears for each one killed. I had to burst out laughing.

By the time the traps stopped going off, we caught 30 mice. Yes, 30. Things have been quiet for over a month now.

Then we heard a large animal on the roof. The dogs heard. My hubby heard it. I heard it. It scrabbled across the roof, down the heating pipe and into the attic or wherever it goes. It's been driving the dogs crazy all morning. We're moving in July, so I'm going to leave Mr. Large Mouse or Mr. Squirrel alone.

I'll let the rental agent do battle with it. . .or them. . .after we leave.

I just want some peace and quiet.


I hate meeses to pieces.

The author is happy to report that they moved out of that house in July of 1998 and now live in a mouse-free house (so far) in New England

J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at jahitchcock.com.

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