Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Build a Better Mousetrap

One of the things about myself that I am the least proud of is that I am very skilled at killing mice. It's not that I am not of proud of the skill itself; in fact, it's kind of fun to kill the little buggers. It's that I am a little sad that I have had to use that skill so often over the past few years. Yes, for some reason, soon after moving into whatever house, apartment, condo, or large box that I have lived in recently, the mice move in with me. I have had to hunt down way more than I my fair share of mice, and, frankly, I am getting pretty tired of it.
I don't care how much my kids love Mickey, I hate mice!

Our house that we just moved out of had been in foreclosure before we bought it, so it was sitting empty for at least a year or more. The basement was a disaster, so even after we moved in, we didn't spend much time down there except when we were working on fixing it up. It took us a couple of years, but we finally made it hospitable, and soon had a cozy family room down there, along with a bedroom, bathroom, and other facilities. We started spending quite a bit of time down there, which is probably why that's when we also started seeing "evidence" of mice. I caught a couple of them, and the mouse invasion seemed to be over.

Until the next fall, that is. For some reason, word got out amongst our neighborhood rodents that our house was a perfect place to spend the winter. Within a month or so that fall, I caught 10 mice and a mole in our basement. It was the worst! Things settled down after that, and only occasional, random mice would try to set up shop in the house. As far as I know, I was able to murderize 100% of them.

Now we have moved into our new house, which formerly was the Wife's parents' house. They had the occasional mouse problem, as well, but we all thought that the mice were gone when we moved in. Now we know that that was the most wishful of wishful thinking. While we were taking down the ceiling tiles in the basement, we found 4 tiny corpses, and this past weekend we found another 3 tiny corpses in the outside storage area. The Wife also has come upon some pretty fresh "evidence" in the pantry as well.

This all means that I need to buy some more mouse traps. If you look down the mouse trap aisle at your local mouse trap store, you will see that there are tons of different options for trying to kill mice. Poison works well, but shouldn't be used if you have pets that you love (I'm still trying to decide on that one...). The old fashioned spring-loaded mouse traps work pretty well, and are cheap, so I don't feel bad throwing them away if the mouse corpse they contain is particularly smushed and gory. But, then I have to go buy more... I started using sticky traps for a while, which, seem pretty cool, theoretically, but I found it to be a little too creepy when the traps mysteriously disappeared because a mouse that was stuck to it was still able to walk off. Finding sticky traps in other rooms with a mouse leg still attached is a little too unnerving for me.

I have settled on the Tomcat brand reusable plastic mouse traps. They'll smush a mouse real good, but then all it takes is a simple squeeze to drop the corpse in the trash, and you can re-set it to catch another. As long as you don't step on them and break them, or pack them away in some random box that is somewhere in the bowels of your house but you can't remember where, you should be able to use them to catch mice for the rest of your life. What a depressing thought!


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