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My personal bodycount: 3


My mother told me before she died that she was going to come back and haunt me, but she was going to come back as a scrabbling noise in the closet, so I’d never really know if it was her or mice. And, whaddya know, I have a scrabbling noise in the closet.

Well, I’ve finally worked it out: it’s mice. I’ve been bailing them out of the mousetrap as soon as I can set it. The horrible thing is, I haven’t even had to re-bait the trap. Apparently, the smell of Bob’s final agony is not enough to overcome the smell of sweet, sweet peanut butter.

My little studio upstairs is the warmest room in the house, at least when the water heater or central heat is going. That’s because all the water pipes run along the outside of the walls. This attracts all sorts of vermin, not just me.

I hate doing this. There’s the horribleness of emptying the trap (all clean kills so far, at least). But also, I rather like mice. I used to keep them as pets.

Oh, well. At least it’s not my spectral mother!


Comment from Niña
Time: November 21, 2017, 7:10 pm

Mice are cute, but not in my walls. Or in my garage, scavenging through my outside pharmacy. And they stink regardless!

Comment from gromulin
Time: November 21, 2017, 7:16 pm

The local vermin found the dog food in the garage so I got one of these:


Works great! Got 5 of the rat-bastids already. Clean, quick and no mess. But, I did learn that they will crawl right over their kins recently expired body to get to the peanut butter. They could care less. Once it discharges, it has to be reset for the next guest. Once there was bait left I after a zappin’ I knew I got the last one.

Every time I’d find one expired in there, the “printer scene” from Office Space, along with the music, would come to mind.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 21, 2017, 7:49 pm

“the horribleness of emptying the trap”

That’s a husband’s job. Why else, get married? Sorry, Uncle B!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 21, 2017, 9:56 pm


Ordinarily, I would stick Uncle B with trap emptying. In this case, though, he can’t get into the Little Weasel’s Room. That’s the room where the doorway is so low, you have to bend double to go in. He smacks his head every single time.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 21, 2017, 9:58 pm

…and it didn’t seem right to carry the laden trap out of the room and THEN make him empty it.

As you may be able to tell, I have the trap in a little cardboard box. I can usually take it out and empty it without seeing too much.

These are very good traps, by the way. Quick, clean…they hit fairly far behind the head and (I guess) snap the spine. No blood, no mess, no…decapitation issues.

Comment from gromulin
Time: November 21, 2017, 10:39 pm


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: November 21, 2017, 10:46 pm

We have a humane trap in the garage, they check in but they can’t check out until they get released at the far back of the yard…works really well.

Comment from dissent555
Time: November 21, 2017, 11:23 pm

Hah. Had one crawling along the back rim of my desk at work – in the middle of the day. Caught a flash of gray out of the corner of my eye, then a few minutes later, them beady eyes. The little bugger managed to escape. They set traps, but no sign since then. No poop. No corpses.

We throw a Bounce sheet or two into desk drawers and cabinets to keep them out of there.

Comment from AliceH
Time: November 22, 2017, 12:19 am

I can see letting Uncle B off the hook, but what’s Jack’s excuse? I’d have thought he’d be a natural and enthusiastic mouser.

Also, I’ve found using the cheapest effective trap works better for me. Anytime one traps/kills a mouse, I’ve rationalized tossing out the whole thing – mouse plus trap together – and just set out a brand new one.

And last (this is a fascinating subject for me, apparently) – I understand mice hate peppermint. Try putting a few drops of peppermint extract on some cotton balls and tuck them around where you think they are getting in, assuming you can narrow that down..

Comment from Pupster
Time: November 22, 2017, 12:46 am

My mother told me before she died that she was going to come back and haunt me

Uhm…yeah, that’s kind of messed up.

When I moved to MInnesota, I noticed steel wool had been stuffed around the pipes and into the cracks of an old building. I was informed by a local that it hurts the meeses little noses, so they stay out.

Comment from xul’s fedora
Time: November 22, 2017, 1:00 am

The local rat population has discovered my papaya tree since all the other fruit in the neighborhood (avocados and mangoes) got knocked down in the hurricane. Somehow my papayas came through it unscathed unlike others in the neighborhood. I discovered the telltale sign in one of the papayas about a week ago and started putting a couple traps at the base of the tree. So far I got four of the bastards. Still more to go as a second papaya was completely devoured. 🙁

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:18 am

Had one crawl across the bill of my forage cap one night while camping (un)civil war style after using hay from a round bale for bedding.

The mouse got the tent for the night.

I’ve recently discovered gutters let them climb all around the roof areas of the house.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:23 am

I like to slide the mouse trap inside one of those long skinny paper bags used for a bottle of wine. It contains any mouse fluids, and keeps the murder scene tidy.

Comment from dissent
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:29 am

RIP Della Reese I hear

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:42 am

When I had a mouse infestation from outside and under the house, I would use those sticky traps to trap them in their transit paths. I found two of them stuck to the trap at one time and gave each a moderate tap with an unused grilling fork: dispatched quickly and with no mess or suffering on their part. After I found the traversal paths, it was back to the spring traps; bodies into the trash and onto the back porch.

Comment from dissent
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:43 am

RIP David Cassidy too

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:44 am

Della Reese (born Delloreese Patricia Early; July 6, 1931 – November 20, 2017) was an American jazz and gospel singer, actress, and ordained minister.

Comment from p2
Time: November 22, 2017, 8:10 am

kept a scoreboard in the kitchen in my flat in orford…. if i remember right, i was running about a 6 to 1 hit/miss ratio…. the score actually became a weekly staff meeting topic at the squadron. im really sure how that happened, but i remember making a slide for it……

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 22, 2017, 9:15 am


The Council Rat Man (yes, it’s a job) told me that scrunched up chicken wire in the openings will stop rodents. They don’t like chewing it.

Yesssss…this house is 400+ years old. Our meece openings are that large.

Comment from catnip
Time: November 22, 2017, 9:39 am

I worked for seven years as an office coordinator with the state police. One cold, snowy afternoon, immediately after my all-time best boss returned from his lunch break, he buzzed my phone and asked me to come to his office. We used what was then a state-of-the-art phone system, handsets studded with rows of buttons to connect us or outside callers to personnel in other internal or district offices. They required connection to an electrical outlet to operate, and always felt slightly warm to the touch. When I walked into his office, my boss was sitting at his desk with a smile on his face and pointing at his phone set. There, In the middle of all the buttons lay a tiny baby field mouse, curled up and sound asleep. Cutest Thing Ever. My boss whispered that we’d have to catch it, but he didn’t want to disturb it until he’d snapped a photo of it. I brought him a camera, he took a photo, and we brainstormed for a few minutes, deciding that a large manila mailing envelope might do the trick as a capture device. He held the envelope open, flap-first, right in front of the mouse’s nose while I gave the phone a sharp rap with a letter-opener. The little mouse’s eyelids flew up, his brain registered the gaping envelope and he dived right in. My boss released him in an outdoor planter. An enlargement of the mouse photo hung in his office until he received a promotion to become state superintendent of the whole shebang. A perfect jerk took his place, and I began the process of transferring to a different state agency. I saw the photo again several times when I visited my former boss at his office in the state capitol. I wish I’d asked for a copy.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:35 pm

What a sweet story, Catnip. Have you looked for the photo on the Internet? It could be out there.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: November 22, 2017, 2:43 pm

“Meeska, moose-ka, Mouseketeer,
Mouse Cartoon Time now is here!”

Funny the stuff that sticks in your brain. Like the fact that David Cassidy’s father Jack Cassidy once played the Alan Arkin villain role, Harry Roat Jr., in the road-company production of Wait Until Dark — replacing the creator of the role, Robert Duvall.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: November 22, 2017, 3:37 pm

What’s Jack’s excuse for not being on mouse patrol?

Rumor has it that he was a bit busy elsewhere …


(SFW too!)

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 22, 2017, 4:35 pm

Sorry, I meant drain pipes, they treat it like hamster habitat tubes.

I admit they’re going to have to piss me off more before I get up the intestinal fortitude to annihilate them.

Re Chicken Wire – I’d also heard that steel wool works to block holes and that they don’t like gnawing that either.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 22, 2017, 5:09 pm


Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: November 22, 2017, 6:01 pm

A friend had a mouse problem, but was too kind hearted to use lethal traps. So he got one of those humane ones, and would go outside and release them.

I told him the mouse was probably back inside his house before he was, but he shrugged and said he thought it was working. But the infestation gave no sign of lessening. To help him out I crawled beneath his house shoving steel wool around pipes and conduits, but the meeses still were having all nighters and pooping wherever they wanted.

Finally he got fed up enough that he couldn’t set his alarm system because the little bastards kept setting off the motion sensors. So he put D-Con in the known hideouts and after a couple weeks, no more mice. Except for the periodic dessicated corpses he scooped up and threw out.

Rodents are persistent. At times it may seem they’re smarter than you.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: November 22, 2017, 6:04 pm


It’s going to be a Thanksgiving Week Massacre!

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: November 22, 2017, 6:43 pm

If you’re going to catch and release – be prepared to take them on a journey to a place where they can become someone else’s problem, letting them loose in the field out back ain’t going to cut it.

I recommend deportation to the country we all know they came from even if no one wants to say it.

That’s right, Russia.

Speaking of Mass-a-crees. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the founding of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant anti-massacree movement”.

I wonder if you can get mouse traps at Alice’s Restaurant.

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: November 22, 2017, 8:01 pm

As enny fule noe…You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant (except for Alice, a-course – a-course…)…

There – I said it, an’ glad I am that I did – >8-D)

Comment from Armybrat
Time: November 22, 2017, 8:05 pm

When I lived in rural KS, I would get an infestation with the first cold snap. Would bag 2-3 a night for about a month. Then one winter, nothing. No mice. I thought I had finally found and plugged all their entry points with steel wool. The next spring I tore open a couple of walls for a remodeling project and came across 4 of the biggest, fattest king snakes, each over 6’ long. Seems the snakes followed the mice in and spent the winter snacking away. I was tempted to leave the snakes in place but finally decided I liked the idea of snakes in my house less than I liked the idea of mice in my house.

Comment from catnip
Time: November 23, 2017, 8:19 am

Thanks, Deborah HH, but I rather doubt it. I’d be surprised if the photo went home with him after he retired. When his wife would stop by the office, she’d sometimes threaten to throw the photo in the dumpster, saying the sight of that mouse made her skin crawl. She was a great gal and I could sympathize, since I feel the same way about all but one species of spider. They always kept horses, but I’d bet that little mousie never found a home on a wall in their barn, either.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: November 24, 2017, 4:35 am

Mice and rats leave a trail of urine wherever they go. Leptospirosis is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Anywhere I’ve lived it’s a case of thou shalt not suffer a mouse to live. I’ve spattered one with a well-timed smack from the heel of a brogue, drowned several in a bucket and, on one memorable occasion, neatly bisected one with a 10″ chef’s knife as the cheeky little bastard ran along a work surface while I was preparing dinner. Muribus delendi sunt.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: November 24, 2017, 12:05 pm

My factory building in Cavite has rats. BIG suckers, too. I use ‘humane’ traps (capture them alive) but then take them out to a large water tank and drown them. I don’t want a poisoned (or mortally wounded) ratas to crawl into a dark corner to die and stink up the joint. Catch ’em live, make sure they are dead, and throw the bodies far from the building. The local feral cats usually perform cleanup.

The flat on the 4th floor (where I stay when in Cavite) has a false ceiling and when the building is infested it’s like a roller derby above my head while trying to sleep. The last string was 4 ratas over two weeks, and now it’s really quiet. But, I’m in Taguig for Thanksgiving, so it will probably be infested again when I get back.

Then again – maybe not. They are waterproofing the building while I am gone and cutting back all of the vegetation along the sides of the building. Without banana, mango, or jackfruit trees to climb, they may not be able to get to the 4th floor anymore.

And peanut butter is the bait of choice. A large dollop smeared on a cracker and hooked on to the trap lever.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: November 24, 2017, 12:06 pm

Oh, and my personal bodycount since I first began trapping ratas in this building – 30+. I stopped counting after 20.

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