I once saw a T-shirt in San Francisco with a big fat cat on it playing
the guitar. He was singing:



Kitty Sings The Blues

Loves to eat them mousies.

Mousies what I loves to eat.

Loves to bite they heads off.

Nibble on they tiny feets.

As unlikely as it sounds, I’ve had to deal with mousies lately.

To my knowledge, I have never actually seen a field mouse until
recently. For some reason, they seem to have decided upon my house as
a nice cozy nest to bed down in for the winter. I think it may have
something to do with a poor decision on my part to leave a box of
MilkBone dog biscuits open in the garage for a long period of
time. When Erin woke up one night to the sound of scratching in
the attic, I decided it was time to take action.

First, our dog did her part and nailed one of them. She played with it
much like a cat would but it didn’t survive the little game. Boy that
dog drools a lot!

Then Melissa bought some traps. I wanted to get the little box of
poison bait so I wouldn’t have to go check traps but Melissa wanted
some positive feedback as to their status in the form of little
carcases so I baited the traps. I put one in the garage along the wall
where Mel saw one, I put two more in the attic – one of them in
the incredibly inconvenient location just above Erin’s room.

The next morning: SNAP! Scratch one mouse. Actually, the trap did more
than scratch – it pinched the poor thing’s entire head off. Yuck. I
just threw the whole thing away: trap & mouse.

Another thing in my anti-mouse arsenal is the can of squirt-foam.
This is sold as “Great Stuff” at Home Depot and is a can that squirts
out a brown goo that quickly expands to several times its former
volume. It is used for filling cracks around window and door frames
during installation but is good for filling any sort of opening. I
had seen a mouse run across my patio and dive directly under the
bottom piece of siding on my house where I didn’t even know there was
a gap. So I followed him with a few squirts of squirt-foam and now
he’s either interred or has found another way.

Squirt-foam by the way, is one of many products that says “WARNING –
Contents are extremely flammable!” on the can. That always catches my
eye and I usually respond with:

“Oh Pish Posh! That’s what they always
say!”

but in this case I decided to test it.

After a single experiment I can attest to the fact that they really
mean it and I would caution everybody to heed the warning about not
smoking around that stuff. I squirted a bit out on a sheet of plastic
that I was throwing away and before the lighter even got withing eight
inches of the expanding blob, the vapor caught fire with a FOOMP! and
even caught the residual goo on the can on fire. Kinda scary.
Furthermore, it burns with a lot of soot. Actually it was pretty cool
except that I had to hurredly extinguish the can itself before it
exploded and raise the garage door to let the black smoke out. Kids –
don’t try this at home!

I’m pleased to report that within a matter of two days, I had trapped
three mice and got one more the following week. I haven’t gotten any
since then and so perhaps they are all gone. “Trapped” is a bit of a
misnomer here – the traps don’t so much trap as “snap the bugger’s
heads clean off” which is actually better except when it’s time to
empty the trap. In two cases, I just threw the entire thing away –
trap and mouse together since they seemed to have been sort of welded
together.

Even though the mice did no damage to the house apart from leaving
many droppings in the attic, they did result in my snagging my leather
coat on a nail when checking the traps and causing a huge rip in the
leather. I suppose that is indirectly their fault but it’s going to
cost me to replace it since the mice are both dead and
uninsured. So it goes.

The advantage of trapping is that you end up knowing exactly how high
the body count is and you get rid of the carcases. With poison, you
don’t have to actually do anything but it’s entirely possible that you
could discover little mummified mouse carcasses years later – probably
at a most inopportune time such as during a party. I think it’s
better to know for sure whether they are dead or not. You don’t know
if you’ve gotten them all but of course, you never know in any case.

So thanks for reading my little saga of mouse massacre. I hope your
appetite is still intact but hey, if it isn’t, just think of it as a
weight-loss enhancer! It sure worked for me!

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