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Of Mice and Men

Friday, May 6th, 2005 · 2 Comments

There’s a small square vent on the east side of the house facing the back yard. If you’re a human, you have to remove four screws before you can go into the crawl space under the kitchen. But if you’re small enough, you don’t need to remove the screws. Just slip through the cracks. Travel the length of the kitchen west where the crawl space meets the wall dividing the kitchen and the office. This is the point where the crawl space ends and the original, full basement begins. If you’re small enough, take a turn to go straight up and you’ll soon find some pipes. Follow those pipes back to the east and you’ll see a bunch of cleaning supplies. Until yesterday there even used to be a nice, comfy bed of sponges and cleaning rags where you could relax. Then, when the lights go off and it’s quiet enough, you can find the opening next to the dishwasher that leads into the kitchen and a world of goodies. Travel a few feet to the stove, back behind it, and you can even find a way onto the counter where the people keep all the crumbs.


It wasn’t long after setting the first mouse trap under the sink last night — before we had discovered the route the mice had been taking and plugged it up with steel wool (first step before we can patch the big opening leading from crawl space into under-sink area) — before we caught the first one. Apparently it’s called a mouse trap for a reason. It doesn’t actually kill the mouse right away. We ran from the living room to investigate and found a mouse, back snapped and trapped, trying to crawl away — inside the trap. “Is this normal?!” we wondered. It looked a bit like this. We weren’t sure what to do, so we got all Mafia style and headed to the garage where we keep the shovels.

At first, we wanted to see if the mouse could survive, so I released it from the trap. Pathetically, it tried to crawl away using only its front legs.

Then, with two swift blows from the shovel, I put the mouse out of its misery. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but our choices were limited.

There’s got to be a more effective mouse trap out there that’s more swift with the kill. We hear there’s one with eight entrances that’s effective at immediately snapping the mouse’s neck on entrance. That’s next on the list.

The problem with the catch-and-release kind of trap is that the mice will just find their way back into the house eventually. Like Joe said, we’ve got to “Go nuclear NOW.”

I enjoy logging into Gmail each morning to discover new features being rolled out. Today it’s one of the suggestions I remember making a long time ago: Always display images from <sender>.

Tags: anecdotes

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonty // May 6, 2005 at 10:08 am

    **Wierd post disclaimer**

    First, I want to say that I don’t have any moral issue with killing animals for:

    1) Food
    2) Defense
    3) Nuissance reasons

    If you disagree, please don’t bother emailing me. You won’t change my mind.

    But I digress…..

    I almost always use the human (catch and free) traps. Mostly because I don’t want to kill an animal if I don’t *HAVE* to, minorly because when the mouse is caught at the neck, there is, um… shall we say, “splatter”, to clean up.

    Gabe, if you use a humane trap, you can rest assured that the animal won’t find its way back so long as you:

    1) Plug up the exterior holes
    2) Carry the mouse FAR away (e.g. at least one block or so.)

    But if you plug up the holes, even if the mouse comes back, it’ll be a moot point.

    Actually, I’d suggest letting the mouse go not so far away, b/c it’s a nice little test to see whether you’ve successfully blocked up all the holes. Otherwise, you’re just killing mice with no end in sight.


  • 2 Phil // May 6, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    We tried the sticky trap once (10 years ago as grad students in a rental unit, not our current home). OMG, that was most horrible. We ended up with sticky fir from a huge rat. The simple neck-snapper had always worked for us though. Your little mouse was too clever or cautious for his own good. Sigh.

    Usually the neighborhood cat or raccoon does the trick for us. See link below.