Friday, October 8, 2010

The $20 Mouse Trap

Don't let this 82 degree and sunny October weather fool you.  It is still very much mouse in the house season.  I don't care if you live in the city, the country, or the suburbs, mice coming inside seems to be a problem anywhere.   Growing up in my house in the suburbs, we had mice.  In our family cabin in the middle of nowhere in northern Minnesota, we had mice. And I even remember seeing a mouse run across the floor in my favorite neighborhood restaurant in New York when I lived there.

So it should be nothing new that our old 1950s farmhouse have mice every year too.  Just because I am "used" to dealing with mice, does not mean that I've grown any sort of affinity towards them over the years. I still find them dirty, disgusting little rodents and I want them dead. 

This is the first place I have lived where I have been aware of mice living outdoors on our property.  Prior to living here, the only time I saw a mouse was where they are NOT supposed to be...inside.  But when the snow melted this past spring and the dogs were out hunting, I was aware of these little creatures scurrying around, trying to get away and hide from our 100 lb mutts.  I try not to watch when I know the dogs are out hunting for rodents.  I think that is just as disgusting, but I figure any mouse they catch outside, is one less mouse capable of coming into our home. 

As long as they are outside, I am fine.  But the first year we lived here and I actually spotted a mouse inside (and the only time I have actually seen one alive in the house), I freaked out.  I screamed bloody murder and I woke up in a cold sweat that night after having a nightmare that a mouse was crawling into bed with me. 

I put Aaron on mouse duty.  "I want them dead!"  I told him.

So he came home the next day with, and I'm not kidding you, a $20 mouse trap.  I bet you were expecting me to say he built his own mouse contraption, weren't you?  But no, he decided to splurge on this fancy electronic mouse trap that required batteries and was "guaranteed" to ensure his wife and our home were safe from these devilish creatures. 

It was basically a black plastic box with a cover on top of it and a little entrance on the end of it for a mouse to get inside.  Inside was a maze and at the end of it you were supposed to put a little peanut butter.  And that's where the electrical charge was set and where the little suckers would get zapped right when they found their way to the peanut butter.  On the cover of the box, there was a light, and if the light was flashing green, that was meant to alert you that there was an electrocuted mouse in the box.  That way you wouldn't have to actually deal with getting its mangled head out of any trap.  You could just open the top of the box and dump the mouse out. 

Sounds pretty nifty, huh?

We set this trap up right away and when I got up for work the next morning, I was delighted to see the green light flashing on the black box.  I was like a kid on Christmas morning!  I ran back into the bedroom.

"Aaron, Aaron!" I said shaking him out of his slumber.  "The green light is flashing!  C'mon...get up! We got 'em! We got 'em!"

So Aaron rolled out of bed and in his boxers, went to check out the $20 mouse trap.  I followed behind him, wincing as I watched him slowly open the top of the box.  I didn't want to actually see the dead mouse, but I did. A part of me took pleasure in seeing evidence that he was dead. 

We both peeked inside the box.  No mouse.  Nothing!  Even the glob of peanut butter was completely gone.  It was as if the mouse broke into a restaurant, feasted on peanut butter and licked his plate clean and managed to waddle his way out without any consequences.  He just got a free lunch.

I was livid.

The $20 mouse trap was crap. That was the last time we ever used it. That afternoon, Aaron came home with the good old 50 cent mousetraps and that is what we have been using ever since. 

And just in case a mouse decides to move in on the off-season, we have a permanent peanut butter filled mouse trap set in our house in what we have found to be the "sweet" spot.  As it turns out, mice do not discriminate between fresh peanut butter and moldy peanut butter, which only further qualifies my point about them being dirty and disgusting creatures. 

Aaron doesn't have a whole lot of indoor household chores,  but I assure you that disposing of dead mice is one of them.  Even when he was gone for a night and we caught a mouse in the trap, I waited until he got home the next day to get rid of it.

Who's on mouse duty at your house?  What do you use as bait?  Cheese? Peanut butter?  Moldy peanut butter?  Have you caught any mice this year?