Of Mice and Young Men

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Want something done? Put your tech sons on it. It turns out my guys can do way more than set up Chromecast and Netflix. They can solve a mouse problem. Like, for real.

Amazon Prime to the rescue! Before I could get to the store or even ponder available options, Nathan had already been on-line. “I’ve ordered a trap,” he announced Friday. “It’ll be here in two days.” Sure enough, when we got home from church this afternoon, a package was on the front mat.

Tell you what, young men don’t mess around. Nathan read reviews and chose a trap that works by electrocution. You know, like an electric chair or something.  (“Mom, I don’t want to torture them.”) Plus, one trap can be used, like, 100+ times. Mice, like rabbits, are not solo for long, not when food is involved.

A critical caveat: Do NOT delegate rodent removal to high schoolers. That is, unless you are prepared for outrageous male ‘seek-and-destroy’ antics. To illustrate: Nathan’s friend Tyler had a sleepover with all the high school pals. Video games! Awesome snacks! No sleep! During the middle of the night, a rodent showed up.

Zap! One and done.

Zap! “Never touch a dead mouse again.”

That’s right, an opossum came slinking in through the cat door. In the kitchen he was, crunching dry cat food. Nathan said he couldn’t believe his eyes. Did he keep this news to himself?  Not on your life. Can you imagine the bedlam? The broom was involved, and manly yelling, and laughing, and chasing. Nathan’s friend ran to his closet to get his souvenir katana (Japanese samurai sword). Seriously. When I heard about this, I almost felt sorry for the opossum. (Almost. I hate-hate-hate opossums.)

Tonight Michael and Nathan will arm the trap. Peanut butter and four AA batteries should do the trick. A little green light will flash, indicating a kill. (I know, ew.)

My solution for our mouse problem would be more prosaic and less humane: I’d borrow Ben and Jessica’s Domino for a weekend, ha.

Domino (Photo: Ben Lyons)

But does sweet Domino know how to hunt mice? Guess I’ll never find out.  (Photo: Ben Lyons)

Because there’s usually a solution involving a cat, right? Just saying.

Laura Hile (1)

 

Mouse graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.

20 thoughts on “Of Mice and Young Men

  1. Laura Hile

    So far, nothing, Dee. There’s supposed to be a little green light that flashes every seven seconds. However, it’s only 5:30 a.m., (no coffee yet), and I don’t feel like shaking the trap to see if there’s an occupant!😀 Stay tuned…

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  2. Crystal Thieringer

    Wait, doesn’t the little green light indicate the kill? Every seven seconds? There’s the ew! Your boys sound like so much fun. I hope their efforts were successful. In this case, you might be glad you didn’t bring the cat, though. Domino might decide to honour you and gift you with his efforts. My friend’s cat did that, and left the offering on the altar of the pillow.

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  3. Laura Hile

    The possum-in-the-kitchen story is one for the books. The terrified opossum, sliding around the kitchen while being chased by five shouting teen boys, one desperately hoping to use his katana.

    Apparently my Nathan was the voice of reason. “You can’t behead an opossum, dude. Blood would get everywhere.” Or something to that effect. I think Tyler is still disappointed.

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  4. C. Allyn Pierson

    This a frequent problem at our house- we live along a wooded ravine with acres of forest connecting it to the Des Moines river greenway, so Critters R Us. Mice are particularly a problem because as soon as it starts getting cold in the fall they want to cozy up in our garage for the winter. I use the standard mousetrap with peanut butter with a Froot Loop on top (if anybody was watching my purchases they would wonder why I buy the smallest available box of Froot Loops once a year…1 box is more than enough for an entire year!! This electric trap intrigues me…I will have to look for it! I won’t use sticky traps because I think they are cruel and I don’t want to live trap and release because does the world have a shortage of mice? I think not. The traps that are enclosed so you don’t have to get close to the mouse are OK, but it can be hard to tell when the trap is sprung if it’s in a dark corner of the garage. I don’t know how Domino is at mice catching, but we used to have a Yorkie that took his job as terrier seriously…the only problem was that if the rodent went under something to low to the ground he would race around it at high speed instead of using cat technique (lying silently to lull the mouse into thinking he’s gone). No mouse in their right mind would ever come out with a racing Yorkie running and leaping and barking out there. As far as opossums? I have declared them the ugliest animal on the planet…most ugly animals fall under the “so ugly it’s cute” category, but not opossums. They are even more ugly when they’re dead- every time I’ve seen opossum road kill they are lying there with their legs sticking up in the air, with a hideous, snarling grimace on their face. None of this “Oh, he just looks like he’s asleep” for opossums. ::shudders::

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    1. Laura Hile

      Opossum as the ugliest animal? Hear, hear! Those teeth, those eyes, that mouth, that tail…

      My teaching assistant swears by the electrocution-type traps, as mice often invade her garage.

      So far our trap has had no success. Then again, there is no evidence of the mouse friend visiting our cupboards or kitchen. Stay tuned…

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    2. Laura Hile

      Update: SUCCESS !!! Last night Nathan moved the trap to the cupboard where our visitor had last foraged. A key move, for the mouse was inside this morning.

      Here’s hoping he was a solo operator. On the other hand, it won’t hurt anything to leave it there…

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  5. Antonia Malvino

    To funny. I much enjoyed your writing and the pictures and always love your succinct layouts which cover much but and always have something humorous tucked in there somewhere. Love the image of the ‘possum and the cat food and can well recall night crises like this. I’d like to know how that mouse trap work out.

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    1. Laura Hile

      Night crises of this type and teen boys go together. I’d rather have them over together, five or six guys crammed in the bedroom together (along with junk TVs and game systems), hooting and hollering (and laughing and squealing). They made a mess and ate a lot, but who cares? I miss that now that they’re grown.

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    1. Laura Hile

      The poison traps aren’t much better. The mouse crawls somewhere to die (under the stove?). What a chore to find and remove the corpse! Thanks for stopping by, Christine.🙂

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  6. Linzé Brandon

    We have had the misfortune of finding a rat in our yard. But to the rescue our dogs came and killed it. LOL! At least they didn’t eat it, that would have grossed me out. Lovely story, Laura and laughing picturing those boys going after the íntruder🙂

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  7. Laura Hile

    A rat! Ooo, I hate rats, only slightly less than I hate opossums. It’s something to do with the tail. *shudder* And the fact that they’re invaders in my home. Outside it’s live and let live, but my kitchen becomes a battlefield.

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  8. Robin Helm

    Possums are garbage eaters. I know that some people eat them, but I never could. Larry’s dad tried to rescue a possum once. It bit him. Bye, bye, possum.

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  9. Carryl R

    Oh, this is rich, Laura! Having had my first encounter with a murine interloper a few years ago (Seriously? After they’ve completely developed the surrounding area? Never in the 20 years prior when there were still open fields about?) I can still remember standing in the “pest control” section trying to navigate the choices. Glue traps, snap traps, bait traps, von traps – what a bewildering number of options! And there was the vision of my mother chasing said interloper around with a broom – little snot was fast!

    Thank you so much for the giggles, and the shudders. Now, did Mum get rid of all the traps, I wonder?

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  10. childofaslan

    Aw. I love possums! They’re ugly, it’s true, but they’re kinda cute after a while. We had possums who would come in, during summers, through the doggie door (or through the doors we left open for ventilation and cooling) to eat–yes–cat food. We also discovered, after tracking the trail of leaves that kept showing up, a possum momma who had built her nest and had babies behind our washer. The cats didn’t bother her and she didn’t bother them, so it didn’t bother us. After a couple of weeks, she took her growing babies and headed out into the wild world of urban suburbia.

    I’m glad to know the electro traps are instant. The glue traps are vile and cruel. I tend to go with the kitty option myself, knowing, however, that humaneness is not part of the equation there, either…

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