I should have known that while I was trying to keep things cleaner in the house and fixing the holes that animals could exploit in my sandy foundation pad the past few days, I would find myself confronting an old creepy menace: mice.
As usual, it started with wings flapping and my birds freaking out early in the morning. And then when it was still dim seeing a dark streak out of the corner of my eye. But this one had gotten lazy and was trying to burrow under some bags I had in the corner waiting to go to recycling (yeah, they’re gonna go sooner rather than later now) and then scurrying by the washing machine.
I can’t sleep if I know there’s a live mouse running around, so I set out the traps and blocked the exit from the laundry room with some stuff I had and the sticky traps that they’d have to run over to get around the obstacles. Was probably midnight (seems to be the peak time) when I heard the telltale freaked-out squeak. Of course, when the lights were coming on, it tried to stay quiet, but REALLY freaked when it saw me. I’m sure my rapidly graying, short, awful hair didn’t help.
So, I covered it up, killed it, put the gloves on, and threw it out with the garbage.
I’m so glad I got a garbage can with a lid. Dad always hated the things, but I prefer it to keep smells minimal. Especially in moments like this… makes it harder for any mice to get in there and gorge.
I set more traps out (including the classic peanut butter snap traps) where the dogs couldn’t accidentally get to them and went to bed. This morning I checked where the sticky traps were left and saw one was missing. I carefully made my way around, flipping the lights on and moving the door-blocking obstacles out of the way so I could find it. I figured one got stuck to it (or it got kicked under something else when the mouse fled–happened once).
But I was VERY surprised to open the metal access door around the corner to find the sticky pad just inside, and TWO mice on it. One was frantically trying to jump off still and the other was either dead or so stuck it couldn’t try. I had to nudge the tray out with a broom handle so I could get to it, covered it with an old cloth, killed ’em, and got my gloves to handle it out to the big bin.
Dammit, I almost forgot about the jumping. (shudder)
So, I ran some errands this morning, went to Walmart to get plenty more of those sticky traps (in this part of town, that’s usually the only place I can find them, otherwise I avoid Wally World like the plague), and came home. I had put the sticky traps aside because I didn’t want the dogs to step on them and I’d planned to use my laundry room for actual laundry (and organize the storage hutch). Well, I noticed the storage hutch was slightly open (cheap plastic thing) and I saw some bird seed on the floor in front of it.
I figured they’d found a floor opening to get through and that’s why I was catching them all in the laundry room. My plan today was to go in and put some foam and such around every possible opening, but that will have to wait. All of it will, because I learned something pretty lousy.
I threw open the hutch door and noticed some spray millet I’d bought kind of scattered around, like a bag had burst. I was glad I still had the broom, because I pulled the bag toward me and it was easily half full or less, with a huge pile of seed and millet upset by it’s movement.
I wanted to scream. I didn’t like the hutch where it was because it was hard to organize and I was actually going to buy some replacement shelves to put in that spot. I like open shelves because it’s easier to clean around them and I can put things like bird seed in totes to seal them up.
The bottom area had toys in a small basket for the bird cage (I keep buying more when they’re on sale, and these birds sure love ’em). And the last thing I wanted to do was reach in that densely packed (and dark) shelf with my hand. I got the handle again through a carry hole in the side and yanked the basket out, figuring if anything was hiding in it they’d leave quick.
And I saw two brown-gray (at least) little things left behind in the dark, seed-filled shelf, scurrying away from the light. It’s close enough to the floor that unless I’ve got a flashlight on me, there’s no way I’m gonna see all the way in the back. So, I retreated with as much dignity and calm as I could manage…
Those little bastards were eating like fucking kings!
I’m just hoping they didn’t get to the shelf above to rip into big 3-5 pound bags of bird seed that I was going to relocate. That would be a helluva mess to clean up, and a lot more money down the drain.
I’m frustrated because that’s a clearly hazardous mess that I can’t clean it right now. because those little freaks with their beady, greedy little eyes are faster than a bowel movement after three days of Taco Bell.
I set sticky traps randomly on the floor, hoping they freak and just run right into them, and back to their old places where they were getting nicely caught last night and this morning. But I can’t go in there right now… at least not without my heavy boots on just in case. I want to go in there and stomp them out, but then I’d risk them finding another hole. Better have ’em there in that laundry room for now. I love being able to walk around my house barefoot, but I’ve at least got my hard sole fleecy slippers on right now because no way I’m gonna accidentally step on one of those suckers (or worse, have one run over my foot–gives me the creeps just thinking about it).
Yeah, thanks for that, Jerry. I can definitely see that now…
Who knows how long those little fuckers were eating that food? Hope it slows them down and they run right into my traps, the little bastards.
So, yeah, not gonna get all that much accomplished in general, except for maybe the rest of the house. I just can’t believe how quiet they were and how I didn’t notice sooner. I thought something smelled funny, but it was always gone so quickly I figured it was from outside for a moment. But I’m guessing I was smelling them and just didn’t know it.
Well, now I’m learning that I’d better not mistrust that feeling. The new shelves are coming in the mail and that plastic hutch is going to go outside to store my plant food and pesticides for the garden. It’s the best use I can think of for it right now because I have one of those “deck boxes” for storage, but though it has a bunch of room, it sucks for keeping things organized. I’m all for using that for heavy tools, buckets, and planters, really.
I’m just so mad that my plans for the day are scrapped. I can’t stop thinking about all the food on the bottom shelf that was torn into, and I’m slowly getting some totes I can seal nicely for the bird food and toys. I think those mice were playing with the damned toys, too! I just hope I can get them all tonight so I can really clean tomorrow. Glad I had the foresight to buy several sizes of totes a couple of weeks ago for better storage… just didn’t anticipate using some for this yet.
Well, live and learn… but now I’m gonna be having coffee late, knowing there are at least two little fuckers running around my laundry room, eating my parakeet food.
Hope they choke on it. This is war.
Yeah, yeah. March the hell out of my house, would ya? Be a tasty snack for a hawk or snake elsewhere.