5.27.2009

Mouse Wars: Revenge of the Humans

As I have mentioned before, we have mice.  Not the nice little pet kind or even the kind that you feed to other pets.  No, the wild invader unwelcome kind.  Oreo utterly failed at mouse deterrence.  The live trap apparently operated as an example of survival of the fittest and captured only the stupid ones.  The glue traps the exterminator gave us failed utterly.  Snap traps are useless.  So, we finally turned to poison.  
The type of poison we used is pellet form and is essentially an anticoagulant at a dosage massive for mice.  For a while, I was convinced that all the mice actually had high blood pressure or abnormal blood clots and that we were just helping them out, because they were still merrily piddling behind (and on) the lower shelf of my bookcase and behind the TV.  Or that, like some rats, they had become resistant
Eventually though, all but one has departed.  Whether this world altogether or merely our apartment, I don't really care.  
The apartment had started to smell like an enormous hamster cage. (And I have now ensured that we will never have visitors again...) My allergies were going nuts.  So, today, we decided to move the bookshelves and the TV and other furniture, use the ShopVac on the hardwood floor behind and thoroughly saturate the baseboards with Lysol.  It seems to have gone pretty well.  I've only had to trash a few old notebooks that were icky with vermin leavings.  My throat did start to close up a bit near the end and I'm weak all over, despite having only moved books back and forth and dusted while Tom did all the actual heavy labor.  I think it was worth it, though.  I think we'll have another few rounds of spraying the baseboards with Lysol or Febreeze or vinegar (suggestions for removing that odor that don't involve killing all of us are welcome in the comments) and we've left bait and a mousey obstacle course just in case they mount a counter-offensive.  

Image courtesy of Madprime, available at Wikimedia Commons

2 comments:

Chip said...

Incidentally, the mouse poison you're using is chemically identical to the medicine I have to take every day. I find this profoundly disturbing, though less so now that it seems it's not actually killing them.

When we lived in Deland, in a 1920s-built Sears Catalog house with a huge, rodent-and-serial killer-friendly crawlspace underneath it, we had a similarly Biblical plague of vermin, complete with hamster-cage smell. When I found that the mice were getting in through a hole in the weather stripping at the bottom of the back door, I replaced it. The next day they had eaten through the new weather stripping. The landlady sent her incompetent repairman out to put a metal plate on the bottom of the door, which just prompted them to find one of the thousands of other holes in that decomposing house to come in through.

She then had the nerve to tell us that we needed to keep all our food in plastic containers to keep mice away. So we did that, and the little bastards ate through the plastic containers-- including a really nice Beneful storage bin for Grommit's food. We managed to get some of the beasts with glue traps, but eventually just left them for the next suckers who rented that dump.

This mouse problem wasn't there when we moved in. It only started when the crazy cat lady upstairs from us moved out and took her thirty-some cats with her.

Shoveling Ferret said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what triggered our mouse invasion. It was building-wide. We didn't notice until after we'd gone on vacation. We did have a particularly hard winter and there's been a fair amount of construction and demolition nearby, which makes me wonder if that drove them here.
Also, your medicine was initially developed to kill mice. I don't know if I want to know how they figured out that it works well for humans in certain circumstances. I guess if you watch your cheese and peanut butter consumption and try not to grow a tail, you should be fine.