Friday, April 17, 2009


Meet Cheddar. He's my new mouse pet.....Not really. But we caught him/her, FINALLY! And he is now enjoying his new home in Sherando Park (a little over a mile away). Although he won't have minty-fresh pillows and a shmorgous-board of food at his disposal, he at least didn't have his end in a snap mouse trap.
We came home from dinner and Ben was outside with his parents and I was in the living room when I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I called Ben in and slowly backed over to the flashlight on the counter. Without thinking it through, Ben lifted the love seat and I laid on the ground with the flashlight. The mouse came out from under the couch like a bat out of hell right towards me. He took one look at my eager "I'm-a going to catch you!" face and made a quick turn to the right and headed into the dining room. He hid underneath the dry sink and so Ben and I ended up pulling the dry sink out at an angle and barricaded the exit with the bucket that I had originally set up in the kitchen.
So there you have it. We have successfully caught ourselves a mouse. We hope/pray that Cheddar was our only "house guest."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mouse Hunt

The last several days have been frustrating. We seem to have mice taking up residence in our walls. We have remedied the bird in the vent situation. Turns out Ben's handy work with the hardware cloth covering the vent outside has indeed done the trick. The bird tried to get back in the next day, but the cover Ben made stopped it.

So back to the last few days. Last night we heard the mouse again. He/she is chewing on something around the outlet behind the stove (confirmed by Ben and his stethoscope). So Ben and I positioned ourselves on either side of the outlet and as Ben unscrewed the outlet, I stood with gloved hands and a flashlight ready to catch the little bugger. But to no avail, the mouse was not there. We both stood there waiting and eventually I did see the mouse crawl up and later, back down the insulation. Cute little thing. But a pain in the ass nonetheless.

So we set up our traps and went to bed. Today I checked out the trap to find that the mouse did in fact find his way into the trap and defecated all over the place in it. It seemed as though the mouse was in there quite awhile, but was able to eventually get out. So I went to the store, bought more traps, and a plug-in for the wall that transmits waves through the electrical wires and apparently mice can't take the high pitched sound. The other day Ben and I bought some of the same type of wall plug-ins at Costco (bulk pack) but they don't transmit the sound waves through the wires or through walls. But I am still trying them in other rooms.

Now for the picture above. Those are all the "tools" I am using for my mouse hunt: Traps, food, electronic sound things and moth balls. I have also fashioned two homemade traps. I've used a bucket and a trash can and made a ramp up to each with cardboard. I then put peanut butter on a graham cracker, and some cereal and sunflower seeds in the bucket and trash can. I am hoping the little critter(s) will make their way up the ramp and will be in the "trap" in the morning. I told Mom that I think God and Grandma are having a good ol' time watching me try and trap these pests like a crazy woman. I still have a sense of humor about the situation, but I am really wanting to rid our house of mice for good.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Things that Scurry in the Night....

Well, on top of our bird in the vent we have some other visitors.

I'll start with my day yesterday. I was sitting on the couch when I heard the bumping/scratching/chirping in the wall again. That meant that although Ben sealed up the vent from the outside, the bird was still on the inside. Damn. So I called the pest guy and he said he'd be out between 2 and 4. I got a call from him at 12:30 asking if he could come now. So of course i agreed. I was in the middle of straightening up and as I was wiping down the counter tops, I looked at the paper towel that I used and was shocked to see small brown mouse droppings. Damn again. So when the pest guy showed up, he confirmed what I already knew, those were in fact mouse turds.

Being that I am an animal lover, the thought of buying those horrible snap traps made me sick. The pest guy said that they bait for mice with a poison that dries them from the inside out. Sounds like a good time. He also mentioned that we may find the dried carcasses around and it is ok if the dog eats them because there is not a secondary poison. It may be ok for him to let his dog eat mouse carcass, but it is not ok with me. Not to mention, once I researched this method of extermination I read about the awful smell of the rotting mice carcasses in the walls. I think i'll pass.

I don't want my house infested with mice, so I decided to research some humane ways to rid us of our unwelcome visitors. I read all about the Havahart traps (but they're expensive) and I also read that mice can't take the smell of peppermint. So the site recommended putting peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them in areas where you've seen evidence of mice. So I thought, what a great, easy, and safe way to get rid of the rodents! So I set several cotton balls soaked in peppermint around the areas I found the mouse poop.

This morning, I discovered that this method DOES NOT WORK. I believe I may have given the little critters some nesting materials with a fresh peppermint scent. A few of the cotton balls have been commandeered by our newest house guests.

We are going to buy some traps today. They are humane live traps that we can catch and release the mice (a couple miles away of course). I know it is probably not the method that most people would implement, but I am really hoping it works for us.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Things that go Bump in the Walls...

The last few days Ben and I have been frantically trying to get work done around the house. Although one would think that taking one task at a time would be the way to go, we have implemented the ADD method. Every day we come up with a plan of action-i.e. Today we are going to finish putting up the closet organizer. Simple enough. But then we get side tracked and instead go up to Home Depot and buy peg board for Ben's work room area only after we meet our friend Julie (our realtor) and her family for lunch at the annual Kiwanis Pancake Luncheon. And after we buy the peg board and eat pancakes, we sweep up the garage and put books in the book case in the office. That was our day on Saturday.
So today (Monday) we both said, we are going to work on the closet and get it completely finished so we don't have to live out of boxes anymore. I guess you could say our ADD set in, but for good reason. Let me explain. I was in the living room eating breakfast when I heard a noise in the kitchen. Thinking it was Ben rustling around in the pantry I asked him what he was doing. He replied he was working on the computer in the office. So then I got a bit freaked. Could it be mice? A rat? A Raccoon? Or maybe it was just my imagination. Then I heard it again. So I called Ben into the room. Of course by the time he came in, the noise had stopped.
So a little later the noise started again and this time it was a bit louder. It sounded like thumping and rodent nails on a hard surface. Ben heard the noise this time and started opening cabinets and pulling out the oven....all the while my wussy self was standing on the couch. Yes, that's right, the girl who once had rats as pets was standing on the couch like the stereotypical girl hiding from a mouse. But I must defend my actions. The sound was far too heavy for a mere mouse or rat.
We called the pest service and the soonest they could come out for an inspection was Tuesday. So we settled back down until we heard the noise again. So Ben ran outside to the side of the house where the noise was coming from and discovered a very large black bird flying out of our microwave hood vent. It wasn't as big as a crow but it was big enough.
So instead of working on the the closet today we ended up going up to our new favorite store Home Depot to buy some hardware fabric to cover the vent. And of course Ben needed a ladder, so we had to go purchase one of those too. I almost think Ben trained that blasted bird to fly into our vents so he could have an excuse to buy the ladder he had been coveting at Costco. :)
After we were finished with blocking the bird vent i walked around the yard and took some pictures of the flowers that are blooming. I know what some of them are, but I am still unsure about a lot of them.
I know Dad would call this whole experience the "joys of home-ownership" but I would hardly call it a joy. It's more like one of the "pains in the ass of home-ownership." :)