The Mus Musculus Assassin

The first time you kill, you die a little inside. It gets easier each time until, one day, you wonder if you’re still human.

OK, so maybe I’ve exaggerated a little. But you’re probably used to that by now. Alternatively, you’re already in the distance, running for the hills.

One of the reasons I have been almost completely absent (other than some witty pitiful attempts at humor in blog comments) is that my house was invaded by a family of mice. The little shits (for my European friends: les merdes de petits) have scurried around occasionally between the basement and ground floor for some years and, provided they were quiet and didn’t sound like they were munching on anything structural or electrical, I couldn’t be bothered trying to hunt them down and evict them.

So you say that mice are no big deal? Come closer and repeat that. Closer. Just a bit closer. *BAM* That will teach you! AND me!

The recent basement waterproofing project opened up a new route for them and one of them found its way into the kitchen from an old gas line behind the walls. Then he/she invited friends, family, other mice he/she met, distant relatives, and so on.

When I found mouse poop (for my European friends: merde la souris) in the cutlery drawer, I knew I was in Big Trouble. Mice might not be as bad as bubonic rats, but they still carry disease and my kitchen was now ‘unclean’ (which, in a different context, will be the subject of my next post). Investigations revealed the full horror: the little bastard(s) had wandered and pooped over more than half of the things in the kitchen. Think about it: where in the house do you have more individual ‘things’ than in a kitchen? Consider how long it takes to clean each one, one at a time. Not. Fun. At. All.

At first, I thought it was one mouse. After all, I can’t tell them apart. He was seen running across the room or under the fridge. Since he took the rather dim decision to avoid my humane mouse traps, I stepped up the game to the springing/deadly/watch-out-when-you-load-it-or-OUCH mousetraps. I pitted my IQ and cold steel against him/her and won. But I didn’t like it. Disposing of his/her corpse…bleecchh!

After that, a furious effort to clean everything. Emptied cabinets of things, the cutlery, etc. Sterilized, cleaned, OMG! So much for a week, so much for a long weekend.

Then we saw the next one. Oh, right. Mice don’t normally hang out alone. Oops.

War ensued. The battle was joined. The slaughter continued. My conscience shriveled bit by bit. I thought I had won and went back to sterilizing/cleaning. My kids were at their most creative when it came to finding reasons why they didn’t want to risk death by ‘mouse diseases’ when I sought assistance with the cleaning. I’ll remember this when I re-draft my Will…

A strange thing. IQ and cold steel versus mice stopped winning; I encountered Super Mouse. He/she sprang the mousetrap TWICE and survived. He/she ate the cheese from the other traps WITHOUT setting it off. WTF? How?? I thought they were all dead already?

Later on the July 4 weekend, I figured it out when one peeked from under the range. They were too small. I had killed all the adult mice and the baby mice were now coming for food. They were too small to set off the traps (I still don’t how they survived the ones that did go off).

Let me stop for a moment for all the sweet-hearted readers to villify and beat me up. Fair enough. But, honestly, if you think I should have cuddled them, please let me know, and I’ll pass on my address and you can be here to take them with you the next time they invade my kitchen!

It was time for Phase 3. Glue traps. I know. I didn’t like it either, but short of a flamethrower (which was a definite consideration for Phase 5, with gunfire under consideration for Phase 4), I didn’t know what else to do. Especially with the cheeky one that would watch from behind the range and then zip around using mouse semaphore to dance “s-c-r-e-w…y-o-u…a-s-s-h-o-l-e” while I plotted his/her demise.

There seems to be peace in our time. As far as I can tell, they’re all gone. A family taken out as a group like a dispute in one of the Godfather movies. The traps are there, but there are no more signs of tiny life, just my noisy teenagers. Unless the creaking of the floorboards at night is not one my teenagers, but Super Mouse plotting HIS/HER revenge. *shiver*


About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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13 Responses to The Mus Musculus Assassin

  1. Hahahahah…well it made for good blog fodder anyways my friend 🙂 thanks for the laugh. 🙂

    • It’s often the case that’s what’s good blog fodder and fun to laugh about *after* the event is no fun at all when you’re in the middle of it! I got so worn out by fighting these annoying little creatures, along with the other stuff going on in my life, that I just refused to go to work on Tuesday. I needed some downtime after the loooooong weekend!

  2. mysterycoach says:

    The glue traps are icky… warning… you have to kill it because it’s only stuck there. Not snapped like the traps do. Just a word of warning. My landlord a number of years back put those in random places in my house, I didn’t know where until I found one. That was uh… gross because I didn’t know it was there and I didn’t know how long that little fella was there. ugh…

    • Yep, I have done that before. It’s sooooo gross! I still have some in the dropped ceiling in my basement office/home theater, so have to remember to keep checking them. Thanks for reminding me!

  3. TikkTok says:

    And with glue traps, if they are big enough, they can get off and leave parts behind….. and your small kitties can get stuck on them, too. 😀

    Don’t use cheese. Use peanut butter. Keeps them there longer, which increases the likelihood that they will actually get caught in the trap.

    Alternative remedies include cats (although, in the one house where we had a few mice in the walls and in the kitchen drawers, the cats couldn’t get to them) and snakes. 😆

    Hantavirus is a *real* threat, and it’s not just found here.

    Glad you got ‘er whooped!

    • They can leave parts behind? Bleeech!

      When I see them stuck in a trap of any kind, I do NOT leave them lying around to escape and come back after with mean expressions on their faces and murder in their hearts. No, they’re disposed of quickly. In all honesty, I never thought I would get used to killing mice. But…as they say, needs must…

      Yes, found out about the peanut butter trick last time I had a minor invasion some years ago. I also discovered that mice won’t eat processed cheese! There’s a lesson right there in the nuitrional value of those plastic wrapped slices…if the ‘real’ animals don’t think they’re cheese, why give them to kids?? 🙂

      The downside to having a cat as a hunter is that they’re not so ‘tidy’ when they catch a mouse. My experience is they might only bring you half the mouse…yuck!

      • TikkTok says:

        Yep, and the cats will save some of the parts for later, lolol.

        I think this is why they call that stuff “cheese product”….. 😆 Velveeta, for example, is a “pasteurized cheese product” and on older boxes it said “pasteurized process cheese spread.” I’ll bet you could stretch it and call whey (which is actually “garbage” from cheese making- a by-product that they used to throw away but have now gotten creative with) a “cheese product,” too…..Fwiw. 🙂

        • Oh, thanks for the ‘save for later’ images to add to all the others I’ve got lately. 🙂

          Seriously, after the mice rejected the “cheese product” (which was left behind by my runaway wife — I didn’t realize she had been feeding the girls this stuff), I threw it all away and we’ll rely on REAL cheese for our nuitrional needs…

  4. ifUseekAmy says:

    Yuck! I live in NYC…mice, rats, roaches galore. Luckily, even when there has been a mouse problem in my apartment building (pre-war brownstone walk-up), I personally haven’t had a problem in my apartment because I have a cat (I used to have two cats until last fall). I think the mice avoid my place because they sense/smell the cat. Good luck on your mouse war.

    • Rats and roaches as well as mice? I think roaches would be the worst. They look like scaled-down versions of alien monsters from movies (or maybe movies used scaled-UP versions of roaches if they want to truly terrify moviegoers). Perhaps I can buy some eau de feline and spray it around to keep the mice away? Note, as it happens, my runaway wife is allergic to cats, so it would also keep her away. I will have to think about whether that is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. 🙂

    • Oh, and I forgot to say … thanks for stopping by!!

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