mousetraps and crying jags

Friday morning I made a very disappointing and distressing discovery on the kitchen counter: mouse poop.  I’m not sure how any mice survive our neighborhood given the army of flea-bitten stray cats prowling around, but apparently they survive by hiding out in my house.  I called the World’s Greatest Landlord (no lie) and informed him of the discovery.  He told me he’d call the pest control people and asked if I was opposed to kill traps.  “Of course not! They’re mice! They have no natural habitat to be released into, as their natural habitat is my kitchen!”  He delivered a couple of mousetraps later that day.  They looked like this:

Image via Rennet Stowe's Flickr photostream.

Fast forward to about 1:00 am: Jon and I, sleepy and ready for bed, remember that we need to set the mousetraps.  We quickly realize we have no IDEA how to set them. In our sleepy state, we fumble around, trying to figure out these tiny death machines.  I finally get one set, when, just as I go to show it to Jon, SNAP! Right on my thumb. The dogs jumped a mile. Jon jumped a mile. I immediately burst into tears. It HURT.  But then I kept crying. I cried harder. And it wasn’t just because my thumb really really hurt.  I couldn’t bear the thought of that SNAP! happening to some little creature’s head.  I really lost it just thinking about it. I couldn’t handle the idea that I might be woken up in the night by a SNAP!, knowing what had just happened.  We went to bed, having given up on the traps for a while.

I kept crying. Jon started laughing his head off.  I started crying harder, thinking he was laughing at me. And, in all honesty, he probably should have been laughing at me, because who gets hysterical over mousetraps?  In reality, he was laughing because the SNAP! had really startled him, and for some reason his startle reflex is connected to his giggle box.  Eventually I splashed some cold water on my face and blew my very snotty nose.  We agreed we’d find some other solution than SNAP! traps.  I may or may not be hoping to get a kitty out of this deal.  I’m still not sure why the whole SNAP! incident got me so shook up, but all I know is, I can’t handle a SNAP! trap.

Anyone have suggestions for getting mice out of your kitchen without SNAP! traps?

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12 thoughts on “mousetraps and crying jags

  1. In all honesty, we’ve lived in our house for over a year, and we’ve never had a mouse problem — I really credit it to having a cat in the house. I had the same cat when I lived with my parents for a while (in the country, where there are a lot more mice!), and they had no mice problems while we lived there. After we moved out, the mice gradually returned, and now they’ve actually gotten another cat. The thing is, it’s not even that the cat is killing mice. We simply don’t have any.

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  2. Living directly above a deli kitchen in the city means that mice come in when it’s cold or when it’s pouring out, so we have flat glue traps that are pretty effective, because the mice can’t jump over those.

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  3. If you can’t stand the traps, a cat is probably the best answer–but if you can’t stand the cat, the old-fashioned spring trap probably is more humane than poisons or most other alternatives. The all-metal ones (not with the plastic pad as shown in the photo) are more reliable.

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  4. Ugh. Mice. We used to get them in the house I where I used to live. Fortunately I had a farm boy house mate and he handled the traps. He set snap traps, as they were the most effective. We tried the glue traps as elizabeth mentioned, but we never caught a mouse with them. They did, however, get stuck to the dog. At my office they set out these “hotel” things. The mouse went in and, presumably, ingested some poison, couldn’t get out, and died inside. You could then throw the entire unit away without having to see the dead mouse. I’d be a little wary of poison with dogs in the house, though.

    Good luck. :-\

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  5. Oh, I forgot to mention that THE most effective thing is to have someone come out and tell you where they might be getting in. If you can seal their holes up, you won’t need the traps. Maybe your landlord would pay for that?

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  6. All of the mice that we caught during my crazy adventure were with the flat sticky traps. We have some snap traps out, but the mice stayed clear of them. The ones our Super got from our vermin control people were nice than the ones we bought in the store ourselves, but they both worked.

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  7. You have to get the Rat Zapper. No life, my husband has used it in the backyard and has killed countless rats/mice. It’s a bit more “humane” that snapping the heads. Basically, the rat enters the Zapper concoction and an electrical current shoots through and zaps them. Still not exactly humane, but not snapping either. You have to put food at the end of the trap so they’ll make their way all the way down to the end. We use dog food. I think my husband got ours at Home Depot. They probably sell them in hardware stores too. And it won’t hurt you either!

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  8. Just DON’T get glue traps. We got those when I was pg with my 2nd and the poor mousy and I were crying together. It was awful. We had a rat problem in our house (being a 1949 house) and I finally had to call in the big guns (Absolute Wildlife) they had some special traps that allowed them out and didn’t kill them. Whatever it was it worked!
    PS Great to meet you last night! Your dress was fabulous!

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  9. I can’t stand the thought of the glue thing. That means you must dispose of a LIVE creature–looking at you with mouse eyes! I think the cat idea…nature at work. Absolves you of all guilt. The way God set it up (at least that’s my rationalization).

    Loved our gathering last night! C

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  10. Invite one of those sweet little stray kitties in –get it “fixed”, put some Advantix (great stuff)on it so it will have no fleas and your problem will be over! lol I have heard of glue traps where the mouse is “stuck” to the trap–but can you imagine the squeaking–and so what do you do with a live squeaking mouse stuck to a glue trap? That seems even worse than the “snap” traditional trap! Although it was painful to your hand, I’m sure the snap trap is quick and efficient! I’d go with it and make the hubby deal with the aftermath! V.

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  11. Our cats are very effective and efficient mousers, but if you don’t like the idea of a mouse getting SNAPPED in a trap, then a cat that tortures them and eats just their heads might not be better. I like the little “mouse hotels” that you can just toss out and never have to see the actual body.

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  12. There are a number of cheap, effective live traps. Dump the mouse somewhere at least a mile away. Email me a picture and I’ll tell you what kind it is.

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