Monday, July 18, 2005

"Mouse Hunt" the complete how to hand book for Rodents

It all started last summer. The door to the basement was left open to let some much needed fresh air into the basement. I went downstairs for something and was startled to see something jumping out of the corner of my eye. After my primal instinct to flee subsided I realized it was only a mouse. No big deal. If it didn't find it's way back outside then my cat would certainly find it and finish it. Months go by and all is forgotten. Then occasionally there might be something just not quite right in the basement but nothing to out of the ordinary. Then one day I hear noises coming from the basement. Chewing and banging noises. But wait the dog isn't barking and the cat is sound asleep so it can't be an intruder. I take the dog outside to try and see it there is anything a miss out around the house. Nothing. I go back inside. There are the noises again. This time ( to be on the safe side) I barricade the basement door with my dishwasher that is on wheels. The noises subside and I go on about my business. Later upon investigation my husband and I find evidence of the intruder. The bird seed storage container has been attacked. I'm not talking about a simple small hole in some plastic bag. Shards of green plastic litter the scene. The large Rubber Maid container that the bird seed is housed in has been viciously chewed on. So much so that there are holes in the lid. Not believing our eyes we leave the crime scene as we found it. The next morning the holes are a lot bigger. What inspired this four legged creature after months of nothing? We set out and bought some live capture traps from our local Fred Meyer. Even though we didn't like having a new resident we didn't feel the need to be violent back. With the traps baited and set in frequently visited spots , we waited. The hole in the Rubber Maid containter turned into a giant portal to the other side, and now sometimes late at night you could hear scurrying in the walls. Not wanting to lose all our electrical wiring and plumbing we begrudgingly bought a snap trap. Unfortunately the rat was caught and we thought we were done. A few months pass by, new evidence starts to show up. In fact a sighting even occurred. The live traps were set up once again because this time they were getting into the pasta, rice and granola that is down on our extra food storage shelf. We continue to hear random noises and see lots of things out of place. Our cat goes into the basement and stays there. Cat suppose to catch small animals. Right? I am not sure what she does down there but it certainly isn't catching any rodents! Defective! Okay, so we haven't caught anything in these great humane traps but I keep triggering them! Time for new bait in those traps and the return of those horrible snap traps. Before everything is set up though some cleaning has to happen. My husband sets off to conquer the craziness. After it is all said and done he comes upstairs and says " I know why they are so active." Apparently these crazy rodents have gnawed into a long ago left BYOB drink from a party we had. What was their drink of choice? Mountain Dew. They drank half of a 2 liter bottle. Mind you there is a sink with a leaky faucet not 5 feet away!

I worked with rats and other animals at past jobs and this far surpasses my knowledge of crazy animal antics. Cats not catching rats. Rats chewing into completely sealed containers just hoping for something good. Passing up the chance at great food offered in a live catch trap opting instead for food on a snap trap. The saga continues!

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