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How Not To Kill A Mouse

September 18, 2011

This morning I expected to come downstairs to a nice surprise. Well, I guess if it were what I wanted to see, it wouldn’t be a surprise now, would it? No, what I wanted and what I got were two very different things. What did I get??? Nothin’ McMuffin! Bupkis.

So the other night, I went down into the kitchen to get an apple and I had a surprise visitor there. Growing up, these surprise visitors took the form of ants and palmetto bugs. They were everywhere and the little ant and roach traps were also everywhere. You had to set them up in places where the ants would go, but the dog would not. It was always quite a challenge. The traps would fill up, but there were always plenty more to cover any food that wasn’t protected.

Growing up, I never heard of anyone who had mice in their house (except for that guy who bred them as food for his snake). And here in Amsterdam I don’t know anyone who has seen an ant or roach in their house (unless its slang for a joint). But mice are everywhere. There are 3 or 4 places within 500 meters to buy mouse traps of various types because everyone needs the traps.

Personally I love the plastic ones that easily snap open and close. They snap close onto the mouse (or occasionally your finger) and then they snap open just as easily as you drop the mouse into the trash. But they are a bit harder to find. There is only one place I know of for those and he is out of stock right now.

The more common ones are the traditional wood ones you see in the cartoons. So yesterday I bought a few of them. In fact I bought a few more than I need since I expected to go through them quickly. While the plastic ones are very easily reusable, the wooden traps are a bit too difficult to…um…de-mouse and reset. So the whole thing goes in the garbage.

Last night I set up 5 traps in all of the various places I would expect a mouse to visit. On the kitchen counter where I saw one the other night. In the corner where it ran and hid after it lost the staring contest we had. In the other corner where I saw another one another night (it could have been the same one, they all look the same to me). And two by hole in the floorboards where I THINK they come out. To make them as enticing as possible, I stuffed a bit of ham into the little traps and hoped for the best.

Actually I wanted to sit there and wait for them. I wanted to watch the little traps go down and collect my winnings right away, but I figured a gargantuan human staring at a particular corner of the room might clue them into something bad waiting there. So I turned off the lights and went to bed.

This morning I imagined how many traps I would have to throw away. How many 1.10 euro devices would go straight into the garbage, along with their new payloads. I went to each spot in the apartment where I left the traps the night before and none of them had moved. Maybe the mice took the night off?

And then I looked closer. The little piece of ham that I carefully wedged into the little spot for food was gone. One every single one of the traps. Bastards!!! The mice (or maybe one mouse) went to each trap and ate the ham and managed to not snap the trap. Ohhhh, you make me mad. I need something stickier that requires them to really work at the trap. I think peanut butter may be the answer. I’ll try it today and let you know the results.

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