Mouse Wars 2010

It was about 10:30 last night.  The house was quiet, except for the ticking of my kitchen clock.  I flipped through the pages of magazines, pulling out what I wanted to save, and stowing the rest for a trip to the recycling center.  And then I heard it…

Scratch, scratch…

Scurry…

Hmmm.   I stopped my flipping and held my breath and listened.

Scratch…

Rustle, rustle…

“Oh crap.” I thought to myself.  Images of the mouse house came flooding into my mind.  It was a house I lived in while finishing college.  The house sat on an overgrown half-acre in the Chicago suburbs, behind a strip mall on North Avenue.  Mice ruled that house.  I would catch a glimpse of them as they grabbed kibble from my dog’s bowl.  I would hear them scurrying through the walls late at night.  Choruses of squeeks could be heard in the floors.  I would imagine there were hundreds of mice in that house.

I listened again.

Scratch, scratch…

Rustle…

Sure enough – there’s a mouse in the pantry.

I got up and walked into where my dry goods are stored, pulled a box, destined for Goodwill, to one side, and there it was:  mouse poop on the floor.  At 10:30 at night, there wasn’t much I could do about it.  I never saw mouse poop anywhere else in the house, so I felt confident they were living on either the bags of flour or the cornmeal on the shelves.  So I went to bed, put on some light music so I wouldn’t hear it as I drifted off to sleep to dream about making strawberry jam with only five strawberries.

I rose with the sun this morning.  Actually, about an hour before the sun – determined that today would be the last day that mouse would be in my house.  Before anything else, I got dressed, loaded the dog up into the Jeep and headed out to the Super Walmart in town.  It’s open 24-7, so I knew I could get what I needed at 7am on a Sunday.  I picked up a few glass jars and a box of Decon.  Probably should have gotten two – but one will do for now.

Upon returning, I pulled everything off the shelves, and that’s when they appeared.  Not “it”, but “they”. There are two of them.  I see that they thoroughly destroyed one bag of flour, so that got sent out the door.  Apparently they were living in an empty box from some canning jars because when I pulled it off the shelf, it was filled with mouse poop.  I wrinkled my nose and sent that out the door too.

I could see them dodging and weaving, trying to avoid the inevitable.  After I got everything off the shelf, I moved it and it sent one scurrying – trying to figure out which way to go.  Luckily I had the back door open, and he thought wisely that that would be the way to go.  But that was the smaller of the two.  The other one tryed for all he was worth to stay under the shelving unit.  I got the broom.

He would poke his head out and I would go after him.  Then he’d disappear under the unit again.  After a few rounds of that, he got totally out from under the shelf and tried to avoid me, but I swatted and swatted and swatted again – all thewhile swearing and cussing at the little brownish-gray devil.  He escaped under the fridge.  “Son of a ….” “You little…”

So that’s the way he wants to play it, huh?  I gave him his fair chance to follow his mate out into the morning sun.  But no – he had to be difficult.  Before I did anything else I pulled out the box o’ Decon from the bag. Tossed some between the fridge and the wall – where I could see his little tail tip peeking out from his safe house under the appliance.  The rest I put under the shelving unit.  He’ll be back, and it’ll be the last day he lives in my house.  I will NOT have another mouse house!

I wiped down the shelves with bleach water, vacuumed the floor and mopped it with some bleach water too.  I’ll mop the living hell out of the floors in a bit.  I washed out the glass jars so I could stow the rest of my flour and my cornmeal, and pulled out the mylar bags to bag up the new bag of wheat I picked up a couple weeks ago.  I still have some plastic pails – so I can stow that with the rest of the wheat and beans.

Yesterday started out as one heck of a Spring Cleaning Extraveganza – so apparently that set the mood for today as well.

The mouse war will continue until I’m positive there’s nary a mouse in my humble little house…

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