Mouse in my house, part deux

Published 9:44 pm Monday, July 20, 2009

Back in May, I told you all about my adventures attempting, unsuccessfully, to trap a mouse that had made its way into my house.

I bought a live mousetrap, baited it, and placed it near where I had seen the little brown mouse. However, I never actually managed to catch a mouse in the trap, and I never saw another sign of him, so I assumed he had simply made his way back out of my apartment.

Apparently, not only was I wrong, but also I have been unwittingly subsidizing the existence of an entire family of mice.

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On Sunday evening, I was struggling with a broken water filter on my fish tank and becoming increasingly frustrated with it. As I stood back staring at the tank in disgust, I heard a rustling nearby in my bedroom. Fearing that there were once again mice in my apartment, I rounded the corner and watched in horror as not one, but TWO mice exited a tiny hole in an old bag of gerbil food and made for the shadows.

My gerbil, Marble, died in March, and I have been planning eventually to get a replacement, so I was saving the old bag of food, which was nearly full when Marble kicked the bucket. It was sitting on top of her cage, and was sealed, so even though it occurred to me that the mouse could have eaten out of it, I thought it would have to climb through the top to get to the food.

After carefully approaching the bag of food, I opened the top and was mortified to find that the bag was nearly empty. Even though I’ve seen that bag of food every day, I never noticed the gradual disappearance of food from inside.

Sunflower seed halves inside the bag were broken open and the contents missing, which means those evil mice have been feasting on that bag for months. Upon further examination, I found the hole in the side of the bag that had provided easy access for the vermin.

To make matters worse, my room is, some might say, dirty. I never leave trash lying around, but clothes, papers and plastic bags that I plan to recycle someday clutter the floor, leaving plenty of hiding spots for the mice. Those little rodents have essentially been living in Club Med, rent-free, for quite some time now.

Well, I’ve got news for those little suckers — the free ride is over. I threw out all the gerbil food and treats and cleaned up all the stuff on the floor, sending mice scattering everywhere. I think there’s only two of them, since that’s the most I saw at any one time. After a vain, “Ratatouille”-like attempt to scoop them into a trashcan with a broom, I baited the trap again, this time with fresh cheese, and hopefully I’ll catch some mice this time.

When I do, I’ll be taking them a long, long way away from my apartment to release them. And if they still come back, the next traps I purchase won’t be the nice kind.