Tuesday, May 29, 2007


A bitch hopes that everyone had a safe Memorial Day weekend!

Jumping right in...

This morning...as I stood on our back porch drowning a mouse in the trash can from beneath the kitchen sink...my thoughts ran to the meaning of life.



Okay, let me back up a wee bit.

C-Money and a bitch live in a 110 year old house. Old as hell houses without cats are prone to mice. Not a mouse infestation mind you (shudder as images from that KFC in NYC teaming with rats float through my mind…uh!) but rather the occasional tiny mouse tempted by whatever the fuck tempts mice to venture into old as hell houses.

Last year, C-Money declared war on a mouse that was squatting in our pantry. The mouse willfully defied the off with your head traps she set everywhere. We’d hear a pop…and then see the little fucker taking off for a dark corner.

Ooooh, and our dawgs couldn’t be bothered chasing after a mouse! They see a fly in the room and they go crazy but they see a mouse…don’t get me started.

Anyhoo, C-Money declared war and the mouse appeared to be winning (sorry honey, but it’s the truth!)…but fear not, for Ms. C had a secret weapon.

The Bug Man!

Our bug spray guy came to spray and C-Money confessed the losing strategy with the mouse. He shared that many a homeowner underestimated the mouse insurgency but that a new way forward was available. Based on the Pest Study Group Report, we should put sticky traps throughout the house and specifically in high mouse insurgency areas like the pantry.

Fast-forward several months into the surge of sticky traps…and there I was confronting a trapped mouse at 3-ish in the morning.

HTFWDSHTS...ummm, in translation...how the fuck would David Sedaris handle this shit?



Oh, come on…everyone’s read the rodents in France story by Sedaris.


Well, David…we’re not close but I feel as if I know him…wink…David would drown the rodent on the porch.

So, there I stood…tired as hell…drowning a mouse in the kitchen trash can on the back porch.

There was no moment of glee…no rush of victory.

It was just me and that mouse with life and death between us.

I kept watching and eventually the mouse stopped struggling.

But victory over that mouse didn't do a damn thing to prevent future mice from coming in.

A world free of mice is not an option. To prevent a lone mouse from coming into the house I'd have to destroy them all. That's not wise...they do serve a purpose, right? Just not in our pantry!

Mayhap a bit of mouse hole intelligence gathering followed by diplomatic patching is in order?


This bitch went back to sleep pondering rodent blood feuds…


TwinsGoddess said...

We had one last fall. Turns out, MY dog is a mouser.

Good luck with that.

(And yes, I know the David Sedaris story...)

brownfemipower said...

you gotta get you a cat. I also live in a horrible old house, and we were seeing mice two or three times a *day*--and then we got one cat--we knew we still had them, but they refused to come out--and then we got another one, and we haven't heard shit of any mouse anywhere ever since. those babies are *gone*.

get you a cat. you will win.

Maya's Granny said...

This morning...as I stood on our back porch drowning a mouse in the trash can from beneath the kitchen sink...my thoughts ran to the meaning of life.

My creative writing teacher said that the first sentence has to grab them -- and this one really does. Sheer artistry!

I live up against a mountain side -- two of my walls touch the mountain -- in a building that is almost 100 years old and previous tenants had mice a fair treat, but because of my cats I don't. There are cats who love dogs, if your dogs will tolerate them.

Anonymous said...

Well we have a cat and still have mice. They didn't come in the house until said cat brought them in from the garage. Now since they've been relocated to the main floor, we hear them but don't see them as often. When we did catch them, we flushed them. They probably lived to mouse another day, but in a home farther along the sewer system... good luck.

Ann in Pittsburgh

Clio Bluestocking said...

But the real question is: did a German tourist stop by, asking for directions, and say "oh, I see you have a swimming mouse"?

FM said...


Anonymous said...

Oh why do I speak when I know you don't want to hear it . . . b/c I'm me. Mice are harmless unless they infest or leave fecal matter near food supplies or baby items.

We live in an area where mice are common, little fied mice with big ears. They are harmless. They come in in the winter and leave in the summer. The biggest thing you have to worry about it that they do not nest in the walls (that is why they like old houses by the way, lots of stuff falling apart behind the walls they can tear into strips for nests).

The non-kill answer: put all bread, grain, and derivatives there of, in air tight containers. Put your recycling - like newspaper - fire wood, etc. in tubs or store away from the house outside. Clean up any little places you have seen them as well as any clutter. You might see one or two throughout the cold part of the year but otherwise they are going to go live somewhere where they can get food and proper nesting material.

If you must catch them - ie you have an infestation or hate on - you can buy humane traps and then take them outside away from the poperty and let them go.

A cat or two, is also a cycle of life answer but you will be killing them and you will be gifted with at least one or more dead mice at the foot of the bed, your favorite chair, or where ever else the cat thinks it will get the most praise when you find it.

Mice are not rats. I know they are annoying and can be jarring running across the kitchen or the floor, especially at night but they are living creatures with limited danger factor (unless you are parenting) please try humane solutions if you can.

And again I say . . . I know people are about to hate on me and I should have kept my mouth shut. But I never do.

Shark-Fu said...

Hush now!

A bitch is open to options to drowning (ugh).

Send forth humane mouse trap links...

thatfarmgirl said...

All God's creatures, great and small. I'm with profblackwoman on this one. I'm scared to death of mice -- and I've had them -- but I don't think I could do it the Sedaris way. My Maman used to catch them by the tail and put them out the back door. Never made any sense to me, but she was a lover of all things living, like me.

Anonymous said...

Humane mouse traps are a myth - the mice will chew off their limbs to escape and cry all night. The "brutal" ones will at least kill them quickly

If you know where the holes are, I heard using steel wool to plug them works well.

evilganome said...

The Ganome lair was infested with the little fuckers, and I don't want to hear about how harmless they are either. You give them any quarter, and the next thing you know they are chewing through those airtight containers and leaving mouse crap all over your house.

Enter Alice. She moved in and a couple of dead mice later, they have not set one nasty little foot in the lair. 'Course it now means that I have a 15 pound shedding machine in my house, but I figure one cat is better than many, many mice. Oh yeah, if you go with a cat, get a female. Tom's are generally useless as mousers. Too much work when they can be lying in the sunny spots.

Maureen O'Danu said...

3 dogs (one a terrier, bred for mousing, the other a working hunt dog) and a cat, and every winter I have an infestation of mice in my old as shit (100+) house. My solution? Poison bars... a ton of them in the basement (which is dirt) and a few scattered under sinks and in other places dogs and cats can't get at them. Mice problem solved (for the season) in a week.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I was hoping this piece wasn't gonna lead into something about glue traps! I don't know if I believe in reincarnation, but I do believe that people who have no problem using glue traps are in for a bitch of a karma session if there's any truth to it. Those things are torture, plain and simple. But hey, we only learn that from experience.

I have no problem with mice in a theoretical sense (they don't make me leap tall furniture in a single bound the way, say, a hairy spider would), unless they start leaving little gifts in the pantry, but yeah, check out some live traps:

Brian said...

LOL @ The Pest Study Group.

What...are you going to hold talks with his ass?

There are probably non-lethal traps. You have to ask around... check with a hardware store or a pest control Co.

Whew!!! Another classic ABB post.

Homer said...

The mouse quivered in my hand after I took it from Puff's mouth. Puff hadn't hurt it, he didn't understand the concept of mouse. I told the critter, "You'll be alright, I bet you'll like the bush outside," and I went out and put it under my rosemary. It looked at me for a moment and ran off. Poor Puff was so angry with me, I had taken his special toy away.

Anonymous said...

sorry, it is a low trust day . . . should have known you would be an open listener but you never know.


store.arbico_organics.com (cheap and cute and no bars for little nailed legs to scracth at you)

www.bestnest.com Havahart Traps (the original, best seller, but it doesn't always work)

Also, try sonic "traps" - they make noises that annoy and confuse rodents and bugs and send them scurrying.

best bet:

www.homedepot.com (mid-range price, work well, cover a large square footage but only work 4-6 months then you will need a different frequency)

www.bedbathandbeyond.com (super cheap, need to be moved regularly to keep up effectiveness)

www.hsn.com (expensive, but self-modulating so they do not have to be replaced nor moved)

Keep in mind sonic traps work on the principle of disrupting the nervous system, so they will kill anything that cannot figure its way out of your house in time, but new ones will never enter again.

much luck to you!

Anonymous said...

We've got a mouse right now that's eluded our no-kill traps. Mostly, I just really really don't want a -dead- mouse hanging out, not found, under my stove or something.
That David Sedaris story kills me every time I read it. I can make my girlfriend curl up into a little, horrified ball just by saying "I see you have a little swimming mouse."
Also, HTFWDSHTS bracelets are a brilliant idea.
- Kate (newish reader who has been enjoying your writings very much)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what would be best. Glue traps are effective, but the damned rodents squeal and cry once they are stuck. Traditional mouse traps kill instantly (provided the spring is strong enough). "Humane" traps... well that's a sticky wicket. Sure they're humane for the mouse, but what do you do with it? Go to the front door and let it go, only for it to return through the same point of entry?

Get some good old fashioned steel wool and jam it into all obvious spots which could be points of entry (look under your sinks where plumbing juts out of the wall, sometimes there's a small gap between the plumbing and the sheetrock.

Oh and trust me, to put a glue trap in an out of the way place (e.g. on top of your kitchen counters, or under a book case) only to forget about it for a few months, only to be reminded of its placement when you go on a spring cleaning bender and move everything, only to find the glue trap, with a dessicated rodent corpse on it...

GAH!!!! Been there!

Anonymous said...

Do the steel wool whatever you do, even if you get a cat or use a trap, use it in your pantry.

Start on your hands and knees and inspect every inch of the pantry. You might have some wood separating from plaster board, or the baseboard separating from the floor, holes from pipes making their entry into the pantry, etc. Every tiny little gap - I mean tiny, because they can squeeze into everywhere - you stuff with the steel wool. It's probably a good move to do that to your water pipes too, which is how they get into the building.

They can't gnaw through it - it ruins their teeth. It works - trust me - after I did it to my apartment I didn't have them any more.

Unknown said...

hey, this is a hilarious post. i love that dave sedaris story.

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