Since my grandma has been staying with my aunt and uncle across the street, her house has taken on quite a few new mousy residents. I can't really blame them, as November in Missouri is generally chilly and disagreeable, but at the same time we don't really want to share space with mice.
It wasn't until the morning after we arrived that we
discovered the little varmints. The wife had stepped into my grandma's
pantry to look for something breakfasty and discovered two of the mice
brazenly sitting on the pantry shelves, munching on dry spaghetti. They
really didn't seem to care that she was there until she made a move to
whack them, at which point they dropped their pasta and scurried down
the water-pipes and power cord that connected to the water heater, then
disappeared into a hole in the wall.
A similar incident had happened during last year's
Thanksgiving holiday and then, as now, I was the guy who had to find
Grandma's bag of mouse traps, bait them, lay them out in high
mouse-traffic areas, and then haul away the mousey corpses afterward. We
had good success baiting them with peanut butter last year, so that's
what I used this year. Unlike cheese, which some mice are able to
abscond with, the mice have to stick around to lick the peanut butter
off the trap release and *SNAP* it's all over. Unfortunately, not every
mouse is a fan of peanut butter. (Heathens!) On more than one occasion
this year, we spied a mouse walk right up to the trap, take a good whiff
of peanut butter then walk around the trap and continue on his mousey
Over the course of the weekend we tried various baits
to varrying effect. My Uncle Jerry baited several traps with raw bacon,
which was a bit more successful than the peanut butter. That is, until
we ran through our carnivorous mice supply and were stuck with the
vegetarian mice. Must have had a few vegan mice too, cause our
cheese-baited traps went untouched as well.
We probably should have stuck with the raw spaghetti.
The ones in the pantry seemed to like it well enough. In fact, when the wife returned to the pantry to check the traps she found them empty of
dead mice, but could hear the distinctive sound of mice
teeth-a-munching coming from the shelves again. I came in to help her
and we removed can after can from the shelf, searching for the sneaky
mouse. We finally narrowed the sound down a bit and figured he was
hiding behind a glass pitcher that was filled with open packages of raw
spaghetti. Except when we removed the pitcher from the shelf only mouse
droppings remained. Then, the noise continued and we realized it was
coming from within the pitcher. Sure enough, down in the bottom of the
pitcher, inside the spaghetti packet itself, was the
mouse. He didn't seem to mind that his dinner area was being held aloft
at all. He just kept right on munching.
I stuffed a towel in the top of the pitcher and
carried it out the back door and walked nearly the entire way across the
huge field behind Grandma's house. Then, I dumped the contents out onto the
ground and shook the mouse out of the spaghetti package. He immediately
sprang toward me, then disappeared altogether. I was afraid he might be
on me somewhere, but then saw him bouncing toward some taller grass. I
flicked the towel in his direction until he began bouncing again, headed
away from the direction of Grandma's house.
The other mice weren't too concerned about being seen
either. Aunt Crystal reported that one ran across her bed, nearly
causing her to flee to a hotel. And the wife and I watched another tiny
little mouse for about ten minutes as it openly walked through the
living room, sniffing the traps and washing its fur. Sure, if we spoke
to it or moved at all it would zip under a couch, but it always
returned. Sometimes it would even walk within stomping distance of me as
I stood and watched it, but I just couldn't bring myself to squash
it--not that I'm fast enough to have succeeded even if I'd tried.
My dad said that what mice really want is to be
housepets. They'd like nothing better than to get the same treatment as a
dog or cat, with free food and a warm place to sleep. From the ones we
saw, I'd say that's probably true.