Monday, December 1, 2008

Build a Better Baited Mousetrap

We have a mouse in our basement. Maybe, mice. Hopefully, mouse. First, the long-tailed vermin got into the dog food—chewed a lovely hole into a bin full of dog food. Then, once the dog food bin was removed, it chewed on the stored dining room table pad in the basement. Obviously my communist table wiper (see “Communist Car Wash”) had done only the minimum job. So, the table pad was removed to a safe place, and the traps came out.

My husband Cal worked at a pest control company when he was doing his Master’s degree in seminary, so vermin removal is his territory (or sphere of sovereignty, if you prefer). Cal bought snap traps—he eschews glue traps because they aren’t as humane and ought to be used only as a last resort.

One night he set his traps. One trap had mozzarella cheese—he’d sewed it to a trap with a needle and burgundy thread. The second trap he baited with dog food—it seemed to be a favorite of the mouse. The next day Cal went downstairs to survey the fruits of his labor. Sadly, the mozzarella had been eaten right off the trap and the thread lay in a neat pile on top of the unsnapped trap. The other trap was also unsnapped—and the dog food was no where to be seen.

Obviously, our mouse was not your ordinary run-of-the-mill Mickey. He must be more of a Milton. Or, maybe a she, a Murgatroid. In any case, Cal had a new strategy. Glue. Yes, he decided to glue the bait to the trap. First, he got out the Gorilla glue. I imagined the bait encased in a dried foam of unbreakable glue and said, “Honey, do you know how much that stuff swells as it dries?” (I have plenty of experience gluing on the arms and legs of Frodo and Aragorn and the various appendages of Uruk-hai, Treebeard and a massive cave troll.) At any rate, Calvin agreed and got out the Elmer’s wood glue. Once again, he baited the traps with cheese and Pedigree nuggets. But, our Murgatroid is a bright mouse-ette. This morning, it was as I suspected—she had smelled the glue and left well enough alone. Cal hasn’t decided what to do next. (We’ve been busy getting the last of Luke’s and Ariel’s scholarship papers delivered to the right place.) I’m sure that by tonight he’ll have figured out a new and better way to bait a trap. I think he’s considering chocolate. And if he doesn’t catch mice, he may catch a chocolate-lover or two.

P.S. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the mouse/mice are here as part of Oswald’s plan to take over the house/world.

1 comment:

  1. So you have a mouse, eh? We get those in the winter, too. We've discovered that it takes too much work to catch them, so we usually either ignore it. One time a mouse died under our house... erg...

    PS: I never knew Mr. Keller worked as a Pest-Control guy! Wow!