Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Great Mouse Safari

One of the little exigencies of life in a hundred-year-old farm house in North Missouri is the Great November Mouse Migration. At this time all the mice pack up their little mouse bags and take the shortest route into the first available residence. They bring all their relatives and invite any other mice who might have been visiting at the time. Mice who have lived very happily and quite comfortably all summer and fall in the tall grass beneath the apple tree or under the propane gas tank or under the corner of the shed, are compelled to check out more substantial housing.

I am never ready for this and this year was no different. One night I could sit comfortably in my living room watching TV and the next you could hardly hear over the scratchings and goings on in the corners. I opened the drawer that held my important documents, (bits of old poems, calendars from 1999-2001, registration papers of cars smashed into tin foil years ago, etc) and out jumped a mouse. I was not quick enough and by the time I got down off the wall he had escaped.

A Great Mouse Migration can only be countered by a Great Mouse Safari.

So I geared up. The question was, how best to drive them from the house without endangering the legal residents, namely myself, my daughter, my son and Bingo the terrier? Hesitant to risk the side effects of all the available poisons I gave it serious thought.

I decided that the list of side effects were not as hair raising as those listed for Viagra or most blood pressure medication so I bought everything I could find. I brought home a sack full of mousetraps, four little bags of tiny pellets, two bigger bags of bigger pellets, a pack of big round cakes of green stuff supposed to be irresistible to mice and most interesting of all, a pack of little oblong things with stick 'em stuff on it that is designed to literally stop mice in their tracks.

Well, I am glad to report that all of this effort has been a resounding success in more ways than a dozen! I have been motivated to clean out all the cabinets and closets, (thanks little mice people) that haven't been touched since last year, just in case they had left their little calling cards behind. A good deal of effort has been put into finding little entry holes or gaps and all have been stuffed with steel wool or covered with carpenters cloth. Bingo, the terrier, was so inspired by the mouse trap thing that she would come running to tell me "we had another one". Mousing is one of her favorite things but obviously she never knew it could be this easy. She seldom catches anything on her own.

The only glitch was the little sticky things. I thought they worked great but Sarah wasn't too pleased. It seems the little mice people get stuck alright but tend to surf around the house for quite awhile on their little sticky surf boards. I personally have not seen this happen but she and Brian did as one of the mice people decided to surf clear into the dining room while they were eating their tenderloin sandwiches and french fries.

Anyway, I think my Great Mouse Safari has been a great success.

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