on "The Invasion of the Tiny, Fur-bearing Bastards"

Okay, I bought two live mouse traps from WalMart a couple weeks ago, against the advice of everyone earlier to just kill them. I was tired of killing. I figured I would give them a chance to leave the house peacefully.

WalMart only had one brand of live trap available*, and although it didn't look like a good one to me I shelled out the $11 each and held onto my receipt. The instructions on the box were to wind the trap five or six times (but don't overwind) and then place the trap on the pathway along the wall where the mouse has been seen. The idea was the mouse would run along through the trap (not supposed to use bait as it may reduce the effectiveness of the trap**) step on the pressure plate and it would quickly flip him like a furry little Indiana Jones into the holding cell and be reset for the next fool mouse to come along. It said it could hold up to 10 mice in comfort and style.***

Apparently I don't have foolish mice. I put them in the two areas where I knew the mice were frolicking and gave it a week. Nothing caught. So I boxed them back up and took them back to WalMart to return them. The lady at the Customer Service station gave me a look when I handed them over and said, "So they were used."

I answered, "Only technically since they never caught a mouse." I guess it mattered as to whether they went back on the shelf or not, but all I know is I got my $22 back.

Then I resumed ignoring the situation until yesterday morning.

I had climbed back in bed to warm up after my morning shower and I happened to be looking over in the direction of one of my DVD towers when a HUGE brown mouse streaked past the tower and ran behind the entertainment center, waving his dangly bits as he went and snickering at me as if to say, "Hah! You humane foooool! I'm off to gobble Cheerios!".

'You little...argh!' I thought. I leaped from my bed and looked behind the entertainment center but he was gone. Still, I knew I had seen him. And he was far too big and smug to tolerate any longer.

So last night I stopped off at the grocery store and picked up four snap traps. And groceries. Because I was there.

When I got home I unpacked everything and my son said, "So you bought some of the killing traps?" This made me feel bad about the whole thing all over again. When I was driving my son to school a couple years ago a squirrel darted out in front of us. I hit the brakes and the squirrel made it across the road. When we got going again I asked him why he was smiling and he said, "Because I have a dad that will stop for squirrels." And here I was setting up the killing kind of traps.

I explained to him that we tried the live trap method and it didn't work. I told him about the mouse I had seen that morning, how big it was, and if you see one there are many. I said that we cannot allow them to stay around the whole winter. And that they are disease ridden, spew flame and eat children. He said he understood. His sister was just keen on squishing mice. She still has a cartoon brain though, and doesn't really understand "death" as a final thing. She thinks traps catch mice by the tails, and then the mouse looks back in annoyance as he munches on the cheese. There's no final twitching in her world.

I loaded three of the traps with peanut butter, put one in my bathroom, one in my bedroom in the spot wwhere I had seen that morning's mouse, and one under the kitchen sink. I held one in reserve because as I said before, I'm not going to unload them when they've caught a mouse. I checked them all before I went to bed.

Then this morning when I made the rounds I found one dead under the kitchen sink. I loaded the reserve trap, swapped it out with the full one, trashed the full one and was looking calm before any kids noticed anything.

It's very unlikely that the mouse caught in the kitchen is the same as the one I saw in my room, although it was around the same size, if what I've read about them staying within 12-20 feet of their nests is true. I figure that with the distance involved I have around three nests minimum.

I'm gonna need more traps.

Now if there actually is such a thing as an EFFECTIVE live mouse trap I'm willing to pick one up in addition to the snap traps and save the lives of whichever mice are smart enough to choose well, but either way they are going to go.

*I cannot remember the brand of this trap. I wish I could. Their logo is like a head-on view of a cat that just slashed the customer. I get it now. They also make glue traps and traditional snap traps. And they had a website that was as crappy as the trap. If anyone happens to be in a WalMart and has a better memory for names than I do and a desire to look at the traps and drop me a line I would appreciate it. I tried to Google it, but no luck, so you know they're a top brand.

**By creating more mice, I guess. "One goes in, two come out!"

***It was teasing.


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