Saturday, November 28, 2009

ardillas y ratones

Our house is not only home to the humans that reside here but to some uninvited rodent squatters. I'm a rather caring and considerate person with respect to animals (I was going to say animal lover but that conjures a sense of excessiveness to me) but when it comes to an us or them predicament I have to choose us.

With the changes of temperature that can come with the equinoxes we often start to see flashes of gray out of the corner or our eyes in the evenings around the house and what seem like chocolate sprinkles where there shouldn't be any. I know the hantavirus is probably relatively rare when the number of infested houses is taken into consideration but the consequences are significant. Trapping live and releasing somewhere doesn't seem to be a viable option. Letting them go in a field in freezing weather doesn't seem human; they've come inside to get out of the cold. Letting them go somewhere so that they could take up residency in the abode of another might be considerate of the mice but not of the neighbor. I've trapped eight so far this fall.

The standard Victor trap with bait still seems the most effective although I've discovered that death isn't as instantaneous as I had assumed. I had caught several with a little cube of cheddar cheese but there was a while there that the cheese kept disappearing. I decided to put some Horizon Organic Unsalted Butter as bait because it would require more eating in place. It worked; butter once again proves to be unhealthful even though it's organic and unsalted. Given my own weakness for butter, it felt a bit dastardly to use butter to trap a mouse after my own heart. Continuing in that vein I loaded the trap with pumpkin pie last night and it was licked clean this morning. I've had seconds and thirds on pie so I'm sure it'll be back again. I need to move the refridgerator and stove to clean the floor of droppings under them before the long weekend is over. Last fall we even had droppings on top of the refridgerator!

The squirrels are possibly an even worse threat to us. They have found ways of getting in to the attic space and I have discovered that they have gnawed the insulation off of some wiring. Shouldn't they get a life-ending jolt when the reach copper? I need to get up in there and shoo them out and then seal up the known portals. I'm afraid to discover what damage they may have done. It would be handy to have a cat to put up there for an hour. Sunshine, our dog of seven years, was not a threat to the squirrels although she made it her life's work to be one. Even with Sunshine on constant alert the squirrels didn't leave a plum, peach, or strawberry for us to enjoy for the past three our four years. Well, if you ever hear that our house burned up you'll know I didn't solve the squirrel problem but mouse problem will have been solved.

No comments:

Post a Comment