About a month ago, I learned that my upstairs neighbors had a run-in with some rodents. They'd caught three mice in a week. Ick. Compulsive kitchen cleaner that I am, I was unperturbed, reassuring myself that this sort of thing would never happen in my kitchen. (Not that I am accusing my friendly upstairs neighbors of being slobs or anything, but they probably don't scour the countertops or floors as much as I do.) Then about three weeks ago, as I was settling into bed, I heard it. Scratching. Distinct and persistent clawing sounds coming from somewhere on the far side of the apartment. I stealthily padded across the carpet to see if I could narrow down the location, but by the time I got to the tiled kitchen, it had stopped.
Two nights later, as I was sitting at the laptop working at the kitchen table, I heard it again. The lights were still on and I was sitting about six feet away from the scritch-scratching. Agh! BRAZEN little bugger, this one was. Still, I didn't get a visual on my uninvited guest.
The next night, as I settled down to do a little reading in bed, I heard something that sounded like a plastic bag rustling. This time I bolted across the apartment wielding a heavy frying pan, sprinting to the kitchen just in time to see a furry intruder scamper out of the small trashcan and disappear behind the counter somewhere. The next morning, I borrowed the electric mouse zapper from my upstairs neighbors, whose furry interloper population seem to have moved down to my place. I set it with a nice, stoneground wheat cracker slathered with organic peanut butter. What mouse wouldn't want that (as a last meal)?
Apparently not this one.
A day or two after that, the little bugger took a bite out of one of the tomatoes I had ripening on the counter. The counter!! Where I knead my sourdough bread! Blech! I scrubbed the counter down, then disinfected it, then scoured it again the next morning just before I started making bread. Then, concerned that maybe some gunk in the mouse trap was blocking the sensor, I scrubbed out the zap trap with an old toothbrush -- finally, something useful that my ex-boyfriend left here -- and put in a stale cracker with some stinky brie rind. That should do it, I congratulated myself. What mouse could resist?
Now, I know it's getting colder and all, and outdoor creatures are in search of a warm, safe place to snuggle up for the winter. And I am an animal lover through and through. I actually capture silverfish and spiders and crickets when I find them in my bathroom, carry them outside, and let them out in the garden. I've made a relative truce with the squirrels and rats that scamper through my garden on occasion. But I cannot abide rodents in my kitchen. This is war.
Today, after lunch and a stop by the bike shop for a new front wheel, dad and I made our way to Logan Hardware to prepare my apartment for a serious anti-rodent offensive. After some debate in the pest aisle, dad suggested that I try out a few different mousetrap models. He and I have a wager on which one will work best. My money's on the covered one (which, incidentally, has a lower probability of Ibti finger damage), while dad stands by the cartoon-style, old school snap trap:
We'll see who's the smart one now, Nibbles....