Friday, July 10, 2009

Eeek! I've Been Overun With Mice!

I live in the woods, so I expect the occasional rodent in the house. As a rule, I keep several bait trays strategically located throughout the house. When I first moved out here, I used to keep mouse traps baited with peanut butter, but after witnessing the cruel results of their evil intent, I switched from those medieval devices to poison.

Yesterday, I noticed that the bait trays I laid out several weeks ago, where completely empty! That's a sure sign of a new mice infestation, so I put out several more brand new trays. Well..........I got up this morning, and lo and behold, the bait tray in the kitchen was completely empty! So, into the utility room I went, only to discover that one was totally empty too! I've never seen them emptied so fast. Now I'm worried, because mice infestations attract snakes, and out here in the woods, besides the occasional harmless black snake, that means copperheads! Last spring, I read about the son of a local resident, getting bitten on the foot by a copperhead inside of his house, as he descended the stairs from his bedroom one morning. His father hearing his screams, was bitten too, as he descended those same stairs, and encountered the fangs of the very same serpent at the bottom of the steps!

I've yet to see a copperhead in the house, but I have seen the shed skin of a huge black snake, hanging from the vinyl siding on the corner of the house. Later, while cutting grass one summer, I saw him! He was black and shiny, about three inches in diameter, and at least six feet long! Still.....a black snake is harmless, unless you mess with him, and then he can deliver a nasty bite, but a copperhead on the other hand, will lie there looking just like a fallen branch, and strike without warning, when you get too close. Copperheads have a very nasty venom. A few years ago, a local woman nearly lost her leg, when she was mowing her lawn with a lawn tractor, and the tread of the rear wheel picked up a copperhead, and rolled it up onto her thigh.

On a lighter note, let us all rejoice!, For the weekend is at hand, and our dear Chrissie is off to her first Sparkle, after 20 years in drab! Oh, how I wish I could be there with her!

Have a wonderful weekend everybody,


Leslie Ann said...

How many horror stories can you pack into one entry, girl?

I will say that the poison route saves you the displeasure of dealing with maimed mice, but they privately have a prolonged, nasty death with the poison. The traps are brutal but quick. But perhaps you savor a long, terrible mouse death, and I shant take that guilty pleasure away from you.

You have convinced me here that country living is not for me. Thank you for the heads up.

caroline said...

You don't look look a backwoods woman! All I get is a few bug bits and an occasional mouse seaking warmth in the winter.

Caroline x

Anonymous said... post Melissa. I was going to say the same thing Leslie said. I like the snap traps because it's instantaneous can usually hear them snap...voila''s time to clean out the trap. If a snake eats a poisoned mouse, he's been poisoned too. I can throw the mouse killed by the snap trap out in the pasture and he disappears in very short order. What the coyotes and neighborhood dogs don't eat...the fireants

I live out in the country but I have a yard around the house. The vast majority of the pests stay out in the pasture...even most of the mosquitoes. We do have the occasional mouse in the house but we hardly ever see a snake anywhere on the property. I know they're there but I guess they are kept fat and sassy by all the food in the pasture. The most plentiful poisonous snake in our area is the copperhead. Nobody ever seems to die from their bite...they're not as deadly as a rattlesnake. I know a man who got bit by a copperhead, on his hand, while gardening, and he never even went to the doctor. Admittedly he was one of the toughest dudes I've ever known. It's amazing the snake didn't

Hissssssssssss!!!! :)Suzi

Stephanie said...

We're into our second month of trying to rid the house of mice. I was baiting traps with peanut butter and a few cannabis seeds. The mice die a happy death at least! But the amount of mice we have called for some D-Con rat poison. The only thing I don't like about the poison is they stink for a week after they die, and if my dog eats one that drops dead over night, it may kill the dog, or make him very sick anyway. I guess I could do like the redneck hunters do around here. I could sit with my rifle and shoot 'em when I see 'em! lol

Melissa said...

Not sure I want to start shooting in the house. lol I have actually caught a couple and turned them loose outside. When you come across them, they will usually do one of two things, run for their life, or freeze. The ones I caught just froze in place, and I was able to put a pot over them, then inset a magazine under the pot to hold them in. Then I just carried them outside. They were probably back in the house in less than five minutes. lol

A couple of winters ago, I was napping while reclining on the couch, with my feet up on the ottoman. I opened my eyes and looked to my right, and there was a mouse on the cushion right next to me! I said hello to him, expecting him to rum away, but he just stayed there. I was so impressed with his utter lack of concern, that I let him stay there and continued my nap. A few minutes passed, and I opened my right eye and looked over to see if he was gone, and he was napping to! After a while, he woke up and still little groggy, crawled to the edge of the sofa, dropped down to the floor and slowly walked away! I couldn't believe it.

The Crossdresser's Girlfriend said...

You are absolutely darling!
I cannot believe it's taken me so long to find you!
I just know I'll be hooked on your wit!

Anonymous said...

Late fall summons the arrival of mice in the house. I use a combination spring and glue traps. The ones caught in the glue traps are killed by a heavy shovel. I know it isn't humane..but after seeing them suffer in a glue trap I figured it was a better alternative. Thank God we in the upper Midwest do not have to deal with deadly snakes. I like my cold winters.

Calie said...

Snakes and mice? Ewwwwww!!!!

Hey Melissa! I'm a country girl too! 10 acres worth of country. Plenty of icky things out there.

The fix:


They also love you and could care less what your gender is.

Um...Stephanie, dear, where did you get those cannabis seeds? lol

Melissa said...

Calie, I used have a cat, but when he died a few years ago I never replaced him. A cat could eat well around this place. Plenty of little rodents running around, inside and out! :-D

I love kitties, and you are right about their gender tolerance. My cat knew me instinctively, and was always affectionate, no matter which gender I was presenting in. He did have a bad habit of putting runs in my hose though!


alan said...

You aren't going to want to hear this, but if you should happen to get bit, try to grab the snake without destroying it's head. A friend, an ICU nurse, bitten while camping, hiked his way 20 some miles back to his truck, drove the the ER and told them he'd been bitten by a copperhead.

They asked had he brought the snake because without it they weren't sure which anti-venom to give him. He and I had both always thought as long as you told them "rattler" or "copperhead" or "water moccasin" that you were covered...they also told him if you crush the head it's worthless, though I thought that was only for rabid animals!

I'm not sure if they really work or I was lucky, but for years there have been "sonic" devices that supposedly broadcast a pitch that the pests can't stand but you can't hear. I had 3 dogs at the time and it never bothered them; I didn't have any more mice in the house after I plugged it in and know my neighbors did. I bought mine at a Westlake "Ace" hardware store.

Best of luck in your battle!

It's nice to meet you!


Melissa said...

Thank you Alan! You know, I always wondered if those sonic devices were for real, or just a gimmick. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try them. Traps and bait trays work, but you no sooner get rid of one family of mice, when another moves in.

So far I've been lucky. I haven't spotted any copperheads yet, but I make sure to pull back the covers and look real good, before getting into bed at night! ;-)