Rodent Patrol

published on 2005-11-02 in uncategorized

Warning: this may be a little gross for squeamish/PETA readers...

So we have these next door neighbors. And they have a lot of people living in their house. And 4 dogs. And the amount trash they produce as a household overflows from the bins. And that (among other things) has given them a pest problem. Ants, rats, mice, whatever. This spring, his wife made him tear down the shanty/shack he built in the back yard because it was infested with rats. He told me they all ran into my yard. Thanks. The rats made their way to my storage shed, which Tracy discovered a few weeks later. That totally wigged me out to see 3 or 4 rats running around in there, so close to my house. I am like Indiana Jones's dad, I hate rats. After scaring the remaining rat out (and doing a little adrenaline dance when he exited between my legs) I cleaned it out and put out poison. It vanished, they vanished. We also found a few mice dead in the pool. Yuck, but at least they were outside. I've never lived anywhere that rodents were a problem inside or out. I guess in SoCal, the proximity of homes and dense population gives them a little bit better place to survive. Having neighbors with a rodent problem doesn't help either.

So last week Tracy swears up and down she saw something dart across the living room floor out of the corner of her eye, but didn't get a good enough look at it to tell if it was a lizard or a mouse. Yes, we had a lizard in the house once or twice, they like to sleep near the door frame on sunny days. The next day she says she saw it dart around again and said it was definatly a mouse. So I tear up the living room looking for signs of mice and find that the AC intake vent isn't installed properly, leaving a gap which the little bastards could squeeze thru from the airbox. The AC intake bridges the living room and the garage because the airbox is in the garage. So I reinstall properly, closing the gap. I also used some expanda-foam to fill in a bunch of cracks and areas around the airbox. That was last week, no sightings since, even the crickets have disappeared. I figured he found his way out in the middle of the night somehow.

But tonight, after eating a glorious meal of orange peel chicken, I was sitting on the couch using the laptop when some movement caught my eye. The little bastard darted from beside the TV and went under the couch I was sitting on. Two words: heebie jeebies. I whipped out the mag-light and investigated. He must have gone into the couch. So I got Tracy to man the hallway with a broom. Didn't want him going into the bedrooms...I wouldn't be able to sleep, might have to burn down the house or something. I armed myself with a broom as well and started trying to get him to exit the couch. I turned it on it's side, nearly knocking down our ceiling fan. I beat on it, I ripped up the bottom and poked around, beat it some more, nothing. At one point, after a hard smack, I heard him plop from one side to another but no exit was made. So I pushed it over and let the whole 3 seat couch nail the ground. Instantly, he darted onto the tile and hid behind the nearby vaccum cleaner. I removed the vac and he took off again in an attempt to run into the kitchen.

Keep in mind that no animal runs well on polished ceramic tile. They just kinda slide. Ever see a dog or cat try to run on tile? Imagine that but shrink it into mouse form and feed it some crack to enduce the amazing 10-direction-changes-per-second running style of a mouse.

I did a quick street-hockey move with the broom and he went flying across the tile and slapped the wall near the front door, stunning him for a moment. Totally unprepared to actually catch him, I ran at top speed to grab some some yard gloves while Tracy (who was until now standing on a chair, screaming) fetched a plastic bag. He regained his composure and started to make his move again so I pinned him with the broom. Haha! Got you now, little fucker! But he was squirming a lot...I didn't want to get bitten in the capture attempt. So I did what any momentairly insane rodent hunter with street-hockey skills would do: dropped the puck. I let him get a few feet away and immediately slapped him into the wall again for a 2nd stun, this time a little harder. Whap! I quickly grabbed him with the gloves, put him in the bag, took him outside and bashed him against the ground a few times before depositing the bloody mousebag of death in the trash.

Holy fuck that was gross. Yikes.

I immediately felt a lot better knowing it was dead/gone, but the whole ordeal put me a little on edge. So I proceeded to place a few traps around to see if there are more that need the kaibosh. Damn dude. Rodents suck. w