Friday, December 17, 2010
Of mice and men
I have a mouse problem. Just about anyone who has had longer than a five-minute conversation with me lately knows this.
To date this fall, my husband has killed 34 mice in snap-traps in our basement and attic. I have become irrationally afraid of entering the attic – I do know, after all, that I am bigger than the mice and they won’t hurt me – and only go into the basement because I must, in order to do laundry.
We heard them scurrying above our heads at night for the first time last fall and set some traps in the basement and attic. Perhaps a dozen mice later and one particularly dramatic encounter with a tiny live mouse in the basement we thought, “Okay. Good. Done.”
Then this fall arrived. The scurrying above our bedroom was back but had morphed into a manic scraping, digging sound. Were the mice trying to dig through the ceiling to get to us in our bed? Terrifying visions of the gigantic warrior mice from The Nutcracker ran through my head.
So we set traps again, and the numbers of dead mice starting building from there. My husband believes we are steadfastly killing the remains of the previous fall’s mouse family who were left to breed within our walls due to our own negligence as last winter wore on. I feel it may be time to call a professional to help us locate the point of entry where this influx of mice is happening.
For all the lovely things that come with living in Carlisle, I’m willing to kill – or more accurately, have my husband kill – a few mice bold and clever enough to find a way indoors when the weather turns cold. I understand that this comes with living in a pastoral place like Carlisle.
I’m not sure it’s realistic to expect that we can keep out every last mouse when they can allegedly squeeze through an opening the size of a pencil eraser.
But isn’t 34 in one autumn season an awful lot of mice? As a still green 3½-year Carlisle resident, and 2-year rookie of country-living mouse wars, I ask you, when is it time to say “uncle” and call for reinforcements? ∆
© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito