Elgan speaks
...and her words thunder across the land

Humans live in houses, rodents do NOT!

Monday, Jun. 7, 2004
7:35 a.m.
All I can say is thank you buddy list! Otherwise I would have absolutely no inspiration for writing in this diary. Today’s inspiration comes from wilberteets whose entry of last night reminded me that we too have a rodent problem in our otherwise genteel abode. Yesterday I was talking to Little Princess and her BF in the basement and I heard the distinct pitter patter of little mousie feet in the wall. They don’t usually come inside at this time of year, unless they’ve been here all winter and just haven’t figured how to get out.

I used to set traps for mice and our other unwanted tenants, moles. I hated emptying their small, cold bodies with the broken necks, feeling that I was a monster. I even bought an item called a “Rat Zapper”, which consists of an oblong box open at one end into which the unsuspecting critter goes anticipating a lovely treat of dried cat food which just happens to be sitting on a metal plate at the closed end. As soon as his little, moist feet touch that plate, a circuit is closed and he finds himself zapped with the full force of four AA batteries, and instantly dead. It is more humane than breaking their necks, especially since the standard trap doesn’t always get them where they’re supposed to. I’ve found dead moles with one leg trapped who were unable to drag themselves back into the hole in the wall and died of starvation. Not fun.

But my preferred way of dealing out death to these freeloaders is through bright green pellets, which takes a while to kill them, but eventually does. Yesterday I went upstairs with the last bag to place them behind the neewall in the attic, but found that there was already an untouched bag there. So I poured it instead into the plastic container I keep for that purpose in the cellar that sits in a depression in the floor and is at a perfect level for rodent dining. This particular poison takes about a week to do its dastardly deed, but the little bodies dessicate and do not smell.

The mole problem is recurring. They stay only in the basement (unlike the mice who run throughout the walls of the house) and have a characteristic odour. At first I thought they were coming in every fall when we loaded the wood for the fireplace into the basement through the wood door, but even after we stopped doing that we still got them, which makes me think there is some breach in the foundation wall or where the house frame meets it, and they are coming in through there. Nevertheless, they ruined a whole batch of my delicious fruit cake before I got smart and started storing it in an old vegetable crisper from a discarded refrigerator.

When my wee bairn was at preschool (oy, this is ages ago now) I was telling someone about how I got rid of one of these pesky creatures as the mothers were gathering outside of Jutta’s house in the act of retrieving their respective offspring. Jutta rushed over to me very concerned (she is a cancer survivor, after all) and said, “I heard you had a mole removed!” It was good for a laugh that day, but not for the poor mole.


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