Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unwelcome Visitor

I'm all for live and let live.  We've had unwanted critters in the house a few times before.  Check out this post for a funny story about when we had a mouse in the house.  Before that, we once had a bat.  I actually caught it (work gloves and a shoe box) and released it back outside.  Like I said, I believe in live and let live.

We've known for just over a week now that we had a mouse in the house. Because for a brief moment one of the cats caught it... but it got away. The cats were stalking the fridge, so we pulled it out, and sure enough, there was plenty of trace evidence left behind. But no mouse. We thought possibly it had left the way it came.  We set out a catch and release trap just in case it was still around.  Nothing.  Fast forward a week.  I am prepping meat and veggies for a crock pot stew.  I wash the cutting board and reach to place it in the dish drainer when I see this:

And all I can think about at this point is Stacey's stove incidentThis is SOOO beyond GROSS!  So I set the cutting board down, toss the sponge in the trash, and start scrubbing the dish drainer.  When I pick it up, I spot more evidence ... here:

This is the corner of the countertop behind the cookbook shelf.  At this point I am simultaneously freaking out and feeling sick to my stomach.  The mouse has defiled my beautiful kitchen!

And here:

Opposite corner of the countertop where the knife holder sits.  That white chunk is a piece of bread.  Upon further inspection I find that the mouse has climbed into the bread basket, chewed a hole into the bread that I eat (which I guess I don't eat often enough since it took me a week to discover) and has been doing quite a bit of snacking.  I also found forensic evidence inside the flour canister.  I honestly couldn't see how a mouse could get up on the countertops, let alone inside a ceramic canister - but this one is obviously quite crafty.  And very messy.

Well little mouse - when you decided to defile my kitchen - YOU DECLARED WAR!  No more Mr. Nice Guy at this house.  Nosiree.  I spent two and a half hours yesterday scouring my kitchen.  I threw out three packages of bread, a box of rice, a bag of flour - basically anything that sat on the countertop that was open.  I tossed the remains of a cake even though it was covered with cellophane.  Hey, that rodent ate through my bread bag, remember?  I removed every appliance and scrubbed the countertop and all the appliances - especially the toaster.  I checked all the cabinets just to be sure - thankfully the only evidence was on the countertops.  I emptied and scrubbed out the canisters.  We have Pfaltzgraf canisters that are actually labelled "Flour" "Sugar" "Coffee" "Tea" - but apparently the lids are loose enough to permit a mouse to enter.  I threw away the bread basket.  Eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww.  I sent DH numerous emails detailing the process and demanding that he do something to eliminate said mouse from my kitchen.

Not quite satisfied with having scrubbed the canisters, I went to Target and bought myself a set of new mouse-proof canisters:
The color is a little off in this photo - the walls are a mustardy yellow, the canisters are red.  But aren't they pretty?  No mouse getting in there!

DH came home with some less rodent-friendly traps (I'm sorry, but the mouse started it) which were set out last night.  I'm happy to say that as of this morning my home has one less resident.  Traps remain in place just in case the little creep wasn't alone.

On the bright side, my kitchen is really really CLEAN. And I have a new canister set!


scrappyjacky said...

Not a good idea to get on the wrong side of you then....I promise I'll only ever leave nice comments!!!!!!!

Kelly Miller said...

Yuck! I haven't dealt with mice, but I do live in the middle of the woods so we deal with waterbugs (which is the no-blame way of saying roaches). When you come home at night, you can see them scrambling across the driveway in the headlights. Again, yuck!

Sian said...

You've got my sympathy! Having a mouse in the house is not nice. But it has made a great entertaining post, so thanks for sharing it :)

humel said...

Oh poor you - we've had mice in our house before, I turned into 'cartoon woman standing on chair shrieking' (to my shame!) but I do have every sympathy for you xx

I also thoroughly enjoyed the way you told the story! :-)

DeannaLB said...

Funny! I think you need a better cat. :o)