Monday, December 15, 2008


We have a problem and it's vermin. More specifically--mice. But I prefer calling them vermin. Vermin is a word I can't seem to get enough of lately!

The problem is in our kitchen and seems to be contained to two lower cabinets that house things like a blender, food processor and some pots and pans. Luckily, no foodstuffs are in there--so I'm not totally clear on why the vermin want to hang out in there--maybe to get out of the cold?

In any case, the thing that clued me into the vermin was the tell-tale "droppings." Ew--just writing that makes me sick! I told Don to get these fancy-type traps I heard about that "hide" the deceased vermin (kind of a "Roach Motel" but for mice)--because I can't cope with actually seeing them. But he couldn't find those and had to settle for the gross-out kind.

Long story, short--we have caught five and a half vermin in six days.

The "half catch" went something like this:

It's late at night and I'm in the kitchen alone trying to to catch up on some blog-reading. Everyone has gone to bed and it's quiet.

Suddenly, I hear the vermin trap go off. Snap!

I freak out a little and have to suppress my immediate urge to try and save the vermin. I stand frozen--but I still hear clanking noises coming from the cabinet. This upsets me--aren't these traps supposed to be quick and painless? Why is the vermin still moving?

I write a note for Don to see in the morning so he can "take care" of the vermin. The cabinet is quiet now.

But a few minute later, the clanking start up again! What does this mean? I write another note to Don saying that I don't know or understand what the state of the vermin is.

For the next half-hour I hear continual noise from the cabinet. I write a third note stating that that the vermin is not deceased and warning Don that I don't know what could be going on in there.

The next morning I find Andy in the kitchen (he gets up early with Don and they watch "The Daily Joe" together) and ask him what happened with the vermin.

"It was intense!" he told me.

Apparently, only the vermin's foot had been caught in the trap, so Don attempted to pick up the trap with a pair of pinking shears so he could move the whole business outside. (Side note: Don was bitten by a mouse at a young age. The details are sketchy, but somehow he was holding a "wild mouse" and it bit him and then his parents had to "turn the mouse in" so it could be tested for rabies. He will "never hold a mouse again," he has vowed.) But the trap dropped to to the floor and the vermin started running around the kitchen, dragging the trap.

Then Don tried to use various spatulas and slotted spoons so he could get it outside and release it. After a few missteps where both Don and the mouse ended up in snow, the mouse was released.

Don said the mouse seemed "perfectly healthy."

Anyway, the vermin problem doesn't seem to be letting up, so I might have to call in the professionals. Any vermin advice would be greatly appreciated!

Oh, and here are my notes to Don--they're kind of funny!

Edited to add: OMG--on the blog I was just reading, the "Captcha" was verminn. No joke! Do you think they're trying to communicate with me from the Great Beyond??


Ronda's Rants said...

Is the Great beyond your bask yard?
I do not like mice or rats....yuk!
My oldest son when he was in 9th grade had a class project where they had to train a baby rat to go through a maze and time it...he had this rat for 6 months. Then the teacher said they could keep them...My son brought it home nad he and the rat loved each other but I just couldn't have it in the house! To this day I feel badly...that I couldn't let my son keep it...but they gross me out!
YUCK...Don is a brave man!

Andrea said...

sorry, i had to LOL at your story. the thought of the guys in the kitchen chasing a mouse with a trap on his foot was just too hilarious. i have no advice but i hope you get it taken care of soon! i hate mice or any kind of 'vermin' also. good luck!

Jennifer said...

The notes crack me up. Hopefully, you can get rid of that vermin fast!

Heather said...

Two things:

1) If you can't find the "hide the corpse" fancy traps, get the cheapo ones and then place them in a paper lunchbag, tipped sideways. Voila, no touching or seeing of vermin corpses needed!

2) Tell Don: BBQ tongs. Much better than spatulas, spoons or pinking shears.


Oh, and one more: Get a cat! The only vermin that dare enter our house are of the catnip-stuffed, cute kitty toy variety!

Angie said...

LOL, I'm sorry you have vermin that really bites but you write about it with flair! LOL, When you said half vermin I thought your dogs got to it, we had those nifty sticky traps in the garage, the next day we caught some and they were headless on the traps but there laid my chow...full of vermin licking her chops...*gag* Good luck!

Van said...

What a cute vermin story. It's a keeper! Obviously yours isn't a house where, "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

Kristin said...

Good use age of the worm vermin in your story. Love the notes to Don. I hope that you are vermin free soon.

Jessica said...

Oh my, I hope you get rid of them soon!

Jen said...

get a cat then there will be no more vermin

CaraBee said...

We had a small infestation when we first moved to this house three years ago. My husband lifted up the top of the stove and saw mouse droppings in there. He immediately lugged it out to the garage. I'm still not sure how because the thing weighted about 150 pounds. That should give you some idea of how much he hated the idea of meeces anywhere close to our food. We lived without a stove for the two weeks it took for a new one to come in. We have a 36 in stove, special order of course. We patched the hole they were coming in through and haven't had trouble since. Good thing because I quite like the new stove.

Ashley said...

Ick!!! I hope your vermin problem is over soon! That just gives me the heeby jeebies thinking about a mouse stuck in a trap running around!!!

Kori said...

OMG, I loved the notes to Don; they were perfect. I just have two cats, one inside and one outside, and they seem to take care of most of the probs. I hate the trap and since I am the only adult in the household, it is always my job to "empty" them. Ugh, no thanks.

Marilyn said...


Rebecca Jo said...

YIPEE - he got out of your house safely!!! We had a mouse in our garage - my husband was going to kill it - but it had 3 babies on its back... We couldnt kill it- so I took a broom & pushed it over to the field across the of the babies fell off & I was trying to get the baby back to its mommy - kept thinking of Fivel from Amerian Tale - it was very dramatic!

mrsmouthy said...

Yikes, what an ordeal!! I listened to an NPR podcast recently called "building a better mousetrap" and it named all sorts of catching devices, from gas chambers (that they tried to sell in Germany, of all places) to traps that leave you with a bucket of antifreeze and dead mice to dispose of. Turns out it's not CATCHING mice that's difficult; it's what to do after they're caught.

Good luck!

Susie said...


quitecontrary1977 said...

I think mice are so cute, but I have a fear of them crawling up my legs. I usually make someone catch it, and take it outside. Yeah, it's probably going to come right back in, but look at those adorable, pink, twitchy noses! I could kill something that little and cute!

Auds at Barking Mad said...

OMG do I ever have a story for you!

We live not far from Swanky Bowdoin college. It's a private uni here in Maine and one of the old old old, but gorgeously renovated homes houses some of the students as a dorm. It has 8 bedrooms I think.

Room and board for Bowdoin comes in at over $50K a year, and this house is INFESTED to the gills with mice. Little tiny, mice. Everywhere.

The girls wake up and because this is Maine, they only use humane traps, there are sometimes more than 3 or 4 mice caught PER ROOM per night, over the course of the last month. It's getting worse as it gets colder.

All I can think is, Thank God Megawatt declined her acceptance at Bowdoin and opted for St. Joes because SJ does not have MICE! Well not that I know of.

The manner in which your hubby went about catching the 1/2 trapped mouse cracked me up. One of these days I'll have to post the story of the chipmunk in my study...I even took photos!

This made me laugh. Probably only because it wasn't me in the situation!

Jen B. said...

EWWWW! I HATE mice! or should I say vermin? They're so little & disgusting! Good luck getting rid of them!

noble pig said...

Oh geez that's the worst! They are so you have a cat you could borrow? That will do it. I would be on the table screaming if a mouse was doing that around my kitchen.

Shannon said...

Eww! That would have freaked me out, too. I would not have just left notes for Shane, though. I totally would've gone and woken him up! Get out here NOW and take care of the vermin!

vermin communicating with you from the great beyond... BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok, that is funny and sad and disturbing all at the same time.

I absolutely do not condone those traps....they make me ill to think what they do.

We've had mice problems in the past when I was a child. We used Dcon.....the mice think they are getting a good meal.....a few days later...they die in their sleep. You rarely ever find their little bodies....they are hidden....and there is something in the dcon that keeps them from smelling.

Looks a lot like your bunny food though.....don't mix it up!!!!

Allison said...

OMG!!!! In college our house was infested with them...and I had to dispose of several of them. Ewwwhh! So, I can totally feel your panic and anxiety!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm cracking up! I love the notes and then the Captcha thing sent me over the edge!!