OK, so I think we’ve all been there.
Sooner or later, whether while living in near-squatter conditions when fresh out of university or just when you think you’ve finally settled into the semi-hygienic status of middle age, they invade. If you’re lucky, it’s just a few mice. If you’re unlucky – as I’ve been over the past week or so – it’s the other white meat. Either way, it sucks.
I remember once in graduate school when my roommates and I came home to find a dead squirrel on our kitchen floor. One of my roommates – a gentle, ecologically-minded Finn – burst into tears. She was terribly upset about the unfortunate fate of “the animal” and had to shield her eyes. My other roommate – a more pragmatic young woman from Peru – grabbed the thing buy its tail and tossed it into the garbage. “Hey man, I’m from Peru,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “We eat this sh$% for dinner.”
Boy, do I wish I had her with me now…
About the only positive thing that’s come out of this harrowing experience is that it’s united me with numerous friends on Facebook suffering from similar infestations. At this point, I think we could form some kind of Pest Control support group and set up a Facebook page of our own. Lord knows the rats have already done something similar. (“Hey guys, c’mon over to the Mews tonight…great crumbs!”)
And so, for this week’s tips list, here are five ways to deal with rodents, born of experience together with a little help from my friends:
1. Traps. There are two options here. The first is the old-fashioned snap trap where a giant spring snaps down on their head. I must admit a certain partiality to this rather Draconian technique for catching – and killing – a mouse or rat. Or, if you’re a kinder, gentler soul, you can go for a humane trap that enables you to set these darlings free once they’re caught. Gotta admit, that last one lost me with its photo banner.
2. Pets. Some say cats are best because mice (at least) can’t stand the smell of them. Others say only a dog can deal with rats. Me? I hate pets. But I can see getting a hold of one of these babies – a rat-eating plant. Now that’s a pet I could live with.
3. Sirens. Who knew? Apparently, mice and rats can be repelled by powerful, ultra-sonic waves. No fuss. No muss. We just bought a few of these to give them a test-drive.
4. Poison. OK, I know it’s evil. But it works. And I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching those tiny pellets go from green to white after they’d been nibbled.
5. Alcohol. As with so many things, alcohol is often your best strategy. I’d recommend taking a good, healthy swig of whatever suits you before you dive into that coat closet to look for bodies.
I was delighted that yesterday’s post in PoliticsDaily.com about the U.S. postal service was picked up by this blog of transportation professionals. I’m learning more about this issue by the moment!
Image: Rats by Yaatra via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.