Challenge number one - Mice.
About a month ago my cat, Turtle, began a diligent watch at the heater register in my dining room. I immediately knew it must be a mouse. No biggie though, because obviously the cat was on the job. I have since decided my cat is useless.
Saw the mouse in the pantry one afternoon. Handled myself relatively well. Went to grab a box to catch it in, because I didn't want to kill the poor little scared thing. Got back to the pantry and discovered the mouse didn't wait around for me. For some reason it didn't occur to me that it would leave. Well, must have scared it off. Went and got some of those sticky traps that the mice are supposed to stick to, and then you just carry the tray out and throw it in the garbage. I didn't want to dwell too much on picking up the tray with a live mouse and carrying it out where it would starve to death in the garbage can. So I didn't.
A couple of weeks went by and no mouse signs. Thought it must have thought better of tangling with me and my glue traps. Then this last weekend I opened the pantry and lo and behold - mouse signs everywhere! Gross. I cleaned out the pantry, wiped everything down, threw away everything that was open. I would like to point out that there were perfect little mouse prints in the glue traps. While I did this my chihuahua was going nuts over a box on the bottom shelf. Aha! There must be mice in there. Who knew chihuahuas were better mousers than cats? This time, I'm going to be smart. I took the box outside and opened it. Sure enough a mouse leaps out and runs across the yard. So I start to remove the items from the box and ANOTHER mouse jumps out. Yikes. Please don't let there be babies.....No babies. Whew! Run free little mice!
I figured the mice were gone, all is well. Nevermind my boyfriend saying "Why didn't you take them out to the field and release them? They're just going to come back in." Notice I didn't see him catching the mice. Sure enough, much to my chagrin, I open the door to my clean pantry yesterday and the mice are back. Ugh. All right, I am sick and tired of removing everything and cleaning it, so these suckers need to die. Went out and got the snapping traps.
The directions say something like this "Place the bait on the bait bar, pull back the U bar and place the holding rod under the U shaped pin on the bait bar". WHAT?! Which end does the bait go on? Where are the pictures? Which one is the holding bar? How do I avoid smashing my fingers? My engineer father is cringing right now, I know. God bless EHOW. If you ever need to know something, check there. I realize that using the internet isn't exactly self reliant, but it's better than a phone call. Besides, I'm visual. I needed pictures.
Ta-Da! Set the trap. Actually, I set four of them, baited with peanut butter. And I didn't smash my fingers even once! I'm so proud. All night long I jumped at every little noise and ran for the pantry. Nothing. I tossed fitfully all night, imagining the carnage I was going to find in the morning. I jumped up at 6am, grabbed the trash can and gloves and flung open the pantry door. Trap number 1 - empty. Ditto traps 2 and 3. Trap number 4 was super empty - no mouse, no bait. Crap. I have Houdini the death-defying mouse in my pantry. And now he's snoozing somewhere with a belly full of my good peanut butter.