Enough with the stories - I'm still dealing with mice here. Good news - I got one!!! After rebaiting the traps, I successfully nabbed a rodent. My father will make a hunter of me yet. Now, I have to admit, I did have to get some advice on this one. I managed to set and bait the traps on my own, but Houdini was licking the bait off the traps and getting away scott-free. Taking advice isn't the same as not being self sufficient, is it? I mean, it's not like anyone came over and changed the bait on the traps for me. But I'm going to pay it forward here, and let you all know what I was told in case it can be of assistance to you in the future.
1. Scrap the creamy peanut butter and skip the Cheese Whiz. The little buggers will just lick it off.
2. Opt for a hard cheese or crunchy peanut butter. Cram it down into the hole in the bottom of the bait bar so that they can't just lick it - they're going to have to pull on it.
3. And when they do - SNAP! So long, Mickey!
4. If you're clever and not too tightly strung, you can also set the traps on what was described to me as a hair trigger. Basically you put the long skinny bar (the holding bar) on the very edgiest edge of the little U-shaped bar holder thingie. Now, this can be tricky - I set mine off twice when I put it down. So be sure to keep your fingers AWAY from the smashing end. It takes some practice, but when it works, it's a thing of beauty.
Now the gross part. Disposing of the corpse. Honestly, the traps are a buck for 4 of them, and I was all for tossing the full trap and getting a new one. HOWEVER, then I remembered that I'm trying to switch over to the "do it yourself, be frugal, waste not, want not, reuse, reduce, recycle" kind of mind frame.
Do it myself does not include touching the creepy dead mouse, as I am already sure that at any given second I am going to contract the Hanta virus. I'm not usually THAT girly, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. So I put on gloves and grabbed the BBQ tongs (now no one will come have BBQ at my house, I'm sure) and a paring knife and the dead-mouse-in-a-trap. I picked up the trap with the tongs, which was tricky because they are kind of lopsided, so the trap flipped over and then swung back and forth while I prayed for the mouse to not fall out of it. I then ran-walked to the garbage can out front and prepared to make the deposit. I thought I could just slide the paring knife between the U-bar and the wood trap, prop it open and the mouse would fall out. Great in planning, not so great in execution. Remember the crooked tongs? Well, I wedged in the paring knife, the tongs slipped, the trap swung, and my paring knife was ejected into the garbage can. Ewww.
Options. Throw trap away, become self sufficient and frugal tomorrow. Tempting, but no. Call boyfriend to empty trap. Not an option - he's more squeamish than I am. However, he WILL climb into the garbage can to retrieve my paring knife, so make a note to self to have him do that tomorrow. (yes, I know I should be getting it out myself, but this is different. It's not like I CAN'T get into the garbage can. I don't want to. Besides, it's dark and gross and in a minute there's going to be a dead mouse in there.) Or option number 3, suck it up, use my hands to open the trap and send mousey to his final resting place.
So gross. I kind of compromised. I held the trap with my fingers and then wedged the BBQ tongs into the trap (I don't care if they fall into the garbage - they're lopsided) and shook the trap until the mouse fell in. Yay. I felt strangely accomplished when I got back in the house, rebaited the trap, and scrubbed my hands til my skin came off. Mission accomplished. One mouse down.
Tomorrow is a brand new day.