Monday, February 14, 2011

To Catch a Neighborhood Predator: A True Story

A harmless mouse on the outside, a child predator on the inside.

Let me just say - before I tell you about the following events that took place - that the police were not aware of any registered offenders living within one mile of our house.  That is the scary part about all this, and I'll just leave it at that.

I had no idea that our very own household was not safe from a predator that lurked from within our own neighborhood.  Watching us from a couple houses down, he waited until the time was just right. 

Later, I realized that he managed to climb over our 8 ft. fence and then attempt to gain entry into our attic by non-conventional means. I only realized this when he began to creak around on the beams in our attic and I laid in bed, terrified.  Then I heard the most disturbing noise.  He then began to chip away on wood up there, don't ask me how I know, I just know. 

All this was being done with a razor-sharp blade or something that sounded like a chisel.  Was he going to bore a hole through our ceiling and attack us through the sheet rock?  A crazy person of this caliber is capable of doing anything to innocent people.  I wasn't going to let this happen.  

My mind starting going through battle scenarios of how I would engage such a terrorist within my own house.  And then, another blatantly obvious sound confirmed to me that we (my wife and I) were not the only ones in our house.  There was clearly another living, breathing organism creeping around in our attic. 

And that is when I realized, we either had a mouse or a woodchuck in our attic chewing around.
Two woodchucks chucking wood

So I made up my mind right then and there to find a way to get rid of it on Saturday.  I have pretty good hearing, and this is the first time I picked up on a mouse, but it was also moving around directly above our bedroom.

When I was younger, I saw the movie, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and thought about how cute a mouse on a motorcycle is.  And later on, when a mouse got into my grandfather's house, I thought it was hillarious to watch my grandpa chase it around the living room.  It is pretty funny when you are younger, but not when you are trying to go to sleep.
Ralph on his red motorcycle

We went to the Dollar Tree, and I looked around for a long time on the electronic/automotive/pet food/superglue/light bulb aisle.  If there were mouse traps in Dollar Tree, I knew that was the aisle to find them on.  I was about to give up all hope, when I saw the mousetraps dangling from a cord on the end corner.  Why spend more when you can get 4 traps for $1?
I went home and immediately got out the peanut butter to bait the traps.  But I actually had trouble figuring out how to make the long rod catch and hold the bar back.  After going online and watching Youtube videos on it, I realized that the Dollar Tree traps were slightly different from the video traps, but I finally figured it out.  It was like one of those brain puzzles in Cracker Barrel: once you figure out the trick, then it is a piece 'o cake to set.  Thanks Youtube!

Tom  strategically laying a trap to catch Jerry.

One trap was strategically placed in what I call "a high-rodent traffic area" in the attic, while the other two were set out in the open as a decoy to give a false sense of security. 

And for the rest of the day, whenever I heard a pop or loud noise, I looked up at the ceiling, because that must've been the trap going off.  I heard a lot of loud noises on Saturday, but it was only my mind playing tricks on me.

So Sunday morning I went up to the attic in my house-shoes at first, and made out a dark shadow on the trap, but I couldn't see it that well with the attic light off.  I came back with a flashlight and better shoes.  I took a picture and brought the wild game down to show my wife.  I don't know if she took me seriously until I showed it to her.  Then she believed me. 

This mouse died after tasting our creamy peanut butter.

 We are ready for any more mice that want to come over.  There are 2 other traps locked and loaded for maximum mouse satisfaction. 

Arnold: All organic life forms in the Love attic must be terminated.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How funny! WE had mice/rats under our stove during the snowventures. I guess we're the winter home and your the spring house? :)

Sadly tho, the second mouse/rat "we" caught wasn't snapped in a trap or even by the two cats- the dog tried to eat it whole!

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