This morning I set my first ever mousetraps. I cannot begin to explain how totally wigged out I am by this.
I’m not a squeamish person. Thing is, with the exception of vomit, there’s nothing that really grosses me out. I find some things undesirable and would say they’re gross, like worms and insects,1 but it’s more that they weird me out than I’m disgusted by them. I’d prefer not to deal with those things, but if there was a spider in my vicinity, for instance, I wouldn’t run screaming from the room. In fact, a lot of things that people would define as disgusting just don’t faze me. My bar is pretty low considering I pick up dog feces several times a day with my hands, shielded only by the thin plastic of a bag.2
Until this morning I’d have probably said that mice were in a similar category. I’m not fond of them, but I don’t really mind the ones in pet stores or the idea of them in a lab setting. That was before I discovered a kitchen covered in mouse droppings, though. Logically, I knew it was an inevitable situation. We’ve had mice before, but for unknown reasons they’ve always avoided my kitchen and taken up residence in the basement and/or my mother’s part of the house. Anyway, there was a solid five minutes this morning that I seriously considered grabbing Uschi and completely abandoning the house. I was that disgusted by what I found.
The kitchen has since been scrubbed to within an inch of its life and I’m still completely grossed out even though I couldn’t find one shred of food that they must have consumed and based on all the poop they left they clearly chowed down pretty well. All I can think of is the unseen mouse gnawing on whatever yummy thing I might want to eventually put in my mouth and scurrying about inside my walls or ceilings, crapping anywhere he darn well pleases and spreading mysterious and scary diseases. Actually, the only sign they chewed on anything was a chunk missing from a potholder, which I promptly tossed in the trash.
Then, of course, I had to set the traps. Seems a simple enough task, right? Granted, until today I had never before physically touched or even laid eyes on a real mousetrap. But, really, how hard could it be? Sure, it’s just a flimsy piece of wood and steel that’s supposed to rid my house of these vile pests, but I hear all the time about how people injure themselves with them. The package certainly seemed to proclaim I was well on my way to once again having a mouse-free home, but the directions were rather lacking and I’m still not sure I wouldn’t have broken my thumb attempting to stumble my way through deciphering what the vague instructions meant. Instead I found a video on YouTube, which was far more descriptive except for the part about how setting the arm is about as simple as balancing a beach ball on your nose.
I managed the first trap with the same ease as the guy in the video, though, and aside from remaining unconvinced it’s going to do a damn thing I was quite proud of myself. That was obviously beginner’s luck since the rest took me the better part of half an hour and left me wondering if I somehow set the first one wrong because of how easily it went. The very last nearly cost me a few fingers when it suddenly sprung as I was setting it down. After which I spent another several minutes trying to reset it. And now I’m terrified to walk around in the kitchen lest my footsteps set any of the traps off and leave me struggling to once again set them.
At least as far as baiting, I’m totally on track according to all sources both reliable and questionable; thanks to Uschi’s extreme affection for it, I always have a healthy store of peanut butter around. Except so far the only interested party is Uschi herself, who I have now twice stopped from potentially endangering her nose.
Oh, and before I’m asked, I know the traps I set are not humane ones. I don’t care. Yes, I’m an animal lover, but I draw the line at pests, especially ones that crap all over my kitchen. Plus humane traps are only humane if you actually are around to release the caught animal, which I likely won’t be. Honestly, I’m not sure which I want to deal with least: a live mouse or a dead one. In any case the whole thing is just, well, icky.
- Things that look the same backwards and forwards or with more than four appendages just . . . bother me. I don’t understand the purpose of all those extra legs and it freaks me out that some things don’t have a clearly defined head. ↩
- During our first “parking” at GEB after receiving instruction on how we would clean up after our guide dogs, the trainer boasted that we would grow used to the idea and eventually we would be “cleaning up dog poop in one hand and eating a sandwich in the other.” I don’t expect that will ever happen, but truth is I don’t find fecal matter nearly as distressing as most people. ↩