Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

There’s a Mouse, er, Rat in the House

Last Saturday, I went to go feed the pups and discovered a sizeable hole in their bag of food (btw, I know you should always put dog food in a sealed plastic container but I just hadn’t yet, ok?) Anyway, I realized the hole was vermin sized and that we had a critter (or critters) running around somewhere. Luckily, one of our dogs is a schnauzer and she is bred to catch mice so she led us straight to the source – a small hole behind our oven. 

I was a little disturbed at the thought of having mice in the house. After all, we might be messy sometimes, but never dirty. But, I also knew we were probably lucky we didn’t have more pest issues given the unusually cold weather we were experiencing.   

We went to Lowes and loaded up on poison and sticky pads. I then went to the Container Store and found a great storage bin for the dog food. We also cleaned our kitchen like mad and put any food (like the fruit in the fruit bowl) in the refrigerator. Thankfully, our cabinets are elevated and there was no sign of contamination in them. My husband also went under our house in the crawl space and plugged any holes with mesh and insulation.

We put down our traps and poison with trails of dog food leading to them. The next morning, we rushed into the kitchen to see if we caught anything. The poison block was almost completely eaten and the sticky pads had tufts of fur on them but no mice (I imagine that was quite a bikini wax for the critter).

So, we decided to step it up a notch and bought several Ortho Home Defense traps. With these traps, you put the bait (a bit of peanut butter) in the back of the trap and the mouse is lead through the front tunnel where it then meets its untimely end. We also removed the poison from our house since our friend advised us not to put any down because if a mouse is living in your walls, it will eat the poison and die in your walls which will make your house stink for weeks. Yuck.

Could it be that our mouse was more than what he/she seemed?

The next morning we didn’t find any mice but we did realize that the back of the traps had been opened and the peanut butter was gone! At this point, I was seriously considering whether these mice were really just your average country mice or if they were from a secret laboratory like NIMH.

After dinner, the dogs were extremely agitated and pacing around the kitchen. My husband crept around the corner and whispered, “I see it.” I got up to take a look but he shot his hand out and said, “no stay there!” I asked why. He didn’t answer. At this point, I realized something awful.

“Its a rat, isn’t it?!”

“Um, it’s a very big mouse,” was his response.

Ok, so this was a major turn of events. I could accept little cute mice, but not this. Not a rat.

Within minutes, my husband was off to Lowes again and returned with rat-sized glue traps and a metal trap big enough for a squirrel. That night, in the wee hours of the morning, we heard the metal trap rattle and I knew he was running around our kitchen.

When we went into the kitchen the next morning, we saw that there was nothing in the trap but a sticky pad was gone. We looked around and found him stuck to the pad in between the dishwasher and cabinet. He was big and grey and ugly. But we still felt a little sorry for him, he looked pitiful. My husband took him outside and gave him a quick end.

Since then, the dogs have calmed down and we haven’t found any more evidence of rats. Could it be that this was an isolated incident and he didn’t have any friends or family in the house? I am hoping that is the case but we are still on the lookout.

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