Monday, July 26, 2010


That's an old-fashioned word,isn't it? You don't hear it that much anymore, if at all.

And no, this post has NOTHING to do with math. (I know, that's a double negative, just to prove how much I abhor math. It's a four-letter word don't 'cha know!)

So why the heck did I title it, "Arithmetic"?

I'll tell you why.

Because my Daddy taught me how to spell that word.

Here's how.

A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream


Got it?

But a rat in MY house eating the ice cream would be the least of my worries.

A rat in my house, PERIOD, would just piss me the hell off.

A couple of years ago, we actually got mice in our trailer.

It's bad ENOUGH that I am TRAILER TRASH, but do I have to live up to my NAME?

To the best of our knowledge, we think the little varmints crawled up the water hose and somehow squeezed into the hole by the sink. Anyway, that's my husband's thinking.

I was suspicious for a few days that something was in our trailer. I have VERY GOOD EARS, and would hear our garbage bag crinkle around at night when we were both in bed.

I was sick with a bad cough/cold (similar to now), so I was spending my nights on the recliner in the back of the trailer. I heard some papers rustling again, and I thought to myself that I'd have to mention it to Jim in the morning. My throat was killing me so I got up to make some hot tea. I didn't put my glasses on, meaning I was pretty blind, but stumbled around in the kitchen getting out the tea cup, etc. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something zip up the curtains! As I got closer I saw that it was a mouse, frozen in action, probably hoping he would blend in with the color of the curtains.

I went flying up to the bedroom and started shaking Jim. Unfortunately, I didn't have much of a voice due to my sore throat.

Now imagine being woken up from a dead sleep by your crazed wife, who's screaming, but it sounds like she just gargled with Drano and chewed up razor blades, but slowly the words sink in, "It's a mouse! It's a mouse!"

Jim jumped out of bed, and without putting on HIS glasses, grabs a PAPER TOWEL, goes right over to the mouse, who for some reason is still frozen to the spot, and GRABS the mouse, opens the trailer door, and tosses him out into the night! I stand there dumbfounded because a) the fact that the mouse didn't move astounds me; b) the fact that Jim could even SEE the mouse without HIS glasses amazes me; and c) the fact that Jim would grab the mouse with just a PAPER TOWEL, EWW!, makes me want to throw up AND hug him at the same time!

Things settle down, Jim goes to bed, I make my tea, and call it a night.

The next morning we start looking for traces of the mouse in the house.

I've NEVER seen mouse poop before this. It looks like this.

Kind of like wild rice. Yeah, it took a long while after this for me to eat that again.

Anyway, after the mouse-up-the-curtain incident, we thought we were done with mice.

Go ahead and laugh, I'll wait.

So, yes, it's true, where there's one mouse, there's more.

Do you mind if I say shit? 'Cause I'll tell ya. I said a LOT worse.

Okay, so I looked for wild rice/mouse poop and I was surprised what I found. It was in my silverware drawer. Yuk!!

Also in my utensil drawer. Double Yuk!!

I dumped everything out of the two drawers and scrubbed them, put them back in.

The next day - same thing. Black little "lines" everywhere!

Son of a biscuit!

We have more mice!

After daily washings of all my silverware, my sister finally said, "Why don't you put your stuff in a big ziploc bag? Then you only have to wipe the drawer out each morning."

I could have kissed her! She is so smart - no wonder we call her Linda Martha Stewart!

But back to the infestation problem.

Of course we got on the internet to see what we could do.

We bought one of those "sonic" devices that are supposed to keep away all bugs, pests, mice. Yeah right. That's all it did was take up an outlet. It didn't work. Either that or our mice were deaf. I wish I would have thought about that. I know sign language. Although anyone knows the INTERNATIONAL sign language that I wanted to give them.

Course if I HAD this cat, I wouldn't of had mice to begin with!


Okay! So we have the plug in device. Then we read that mice don't like "Bounce" sheets.

Something about the smell deterring them from entering the home. So we stuck those sheets by every one of our slide outs. Even the one in our bedroom, even though I NEVER saw or heard a mouse up there.

Not only did the Bounce sheets NOT stop them from coming in, but they used them for TOILET PAPER!!!

I wish I were kidding.

Yep. Mouse poop on the bounce sheets. Kind of like we were paper training them.


Oh, yes, in the mean time, we were using traps.

We tried the sticky traps.

I know some people might think these are inhumane. Try living with a few mice for awhile. You'll change your mind.

So, yeah, we tried the sticky traps. These mice were strong. They just left part of their FUR on the trap. But they got away.


My sister-in-law suggested we stick some "ugly fruit" around the trailer. They look like this:

They are the color of tennis balls, but look like "ET" brains. Wonderful. So now we have 6 or 7 ugly fruit, or "Hedge" fruit spread around, plus bounce sheets, plus a sonic doohickey thingy, and a furry glue trap.


Then Jim read that mice didn't like the smell of moth balls.

So he put a whole bunch in our "basement" (storage area) under our trailer. Well guess what? The only thing he got rid of was me! The fumes were SO BAD that I got an instant migraine!

I feel like you are laughing at me. Are you?

You can, you know. Because NOW it is funny. But then? Not so much. I was in tears most of the time. I wanted to move out of the trailer and live in a hotel for a couple of weeks until Jim could prove to me that he rounded up all the dead bodies.

But we couldn't afford a hotel, PLUS our camping site. (Of course, a divorce is pretty expensive, too.)

So Jim removed the moth balls from the basement, and buried them around our trailer, especially by the wheels, to try and keep the varmints away. We were one stinking mess.

But we still had mice.


We also read that mice didn't like the smell of peppermint. (I don't know how anybody really knows what mice like or dislike - that's all I know is, this proves you can't believe everything you read on the internet!)

We found a place that sold different kinds of oils and scored on peppermint oil. We put a few drops of it on some cotton balls and spread those around the Bounce sheets and ugly fruit. It was getting mighty crowded in our trailer!


It was time to leave the campground we were staying at in Minnesota, so we packed up all our cares and woes, and maybe mice, and headed to Wisconsin.

I'll be damned if those little devils didn't take a trip with us!

Jim went out and bought the regular old-fashioned metal mouse traps.



Oh, we were feeling quite smug that evening, I have to admit! Jim rubbed peanut butter on the trap, set it, then climbed into bed.

We didn't hear a thing overnight.

Jim checked the trap in the morning. It was still set.

But the peanut butter was gone!

Why I oughta!!!!


"Aha!" Jim thought. "I'll put CHEESE on the trap!"

So that's what he did.

We went to bed, and before long we heard a loud CLAP!


He ran down to check!

The cheese was gone, and there was no mouse.

We had some VERY CLEVER mice on our hands.


It had now been about two weeks of fighting the battle of the mice. I was tired. Jim was tired. The ugly fruit was attracting fruit flies. The moth ball smell lingered in the air, mingling with the peppermint oil. I was tired of living out of a ziploc bag in my silverware drawer.

Then a light bulb went off over Jim's head. He would SUPERGLUE the cheese to the trap.

You heard me.

That night we eagerly climbed in bed for all the wrong reasons. We were hoping to hear the clap of the trap and the last breath of a rodent.

Sure enough, SNAP! We both jumped up in bed cheering. Jim ran to the kitchen, and....and...


He set the trap two more times with the same piece of stinking cheese super-glued to the trap, and we caught/killed a total of three mice (not including the first one that Jim promised me he had strangled with his bare hands).


The moral of the story is: Don't live in a trailer! No. I mean, tenacity pays off AND don't believe EVERYTHING you read on the internet, even IF Mr. Gore DID invent it. But you can ALWAYS believe what you read here. Well, almost. But this story is the GOD'S TRUTH.

Oh, yeah. And this is why I hate A-R-I-T-H-M-E-T-I-C!


Brian Miller said...

have you ever seen the movie...mouse that was quite the romp...glad you won in the end...

Anonymous said...

jeepers....I hate mice seems like you went through a war for sure....glad you came out the winner ;)

Missy said...

I lived in a trailer and never a mouse, bug, anything. Now, I live in a house and we see a mouse every fall!
We cannot buy moth balls in KY without showing dr. lic., and signing a ton of papers. The meth freaks are now using moth balls to make meth! :(

Joann Mannix said...

So Pat, here's my story. I'll try to make it the condensed version.

When I had my last baby, my husband had pressing business in another state. He brought me home from the hospital, packed up and left for 2 weeks. On my second day home, I spotted something crawling up the wall like Spiderman. To my horror, I realized it was a mouse. Luckily, I live in the same town as my brother and my dearly departed dad. They came to my rescue.

They were both builders and restorers of old homes, so they knew if I had one, I had a family. They also told me they can squeeze into a house through the smallest of places. They looked everywhere but couldn't find one. I went to the Depot and bought every kind of trap they had and set them all over the house.

That night I had my 2 girls in bed with me and the baby in the bassinet next to us. I heard a rustling under her crib and lifted up the dust ruffle to see that hideous mouse. I screamed, the baby cried, the mouse ran. I called my dad in the middle of the night and he came and got me and the girls.

I called my husband and told him I would not be setting foot in that house again until he came home and took care of the problem. In the meantime, I lived with my parents.

He came home and immediately found 2 dead mice in the old fashioned traps I sent. Figuring that was it, I came home. That night, I was up nursing the baby when I heard some scratching and squeaking. On further inspection, I realized there was a mouse stuck in a sticky trap. I woke my husband who took it into the garage and killed it with a shovel. With mice, I don't care about humane.

I thought that was the end of it, until I found a dead mouse on the kitchen floor one morning, obviously downed by the mice poison, I had around.

Of course, I figured that was it until I was thumbing through my closet one morning, looking for something to wear when I found another dead mouse, impaled on the tiny piece of wire hangar that sticks out of the hangar. We figured he'd probably fallen off the shelf above the closet after ingesting poison and had met his grisly end with a wire hangar.

So, 5 of those disgusting creatures in my house. 5. Since then, we've moved and we have a cat. And even though, we're in an even woodsier area, no mice. I'm sure, thanks to our ultimate mouse trap.

misslynda said...

We have had cats all the years we have been married and now the only mice we get are the dead ones they bring to the door and offer to us as gifts! . . . . except the one time when one of our cats brought a live one into the house. You should have seen my husband chasing it with the broom. The cat acted like it had given him the best entertainment ever!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Mice are so hard to get rid of. You would think they would have enough sense to go out the way they came in .......

Every fall as my seasonal campers get ready to shut down for the winter they employ all the methods you have metioned above. When the wind blows I catch a hint of mothball in the air. One method that I have heard tell works involves buckets. I have one camper who swears they have never had mice in their fifth wheel because they put the jacks that hold the trailer up in plastic buckets. He uses deep ones, like the ones that hold pool chemicals. Two other campers have employed the use of these big metal traps under the trailers. They came out periodically in early spring and would have as many as 6 mice in them .... dead, inhumane, but not in the trailers.

Eva Gallant said...

How upsetting, but funny too! Glad you finally got the buggers!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

LOL - that is a very very funny story! i HATE mice, too. we've only had a couple of random mice in here - make that 3; two together and one by itself. I am not humane when it comes to mice, snakes, and spiders. they cross my path, i'm going to do my best to make sure they never cross ANY path again.

i got those traps that you never have to touch - after you put the stuff on the lever, set it, and put it along the wall. BANG! the mouse is caught, and in the trash it goes. ron says i could dump the mouse and re-set it. no way, no day. i'll pay the $3 or so each one costs to use one time.

Donna B said...

Oh Pat, I so look forward to reading your blogs. I laugh every single time. I LOVE how you write. I learned how to spell Geography...George Eliot's Oldest Girl, Rode A Pony Home Yesterday. I also remember the rhyme with Arithmetic. And don't forget the song for Mississippi...

I have always had cats, so had very little experience with mice. I think we had one in the house (when we did not have a cat) and Mom chased and stunned it with the broom. She put it in a shoe box and put it in the trash. When I went to show my brother, there was a chew hole in the shoe box and no mouse... we never told Mom.

Tgoette said...

Wonderful story, Pat! And it hit home, too! We have two cats, champion mousers both. But not content to just catch the critters in their travails around the neighborhood, they want praise for their hunting finesse so they bring them home and release them in our the dogs can go nuts trying to catch them. So far they've done this with several mice, birds, lizards, rats and at least half a dozen young opossum.

Thanks for stopping by and following! I love your blog and am more than happy to do the same! Great stuff!

Valerie said...

Oh Pat, you do make me laugh. You have such an hilarious way of telling your stories.

Mice like the new Andrex loo rolls paper ... we had a new pack of four stored in the bottom of our airing cupboard and the/a mouse took a liking to it, presumably for making a warm nest. Anyway after seeing the rolls in tatters we found a new storage place. Not seen or heard the blighter since.

Gail said...

I have heard mice conversing and one did say, I swear, "Oh, I just abhor the smell of those Bounce sheets!" Another one piped up, "If you think that's bad, try moth balls, it gives me headaches." A third one said "You should have gone camping with us last year..."

And that's why I hate math!!

A prize winning story!

Ruth said...

I hate arithmetic for other reasons, but I L-O-V-E this post! You are beyond comically brilliant.

I'm about to answer your vegan questions at my blog . . .

Wendy said...

Pat, you are the best!
Thanks for the entertaining story.
Sorry YOU had to go through all that crap to be able to write it, but...


Meeko Fabulous said...

Girl, I'm with you! I killed a cricket in my house the other day and my friends were like, "That's inhumane!" And I looked at them and said, "It's in MY house . . . I don't go into IT'S house, do I???" They couldn't refute my logic. :)

Rae said...

Very funny and what an ordeal. I would have been living in a hotel until Jim had the mice gone. I am terrified of them. I know who to call now if I ever have a mouse encounter.

Rae said...

Very funny and what an ordeal. I would have been living in a hotel until Jim had the mice gone. I am terrified of them. I know who to call now if I ever have a mouse encounter.

EG Wow said...

Great piece! I smiled a LOT. :)

Jientje said...

Too funny! I LOVED this post Pat!

artist60164 said...

Pat you just make my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hall.marcus72 said...

Haha, very funny post! We have had problems with mice before too. My advice? Stay for away from the Ortho kill and contain traps because they don't work well and are falsely advertised