Micky Mouse In My House

Over the Diwali break, I watched the film 'Stuart Little' on telly. A cute movie about a mouse who is adopted by a human family with a message that love transcends all - especially species! I however did not appreciate the film or its message. Reason? Just a week before Diwali, I chanced upon a similar rodent in the service area of my home. And let me tell you, these mice are far from being the friendly, eager-to-please critters that Stuart is.

Naturally I lost all sleep after I saw the mouse run and take cover behind my washing machine. All windows in the house were immediately shut. All the rooms were blockaded and the service area contained. Or so we thought. The next morning my husband woke me up with - 'Its there. Behind the microwave'.

'Oh no! What shall we do?!'. It was as if we were being held at gun point by robbers.

'Dont worry' soothed my husband. 'When the maid comes, I will ask her to drive it away'.

So much for my knight in shining armour I thought wryly.

Later that day, my husband called me at work and announced triumphantly on the phone 'The house is mouse free'

'Yay! How did you manage to do that?'

'Well, I asked the maid to move the crockery shelf. And he just leaped out from behind it and started running....'

'Did you kill it?!'

'No! He was too fast' (A likely story. My husband couldn't hurt a fly. Even if the fly was hurting him)

The long and short of it was that the rodent was driven out of the house with a stick and jhadoo. My husband breathed a sigh of relief and left on tour.

The next morning, I knew the mouse was back. There were droppings on the floor, it had knocked over a little cup in which I keep pins and rubber bands. Damn!

Another night went by with me barricaded inside my bedroom. But I had forgotten to shut the dining room window which was where the mouse had escaped from. And now seemed to be using it for entering the house. This time it even bit my kitchen mat to tatters. Enough was enough.

I called my husband and said 'Do something or I'm out of here! And dont tell me to set traps or use rat poison. I don't even want to see that ugly, dirty thing'

'Ok! Cool it. I will contact the pest control guy'.

So that evening the pest control guy, Sathya, arrived. He inspected the rooms and pointed out to me which ones the mouse had been in. Luckily it was only roaming around the dining room near the microwave. It had first gained entry by nibbling through the netlon we have put in the service area. And after it made its escape from the extermination drive initiated by husband dear, it found a new way in.

Sathya showed me a black line on the wall, right above the floor. 'That line shows the movements of the mouse. Since it is dirty, it leaves dirt marks and thats how we can find it' he said.

Really?! I soaked up all this information.How was he going to catch it? A trap? Poison (shudder! I cannot dispose mouse carcasses)

'No madam. Now a days there are new things called 'gum traps'. It is safer than regular traps which can injure the rat and spill its blood and make the area unsanitary. Poison could cause it to die and rot and leave a bad smell. Again there is risk of infection. The gum traps are the safest way to catch them'

The exact same gum trap we used
So what is a gum trap. It is essentially a note book (mean the paper note book not the computer) shaped article. When you open it (like a notebook), it reveals strong gum inside. It is placed at places frequented by the rat. When the rat moves over it, it gets stuck and remains stuck till you come find it. No blood and no rotting.You just fold the mouse in the trap and dispose it.Genius!

The traps were placed and I was advised to leave the window open.

Come morning, there was no sign of the intruder. Drat! Still, it was early days yet. Sathya said the traps could be placed and they were good for at least a year.

Luckily I did not have to wait a year. When I got home from work that evening, there it was! All stuck on the gum trap, just like Sathya had promised. How to dispose it? I was going nowhere near it. The apartment security guard obliged and my home was soon REALLY mouse free.

My joy knew no bounds. I had hated living all boxed up with windows and doors closed all the time. I called just about everybody I knew with the glad tidings.

All's well that end's well I thought. I became a staunch supporter of the gum trap. To me it was the next best thing after penicillin had been discovered.

Until last week. I opened the service area door and a black shadow darted past. 'EEEEEEkkkk' I screamed.

'What happend?' shouted my husband from the other room, ' Lizard?' (Yeah. I'm petrified of lizards. But after this mouse business, I think I'm learning to like the reptiles. They eat cockroaches and do not make a nuisance)

'Guess who is back?!'

'WHAT?!' asked my husband rushing to the service area. But the mouse was gone.

We've blocked the opening in the bitten netlon and put another gum trap in place. Doors and windows are closed in the evening. The guy has not re-appeared since that one time. But everytime I hear some sound, I start, thinking its the mouse who's back. Brings to mind that song 'Zara si aahat hoti hai, tho dil sochta hai. Kahin yeh WOH tho nahi!!'

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12 Responses to Micky Mouse In My House

  1. Bhargavi says:

    Poor you.. I hear you !My phobia for rodents and lizards make me screech in horror every time there is a sighting.. Thankfully, the hubby obliges and is an expert lizard-catcher.

  2. magiceye says:

    lovely narration and love the concluding line!!

  3. Rachna says:

    Yeah, mice are a pain. We were told by a friend about these sticky traps for rats. And, there was one big fat rat who had become a frequent visitor in our ground floor room. He was coming in through the bathroom, but we could not find any signs of forced entry from the window. We were at our wit's end about where he was living and how he was coming in. He even managed to escape from the sticky trap :(. Finally, my husband managed to find its hiding place in between the window and the side wall in a ledge kind of area, one could only see using a mirror. Ingenious of my husband! There were loads of eggs there too. We shuddered and got cement put on that area and sealed the rogue in with any others if there were. Tormenting.

  4. Deepa says:

    Bhargavi: Lucky you. My husband is of the thinking that he will not indulge in 'jeev hathya' because 'the Lord God made them all'. Sigh!

    Magiceye: Thanks!

    Rachna: Ha! ha! Using a mirror?!! That is truly ingenious and rather funny. I can just picture it. What these rodents make us do....

  5. Asamanjam says:

    Factual description...like my bread-and-butter provider would do :)

  6. Sandhya says:

    To me it was the next best thing after penicillin had been discovered...you have got great sense of humour, Deepa!

    zaraa si aahat hoti hai....lovely song and very apt for this situation!

    I loved the cartoons too!

    You must have read my posts about how I go through with Goalie's catches! She is the worst cat who is troubling us so much, no other cat brought so many things home! Nowadays, we are also closing all the windows at night and leave her in the service veranda with an open window for her to go out. She sleeps on the washing machine on a doormat!

    How do you catch lizard, Bhargavi?! We have some on our walls!

  7. Deepa says:

    Update people: This morning a lizard got caught in the gum trap. So Sandhya, it appears to be a multi purpose trap! And Goalee seems to be an angel in disguise if she is able to hunt and kill the rats :))

  8. Sandhya says:

    Goalie brings in all sorts of animals and birds to play with and we struggle to free them...even rats! Though we don't feel bad if she kills rats because it is her food but baby squirrels and birds!!!!

  9. Sandhya says:

    Now, I will look for the gum trap! Thank you!

  10. Shail says:

    You sound exactly like me! But the L & M is an expert mouse catcher. All I do is stand by (usually on the sofa) and jump and utter periodical shrieks).
    Excellent write up :)

  11. Deepa says:

    Thanks Shail. Standing by - on sofa is a good choice. When I see lizards, I break out in hives and run screaming out of the room.

  12. radha says:

    When I had a cockroach problem, I called the pest control guy and also asked him to do something about the lizards. He looked at me strangely and said, but lizards are not pests! They do no harm! But they remind you of tiny dinos and some of them come in extra large sizes!