My family & I live in a very old house. And like many old houses, we have mice. When we first moved in, we would occasionally hear them in the walls. Chewing, scurrying, doing their mousey business. For the most part we ignored them. They kept inside the walls, we kept outside, and never our worlds would meet.
Several months ago, I received an email out of the blue. It was from a gentleman who works for Victor Pest. Victor Pest is the manufacturer of the mousetraps you see everywhere, the ones emblazoned w/ the big V logo w/ the mouse head.
Snap traps, glue traps, they make them all. Anyway, “Mr. Victor” said he’d been reading & enjoying my blog, and as I have a decidedly ‘country living’ angle – along with a love of products, was wondering whether I’d be interested in reviewing the NEW! Victor® Multi-Kill™ Electronic Mouse Trap. As it just so happened, a night or two before receiving this email I’d been awakened by some especially loud gnawing coming from the corner of our bedroom ceiling. So w/out hesitation, I said YES.
Within a couple weeks, my mousetrap arrived. Unfortunately, instead of sending it to my PO Box, Mr. Victor sent the package directly to my house. Where it was signed for by my older daughter, who brought the box in and immediately opened it, because that is what 10 year olds do. The next thing I know, my daughter is in hysterics, demanding to know why I am trying to electrocute rodents. I had to promise her I would never EVER use the trap. I emailed Mr. Victor the next day to explain. He very graciously said he understood. I stuck the box in the closet and promptly forgot about it.
Until two weeks ago. My husband & I were watching a movie. It was late. I was half-asleep on the couch when suddenly John LEAPED UP and dashed to the corner. He grabbed the small hatchet we keep to make kindling. I thought he’d lost his mind until he shouted in a half-whisper. “I just saw a mouse.” Mickey never saw it coming.
We thought it was a fluke, this mouse. We do have a parrot – not the tidiest eater, as well as hamsters and guinea pigs. And our house isn’t exactly spotless. My hatred of cleaning in combination with all the work we’ve been doing has pretty much ensured a layer of debris everywhere. But this was the first actual mouse we had seen (apart from a dead one in the toilet) and we figured it’d be the last. HAH!
The next day I noticed a mouse turd on the counter. I was aghast. I may not be a clean freak, but the kitchen? That’s different. I am a mother, I am a licensed commercial baker; I do have STANDARDS. I called my husband over immediately. We assessed the area, discovering more droppings in the back corner. I fetched that box from the closet faster than you can say U R TOAST.
The Victor Electronic Mousetrap looks like a plastic lunchbox, the kind you see in black & white photographs of men perched 40 stories above New York.
But instead of sandwiches, it houses metal plating and electronics. A small dual staircase in the back leads rodents to the upper chamber. You bait the end with something – we used peanut butter – and the mouse enters to get a free snack. But at what cost! As soon as it reaches the end, the metal plate beneath its feet fires, zapping Mickey to kingdom come. The floor then drops, dumping the body into a collection chamber below. The plate flips back up, ready to work again. Its ingenious design is essentially foolproof. As long as it’s baited and has working batteries, the Victor Electronic Mousetrap is a killing machine.
Within two weeks, we caught 11 mice. Typically 2 at a time, and always in the same combination: one large brown mouse, about the size of a gerbil, and a tiny gray one. Were they working the kitchen as teamed pairs? Who knows? But after catching 5 sets like this – they sure seemed to be. The only odd man, another small gray, was odd in more than one respect. Most remarkably, he was still alive! I heard the telltale zap and came running into the kitchen. The day was rainy and before I trekked out to the yard, I wanted to make sure I hadn’t been hearing things. I peeked into the chamber and two bright eyes peered back at me. YIKES! I closed the box quickly and grabbed my shoes. Instead of tossing the little lifeless body into the pile of yard waste with the others, I hiked further back into the woods. When I was a decent distance from the house, I stooped down in the tall grass and let him go. He was alive, but obviously stunned. I had to tap the container to get him out. He walked awkwardly and when he looked up at me, his black eyes shone w/ hatred.
That was the last mouse we caught. The turds have magically disappeared. No more scurrying noises from the walls. In my heart I know I’m not a bad person, but I still see those two eyes looking up from the grass, and I feel bad. Perhaps the survivor has warned his comrades. Maybe they fled before they too fell. I’d like to think so, at least. But just to make certain, the trap’s still on.