Last night, as Kate and I were hanging out in the kitchen, contemplating the lovely blue cheese and pinot noir she had put together for pre-supper snacks, she looked up at her new fluorescent light fixture and let out a small shriek. “What is that,” Kate asked, pointing up.
It was our first mouse of the season … not bad considering it’s December 6th. This particular mouse had found its way inside the cloud-like thermo-plastic light fixture … all we could really see was a shadow with four little feet and a tail. Since the light fixture is tight against the kitchen ceiling, we figured it came in through the stone foundation and made its way to the fixture through one of the balloon-framed walls to the second story’s floor joists.
Last year, we had mouse encounters of all kinds through most of the fall and winter. Our snap traps, glue boards and construction foam did little to stem the tide. The 101-year-old house hadn’t been occupied for a couple of years before we bought the farm; the mice felt like they owned the place. One evening about a year ago, I watched incredulously as small crumbs of construction foam fell from beneath the kitchen counter. When I stuck my head in the cabinet to see what was going on, I was face to face with a mouse … we just looked at one another for a few seconds and she went back to gnawing open the passage into the cabinet where her nest had been the day before. The nerve, I thought.
When spring came, we decided to make it really uncomfortable for the mice. We brought two cats into the house, and I went looking for a better kind of mousetrap. Today, we have a single indoor cat and two very effective traps built by AgriZapper called the Rat Zapper Classic and Rat Zapper Ultra.
The Rat Zapper is very effective on mice … we don’t have rats in the house, thank goodness. This “better” mousetrap appeals to the mouse’s curiosity and willingness to explore small cave-like areas. You can entice the little creatures with a bit of dog kibble … when they explore deeply enough they get zapped with sufficient voltage to stun them instantly and kill them within seconds. The Rat Zappers even have a light that blinks to let you know to dump the dead critter into the trash … no more getting up close and personal with the carcass … no more blood or other gore to contend with. The humane Rat Zapper is battery-powered, will kill many mice before running out of juice and is the best tool I have ever used in the seasonal battle against invading rodents.
We loaned the Rat Zapper Classic to a friend during the summer … she had a mouse in her garage. The mouse was dispatched the first night the Rat Zapper in place. We keep the Rat Zapper Ultra (more batteries, cooler look and a few more features) armed and on location all year.
The last time there was a mouse in the Rat Zapper was last August; our mouser of a house cat has become fat on Science Diet and a bit on the lazy side. She did catch a late-season cricket … I bet she dreams of the days when mice were plentiful. I know we don’t.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.