Friday, November 10, 2006
WARNING: THIS BLOG IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
There are many ways to tell that winter is approaching in Alaska...your Halloween pumpkin is frozen solid, your dog sheds his "summer" coat all over the rug, and there are recommendations on the TV to start plugging in your truck at night. You also have little rodent visitors looking to check in for their winter reservations. No matter how clean you keep your house, if there is a hole anywhere in your house: THEY WILL GET IN!
This last week while Jeff was moose hunting I went mouse hunting. I have always known that I had an abnormal killer instinct for a woman. I am not sure if it comes from my dad making me rip the heads off his dove before I could even shoot a shot gun or watching my great grandmother slaughter many a rattle snake in her garden with merely a hoe, but the killer came out in me this week. Last Tuesday evening as I was kicking back on the couch after putting the baby down, Mickey's cousin Cleotha ran across the living room. Much to my surprise I didn't scream. "Hmmm," I thought, "I need to do something about him tomorrow." Upon awakening the next morning I stumbled to the coffee maker and was abruptly alerted to Cleotha's family of four residing under the big burner on the stove. (Here is where the screaming ensued) Being a sweet little woman all alone in the woods, I called my neighbor (and screamed some more over the phone) for back-up. He promptly sent down his middle and youngest son with two glue traps. By placing my traps in enticing locations I quickly had two takers. Soon I had success and I was dancing a victory jig as I looked over and saw my prey caught...all until I realized they weren't dead. In fact there were large mice that thought they were about to dine on a delicious lunch of peanut butter when they were instead immobilized. Cleotha was none too happy about this arrangment and was letting me know by screaming loudly. Up until this point in my 29 years of living I have fortunately not come into contact with many mice--certainly not any screaming mice. I didn't know they did that?!! Being the mighty huntress and protector of my off-spring (also because Jeff wasn't around) I grabbed up the sticky traps, put them in a shoe box, shook them real good and put them in the trash. "Whew," I thought...I am so glad this is over! I spent the rest of the day taking apart my oven and thoroughly cleaning.
That evening I stopped at the hardware store on the way to church. Just on the off chance I had any more visitors I wanted them to feel welcome. Purchasing four more sticky traps and one more traditional one, I thought I was more than amply prepared. When bedtime approached I put out midnight snack laden traps and went to bed. As my head hit the pillow I heard the first flop..flop..flop of the mouse on a trap. Before the screaming began I quickly disposed of this one by banging it with my iron skillet. I had no idea that Cleotha had such a large family! I nestled back into bed (one that was surrounded with traps) and tried to get my mind off of mice. Right as I am drifting off, here comes another visitor. To sum it all up- "the creatures were stirring" all night long. Four more mice later with dawn approaching I was exhausted and thoroughly grossed out. I cried later that day when Jeff called and said he was coming home early.
I am happy to say a week later (and 8 more dead mice) we have solved the mouse crisis. My husband spent two days under the house cleaning out the mouse resort, and sealing up every crack, cranny and nook. Many people come to Alaska to experience the vast wildlife, wanting to prove their prowess through the taking of a brown bear or a trophy moose...but few can say they have conquered an Alaska rodent invasion of biblical proportions. I am thinking about opening a guide service next year. If you are interested in reserving a slot the deadline is April '07 or perhaps you would like to come view our "wildlife" museum full of mice trophies mounted on my kitchen wall.