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December 13, 2018

How I plan to get rid of backyard mice

I love Rick because he kills all the things that terrify me.

Rick is my pest control guy. He has been there when I lost my mind over flying ants coming out of my shower drain. He was there when I refused to come outside because wasps were making a nest on my front porch. And Rick is my ally once again as I face a group of turbo mice that are tormenting my dogs and making me want to carry a broom with me wherever I go.

We moved into a new house a few weeks ago. The prior owner was an amazing gardener, and our backyard looks like something out of Southern Living magazine with beautiful flowers, rosebushes and gorgeous tree-like stuff that I can’t identify. I love the yard, but I wondered why my dogs would constantly disappear behind the back section of tree-like stuff and emerge covered in frustration and dirt. It was as if someone stashed terrier cocaine back there.

It was mice – nature’s terrier cocaine.  About two weeks after moving in, my husband saw the first one running along the wooden beam of our fence post. I saw one the next night running along another part of the fence. We called Rick.

Rick came the next day and set up bait boxes in our yard. According to my understanding, the  boxes are like a little mouse McDonald’s drive-thru. The mice run in through a little hole, grab some McPoison and run out another hole – all within 90 seconds or they get free fries. The box is designed so that my dogs cannot get to the poison. (Hooray! We had an emergency vet visit several years ago when our older dog ate rat poison. Her belly turned a funky shade of black, but she bounced back after the vet shot her up with vitamin K.)

Rick also pointed out some potential mouse breaking and entering points to our home.

“You see those little spaces by your garage door?” he said to my husband. “They can squeeze through there and then get into your car.”

Here’s another creepy mouse factoid. Did you know that one pair of mice can have 40 babies in one year, and females are capable of having babies at only 8-weeks-old?

It’s been a few days, and according to mouse breeding statistics, the fence runners have conceived at least 20 babies behind my backyard’s rosebushes. I’m not sure the bait boxes are working. Both my husband and I saw mice running along the fence posts last night. However, I had a moment of inspiration.

“You know how they grease the poles  in New Orleans to keep drunks from climbing on them during Mardi Gras?” I asked my husband. He nodded cautiously.

“Let’s smear baby oil and Vaseline all over the fence,” I said to him. “That way the mice won’t be able to climb on it, and they’ll slip and fall to the ground where the dogs can get them.”

“Do you really want the dogs to eat the mice?” my husband replied. Notice that he didn’t discount my idea to turn my fence into a deadly Slip-n-Slide. I consider that an endorsement.

“Or maybe we can grind up some mouse birth control pills and scatter them around the yard?” I added.

No response. Another endorsement.

Rick is supposed to come back next week to check the bait boxes. That gives me a few days to figure out how I am going to explain to him why there are greasy mice and powdered estrogen scattered throughout my yard.

This diagram shows the locations where my mouse fight will take place.
This diagram shows the locations where my mouse fight will take place.


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