Rats? Mice? No Problem for My Aunt Wavolene's Cheap Rat Traps
To Outsmart The Rat, You Got To Think Like A Rat!
I know. We all love and admire Mickey and Minnie mouse, the two standard icon-money-makers for Walt Disney and his various enterprises. We love that mischievous smile that Mickey flashes each time he is on film, television or is the Grand Marshall in a holiday parade. I have no problem with “America’s Mouse-Hearts,” Mickey and Minnie mouse. Oh by the way, are they legally-married or just living together? I never knew the answer to that one.
Okay. Rats and mice, I concede without threat or extortion, can be nice. And somewhat useful if used in a laboratory to find the cure for a disease that is racking up lives in our country. Yeah, I am not opposed to experimenting on mice, so PETA, please accept my heartfelt apology. But as for the common, garden-variety mouse or rat, forget about it! I have absolutely no use for these members of the rodent family. I didn't say that I hated all rodents for I love squirrels, hamsters, and gerbils, who are the ‘upper crust’ of rodents. Kids love these clean and playful rodents, so they must be useful.
Did you know that mice and rats play a huge role in global economy? I know what I am talking about and I didn’t learn this Socioeconomic fact from Lou Dobbs, Fox News, or MSNBC. I sat down one day and gave mice and rats some thought. And I found out a staggering fact: Billions of dollars are spent each year on mousetraps, rodent eradication devices and your friends at Orkin Pest Control and other would-be rodent eliminators. Billions. Remember this monetary term the next time you start to spend some of your hard-earned money on factory-produced traps, or men who wear white hardhats, drive white pickup trucks and carry a rodent report in their clipboard. You might be able to save some money if you read the remainder of this story where I deal with “Free Tips On Ridding Your Life of Mice And Rats--The Homemade Way.”
To take on a rat or mouse, you have to first study your opponent. Just like a martial arts match, each competitor must first be aware of their foe’s weaknesses and strengths in order to have a victorious match. Same way with getting rid of mice and rats. I give these little goomer’s credit. They are a devious lot. And designed for stealth-like attacks on your house while you and your family are snoozing the night away. Rats and mice have studied YOU and know your routines better than you do. Did you know that? I have never met or talked with a stupid rat or mouse, well maybe those few non-thinking rats and mice who allow themselves to be caught in an outdated mousetrap that merchants still sell to the unsuspecting public.
I go now to my aunt Wavolene, or “Wavie,” as I called her. She and her husband, Tom, lived in the country and were sometimes plagued with rats and mice. I say this with all respect, “Tom and Wavie were miserly in their money-management. I didn’t say ‘cheap,’ I said miserly. There is a difference,” and I understand why they were this way about money. They both had lived and survived The Great Depression and Stock Market Crash of 1929--they knew how to scratch out a living and maintain the money that they did make. I admire them for that.
Aunt Wavolene made up her mind that one day she would have a house that was totally mouse and rat-free. And she lived to see this dream become a reality. And her pathway to this rat-free home was that of genius-thinking mixed with some old-fashioned common sense. Of the two of these people, uncle Tom and aunt Wavolene, Wavolene was the more-intelligent as uncle Tom was an excellent provider, hunter, fisherman, and farmer. Tom knew the outdoors. And the inner-workings of life as Wavolene knew the secret lives of rats and mice--how and when they ran their silent attacks and where they hung out. Wavolene was the prototype Orkin ‘person,’ since she was not a man.
Now when you digest these ingenious ways of making your home rodent-free, (keep your children’s gerbils, hamsters and pet squirrels for they are clean), take into consideration that these tips worked well for aunt Wavolene and may or may not work for you. I had to put this legal disclaimer in to protect aunt “Wavie,” but that was a waste of time because both her and uncle Tom are deceased.
Did you know . . .
That mice or rats CANNOT Burp? How aunt Wavolene found this out is beyond me. She never revealed her mouse-eliminating systems to any of our family, but she was right. This tip involves a Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Take the lid of any mayonnaise jar, clean it out and pour just the right amount of soda in the lid and place them all around the room that you have seen proof (rat droppings) of a rat or mouse making itself at YOUR home. Now when the mouse sips this alluring nectar, the gas from the carbon in the soda will expand in its small stomach and then the mouse, who cannot burp the gas away, will suffocate. Mouse problem solved. And the remains of the mouse or rat doesn't give off a stench that would take the paint of your house.
Aunt Wavolene’s next mouse-eliminating tip was a twist on the conventional mousetrap that you see in one of my artwork selections. The most-common mistake is taking a big piece of cheese to attack to the mousetrap. Wavolene only used a small amount and just laid the cheese near the trigger that sprung the bar that caught the mouse. Mice and rats are super-curious creatures. They love to investigate and find out what makes something work. And they have a sharp sense of smell. Remember this as you bait your trap to catch your next mouse. Think like aunt Wavolene and then think like a rat or mouse.
This tip is one that if submitted, would win the Nobel Peace Prize. I said that rats and mice were super-curious. They are and this is their downfall. Wavolene would sometimes buy boxes of D-Con, or Eagles-7, rat bait, but she wouldn't pour out any of the rat poison anywhere in the room where she had proof that rats had visited. No, she would make a small tear in the lower part of the box of rat bait and just sit it against the closet wall. The mouse, not thinking about this being rat poison, would only see the small tear and think it to be food for humans and dive into the poison like gangbusters. Only thing is, the poison had taken their lives before the next morning.
This tip is mine and mine alone. I share no credit with aunt Wavolene or anyone living or dead. The year was circa 1987. My wife and young daughter were living in an old, wood-frame house that was built in the late 40’s. The house was drafty, had no insulation, but for $60 a month, it was great for a young married couple with a child. Then one day my wife informed me that we had rats in the house. So without spending any money that I admit was a scarce commodity, I concocted a rat trap that not only caught the rat, but sent him to ‘rat heaven’ in a happy mood. I took some soft cheddar cheese and broken open a Contact cold capsule (remember those?). I carefully mixed the tiny time molecules into the soft cheese and put it on a conventional rat trap. The next night I heard my wife scream, “Helllp! A rat!” Which was my queue to rescue her from danger. I went into our bedroom and there it was, the rat--stationary in the wooden floor trying to walk, but found itself only staggering. This made it a cinch to pick it up with gloves and carry it outside. No muss. No fuss. And it worked. I never wrote to the pharmaceutical firm to share how great Contact was in helping with a rat problem.
My young daughter since this time has long-since moved out and has a family of her own. But her apartment has the occasional rat who loves to run around in her closet and just cause chaos. She uses the sticky-type of rat trap that causes the rat no inhumane treatment and renders it immobile so it can be released outside. I admire her ethical treatment for rodents, but I could have told her, if she had only asked, that old-fashioned molasses inside a quart fruit jar will do the same trick and cost less money. But she thinks for herself. Dad doesn't figure into her rat-trapping methods. Time, my friend, changes everything.
My last rat trap idea would have to be the most-novel. If I were a rat without fear--who longed for the nighttime so I could roam unhindered through someone’s house, I would want the owners of the house to at least make my trap, if that was my way to leave the world, an enjoyable trip. I have often wondered if I took aunt Wavolene’s trap of using Coca-Cola or Pepsi, (to be fair), and pour a hefty amount of Miller Lite into the mayonnaise jar lid and let “me” drink from it, would it not work as good?
Who can really say?
But if “I” were the rat being caught by my Miller Lite trap, I would feel more-relaxed and have a better outlook when the Grim Reaper and I finally met.
they love to think they are out-foxing you.
they love to dig and scratch into unopened boxes.
they are nocturnal rodents.
their brains are not as big as a night owl's brain.
they are a curious bunch of troublemakers, and the thing is, being curious can lead to their demise.