Tag Archives: Mouse

Critter in the Attic

19 Apr

 

A Slice of Life

By Bill Lites

DiVoran and I moved to East Central Florida in 1965 and bought our first brand new house. At the time, the area was booming with the Manned Space Program, and the construction industry couldn’t keep up with the demand for new houses. Our new house was located in a small new sub-division, and was typical for the time and area; concrete block construction, with pitched roof, jalousie windows, and minimal insulation.

 

 

Having both been born and raised in the southwest, we were not used to the heat and humidity here in Florida. As a result, I spent a lot of my spare time during those first several years in the attic building board walkways, installing lights, and wiring ceiling fans for every room in the house.

 

 

There were stories of how the contractors were cutting corners to meet their schedules and reduce costs. We didn’t pay a lot of attention to the stories at first, as we were just happy to have been able to find and buy a new house in such a “Buyer’s Market” so quick. However, working in the attic gave me a good idea of some of those shortcuts.

 

 

For instance, the attic insulation was very flimsy. It was made of Aluminum coated corrugated craft paper! Try to imagine, in the picture below, that the top and bottom layers are corrugated craft paper (somehow bonded together) with the aluminum coating on the outside surfaces. The aluminum coating, we were told, was supposedly to reflect the radiant heat from of the sun. The open area between the top and bottom layers was an “insulating air space” to keep the heat from reaching the ceiling. I can’t imagine how any building industry standards organization could have ever approved such a flimsy and ridiculous design. But, there it was. And of course, there was NO insulation of any kind over the garage area.

 

 

DiVoran and I always had pets while growing up, and of course we had to have a pet to go with our new house. Our beautiful long-haired gray and white tabby’s name was “Pepper” and he was a very active in-door addition to our family. I can’t remember just when the following episode occurred, but suffice it to say it was some years after our move to Florida.

 

 

In the middle of the night, I woke to hear what sounded like a small critter in the attic above our bedroom. It sounded like it would scurry around quickly, on that flimsy craft paper insulation in the attic, and then it would stop and I could hear it gnaw on something. Then it would scurry around some more, and then back to gnawing. For the next few nights, I pondered on how I was going to get rid of that pesky critter. I could just see it gnawing through the insulation on an electric wire and starting a fire. And, I didn’t want it to make a home in our attic and start raising a family to add to the potential problem. Then I believe God gave me an inspired idea!

 

 

The next evening I put Pepper in the attic and closed the access door. He circled the access door a few times, meowing. When he finally realized I wasn’t going to open the access door and let him out, I heard him walking across the craft paper insulation to the vent holes in the soffit.

 

 

He kept moving from one vent hole to the next, looking for a way to get out of the attic. He progressed around two whole sides of the house until he got to our bedroom, when his movements stopped. All this time our pesky critter had been busy gnawing and scurrying around its usual area of the attic, just above our bedroom light fixture. There was silence from Pepper for a full minute, while the critter kept gnawing. Then there was a loud thump! And then complete silence. We heard no more sounds from the attic for the rest of the night.

 

 

The next morning, I opened the attic access door and called Pepper. It took him a while, but then I saw him walking toward me on the walk-way board, meowing all the way. I lifted him down and he seemed happy to be back in the house with his family. As it turned out, we never had another problem with critters in our attic. Who knows, maybe Pepper left his scent up there, and it deterred any other adventuresome critters from making a home in our attic. Whatever the case, we are happy they have stayed away. Just in case you were wondering, we did put some real insulation in our attic not too long after that.

 

 

 

—–The End—–

 

The Elusive Mouse

29 Sep

Speak Up Saturday

Patricia Franklin

Here on the porch I have so enjoyed Patricia’s stories. Sadly it appears she may be taking a Fall break. If anyone has s story they would like to share,  leave a comment or tweet me @onisha. I would love to hear your stories-Onisha

 

 

I think our elusive mouse has disappeared. Could he have been a figment of my imagination?  I was so frustrated with something that wasn’t even there?  However, he did leave behind his little gifts for me to clean up.  And I remember when I first discovered his presence. He was trying to nest in my husband’s knee pads. He never even went near the pile of rags I keep in the laundry room.  This just gets curiouser and curiouser.

If he is living under my house he must be an “arachnidavore” because that is all I have under the house. He would have to survive  by devouring bugs and spiders, as he has not set one little foot in any other part of the house. I know because I have kept up a ritual of sweeping glances in every corner ever since he showed up.

We have had several cool nights and I figured if he was coming in from outdoors, he would be in on those nights.  Black Cat has been hanging around just enough to make me think he could read my mind, and took care of the problem. No doubt Cat is a very intelligent animal. We have a mutual respect and understanding between us, even if there is no love lost there.

 

End of Mouse I think…. will let you know if otherwise.  At any rate he still remains a mystery!

A Better Mouse Trap

22 Sep

 Speak Up Saturday

 Patricia Franklin

The Last Meal

 

What’s this, you’re bringing the laundry down?

But I’m doing no laundry ‘til that mouse leaves town.

What did you say? You’re out of shirts?

So what, I’m also out of skirts

You think that I’m just getting lazy?

No, I’m not, I’m going crazy.

Besides, he’s eating up my laundry soap.

Is this weird little mouse high on dope?

I don’t want the whole place to belong to that mouse!

I’m doing no laundry, no, I’m not,

Not until that monster is caught!

“Do you think he’s inside that wall?

How did he get in here at all?”

We’ve never faced a critter like this before.

That’s it! I’ve had it, we’re waging WAR!”

“We’re going to serve him a fabulous meal.

One that he’ll beg, borrow or steal.

A Mouse King’s feast for the little beast.

The best of everything at the very least!”

“I’ll fill those traps just one more time —

He’ll face this ultimatum of mine!”

The traps are filled — a gourmet trough,

One tiny toenail will set it off…”

“Now we’ll just sit back and see,

Who’s going to win this battle  – him or me.”

Speak Up Saturday – A Better Mouse Trap

1 Sep

Speak Up Saturday

Patricia Franklin

Patricia had been guest blogging this summer sharing her diary of the robin family. Now the robins have left the nest and a new critter is moving in….. Onisha

Well, now that the birds are raised and gone we have another critter to deal with. We have been trying to catch a mouse that has been living in our laundry room for two months. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But, we have tried everything to catch him–peanut butter, Cheetos™, honey, and a combination of these, which usually gets them right away.

Last night we set three traps — two of them with honey and Cheetos™. This morning he had those traps looking brand new, clean as a whistle, to the last drop of honey, but he did not trip the trap. We thought he was too small and light to set them off at first, but after two months of eating all that good food, we figured he ought to be big and fat enough that we could almost catch him with our hands, but he never sets off the trap.

Two years ago, our neighbor brought his trailer house down from the mountains. He said he was going to clean it up and take it to Texas. He also said it was full of mice. It was, and we have had mice ever since.

The black cat from across the street got fat on those mice. He spent a lot of time in our shed (with the broken board in the door so he could get in.) I can hear him prowling around in there at night. The cat stole the old traps that worked from the shed. He took mice, traps and all. He is a good mouser, but there are still a few mice around. Yes, he is the same one who goes after the birds, the one I put rose branches around the yard to keep out. I can’t get too mad at him, though, because I like the way he takes care of the mice.

Our laundry room guest, besides being a smart mouse, may be a “Smart Mouse” (you know like a Smart Phone – with a computer chip in there to tell him how to eat his fill without being caught.) We got a couple of new compassionate traps or whatever you call them, with sticky on the pads so you can catch them alive. Aaaghh! However, unless he is disguised as a beetle bug, we have not caught him yet.

Last month our neighbor sold his house and took his trailer to Texas, but he obviously left at least one mouse here.

Are mice now more intelligent than humans are? Is there not an engineer or inventor out there who can design a trap for a modern mouse? Or do EPA regulations forbid them to design one that can harm the little critters?

Beats me, but then, I’m not the first person to be  beaten by a mouse.

 

Leviticus 11:29

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