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Tips For Adulthood: Five Strategies For Dealing With Rodents

OK, so I think we’ve all been there. Sooner or later, whether while living in near-squatter conditions when fresh out of university or just...

OK, so I think we’ve all been there.

Sooner or later, whether while living in near-squatter conditions when fresh out of university or just when you think you’ve finally settled into the semi-hygienic status of middle age, they invade. If you’re lucky, it’s just a few mice. If you’re unlucky – as I’ve been over the past week or so – it’s the other white meat. Either way, it sucks.

I remember once in graduate school when my roommates and I came home to find a dead squirrel on our kitchen floor. One of my roommates – a gentle, ecologically-minded Finn – burst into tears. She was terribly upset about the unfortunate fate of “the animal” and had to shield her eyes.  My other roommate – a more pragmatic young woman from Peru – grabbed the thing buy its tail and tossed it into the garbage. “Hey man, I’m from Peru,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “We eat this sh$% for dinner.”

Boy, do I wish I had her with me now…

About the only positive thing that’s come out of this harrowing experience is that it’s united me with numerous friends on Facebook suffering from similar infestations. At this point, I think we could form some kind of Pest Control support group and set up a Facebook page of our own. Lord knows the rats have already done something similar. (“Hey guys, c’mon over to the Mews tonight…great crumbs!”)

And so, for this week’s tips list, here are five ways to deal with rodents, born of experience together with a little help from my friends:

1. Traps. There are two options here. The first is the old-fashioned snap trap where a giant spring snaps down on their head. I must admit a certain partiality to this rather Draconian technique for catching – and killing – a mouse or rat. Or, if you’re a kinder, gentler soul, you can go for a humane trap that enables you to set these darlings free once they’re caught. Gotta admit, that last one lost me with its photo banner.

2. Pets. Some say cats are best because mice (at least) can’t stand the smell of them. Others say only a dog can deal with rats. Me? I hate pets. But I can see getting a hold of one of these babies – a rat-eating plant. Now that’s a pet I could live with.

3. Sirens. Who knew? Apparently, mice and rats can be repelled by powerful, ultra-sonic waves. No fuss. No muss. We just bought a few of these to give them a test-drive.

4. Poison. OK, I know it’s evil. But it works.  And I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed watching those tiny pellets go from green to white after they’d been nibbled.

5. Alcohol. As with so many things, alcohol is often your best strategy. I’d recommend taking a good, healthy swig of whatever suits you before you dive into that coat closet to look for bodies.

I was delighted that yesterday’s post in about the U.S. postal service was picked up by this blog of transportation professionals. I’m learning more about this issue by the moment!

Image: Rats by Yaatra via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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  1. Dorothy August 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Bounce dryer sheets repel the creatures. I hate traps, am allergic to cats and don’t like cleaning up after carcasses and was told about this remedy from a friend. It worked beautifully! and it smells good too!

    • delialloyd August 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

      thank you dorothy. how did you use them? did you just place them around the house? I’ll be sure to pick some up when I’m in the States next week…

  2. Dorothy August 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    I placed them in the same spots where I had been placing the traps and/or the poison. I did not have a lot of mice – our “infestation” came from the building of a new school up the street and they had to migrate somewhere and so chose the closest residential area. Yuck! Good luck and I hope that this method is successfull.

  3. LPC August 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Hahaha. Whowever thought that rodents would be a prime problem of adulthood?

  4. quizwedge August 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Just a warning on the ultrasonic sirens. I’ve heard that they work for a time, but that animals can adapt and learn to ignore them. That may have just been the insect ones though.

    • delialloyd August 20, 2009 at 10:52 am #

      thanks for the tip. i’ll let you know how it works out.

  5. rachel August 21, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    Have not yet had to deal with rodents (touch wood). Though normally I strive for some kind of humanitarian touch, When it comes to ones with long naked tails sharing your home, I say, go for whatever works! Good luck with sirens, bounce sheets , (gulp) poison – and any other remedy you learn of!

  6. airsupport August 22, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    Airguns work good as well there are a lot of sites in internet relating to the technique mostly used for large rodents.


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