Friday, January 28, 2011

I do not like them with a mouse, I do not like them in a house

For a few months now, we've been letting our current landlord know that we've been hearing a lot of noise up in the attic crawl space. Alive noise. Running and skittering and gnawing and what have you. Tiny little voices singing about making a new dress for Cinderella.* I'm not going to get into details too much, but let's just say that the problem has not been solved. And then, this morning, as I was getting ready for work, I took out what I thought was a clean new bar of soap from our bathroom cupboard and saw this:




Gnawed box! Forensic quality incisor marks in the (apparently delicious) soap! YERSINIA PESTIS! This is the first evidence (aside from a turd or two in Joe's closet) that they've actually penetrated the outer hull and entered the house. And I, for one, welcome our new rodent overlords.

Oh, wait, no I don't. Time to start looking for a new house. Oh, we did already? Awesome.

(* To make myself feel better, I am referring to them as mice, because mice are kind of cute. However, given the amount of noise we're hearing and the size of the bite marks, they are likely of a larger rodent genus, like a rat or a squirrel or a...raccoon? Wait, raccoons? OMG RABIES.)

26 comments:

  1. Methinks that looks like rattus quality incisor marks ;-)

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  2. Norwegian rats abound in the South, dunno if there are a lot up in NYC. We were hearing sounds and seeing damage consistent with vermin the fall after we moved in, so we put out a mix of peanut butter and warfari- uh, rat poison and within 3 days the mix was gone and out in the yard was the result. I'd never seen one again and don't want to! That sucker was B-I-G.

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  3. Two words: sticky traps.

    I just wrote a post on this the other day. And the things work.

    Trust. I know one friend who caught a SNAKE on one.

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  4. Knotellin10:41 AM

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    No matter what's with HOUSE - take it!

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  5. Anonymous12:56 PM

    looks like a norway rat to me.....

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  6. Hmm. We had mice for years, until I brought home my pet rats. Rat beats mouse; plus the pet kind doesn't do that much damage. Or carry that much disease. (I've only once caught a cold from them. I imagine I passed it on to them to begin with, and they handed it back to me.)

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  7. Well, is it any consolation that as yummy as that soap (surely) tasted, it can't have done their insides any good? I know rodents have hardy intestines, but no creature is optimized to digest soap. When you get chills hearing them scurry overhead, you can just gloat to yourself about who has a soap induced tummyache right now and who doesn't.

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  8. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Why worry about rabies when you can worry about Hantavirus?

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  9. Ok, now rats are freaking NASTY. I don't envy you at all.

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  10. The CDC says don't use sticky or live traps as they can make the rodent pee, raising the risk of hantavirus. They have lots of advice on their website, which I read while trying to research sweating sickness of all things...

    We have mice also and our two pet cats, one Akita, two pet rats and a noose trap haven't deterred them at all.

    If you really think it might be raccoons take a look at your chimney. Does it have a cap? The number one way they get into the attic is via an uncapped chimney. Capping the chimney is surprisingly cheap and easy. I think we spent about thirty bucks and ten minutes of my older two (college age) sons' time capping it.

    Just make sure their are no raccoons in the attic when you do it so you don't lock them into the attic. That would be bad.

    I learned all about raccoons in the attic while doing research for my current work in progress, about a girl who runs away from home and hides out in a foreclosed home that's already a home to raccoons and black bears.

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  11. Just to add yet another variety of rodent to the discussion: My parents' house in Atlanta has periodic infestations of flying squirrels in the attic. When I was growing up, my room apparently had the highest rate of ceiling-traffic, or else I was more nocturnal than my folks, because I was often the only one who heard and was bothered by the skitter skitter skitter [pause for gliding] THUMP.

    *Finally* the folks called an exterminator. And: WHO IS SO NOT CRAZY THAT'S RIGHT ME.

    Ah, the south. At least you're not in New Orleans. Here, rats live in the trees.

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  12. Anonymous1:37 AM

    Most likely rats. The South's weather is so fantastic, but with it brings huge insects and rodents. When I lived in SC I found out I had Norway rats in the attic of a house I was renting. The mouse traps I had bought kept getting robbed so I thought I'd try rat traps just for the hell of it and voila! Rats aren't that scary when they are dead. My dog thought I was pretty amazing when I'd head up to the attic (to check the traps) and come back with a dead rat. Rat traps are just huge mouse traps. Obviously don't set them anywhere kids could ever encounter them unless they want some broken bones. Peanut butter worked great. We caught 3 and they were eradicated.

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  13. glad you shared. and i thought the random little cockroach was bad. i'd suggest a cat? i've renamed my parents outdoor cat "killer" b/c of her habits. also re: racoons...possible.. in college there was a place off of durant that had a family of racoons living in the attic..apparently issue was they brought fleas.

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  14. We just finished off, what I hope is, the last of some field mice that had taken up in the walls. Drove our dogs crazy as they tried to located the scratchy noises. :)

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  15. Anonymous9:35 AM

    omg, that is disgusting. i would never be able to fall asleep in that house again knowing rats are running loose while my children sleep.

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  16. Anonymous12:35 PM

    Rodents of unusual size!

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  17. Wow you are braver than me. I couldn't even stay in a house that had such a visible problem.

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  18. *shudder*

    We had a rat in our garage - I'm using "had" instead of "have" in this sentence in hopes that the few days we let our neighbors cats hang around in there handled it- and that drove us crazy. A mouse, not so scary, but omg a rat? *shudder*

    I'd freak the hell out if I saw such evidence of a problem.

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  19. Anonymous8:46 PM

    I just love that you use the word "turds!" HA! Mimi

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  20. Rodents are common in all living spaces. Moving to another location doesn't really solve anything because you might come across them in the new location at a later time. You have to get an exterminator or do it yourself as best you can. I recently discovered a mouse loose in my place. It made its home in my underwear drawer where it's babies lay warm and cozy. It chewed apart some of my favorite t-shirts, underwear and nylons along the way up to the top drawer!

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  21. What is strange is that I cleaned out my bedroom drawers and there was nothing there. But in the past 4 weeks, I've been woken up to the sound of little claws against my bedroom carpet. The little buggars are fast. Flushed the 5 babies down the toilet and now I just have to catch the mother.....

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