That's What She Said: Dark days
- Dawn Dumont | December 28, 2016
You know that sense of foreboding you get while driving down a dark Saskatchewan road that someone is in the car with you? In my case, its pretty much accurate as I always have company – mice.
In late October, I realized that I had visitors when I was cleaning under the seat of my son’s carseat and found one of his toys chewed to bits. For a second I thought maybe our kid was part dingo – but the mouse poop beside it made it clear. I had an infestation.
I worried about mice crawling on my son every day as I locked him into his carseat. But my mom says that’s not realistic. She called upon her vast knowledge of child-rearing to assure me: “He’s at the age where he can fight off a mouse.”
I was skeptical. “Really? That’s on the child development charts? 18 months – able to fight off a small rodent? So what at 24 months – is he able to strangle a badger with his bare hands?”
Now here the animal lovers who have extended their warm arms to rodents might want to look away. I had no intention of ever allowing this animal to live in my vehicle or anywhere else on this earth. I drove to town one weekend and bought traps in the garden section of Walmart. I set them with peanut butter (yup not my first time at the mouse rodeo) and left them overnight in my car. The next day the peanut butter was gone but there was no carcass. My traps were duds and my mice had received a gourmet dinner. So, I bought new traps. They also did not work. By day three, I was wondering if I should just sleep in my vehicle covered in peanut butter and armed with a hammer.
Fortunately one of my friends had battled mice the year before in his rental. He gave me some plastic traps that were guaranteed to do the job – the job here being bloody murder.
The traps worked. When I opened the door to my vehicle, I received a prairie Christmas present– a dead mouse was in the trap. The other trap had peanut butter still in it – which told me that it was just one mouse. As I gingerly batted the trap out of the car with my ice scraper on the ground for my boyfriend to later pick up (and complain about), I was smiling brighter than the sun’s reflection off the snow. I was homefree.
I paid for a de-mousing package at a Saskatoon detailer. It was expensive but how much would you pay to erase mouse urine from your life?
When I picked up my vehicle, I felt like a new woman. The car smelled clean, the carpets washed and sanitized, and I could sit down knowing that I was definitely not sitting in mouse poop. Life was a delicious rodent free cake.
Then last Sunday, I went out to the car to look for a baby bottle that had been left overnight. I opened the door, looked under the backseat and saw the bottle, minus the nipple which had been chewed beyond recognition.
“I see,” I said as I closed the door. I trudged back into the house, feeling as chewed up as the nipple.
For the next twelve hours, my life became a blur of setting traps, checking them, disposing of the mouse-body, resetting them, waiting and checking. We killed four mice that night.
I got desperate. My partner was looking over my shoulder while I was searching online. “You shopping for a new car?”
“My car has mice in it.”
“Yeah but there’s no guarantee they won’t get in the new car.”
“Then I’ll just buy another one, and another one, and another one…”
When I opened the door to my car the next morning on my way to work, the peanut butter was sitting in the trap, uneaten. But I did not feel glee or even mild joy. For I will never be truly free from the mice, I know that now. That weekend they sent me a dark message – we can enter your vehicle when ever we want. Wherever you go, we’ll be there too.
But on the bright side, at least I’ll never get lonely.