I awoke early in the morning about 3:00 A. M. to the sound of stirring above the drop ceiling in our basement bathroom, the weather-had turn cold and had driven something into our warm home. We have lived in the same house for more than thirty years and have had only one mouse get in during the first few years that we occupied the house, so I was surprised. As I do most of the work or had in the past, I was sure that there were no openings that a mouse could get through but apparently I was wrong. Our parents live upstairs on the main floor and we no occupy the basement.
Over the years we have on two occasions a squirrel came down the chimney and at that time with a cat in the house it caused quite a sene with the cat guarding the fire place and the squirrel starring back through the screen. Before it was out the door, the squirrel ran down the hall and into the bedroom, bounced off the wall and then returned to the front of the house and out the front door.
The second squirrel came down the chimney after we had an evening fire or maybe during the fire. The next morning we could hear him in the chimney and he did not sound too good. Later in the day it got quite and I knew that something had to be done. Chimneys’ have a space behind the flue to prevent rain water from entering the fireplace and I assumed that must be where he was, dead I hoped. I put on a glove and tried to see if I could get my arm up and through the flue opening. After twisting and turning my arm, I manage to get my elbow up above the flue, now to find the squirrel. I was not sure if he was dead, but at least he was not moving.
Back to the mouse, we found mice droppings in the upstairs kitchen and a box in the pantry behind the stairs that had been chewed into. He had found his food supply. After cleaning up the mess all agreed that something had to done immediately. So off to the closest store to find a mouse trap. Do you know how hard it is to find a mouse trap today, after checking four stores I finely located a package of two old fashion spring loaded mouse traps?
That night I set one in the kitchen loaded with fresh cheese and another above the drop ceiling in the basement bathroom.
I awoke again early in the morning to the same sounds and was eager to see if we had trapped the mouse, no luck, he ignored the cheese and went for the bag of potato chips in the pantry. Mouse droppings now left a trail down the steps and toward the washer and dryer located under the steps. After cleaning up the mess again, it was decided that a more serious plan had to be developed. Dad mentioned that the liked bacon better than cheese so that would be the bait for night. I stuffed a sheet under the basement door and set the trap at the top of the stairs. I had rebuilt the stairs and have not gotten around to painting them so the wood is unfinished but clean.
About 1:30 in the morning I heard a loud noise on the steps and I relaxed knowing that I had succeeded and won the battle. The next morning I was in shock, no mouse just blood about half way down the steps, soaked into the fresh new wood. After about an hour of scrubbing and cleaning the search was on. I had to find that mouse. Two hours of search with mirror and flash into every nook cranny and hole I could find would produce no mouse. The basement got a thorough cleaning that day. The only sign that I could find was a drain pipe that had the dust wiped clean in one spot at the furnace. We had the furnace replaced the year before and I could see completely around it and even with a mirror I was able to check under the tub in the adjacent bathroom. Now we had a different problem with a possible dead mouse to start smelling. Just to be sure that he was dead, I set the trap again at the top of the stairs and blocked the space under the door.
All was quite, I am not sure if that is a good thing or not, where is that mouse? Well I gave up for now and sat down and wrote this article. If the story develops or we start smelling the mouse, I will edit the story.
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