Tag Archives: mouse poop

Mice in the Pantry

Rat (1)           Quitting my diet cola drink is hard enough.  The headaches, mood swings and general feelings of “unwell” are evidence that those little cocktails of carbonated water, caffeine and chemicals are not exactly healthy for the human body.  When I’m going through diet soda withdrawals, normal life is difficult enough, and then today I discovered mice in the pantry.

Life’s been full of big changes for me lately.  I just graduated from a masters program in business administration, I just got laid off from my job, my boyfriend and I just got engaged, and I’m putting my townhome on the market while looking for a house with my fiancé.  So, of course, I think it’s a great idea to quit drinking diet soda and start an exercise routine so I can look and feel my very best on my wedding day.  I’m stressed, on edge, even though most of my life changes are mostly for the good.  Well, except for the job loss, of course.  That’s a special kind of stress.

After a frustrating wedding planning session with my mother, I decided to clean out my kitchen in preparation for the upcoming move.  I’ll admit, I haven’t been in that pantry for a good, long while, subsisting through the last few months of the masters program on take-out and vending machine food.  I had no idea there were mice in the pantry until today.

I pulled items out, wondering what those little black things were on the shelves and the tops of the cans.  I finally realized those little black things were mice poop around and on top of my food when I saw little holes chewed into pasta and cereal boxes.  That’s really put me over the top today.    Mice in the pantry!  Right when I’m trying to sell the place.  Crap.

I easily got the pantry emptied out by throwing everything away.  I called Allstate Animal Control to get rid of the mice from the pantry.  And, I am now enjoying a heavily caffeinated diet soda.  Fine.  I can quit some other day.

How to Get Rid of Mice

how to get rid of mice
            My unintentional solution to how to get rid of mice would have been hilarious if it wasn’t so gross. 

            I’m not the kind of person to go squealing away or jumping up in chairs when I see something like a mouse, spider or snake.  But, when I noticed mouse droppings in my pantry, and little chew marks in some cardboard boxes, there was a serious “yuck factor.”  I couldn’t bear the thought of some little wild critter, infested with all kinds of parasites, peeing or pooping all over my counters, pantry and food.  Mice can spread all kinds of diseases, like salmonellosis,  Lyme disease, rickettsialpox, and many others.

            I donned gloves and a mask and attacked the pantry, searching through everything for any traces of mouse activity.  Cans were okay, as long as I washed them before I opened them.  Any boxes or bags that had chew marks were thrown away.  After a lot of work and sorting, I had a couple of garbage bags full of food that was either contaminated or possibly contaminated, and it made me angry to have to throw out that much food.  I knew how I’d get rid of the mice.  I washed my hands and made a phone call to a professional wildlife removal company.  Let them chase down and get rid of every mouse.  I have enough work on my hands with all this cleaning.

            I put on a new pair of gloves and a mask and worked to sanitize the shelves and floor.  Hey, I needed to clean out the pantry anyway, I thought to myself, trying to find the silver lining.  The kitchen countertops were full of the food I figured was okay.  I’d even found an old bottle of honey with just a little bit of honey in the bottom.  I’d put it upside-down in a juice glass to let the honey out. 

            As I finished sanitizing the pantry, I figured I would sweeten some tea with the honey and wait for the wildlife removal expert to arrive.  I turned to reach for the honey and that’s when I saw it.  One of the mice was bold enough to come out in the kitchen while I was working, attracted by the food set out on the counter.  Its tail got stuck in the honey that had leaked out into the juice glass, and it couldn’t run away.  It was the craziest thing!  Of course, its little paws couldn’t get enough purchase on the granite countertop for it to pull itself free, so there it sat.  Its tail looped up into glass, its nose quivering with the scent of all that food, every now and then trying to run, but with no luck. 

            As I said, it would have been hilarious, but I had just spent a long time cleaning up after it and throwing my food out.  My sense of humor was a little frayed, but I did appreciate the irony.  So did the guy who came out to get rid of the mice from my house.

Mouse Removal

mouse removal
I’ve done a lot of mice removal in my job at pest control, and my favorite thing to do is train the new guy!  Most of our house calls end up pretty standard.  We just see the proof that mice have been there.  Tons and tons of mouse droppings.  Looks like little black grains of rice scattered all over, and the stuff can be pretty toxic if it’s not cleaned up right.  Usually, that’s all we see before we set up the traps, but every now and then, I get to see a grown man scream like a little girl.  It’s the best part of my job.

            We pulled up in front of the nice house.  It was this kid’s first day on the job.  We introduced ourselves to the homeowner, and she told us the standard story about spotting mouse droppings under the kitchen sink, right where she keeps the garbage.  She said she knew they had a mouse problem, but she called for mice removal the day she reached in to throw something away and a mouse jumped right over her hand. 

            She told us the story while laughing at herself.  She said she could handle most things like snakes and spiders, and she even likes pet mice.  But, have a wild one leap unexpectedly out of your garbage can and over your hand.  She laughed and admitted she didn’t handle that as well as she thought she would.  I think she said screaming was involved. 

            It was time to have the new kid look under the sink.  He needed to clean up the droppings and set the traps for mice removal, all while keeping an eye out for tiny holes that might be the “front door” for the mice.  He reached in to grab the garbage can and, wouldn’t ya know it, the can had two tiny little occupants that didn’t like being moved.  They jumped out at him, squeaking, and sent the kid tripping over himself backwards, screaming like a little girl.  Just another perk of the job!

            Of course, we caught those two mice for the nice lady, who’d quickly retreated to perch on a chair, cleaned up the droppings, set traps and plugged the hole we found.  I never let the kid live that one down, though!  We teased him about it for years.  I never did bother to tell him about the first time I’d had a mouse jump out at me, but no need to bring up the past, right?