Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PETA Man of the Year

This story might cause you to stand on your chair and peel your skin off with your bare hands. You've been warned.

Our ant battles have been well-documented. Our recent mouse battles have also been documented. This morning, they converged in a bizarre case of Guantanamo Bay-style torture coexisting with the ethical treatment of rodents.

We have been big proponents of using Terro, the ant bait. It's sticky, gooey stuff, but it works and it's supposed to wipe out the colony and it's non-toxic to animals (except ants) and people.

So the latest ant invasion has been lapping up the Terro for a couple of days, with noticeable reduction in their armies. Great. A little bit of the Terro solution spilled on the floor near the trash can, and I left it there because the ants started gobbling it up. All the better. Eat it and die, you little shits. We don't have pets and the kids don't eat off the floor anymore. Once the ants are gone, it cleans up easily with hot water and soap. (This is obviously not the first time I've spilled it).

This morning, I went to dump my coffee grounds in the garbage can, and noticed a furry brown oblong thing in the spilled Terro. Hmmmm. I looked more closely. It was a mouse. And it was twitching.

"AAaaaaaahhhhh!" I said, backed up quickly, threw the coffee filter on the counter and got the hell out of there. G., who had already been up an hour and failed to notice the twitching, furry brown thing in the corner, said, "OK, take the boys in the family room and I'll deal with it."

That was the end of my involvement in the situation. The rest is told to me by G. because I sure as hell had nothing to do with it. I may never go near that corner again, we'll see.

So G. assessed the situation and sees that Mousey is alive, but stuck on his side in the spilled Terro. He got a piece of cardboard and a cup. He put the cup over the mouse and slid the cardboard underneath it. That's how he got the mouse unstuck.

He took the mouse outside, but Mousey's side was all gooey and sticky. It occured to me while I was waiting in the family room, "He's not going to try to wash it and set it free, is he? Nawww."

I, once again, underestimated him.

G. got a shoe box to put Mousey in, but Mousey was so sticky and gooey that he actually stuck to the cup even after the cardboard was removed, sort of hanging out the bottom, so G. couldn't get him in the shoe box. He wasn't going to use his hands (thank god). So G. got a pail of water and dunked the cup in several times to try to wash him off. ( BTW, G. does a really good imitation of the mouse getting dunked over and over, shaking himself off with this expression like, "Woah. This day's going from bad to worse." Ask him to do it for you sometime).

G. got him washed off enough to get him in the cardboard box, and then announced he was embarking on a relocation program in the neighbor's yard down by the railroad tracks.

So he gets in the car, taking Mousey in the shoe box, and takes him down to the railroad tracks and sets him free. (Note to self: Find out what he did with the shoe box).

Then he came home and said, "Poor little guy. I don't know if he's gonna make it. He was still pretty gooey."

And that's why my husband deserves the PETA Man of the Year award. I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd been alone (and I hope I never have to find out), but I believe it would have involved a shovel, mouse murder (mouseicide?), and lots of screaming.


Carrie said...

Oh, yeah. G. is much nicer than I would have been although I can see Paul doing the same thing.

We also use Terro to battle our ant problem. There are currently 7 little Terro baits at various places in dining room/kitchen/living room (and it's not that bit of a space). Paul's theory is that is if one is good, ten are better.

Anonymous said...

A mouse stuck to your kitchen floor. Oh I am so laughing my brains out here. Better yet stuck to the floor with your ant killer. Whoo, I'm holding my sides.
Can't you do a short video on you tube of G. pretending to be a dunked mouse?
I'm gonna have a great day now because I've had a really good laugh.


Beastarzmom said...

Oh, where is You Tube when you need it???
I'd nominate G if I knew how.
But I love the mouse thoughts - the poor dude did have a pretty shitty day...

PETA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PETA said...

Dear Lunasea:

On behalf of our more than 1.8 million members and supporters worldwide, PETA would like to thank your husband for rescuing the mouse who was stuck in Terro next to your trash can and releasing him outdoors. G. clearly understands that even the smallest and most vulnerable beings deserve to be treated with compassion.

That's why we encourage you to switch from using Terro (which causes ants to suffer and can trap and injure other animals) to humane methods to keep ants and mice out of your home. Best of all, these humane methods can keep ants and mice out of your home permanently by stopping the problem at its source. Killing methods only assure a steady flow of more "uninvited guests" into your home—as long as your home is appealing and accessible, more ants and mice will enter to take the place of those who were killed.

The best way to keep ants and mice from entering your home is to remove sources of attraction. Keep your kitchen clean: Don't leave crumbs or garbage around, and keep all food and trash in tightly sealed containers. Frequently wipe countertops, floors, and cabinets with equal parts vinegar and water.

When you see ants in your home, try to follow them back to the point where they entered. Use caulk to seal holes and cracks where ants can enter, remembering that ants are tiny and can fit through almost any small opening. Apply weather stripping under doors.

There are also many natural repellents that you can place around your home to prevent ants from entering. If ants are coming in through door or window cracks, put a cinnamon stick, coffee grounds, chili pepper, paprika, or dried peppermint leaves near the openings. You can also squeeze the juice of a lemon at the entry point and leave the peel there. Planting mint around the foundation of the house will also keep ants away.

If you find more mice in your home after sealing the entry points, it's easy to remove them humanely with a reusable live trap (available at and escort them outdoors.

We hope that you will also set a compassionate example for your children by using humane methods to keep your home ant- and mouse-free. Please feel free to contact us at if we can be of any assistance.

The PETA Staff

Lunasea said...

I'll, um, forward your thanks to G.

Sarah O. said...

Whoa, you got a personal comment from PETA! I believe you have officially made the big time.

What G. did was very, very sweet. Mr. Lemony would have gotten one of those horrible mouse traps. *shudder*

Beastarzmom said...

omg. I think you should maybe build a pathway to your very own ant farm. Then PETA can be happy and A&B can have an ant farm.
Oh, but then that would be entrapment and gee, that would be a shame.
But I appreciate the suggestions.
I guess.
Lord almighty. It's an ANT, people! (ok, lots of ants, but geez, there's lots more where they came from!)

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