Tuesday, June 18, 2013


After living here for almost four years, rodents have never been a problem, a worry, or even something that crossed my mind.  That is, until yesterday evening.  Don't worry, don't worry, there is no evidence in the house, but I saw mice in the garage.  Justin was at class and I was going to water the garden.  I opened a cupboard in the garage and grabbled an extra hose nozzle and noticed something move.  Then I realized that there were several mice on the shelf!  Blleeeeeehhhh!  I saw three.  I quickly closed the door and backed away slowly.  Then I went to Runnings to buy mouse traps.  I made Justin set them since I have never done so before and I wanted to keep my fingers intact.  We placed two in the cupboard and one in the drawer above where we saw them in their nest which is made from a piece of landscaping fabric.  This morning I tentatively opened the cupboard and the drawer only to find the traps still set and the peanut butter (the bait of choice that I recall from the farm) untouched.  Crap!  Actually, I was kind of relieved because Justin is going to be gone all week and I don't want to clean the traps if we do catch something. 

I am kind of embarrassed about how disturbed I am about this.  After all, a mouse here and there is unavoidable when you grow up on a small grain farm, where grain residue and spillage is everywhere.  I guess I was caught off guard since this isn't a small grain farm and we don't keep anything edible in the garage.  I forgot that the standard for "edible" is different for mice.  Fortunately, at the farm we had outdoor cats, also known as nature's serial killers, on constant patrol so rodents were not that big of a deal around there.  Of course, cat food attracted other pests like skunks and raccoons but that is just life I guess. I will never forget seeing the mother cats coming home from the woods in the evening with their kittens trailing behind after a day of hunting lessons.  Once, I saw a mother present her kittens with a almost dead mouse to finish off, which they quite enthusiastically and skillfully did.  Poor Allan is reading this right now and saying that he is a cat so why don't we let him spend the night in the garage and take care of the problem?  Ha!  Although Allan's basic mousing instincts still come through when he plays with his toys he never had the chance to roam the countryside with his mother learning to hunt.  In his dreams!

Yeah, I can tell he's a real killer of rodents...
I hope we get this problem taken care of quickly.  Of course, I worry that next we will find one in the house.  This is one situation where I am glad that the garage is not attached. 

Speaking of farms, I have been informed by my dad that the weeds growing in the flower pots are pigeon grasses and that a pint of Assure (a herbicide used to control volunteer corn and a variety of problem grasses) per acre is the remedy.  A pint an acre...so how much would I need for a two gallon watering can?  A milliliter?

This is pigeon grass...the picture is huge and Blogger won't let me reduce it for some reason...

Yes, that is a common one...when it dries out at the end of the summer it is really fun and satisfying to pull the seeds off...the pods disintegrate and spread to the wind.   Just what farmers want!  I kind of like the use of prairie grasses as decorative landscaping.  Maybe next year I will just fill a bunch of pots with soil from a field and see what happens! 

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