Apparently You Aren't ~really~ A New Yorker Until You Battle A Mouse In Your House
About three months into my life in Brooklyn, it was discovered that a mouse had taken up residence in our home. He hustled and bustled about, pooping on everything, and keeping us up at night.
I hated him with a passion previously reserved only for people who cough without covering their mouth. So I named him Frankie.
We did everything we could to rid ourselves of Frankie. We set up mousetraps that are supposed to glue the mouse’s feet to the trap so we can then dispose of it outside. We put peppermint oil on cotton balls and threw one in each corner of our rooms in attempts to use his least favorite scent to encourage him to leave. We bought a little wall plug-in that makes this white noise to drive away pests.
We were so humane in our efforts to nudge Frankie away from our home.
We then tried the traditional style mousetraps. We baited them with peanut butter, widely recommended by city folk everywhere.
We found the traps, still set, with the peanut butter licked clean.
So we called the exterminator.
*insert horror music here*
The exterminator came, sprayed our apartment unit, and sealed up any holes in the baseboard that Frankie could squeeze through. He told us that Frankie would probably die in a corner somewhere.
Considering that we didn’t see Frankie again, I’m assuming he was right.
We were mouse-free for a good five weeks. It was glorious. Flowers grew, children laughed, puppies filled our dreams.
But see, when an exterminator twirls their magic wand in only one apartment unit in a building of seven units, the mice are only temporarily swayed from said unit. As soon as the potion wears off, they have no reason to avoid their old stomping grounds.
Try telling your building this and they’ll say they understand but still only send the exterminator to your unit.
Henceforth, after five weeks of freedom, we were introduced to Reggie.
Reggie is a fearless version of Frankie. Reggie doesn’t hear you come into a room and hide, he comes and says hi. Reggie isn’t someone to just visit your home, he plans on taking over and strategizing the destruction of mankind at your kitchen table.
We first met Reggie when he made the gutsy maneuver to squeeze under my roommate’s door as she was doing her hair in the morning. He crawled over her foot - she was in his way.
We were off to a great start.
Reggie ignored all of the same ploys that Frankie had. New York mice don’t follow normal trapping protocol - they’re a different breed. There has to be something in the sewer water or something.
Reggie made sure to share his love with all four of us, spending a fair share of time in my room as well. One night, upon hearing a very literal “there’s something in here” noise, I flipped on my phone flashlight and shone it in the direction of the noise - my windowsill, which is stacked high with books. Reggie emerged from behind my curtain, looking me dead in the eyes.
I'm 99.82% sure he was laughing at me. Scampering under my chest of drawers, he vanished.
But that dumb rodent then took up permanent residency under my bed for the rest of the night. He rustled every half hour, almost as if he wanted to remind me of his presence. The little freak.
I didn’t sleep much.
As Reggie was making himself comfortable amongst the few totes tucked beneath my bed frame, I was searching Amazon, ordering new traps to surprise him with.
Thanks to Amazon Prime, those traps arrived within a swift 48 hours, ready to be put to use. We had six industrial traps, all of which received rave reviews from mouse-ridden apartments in Chicago, New York, London, DC, Boston...we were expecting results!
We baited each of these traps with a Hersey’s kiss, having learned how much Reggie enjoyed milk chocolate from an adventure he took through the roomie’s backpack which resulted in the digestion of half an unopened chocolate bar.
It's important to point out, that these traps are VERY sensitive. I almost snapped my fingers off a few times while setting them.
It's also important to note that, for our very small apartment, six traps means we were living in a game of Minecraft.
So we set them. And we waited.
The morning after we had put them out was like waking up on Christmas only to find that Santa didn’t come, and he stole the breakfast cinnamon rolls.
We didn't catch Reggie. Not only did we not catch him, he had managed to take two Hersey’s kisses from the traps.
He had bamboozled a third of our plan.
I’ve never been a science wiz, but geez, I still don’t know how he did that. It's a physics miracle.
It became clear that we were dealing with a wizard, not just a mouse.
Rethinking our strategy, we decided to bait the traps with two chocolate chips, glued together by peanut butter, stuck down into the spring of the trap.
On the fourth night of this setup, he emptied one of those contraptions. Again, WIZARD.
But tonight, oh oh oh tonight, I had just turned off my lights when I heard a “snap!” come from the room next to mine. This was quickly followed by an “OH MY GOSH WE GOT HIM!! LILY!!!” from the roommate.
It seemed too good to be true, but I leaped from my bed, running to her room to find that yes, he WAS in the trap. Unfortunately, he was wiggling. And his eyes looked like they were going to pop out of his head. So we gave him two minutes, letting him die with some dignity.
Then we shoveled him into a paper bag, out the door, down the stairs, out the front door, and into the garbage bin.
Here's to hoping we don't have to experience Reggie 2.0 any time soon.