Observations and actions of the infested

Mice, or Mus musculus, live, sleep, and breed under my kitchen sink. My inner city apartment is about 250 square feet all inclusive so the mice and I are close. I am constantly killing them. My bed faces my kitchen and the loud snap of wood and spring, followed by a mouse’s pathetic death squeal, wakes me up most nights. I have learned a lot about mice. And yes, mice are quite cute. When going about their business they sometimes chirp like little song birds.

Some nights it's a crunchy sound or a scurry that will wake me up. I will get out of bed, enter my kitchen, and watch a mouse trot off behind the stove or fridge. When they are in the kitchen, their main stomping grounds, they are bold and move relatively slow, seemingly unaware of you until a sudden movement or thrown book makes them bolt. After scaring the mouse into one of its hiding spots I reposition all my traps to block off any available escape routes. In this fashion I have enjoyed watching many a mouse problem solve and/or die. I have seen a mouse jump over two traps only to fail on the third. Mice can jump many feet into the air. It’s startling. After you see a jumping mouse your apartment begins to resemble a Q*bert board and you fancy that a mouse can get just about anywhere. Indeed, mice can walk up any rough vertical surface. I have seen a mouse jump into the air, grab a hold of a dishtowel, and climb its way onto my rented stove. I have watched a mouse climb up blinds. Once you see them above your head it is easy to imagine them airborne. This makes sleeping in my apartment more difficult. I have watched a mouse, its lower section caught and pinned to a trap, pull itself along the floor only to have its neck broken in a second unseen trap. They scream but there is never any blood. Perhaps the traps pinch them in a way that no blood spills. Perhaps mice contain no blood. I have killed a mouse with a broom, whacking it twice, and there was no blood. I have watched the metal bar strike across mus musculus’ back, the force of it overturning the trap, and seen a squealing mouse, twitch and scurry for nearly a minute, until finally pulling itself out from under the bar and running behind my fridge. One hour later it moseyed out from under the fridge then suddenly raced across the center of the room. Right by my bed. Mice prefer to walk along baseboards but when it comes down to it they go wherever they want. After watching the mouse free itself I decided to change my killing methods. While enjoying the horror show was a positive way of facing my vermin infestation it was not going to solve the mouse problem. For that I would need bromadiolone.

The ins and outs of bromadiolone (C30H23BrO4) poisoning.

Intially, I resisted the poison. Bromone, the brand name for my bromadiolone, warns that “ingestion or absorption through the skin can be fatal." Fatal not just to mice but to people. It also warns to keep away from food and to not breathe too deeply around the bromone cubes.

The World Health Organization has many freaky things to say about bromadiolone. The general hazard warning is this, “Readily absorbed following ingestion or inhalation, or through the skin; if absorbed, effects may range from an increased tendency to bleed to massive hemorrhaging”. Bromadiolone is an anticoagulant, it is rodent Ebola in a cube. The above information was unsettling, as was the advice to wear a face mask while handling, but overall it said the likelihood of poisoning yourself was low. However, it also states that bromadiolone accumulates in the liver and, most troubling of all, “No data are available on the kinetics and metabolism of bromadiolone in humans."

So I put out the cubes. The first thing I noticed was the mouse chirping intensified. I had placed the bromone cubes in all my apartment's dark places and the response was immediate. On an average day I normally hear a couple sounds that may or may not be mice but within half an hour I heard activity by the front door and in the kitchen. Both sound sources contained louder and more persistent chirping then normal. That night, and for the rest of day, I saw far more mouse activity. The cubes were drawing the mice out. My apartment building is tall and it seemed like I was attracting all of its mice as well as dealing with my own insurgents. Repulsed, I left for the night and when I returned the next day much of the cubes I had left out were heavily gnawed. That night I slept soundly, not a creature was stirring.

Assorted information that could not be included above

Mice love peanut butter, it is the best bait. Mice like Bromone's peanut flavored bromadiolone cubes so much they will chew through its thin cardboard container in order to eat it and die. I killed a rat with poison once and it died in the wall and stank for days. After the smell passed maggots crawled out from under the baseboards. With the mice I did notice a small smell a few days after but that was it. I have had a few mice sightings since but no where near pre-bromadiolone levels. However, the smartest way to deal with mice is to block their point of entry. Everything else is just maintenance.