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24 October 2008

EEEEEKKKKK!!!! OK, there's a mouse/rat? in the office. It's sitting behind a door. How do I get the critter outside without giving myself a heart attack or causing any harm to the guy?[More:]

I'm the only one here. We're on the first floor and nearby the front door. I can leave the door open, but how to "encourage" the mouse/rat to go outside and gather enough courage on my own to do this. I'm hyper-squigged out by needing to do this. I'm OK w/ the critter as long as it's not moving, but when it moves, it scares the s**t out of me and I know I'll just jump away. HALP!
OH noes - I went to find/empty a trash can and get a broom and the critter isn't there....

Is it a mouse or rat when it's about 5 to 6-inches long? (and, am not exaggerating it's size !! really.) :p
posted by mightshould 24 October | 08:52
Do you have a box you can put on top of it? Better yet, try to corner it and brush it into a box with a magazine. (Is this a pipe dream? I have never tried to capture a rodent.) I don't like crawly things either but assure yourself that it will only scurry, it cannot jump on you or fly. Good luck.

On preview, I hope you find it. Or not.
posted by LoriFLA 24 October | 08:54
5-6 inches long? That's a rat. A female or a small male.
posted by gaspode 24 October | 09:02
It's out near the file cabinet...

At least it's not racing about all over - seems to be quietly sitting there....

OK, I'm going over to it fully armed w/ a trash can and broom....

(cross your fingers and toes and eyes and legs and arms....)
posted by mightshould 24 October | 09:03
on preview...

OH no! a rat!???!!!

how is this worse, I don't know....

OK, really, I'm going.

Yikes! the computer speaker just made a loud noise and I just freaked!!!

OK - really, I'm going....
posted by mightshould 24 October | 09:05
Expedition report:

Rat is sitting near file cabinet. Rat has very long tail. Who knew rats had such long tails? Tail is grayish and rat is brownish. Is this a rat with a family or an adventurous minstrel rat going about finding new venues for entertainment? Mightshould doesn’t think this is the type of entertainment that’s high on the list for today. No, not at all.

Rat is still sitting there. I put trash can down near rat. Rat is sitting there not moving.

Rat is more brave than am I…..

Scoot trash can closer to rat. Trash can is right side up. Do I think the critter will just kindly leap into the can? Aiiiyyyee! The thought of rat leaping is unsettling.

Move can closer to rat. Move can closer to rat. (pushing with foot ever so gently so as to not topple can and freak out rat/self.

Can is very near rat. All I can see of rat is tail.

Tail has disappeared. Probably rat has gone with tail. To where?????

Do I dare look around can? Will rat be waiting to pounce when I look around – kinda like in all those late-night horror movies? Breath deep and deploy mighty broom magic force-field.

Scoot Magic force-broom near the can and peer around can. Rat not there.

WHERE IS RAT!!!???!!!


Over there – OH no! There’s a rat-sized gap between file cabinet and wall. Freak-out-panic-don’t go there rat-what to do!!!! Deploy Magic force-broom!!!!!!

Magic force-broom between rat and edge. Nothing between rat and person. Don’t breath.

Rat is moving TOWARDS MIGHTSHOULD!!!!!

Magic force-broom moves into action and blocks rat’s forward direction. Gingerly prods rat. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEGOTOTHEOPENDOORPLEASE. Mouse moves.

TOWARDS DOOR! Rat is in lobby but dives away from open door. WTF rat???? Are you stoopid???? Outside is there – pretty/safe/food-laden outside it there. All the other rats are there waiting to greet you with open paws and singing and happy dances.

Magic force-broom nudges rat towards open door. Rat sees door. Anonymous person is sitting outside in a car smoking and oblivious to the MAJOR DRAMA happening a few feet away. Rat is outside. Rat pauses and makes feint back towards open door. Magic force-broom is deployed in blocking pattern. Rat goes towards edge of concrete step and pauses at edge of flower bed. Rat smells fresh pine straw and completely forgets about inside adventure. Rat stops and picks some flowers, opens bottle of wine and retells adventure story of to all other raties.

Mightshould, now drenched in sweat pauses and watches behind closed door. Mightshould is safe.

For now….
posted by mightshould 24 October | 09:58
Trash can is right side up. Do I think the critter will just kindly leap into the can? Aiiiyyyee! The thought of rat leaping is unsettling.

This is hysterical.
posted by CitrusFreak12 24 October | 10:00
I've got a mouse in my kitchen and need to go buy a (humane) trap later on. I was kind of squigged out by it (even though it is kind of cute), but I feel a lot better now knowing how much worse it could be. Thanks I guess, and good luck!
posted by Quentin 24 October | 10:17
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by essexjan 24 October | 10:17
Every fall/winter we get mice in my house.
I've given up trying to convince my dad to set traps that catch them alive, and actually had to negotiate with him to get him to only put mice that are FULLY DEAD in the trash, after I walked into the garage and heard twitching/scratching coming from the trash can. I was pissed.

His reasoning is that if we catch them alive and put them outside, they'll just come back into the house.
But now we have this trap that you put batteries in and I guess it charges up this capacitor that zaps them and kills them instantly, and I vastly prefer it to the other traps which don't always work. ::shudder::
posted by CitrusFreak12 24 October | 10:20
Despite a close neighbor with a chronic mouse problem, we have been mouse free since the Bees took residence.
Cats: On the Job.
If the scent of cats doesn't keep them away, they've gone nutty.
Someone needs an office cat.

That article about the old lady they found feeding rats like pets, to the teeming thousands swarming her house? i can totally see that not being so very uncommon. Check for local Rat Ladies.
Unless you live in NYC.
Then you're fucked.
posted by ethylene 24 October | 10:30
It's funny how jumpy those little guys make me. Our cat caught (but did not kill, was just playing with) a mouse in our old apartment once. The mouse - definitely a mouse and not a rat, the poor thing was maybe 2 inches long - was terrified and the cat just had it trapped in a corner. I don't know why it took such a summoning of will to not jump on a chair and scream like I was some lady in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Anyway, the mouse was too scared to move so I was able to put a glass over it, slide some cardboard under the glass, and take it outside. I actually took it to a park several blocks away so it wouldn't come back. I named him Mortimer.
posted by misskaz 24 October | 10:30
Oh, and Bravo!
Glad you didn't have to deal with a corpse so early in the day.
posted by ethylene 24 October | 10:32
Seconding the office cat suggestion. This is my Mouse Murderer:
≡ Click to see image ≡

He looks mean in this picture, but he's lovely, except when ruthlessly producing small corpses for my delectation. Including a 6-inch rat, recently.
posted by altolinguistic 24 October | 10:35
My metachatted mouse encounter was more grisly.
i'm petty sure we have a good handful of mecha mouse encounters.
i was hoping to illustrate them and put them together. If you consent, do say so. Got a picture?
posted by ethylene 24 October | 10:36
ethylene, Oh gosh noes - no pictures of the rat - are you kidding???? I wuz not about to ask Ratboy to look at camera and say Cheeze!

Boy, do I wish for office cat. Sadly, not going to happen.

I bet Mr Ratboy is off next door by now enjoying the restaurant's dumpster-goodies. May I never ever see Ratboy again!!!
posted by mightshould 24 October | 10:44
Just grab the rat by its tail and swing it quickly in such a way that its head is crushed against an old piece of furniture or a doorjamb, and then use long forceps to dangle it into your seven-foot emerald tree boa's enclosure; the snake, if hungry, will strike, coil around it, and swallow it. Goodbye rat.

If your snake isn't hungry you can always freeze the rat.
posted by Hugh Janus 24 October | 11:23
If your snake isn't hungry you can always freeze the rat.

I'm a trap and release guy, but when things get ugly, like my livelihood is threatened if a client sees one, I live trap then put that in the freezer. I myself would prefer the obliterating embrace to being whacked repeatedly with a meat tenderizer.
posted by StickyCarpet 24 October | 11:42
Couple of important rodent catching tips:

1. I love being humane as much as the next guy, but you go for trap and release (especially with mice, perhaps less so with rats) you absolutely need to release either more than a mile away, or on the other side of a body of water. Preferably both. If not, they WILL come back, probably with friends. If this is not an option, see point 2.

2. Never actually had a rat problem, and because they're bigger, I suspect they're a bit easier to trap/corner. With mice, catching them by hand is rather difficult. Once I had luck by putting some cheese in a cup laying on its side and hiding close by, but out of sight. When the mouse swooped in, I grabbed the cup triumphantly. That was luck. What follows is the "better mouse trap" we've been waiting for all of our lives. (Note: Not a no-kill)

1 Bucket 1/3 full of water.
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 flat long object that can be used as a ramp

Spread the peanut butter along the inside of the bucket and place the flat object on the floor, leaning against the top of the bucket at as flat of an angle as possible. Wait. Before long, you'll have a bucket full of drowned mice. Gruesome? Yes, but sometimes needed.
posted by SpiffyRob 24 October | 12:01
Maybe I could talk my boss into Hugh Janus's snake suggestion - we could have an office snake instead of office cat!

I surely do hope he doesn't come back - I mean, there's goodies at the restaurant next door and nothing to eat here...

(maybe I should look for another job - one without rats)
posted by mightshould 24 October | 12:11
Oh my. Reading this made my heart rate go up. I'm sorry!
posted by Stewriffic 24 October | 13:20
Rat has very long tail. Who knew rats had such long tails? Tail is grayish and rat is brownish.

Son, you got yourself a roof rat.

When we got our first, just about a year ago, we knew it'd been living in the kitchen. Came home one day to find the little cat (she's the hunter in the family) standing on her hind legs on the kitchen table. She had the rat cornered on the swag hook holding the fruit basket. Poor little guy had all four feet on the tip of that hook, and had his tail wrapped around the basket for good measure.

We couldn't figure out how to get it down and out of the house. We knew that if it hit the floor, it would zip quickly to some hiding place. I called my dad to ask, hypothetically, if a rat got sucked into a shop vac, would there be carnage? He said no, that there's a clear path from hose to cannister; no whirring blades or anything. "But," he said, "make sure you have a rat-sized hose."

So I got the shop vac set up while the cat kept the rat in place. Plugged it in and got ready to turn it on, then couldn't decide whether to try to get it head-first or tail-first. My dad's words about the rat-sized hose came back to me then. I remembered all those stories you hear about kids sitting on pool drains and getting disemboweled. I started to worry that the hose, in fact, was not rat sized, even though it was a smallish rat. I pictured the rat getting stuck in the hose, head-first or tail-first, and having all of its internal organs sucked right into the vacuum.

So I put the shop vac away and we went out to play pool.
posted by mudpuppie 24 October | 14:10
it cannot jump on you or fly

Hahahaha. This is so not true.
posted by Meatbomb 24 October | 17:40
Photo Friday: Fall/Spring. || Bill Clinton's shutting down Main Street.