Rodentia must DIE!

When I was in the second grade we moved to a big old house in a halfway decent neighborhood. It was in the city but not as seedy as some of the places I’d spent time in up to the ripe old age of seven.

There were lots of pros and cons to this new place, like lots of kids to play with on our street, and still being an only child vs. having to walk almost a mile to school and getting bullied by an older kid along the way.

But, my worst memory of this house was mice. I’m pretty sure it was my first awareness of nasty ugly dirty mice, as opposed to the cute little Christmas Mouse I’d read about in a storybook.

My mother was terrified of them, which of course influenced my being terrified as well. That winter I cannot count how many mice we trapped and poisoned, yet they continued to proliferate and torture me.

When I would stall at bedtime, as all kids do, my step-father would find a dead mouse in a trap somewhere and chase me upstairs with it. Where I would wrap myself like a mummy in my covers so they couldn’t touch me. Good times!

As I got older I told myself this fear of mice was irrational. Bugs don’t scare me because anything I can squash with one swat of my hand I can deal with. But sneaky, nasty, mice? Totally different story.

I suppose I should be grateful I never lived in a place with rats, and I am, but in my mind mice are just midget rats. Same family…all Rodentia should be annihilated.

My son used to manage a restaurant in one of the sports arenas in Philadelphia and discovered a serious mouse infestation. When the exterminator came to collect the bodies, after a big poisonpalooza, he told my son they should be grateful they have mice because it means they don’t have rats…they don’t co-exist! Good to know. Still hate the little bastards.

Several years ago our next door neighbor gutted her house and reconstructed it. Not by herself mind you, although she probably could, but over a six month torturous stretch of noise, dust, debris…and mice.

It was a nightmare on so many levels I can’t describe. One interesting thing came from that experience…my fear of mice changed to total hatred of the little fuckers. (With perhaps a bit of discomfort in their known presence.)

This all occurred when dad was still living upstairs. One morning after Dave had gone to work I came downstairs and began the usual morning routine. Let the dogs out…let them back in…feed them. All before one cup of coffee.

As I opened the pantry door to get their food I jumped about 80 feet into the air. I could hear it before I saw it. The damn mouse was running up the inside of the door and got its tail caught in the hinge. It was squeaking and flailing like nothing I had ever seen.

Of course it was probably thinking “She’s jumping and screaming like some wild banshee while I dangle here!”

I immediately called Dave at work. It went something like this…

“You have to come home immediately!!!!!”


“There’s a mouse dangling and screaming from the pantry door and you have to come kill it!”

“Oh for Christ sake! Go up and ask dad to take care of it. If he won’t I’ll come home.”

So I go up and get dad, who was perfectly cool with helping the damsel in distress. Thank God for that!

He walks in and assesses the situation then starts to leave. I said, “Wait! Where are you going??”

“To the basement to get something to kill it with!”


He came back and told me to take the dogs upstairs while he ‘took care of it’… with the hammer he got from the basement!!

He beat the shit out of it with the hammer…bagged up the body…took it to the corner and dumped it in the sewer! I swear this is all true! Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Eventually after the reconstruction next door we’ve blissfully gone rodent free for a long time. The occasional misguided little bastard will wander in somehow and quickly learn it was a mistake. I like to put the bodies out back as a warning to their little friends.

What critters do you fear or hate?



  1. A lovely description! I’ve got a hamster when I was a kid but that didn’t cure me from being afraid of both mice and rats like you. Before we rebuild the kitchen we had some visitors under the sink, we never understood how they got there. But now it’s densely!

    • Barbara

      I’m glad you liked my description Ella! They can get into the tiniest places it’s next to impossible to block them. So we must KILL them!

  2. EEEEKK!! Killing a mouse with a hammer freaks me out more than the mouse itself — and I’m Sicilian!!

    Once we found droppings in the kitchen after we were away for a week on vacay, so we plugged in those little “frequency” doo-hickies, and we’ve been rodentia-free ever since!

    I let even the little spiders live in my home, but the big hairy ones — those I’ll trap in a jar and let them go outside.

    • Barbara

      Go ahead Lee…make me look evil. You are truly a lover of all creatures. Sadly…I can’t go that far. I do admire you for it tho.

  3. Much as I enjoyed your very well told and gripping story, I’m in Lee’s camp. I can’t kill anything. My cat brings in mice from time to time and I try to save their lives. I can’t stand watching them kick and squeal in his mouth. I’m rarely able to save them however. He can eat an entire mouse in one minute. We timed him. I can’t watch. When I lived in Costa Rica all the gringos would trumpet their kills of scorpions. But not me. I felt sorry for them and just swept them out of the house. I know, I’m a freak. None of this takes away from the building suspense of your post. I wish you a merry mouse free holiday season!

    • Barbara

      I never realized how many people were ‘fond’ of mice. This is eye opening.

  4. Boy o boy! That was quite the vent and I have to say I learned a new thing… I thought mice and rats were siblings and all that rodentia lovey, lovey stuff. Who knew even they can’t stand each other!? 😆 I’m not a bug or rodent hater but I don’t want them around me either… Now that hammer story… wow! Nightmareeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 🙁

    • Barbara

      I’m glad you learned something new Elizabeth…I’m here to help. You’re right, the hammer story is totally over the top but that’s how dad rolls.

  5. I hate to admit it but I’ve always been rather fond of mice. I used to have one come to visit me in my bedroom when I was a boy of about 10. In retrospect I’ve no idea if it was actually “one” or loads of them, but they only turned up one at a time. Anyway, I used to keep cheese up there, and feed them little chunks. They always seemed very pleased with their dinner.

    • Barbara

      FOND? FOND Peter? Really? You must have had loads of them if you were feeding them. OMG…makes my skin crawl.

      • They were always very polite and stayed on the other side of the room. I could tell you a great story about one in my car, but perhaps I won’t

      • Barbara

        A mouse in my car would have me in a ditch somewhere. Thanks for not sharing that one Peter!!

  6. I hate rats. I see them on the T and I see them scurry from the dumpsters outside of our condo in Boston. They are as big as cats. When we moved into our condo, we gutted it and sealed up every hole. Thankfully, there has never been one, or the signs of one in our home. But, I know they are out there…waiting….

    • Barbara

      Rats are a whole other level of skeevie Bill. Living in the city makes it impossible to not have come across them somewhere. When we first moved to the city I came across a rat that had been run over lying along the curb while I was walking the dogs. Seemed no one wanted to dispose of it and over time it became flat as a pancake and stiff as a board. One morning as we came around the corner my dog Cosmo, who’s nickname was pig boy because he would eat anything, had something in his mouth and without thinking I reached down to push it out. You guessed it…the half decomposed rat!! I have never washed my hands that much in my life!!!

  7. My worst experience with rodents involve bats. They are like flying mice 🙁

    • Barbara

      Oh man…bats! They are flying mice but even uglier!!

  8. HATE THEM! I miss having a dog or cat in the house to keep them away. Our old dog, Hamlet, was an expert mouser, ratter, squirrel and groundhog catcher. We have many stories about his prowess. The 2 best are: he caught a mouse in the house one night after we returned from a dinner out. We had about 6 guests in the house at the time, and I jumped up onto the dining room table screaming while he and our guests tried to capture the dirty beast! The other time was the last week of Hamelt’s long life. He was nearly blind, infirm and really unable to walk or smell, but he got a mouse. I feel it was his last gift to us!

    • Barbara

      Oh Denine that is so funny. Creepy, but funny. Good for Hamlet…they must all die!

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