Florida has nothing if not critters. Alligators, of course - splashy, fun and pretty good diced, battered and fried. I wasn't in the state but a short time before I fetched up against the Palmetto Bug crisis of 2009. Like any self-respecting Northerner, I took this personally.
Then came the wretched armadillos. I'm not even getting into the love-bugs fornicating on the grille of my Honda because by now I am a resigned Southerner. But of late there has descended upon Castle Newton a plague of rodents the likes of which has not been seen since the Middle Ages. I check myself daily for buboes.
It's not just the mouse, for what man's hickory-dickery castle has not had the odd mouse lurking? A chocolate-shot-looking turd here; another there. I set one of those fancy plastic better-mousetraps that promises to shield your sensitive eye from the putative corpse-to-be. The mouse left it baitless and forlorn three consecutive nights. Four bucks wasted. Not to mention several dollops of peanut butter. Conventional traps, HAH! I even filed down the trigger on one of those spring traps so it fired off if I so much as farted in the general vicinity. No mouse. No peanut butter either.
Glue traps? Forget it. My exterminator-- yeah, Floridians have exterminators like Northerners have snow shovels -- gave me a big commercial glue trap, which stunk like hell and trapped only a thick carpet of those tiny winged no-see-um gnats that are the state bird of Florida. I folded another glue trap into a hollow box-like affair (insert Tab A into Slot B) with the glue inside, and I slathered it with yet more peanut butter. The Skippy folks have sent me a nice thank-you note. My mouse crapped on top of the box.
Last week, something started gnawing on my air conditioning duct. It only comes out at night. Could be a rat or a possum or an overachieving chipmunk. I tucked three large traps -- one dangerous looking spring-loaded affair and two big glue traps -- into my duct-work. That was three days ago. The peanut butter/cheese bait has gone bad.
And I have already whined enough about the squirrels. Today I bought a medium Hav-a-Hart contraption, baited it with breakfast cereal (shredded wheat, miniatures, unsweetened) and set it out under the oak tree. Screw the peanut butter; the critters don't care a whit about peanut butter. I sent the note back to Skippy.
I keep sneaking over to the window to peek under the oak tree.