I don't like to kill things. I'll kill to eat (vegetables and fish) and to protect my people (including my pets), and maybe to protect innocent children and strangers. Not sure about that last one.
But I can't live with flies or mice. Period. So I kill them.
Now, C. is a Buddhist, and not killing things is practically a religion with her. (snort) She'll swat flies, but mice must be captured and released.
We could get a cat, but then we'd have a blind dachshund (or a dead cat). And I wonder about the ethics of keeping a cat to do my killing.
We use the live traps, and while it mostly works, there is an occasional wise mouse that learns to get out of the trap, and teaches all the other mice. Then you have to wait for a generation or two and start again. Or sometimes I forget to take the trapped mouse away and release it, or feed and water it, so it dies a horrible death. That's not my intention.
Sometimes when we get overrun with the damn creatures, digging dirt out of the houseplant pots, eating wiring in the stereo, crapping in the silverware drawer, C. will cave and let me set real traps.
We've used the snap traps, but sometimes they just maim the poor guy, and C. is horrified. Once she set a snap trap, and came back to find the trap triggered, but no mouse. Just a little eyeball.
I imagine a crowd of our crippled mice – eyepatches, crutches, missing limbs...
So when my friend Terry mentioned the new electronic traps that instantly electrocute the mouse, I was interested. If they won't stay outside, they have to be terminated – and a quick, humane method is what I want. No maiming, please.
So I read a bunch of online reviews of the Victor electronic mousetrap, and plunked down $20 for it at the local BiMart. It takes four AA batteries (not included), and it is excellent.
You smear a tiny amount of peanut butter on the back wall, close it, flip the switch, wait for the green light, then place it along some mouse highway. When the red light blinks, you have a dead mouse. Lift the lid (you don't even have to look), dump the mouse out in the snow for the owls (or down the toilet), swab the metal plates with a Q-tip and alcohol if they look dirty, and reset. I've caught and killed – cleanly and quickly – four mice in 24 hours.
C. is uncomfortable, but as long as I do the trapping and disposal and don't talk about it, she'll live with it.