My $300 Mouse Trap

Well, technically, it’s for catching ground squirrels. You might remember back in 2008 when I warned the world that these things were surely trouble. And to prove my point, here is a picture of a $300 mouse trap containing 1 squirrel.

ground squirrel
And so the story goes like this…

Sunday: With my sister Lorraine and mom visiting, Jenny drove to church earlier than the rest of us. When the four of us came out of church, we dutifully hopped into my car and went home. It was uneventful until we drove up to the house to find that we’d forgotten that Jenny had driven herself and now her car was back at church. No worries. We decided that we’ll pick up her car after dropping Lorraine and mom off at the airport on Monday morning.

Monday: The stress and rush to get to the airport began with the typical flurry of luggage, lists, rooms checked once, twice, and three times for good measure.  We pile into my car only to find that the car would not start. This car which has dutifully started every day for the last 3 years without so much as a hickup would crank and crank but never start. We all sat silently as the adrenalin began to pulse through our veins for fear that (depending on your perspective): A) We’ll never get home. How will we ever get home? We’re sick of our hosts, come on, START! Will we be stuck in Idaho forever? B) How can this happen? We have to get rid of these people. My gosh, they can’t be stuck in Idaho forever, come on, START! C) I can’t believe I forgot my car at church. Thomas is going to kill me. More important, how can we get rid of these people, come on, START!

Plan B: I called a good friend, Ron. Gave him the “need to know” info (because he’s a guy and doesn’t need the details thank God) and asked if we could borrow his car.  Jenny and I jumped into the Rhino. Jenny got the ride of her life on our way to pick up the borrowed car and got Mom and Lorraine to the airport safely. We even had enough time to grab a nice lunch. Thanks for lunch Mom!

A call to a friend who runs a mechanic’s shop resulted in some failed over the phone triage. No luck. The car gets towed into his shop.

Tuesday: “We found the problem” announces Doug, the mechanic, over the phone.  It appears that some kind of rodent had made a nest under the hood and as with other cars and rodents, they enjoy pink wires. Pink, like the ones that go to the fuel injectors on a 2006 Chevy Trailblazer!!! Total damage, 6 inches of wire.
Friday: Shopping at the Co-op I found a nice Have-A-Heart squirrel trap. Yes, shooting the vermin is an option unless you’re married to Jenny. The things one has to sacrifice for the commitment of marriage.

Pictured above is the first of 4 ground squirrels caught in the first 48 hours of using my new $300 trap.  We (I really mean “I” but want everyone to think that Jenny is helping) then transport the “cute” little wire-cutters to a distant wildlife preservation area in town. Now that the population has been brought down a bit we’re hoping that there’s enough room in the existing nests to ward off further vandalism.

Total price including towing, diagnostics, repair and the trap: about $300!

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