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Best of Aaron Todd

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Top-10 mouse in the house bets

8 September 2014

I've always been an acute observer of the change of seasons, and the season that always seems to accelerate the fastest is the fall. I'll never forget the day daylight saving time ended in my first fall in Lewiston, Maine, about 250 miles east of where I grew up. I walked into a coworker's office at 4:30 p.m., as the sun had just set, and said, "You've got to be kidding me. We've got another six weeks of shortening days and the sun is already setting at 4:30?"

Now, living in my adopted home outside Boston, the fall is a time to celebrate the start of the football season (you'll note I started the season 13-1 in my Casino City Gang picks against the spread), open the windows at night to let in some cool, crisp air, and to try to keep all the rodents trying to escape those cold nights out of my warm house.

The inside of our house has, as far as I know, been mouse free for a couple years. I hadn't seen any signs of mice since I'd plugged a hole behind the stove where they were getting in several years ago. But last week, up before dawn to go for a run, I saw a mouse skitter out from under our stove and into our living room.

Now, it's full-on mouse-ageddon in the Todd family home. I've had traps out all week and I'm going to get this little bugger if it's the last thing I do.

No one likes to have mice in their house. But you can make things a lot more fun by making some bets on the little vermin along the way.

10. How long before the first catch?
Realistically, the line here should be set at 0.5 nights. Mice are nocturnal for the most part (at least when they're in your house) and you aren't likely to catch one during the day. Depending on where they are and how many mice you have, it could be a matter of hours or minutes. We once had an infestation in our garage, and I caught one within 10 minutes of setting a trap in the evening.

But sometimes mice can be tricky. The little one in our house kept eating the bait off the trap without setting it off. This only led to an escalation of the war.

9. Time of day of first catch
As I stated earlier, mice usually don't poke around the inside of your house when you're up and about. But you still may catch one while you're away at work, or if they're in the basement or garage, while you're up and about, especially in the early evening, after the sun has set.

8. Which bait will it take?
Most people suggest you use peanut butter. But the mouse in our house scoffed at the all-natural, no-sugar-added peanut butter we have in our house. So the next night I pressed some shredded cheese lightly down into the peanut butter, but the little varmint somehow managed to pick the cheese right off without triggering the trap. The next night I pressed the cheese down in hard so that the mouse would really have to work to get it, but again, he managed to pull it all free without triggering the trap.

I tried a bit of a brownie (to no avail), and I've read that a tiny bit of Tootsie Roll will also be irresistible. To make this bet fun, put out three or four traps with different bait in each of them and see which one does the trick. Just hope you don't wake up to find dead mice in all four traps, because then you know you've got a real problem.

7. Number of different types of trap you'll need to buy
With little Mousedini escaping from each and every baiting solution I presented, I decided it was time to try a new trap. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, right? Thankfully I only needed to go to the hardware store once. Set an over/under and hope you hit the under.

6. Type of trap makes the catch
Once you have your multitude of traps, bet on which one will finally do the trick. But once again, just hope you don't wake up and find a mouse in every single one of them.

5. Over/under number caught
During my recent trip to the hardware store, I told the store owner that I thought there was only one teeny tiny mouse in the house, because we'd had a mouse problem before and I'd sealed the entryway quite well and only the smallest rodent capable of eating bait off a trap without triggering it could get through.

He seemed unimpressed with my hypothesis.

"If you've actually seen a mouse, chances are pretty good you've got more than one," he said.

Great.

I'm still setting the line at 1.5 for my own house, though when we had the infestation in the garage, we caught eight in the first hour alone. Thank God they weren't getting inside the house. At least I think they weren't getting into the house. Dear Lord.

4. Date of last catch
When you have mice in your house, you either catch them all or you eliminate all the ones dumb enough to be caught while the others live gleefully off the crumbs left on the floor by your preschoolers. And once it gets to be spring, mice will often leave the house and go live outside for awhile. If you catch them all, you'll hopefully be mouse-free early in the fall. But if some of them manage to escape your attempts, you can be dealing with a mouse problem all winter. Set your over/under date and take bets on either side – and hope the under comes in.

3. Color of the catch
If you've seen signs of mice, but haven't seen any mice, you probably don't know if the mouse is gray, brown, brown with a white belly, etc. Take bets on the color to add to the intrigue.

2. How many times will a person get snapped?
Some mouse traps are very easy to trigger. In fact, you'll need one that reacts at the slightest touch if you've got a little one that's a delicate eater. And if a trap is powerful enough to break a mouse's neck, it's probably going to hurt when it slams down on your finger. If you're the one baiting the trap, you have to take the under; it would be too easy to hit the over on purpose, especially if you're a masochist.

1. Will they be back next fall?
Do what you will to keep them out, mice will probably find a way back into your house again next fall. If you're going to make a bet on this, always bet on yes, because if you're wrong, at least you'll be happy about losing the bet!

For the record …
The correct bets at my house would have been five nights, one (thus far), between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., cheese, two, Victor snap trap, one (hopefully), September 8th (being optimistic here), gray, once (ouch), and not if I can do anything about it!
Recent Articles
Best of Aaron Todd
Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

Aaron Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.