Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death of a tick, death of a mouse

We had the tick-man out at the weekend.

Number One Son was out playing a few days ago and that evening was found to be sharing his scalp with an uninvited guest. Said tick was removed most expertly by his mother (the son's not the tick's) and we are now on the lookout for a bulls-eye rash that is the tell-tale of Lyme's disease.

So we had the tick-man out.

Deer ticks are a problem in Westchester County, due to the deer in Westchester County. The deer carry the ticks around, but the disease is carried by the white-footed mouse. I'm not sure how the ticks, mice and deer all meet up - perhaps a Bambi-style clearing with all the animals dancing and singing?

The tick-man leaves cardboard tubes around the garden (yard) in strategic mouse-friendly locations. Inside the tubes are pieces of cotton-wool soaked in a mouse/tick-dispatching substance. The mice grab the soft cotton-wool and take it back to the mouse house where it works its noxious magic.

I understand this only has to be done once a year - not sure why, I thought mice bred like rabbits. Perhaps they have such small feet that if you kill all the mice in your area it takes 12 months for any others to venture over the border of your property. Perhaps now it's the spring all the mice are settled in their homes and don't want to go out looking for somewhere new.

Speaking of mice, there is one less fleet-footed furry in the house today. Having swapped the previous trap that gave away peanut butter to any rodent that could squeak for it, I laid the new trap in the kitchen last night and in the morning there was Hunca Munca lying on her side with a great chunk of peanut butter in her mouth. She looked peaceful and more than a little surprised.

I suppose I should be flattered that all these beasties want to live in our house with us, but they must know I will defend it against all boarders.

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten all about Hunca Munca, you have brought back memories.

    I remember that ticks in Scotland sit on bracken and heather and jump on to any warm-blooded animal that passes, dig in and start sucking blood. The U.S. ones are obviously different - what's new?