Carpenter ants, mice in the house. What to do, what to do. My husband and I don't always see eye to eye on this, but we're working on it. Last year we noticed a long line of ants marching right along the power line onto our house. Now if you are not familiar with carpenter ants, let me provide a short summary. They are the only ants that live up off of the ground, and while they don't "eat" wood, it is their habitat, which is created by chewing tunnels throughout it. Well I don't think much more explanation is required to demonstrate they aren't a good sign for wooden structures. As you may have already deduced, we're living a wooden home.
For my spouse, there was no question about what to do, but I still felt guilty. In the end though, we had to protect our home and used baits to rid our house of them. This was after completing extensive research on what was actually effective with this particular species of ants. Most places we consulted recommended spraying the entire house, and this didn't sit well with us. In the end, the baits worked and we did not need to spray everything in sight.
After that ordeal, we ran into yet another issue once fall came around. One of our adopted cats cornered a mouse. We caught it and relocated it to a nature center close to our house. We were hoping it wasn't a problem and a freak occurrence. Then our cat killed another one. Clearly it was more than happenstance.
First our goal was to control the mice without lethal means. We didn't catch anything with the live traps. Nada. Next we called out a company to help seal up the house, and used glue traps to catch the mice after a couple weeks on unsuccessful live trap testing. Then we checked the traps daily. Whenever we caught something, my brave and honorable spouse would use vegetable oil to get the poor mice off the traps, and then relocate them to a nature center by our house. This carried on for a couple weeks and then the mice stopped getting caught on the glue traps. Crap, what the hell were we supposed to do then?
In the end, we used lethal traps. I honestly feel terrible about it, but the other alternatives just weren't working. Our cats WERE NOT earning their keep darn it! All other options were exhausted. I think we both felt badly about it, but my spouse was a lot more freaked out about a mouse in the house. Our family has more of a role reversal going on with feelings on rodents. I think they are cute, but not in my house. They were pooping all over the place, could potentially spread disease to our family - especially the animal ones, and were chewing up stuff. My oldest cat actually caught a tape worm from killing a mouse at my parent's house a few years ago. Not a fun situation by any means. Just like with the ants, we were protecting our home and family. I know there are surely vegans out there who would condemn this, but I'm curious if that is the case, what would you recommend? What would you do?