Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ninja Mice

Before I get on to how the vegetable plot is getting on . . . let's turn our attention to the subject of mice.

At this time of year as the local amphibians start to go into hibernation, the tiny mammals start to think about where they're going to live during the long, dark and damp winter months.  Some of these rodents think that it would be a jolly good idea to live in our house.  The holes in the house that allow water and sewage in and out of our house make a nice way in and out for small rodents as well. 

We normally find mice under our sink.  This has historically been a good spot for them.  They are protected from what ever cat or cats we have living in the house as there are tight fitting cabinet doors that protect the under-the-sink area.  There is a way in via the plumbing I mentioned before.  To add to that the fact that the internationally recognised place for the kitchen rubbish is under the sink.  This provides the food that mice will need to live and indeed breed over the long winter months.  I keep mousetraps set under the sink all year long but it is in the autumn that they trap has to be emptied most frequently.  I'm not squeamish about these things.  The trap just gets new bait and re-set.   I keep meaning to block these holes with steel wool, but I never remember to buy some when I am in a hardware store or a D.I.Y. hypermarket.

Earlier in the autumn, our mousetrap broke.  It was banged against the side of the wheelie bin a bit too vigorously and it broke.  I stopped by a local shop on my lunch break and got another mousetrap (they may have sold steel wool but I seem to have a thing about not remembering it).  It was the same model mousetrap as the broken one and the same sort of mousetrap I have been used to using for decades.

Fairly reliable mousetrap
I baited and set the new mousetrap next to the mouse entry point under the sink and thought no more about it.   Until . . . I noticed that the trap needed to be re-baited. It hadn't sprung but the bait was gone.  (By the way - peanut butter is the best bait for mousetraps)   Hmmm

I re-baited and re-set the mousetrap.  Then again the next day the trap needed to be re-baited.  I put new peanut butter on the mousetrap each day for a week while thinking that this new mousetrap was not very good. 

Empty but unsprung mousetraps!!
I then went out to the greenhouse and dug out the nasty all metal mousetrap (see above photo) that I use in the greenhouse when I wish to keep my springtime seed trays from being robbed by sneaky greenhouse mice.  I set both mousetraps under the sink.  That'll get them!

Well, it got ONE mouse. If my years on the planet have taught me one thing, it's this.  You never have just one mouse.  I baited and re-set both traps and put them back under the sink.  

Ninja mice have been here!
I am now re-baiting two mousetraps each day.    This morning when I was taking The Man of the Place to work I stopped off at the local shop.  It turns out that they sell mousetraps.  I bought a third mousetrap.

Do you think that these mice have a chance?  I'll let you know later on.

8 comments:

Gordon said...

Why not use the humane ones? Are they not as efficient?

Peggy said...

They don't work AND they don't kill the mice.

Sarah said...

You could leave them some fava beans and a nice Chianti...

J-Funk said...

EEEWWWWWWWWWW. Once when I was little we set a mouse trap in my bedroom. I heard it spring in the middle of the night and then I heard the mouse squeek and drag the trap around for a while before it died. Ever since then I have been squeamish about mouse traps, although I don't see any better solution.

Sarah said...

There are other humane traps that quickly kill the mouse. There are also other factors to consider when killing the mouse, such as how the trap could affect other animals or children. Victor makes a trap that quickly kills the mouse and seals them inside. It’s safe to use around pets and kids. And it keeps any disease-carrying parasites safely sealed inside as well. http://www.victorpest.com/store/rodent-control/m265#desc

Anonymous said...

I vote for the steel wool. Prevention! Cousin Susan (who earlier this summer found a dead mouse smack in the middle of the dining room on the second floor of our 2-flat, but no others - we think it was suicide)

Shammickite said...

Put steel wool on the shopping list, quick!
I've never had any mice in the house (that I know of) but they have been living in the garage off the dropped birdseed. But then a couple of them got into the birdseed bag and died in there, and i put my hand in and.... well, i don't want to go any further with this story.

Xtreme English said...

steel wool did the trick here this summer. the house next door was empty for almost a year, then somebody moved in. shortly after that, the mice moved in here to get away from the interlopers(cuz it was just quiet little me here at the time, and yes, every food container was sealed, and no, I don't keep rubbish under the sink). hundreds of exterminator dollars later, all the mice are gone, and all their entry holes are sealed. you gotta admire the mice and their uncanny sense of opportunity....