Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Mice - 1, J - 0

One of the disadvantages of living in an older house is that there are lots of holes. Lots and lots of little holes.

Mostly this is fine. Old houses were built to breathe, rather than being sealed and impermeable like new-builds. But it does occasionally mean that what is outside can get in without too much of a fight.

Last night I heard rustling at one of the larger holes. This particular hole is an intentional one that will soon have a pipe running through it, so it has been blocked up temporarily. But not well enough, it seems.

Once I had calmed down enough to tell myself that mad axe murderers don't normally squeeze through three-inch gaps, I worked out that it must be a mouse.

Now, mice don't scare me at all. Indeed I quite like them .... outside.
They can steal my strawberries and nibble on broadbeans in the garden if they like. But I don't want them in my pasta!

Something Had To Be Done.
So, grumbling to myself that this really isn't my job and if someone hadn't decided to drop dead suddenly, the hole would have been filled months ago, I dug out the box of traps, duly baited one (peanut butter) and set it last night.

I just checked it this morning, with much trepidation as I hate emptying the traps. And there it was - sprung and empty.

Somewhere in the house there is a very contented, well-fed mouse, thumbing its whiskery little nose at me.

This means war!


  1. I've had the same conversation in my head: "If someone hadn't dropped dead...." I like to think that means we're healing.

    Goodluck in the mouse war! Does anyone have a good mousing cat you can borrow?

  2. LOL at the "if someone hadn't decided to drop dead suddenly" ... I think Debbie might be right that we are on the path to healing :-)

    My old rottweiler caught a mouse. He actually laid in front of the hole ALL night and waited for it to emerge and we think he sucked it to death (no obvious wounds when he proudly presented it to us in the morning) OMG I just remembered that!!! hahahaha, he was most upset the week before because one got fried in our toaster and tripped the power (we lived between two gastro-pubs at the time so mice were a problem)and this meant that he didn't get his usual 10 slices of toast (yes really) that morning ... he sat there watching Cliff dismantle the toaster to get the mouse out and followed him outside to check that the mouse was indeed dead and gone. So we reckoned that he wasn't going to have his brekkie disrupted again and therefore he too declared war on mice - and won!

    If you hate the traps, perhaps try the humane ones? Or are they just likely to come back in every night?

  3. I remember having this same comment a couple months after my husband died. It was a particularly bad winter and there were so many mice in the house, which the cats eventually caught. But morning after morning, we'd wake up to find their little bodies around the house. My oldest became the mouse picker-upper, a job he still holds. Just this past week, the cats brought two dead mice into my bedroom. It is lucky we have cats because I would never have been able to set a trap and then dispose of it like my husband did!

  4. You're already winning. The mouse got a taste of peanut butter, and he knows where it came from. Next time, don't use nearly as much peanut butter, and the mouse will trip the trap. I hope.

  5. from your title your sense of humor is very much in tact over this little war. the humane traps work well as i've had to use them in years past during particularly brutal winters. had to trap a couple of bats as well in the basement when they broke through the foundation windows in search for a darker place of warmth.

    you have the right idea. seal the holes. lay the traps. be firm in your comments to said mouse (mice). if they are going to stay, they pay some rent, clean up after themselves, and leave your stuff alone.

  6. At least it isn't a bat! :)

  7. @ Suddenwidow: Yes, I have that conversation quite often. Sometimes I feel guilty afterwards as he isn't here to defend himself - but not always!

    @ Boo: Great story about your old Rottweiler. What a patient boy for waiting by the hole to catch it. And 10 slices of toast!!!

    @ WitM: I can just imagine you dreading to come downstairs every morning, just in case you find some more bodies. At least your cats seem to leave them whole - we used to have a good mouser who would just leave little piles of entrails on the doorstep. Yeeuch!

    @ CC: Hmm. I like the theory, but this mouse is still winning. I've set the traps four times now, and every time the bait has been taken but with no result. I'm not sure I like being outsmarted by a mouse.

    @ WomanNShadows: Ha ha, I loved your last comment about making them pay rent and clean up after themselves. If they were to do that, I'm sure we could come to some sort of arrangement to our mutual benefit.

    @ Netekay: LOL. I did actually have a bat in my kitchen the other day, and immediately thought of you. Fortunately it showed no signs of wanting to take up residence and when I turned the lights off and opened the windows it eventually flew out again.

  8. Ah, maybe you have to use my tricks.
    Chocolate chips or old Stilton (I keep a very old bit in the freezer for this purpose).
    Sprinkle lots of bait and don't set the trap.
    Then a little bait and set it.
    You'll get 'im, I'm sure.
    Glad to hear of your humor, sewing, and vacation.