Of mice and wo(men)

Posted: May 29, 2014 in Animals, Miscellaneous
Tags: , , , ,

The battle is joined!

Some years ago, a neighbor told me that they trapped mice in humane traps, her appalled response to the information that I was not only wantonly but joyfully trapping mice and depositing their corpses in the garbage. “Then we take them to the park and let them go.” I know where the mice went from there—into the home of the people who live near the park, if they (the mice) were fortunate enough not to become appetizers or dinner en route.

On Memorial Day, a day I anticipated doing some work but also having some relaxation time, my plan was co-opted by the unwelcome discovery that some of the aforementioned little devils(mice, not my former neighbors) had found their way into the basement of our rental house and had made merry on some of the pantry shelves in the basement. A day earlier, given evidence of their presence, I’d set a few traps, all of which had been robbed but not set off. One had ended up around a corner from where it started, but mouse-less. The new traps are not nearly as good as the old ones!

But on Memorial Day, I found that the mice had also found their way onto the shelves and eaten into a number of bags. To add to the excitement, when I picked up a bag of rice flour, not realizing their little teeth had been there before me, the flour dumped rather copiously as did the arrowroot and a few other goodies. Thrilled, I realized I would have to remove all the items from the shelves, wipe them off, clean the shelves, clean the rubbery shelf line and put everything back. And I couldn’t forget having to also clean up the myriad droppings with which mice festoon their dining areas. It was NOT the way I’d planned to spend any part of my day.

So the war was on. This morning, two plump, cute little mice were dead in the traps. My heart was filled with joy and the traps, mouse-less one again, are filled with peanut butter, the mouse’s caviar. Mice aren’t endangered species and if they declare my food a grazing area, I declare war. No regrets and may the best woman win!

Addendum the night before posting this…upon my brief return from trip #1, Bill, on a trip for a bottle of wine from the basement, announced that I’d caught two more mice. Therefore, one of my pre-second-trip tasks tomorrow will be to de-mouse and re-bait the traps for round 3.

Woman 2- mice 0.

  1. M-R says:

    I’ve read somewhere that after a few corpses, they get the message. But you have to leave them lying about for a while. Ugh !!

  2. I agree, we made that experience with humane traps too. My dad placed them on a meadow and I bet they were back in my crib faster than my dad.

  3. annesquared says:

    The best “mouse trap” I’ve found for the sneaky little critters are my cats. They love the hunt and “playtime” before presenting them to my daughter as a “gift.” All mice trapped or cat-caught go into the garbage.
    I’ll admit I was a bit taken aback when a former neighbor told me she used the big, old rat traps to get rid of chipmunks.
    I’ll “humanly” catch/release cats (post-neuter), raccoons (destructive bastards), and send injured birds and bats to the wildlife rehab center.
    But my vote is with you on the mice!

    • We don’t have cats and even if we did, the lease on our house doesn’t allow pets. As for raccoons, they are truly destructive. Fortunately so far, if we keep our garbage covered well, we haven’t had any. But a next-door neighbor at our former house was putting her garbage outside all week uncovered and I spotted one there, explained the problem to her and she finally started covering it and keeping it in the garage until garbage day. Chipmunks eat much too much as well!


  4. Cathy Ulrich says:

    One possible thing to do is check for any holes around your foundation, Janet. And any size…they can get through tiny areas. Then fill the hole with steel wool. They won’t chew through that. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the hint, Cathy. I’ll look at it when I get back for more than a day. Today I de-mouse and re-baited and in the best LOTR tradition, I’ve dubbed the two traps that are working hard, Mouse-Biter and Neck-Breaker. 🙂


  5. vastlycurious.com says:

    Each summer we would catch entire families and happily deposit them in the circular file. The dropping of mice are extremely disease ridden and unwanted in my home. Since the new kitchen, there are less thankfully. I do like the little creatures but not inside. May I suggest you put everything in glass jars? You can get VERY large ones from deli’s that get pickles etc. Good luck warrior Janet!

  6. We have entered the mouse trapping fray, too. Many of the little vermin have met their doom, but there always seems to be more that follow. Finally, our cat, Ginger, has once again decided to start hunting. She’s very good at it when she chooses.

    • Nice of her to get off her cat bottom and help! 🙂 My theory is that you catch Mom and Dad. Then the youngsters come out and then once you get them all, you have peace for a time before the next batch moves in. The war is ongoing and I will win! (And you as well.)


  7. Yikes!! Congrats on catching these pests. I can just imagine how thrilled you were to have to spend your Memorial Day, cleaning up their mess. 😯