Mouse in the house

Thanks, Hull City Council, for useful info and this photo.

We first noticed it about a month ago.  Scrabbling and scratching somewhere near the kitchen skirting boards, mainly at night.  Then, one night, we accidentally left out the insignificant remains of a tomato, chili and pepper pasta sauce.  The following morning, a greasy red trail led from those leftovers to the space just behind the cooker.  Out came the cooker; off came the kitchen unit kick-boards.  Lying on the floor underneath the units, we saw it all: the napkin that had gone missing, now neatly and minutely shredded, a small cob of bread; fragments of kitchen roll….. and mouse droppings.

We bought humane traps.  We baited them with peanut butter: so much tastier than cheese, apparently, if you’re a mouse.  But we didn’t set them for a few nights, as per instructions.  Set or unset, Mr. Mouse ignored them, or extracted the prize and ran safely away to eat it.

This is not a tube trap, but a spin-the-bottle model, on duty for the first time tonight. Let’s see….

Mal spent long hours on the net, watching excruciating amateur videos about making humane traps.  He picked out some of the ideas involving tubes, bait and deep buckets and set to.  Each night we left collections of baited tubes, unset, over the surfaces Mr. Mouse seemed to use, till one night, we set the trap.  Mr Mouse was to scuttle down the baited tube in quest of peanut butter and fall from the work surface into the deep bucket on the floor.  Theoretically.

At 11.30, Mal heard a crash in the kitchen, smiled at the thought of a job well done, turned over and went to sleep.

At 1.30, I woke up to the sound of Malcolm having a pee in the bathroom.  But wait!  Mal was snoring sweetly beside me.  I got up.  There was poor Mousie, almost drowned, swimming round the lavatory pan.  We have no idea at all how he got (a) upstairs and (b) clambered into the toilet.  Both awake now, and seeing that Mr. Mouse seemed almost dead, I’m truly ashamed to say we flushed him away.

Revealed: Mr. Mouse’s nest

So Mr. Mouse was no more.

The following morning saw us, despite our agonies of conscience, pulling off the skirting board and hoovering out Mr. Mouse’s flat, which was a mess, frankly, though undoubtedly cosy.

Peace at last.

Until the day before yesterday.  In the evening, we heard that familiar scrabbling in the kitchen. Round Two to Mr. Mouse.

4 thoughts on “Mouse in the house”

  1. I will have to remember these tips since we have a field behind our house. Although I hate to see abandoned animals, we have an abandoned cat in our neighborhood which I noticed now has a partner, so I am sure we will be seeing kittens soon enough. A neighbor feeds them and in between meals they have kept the mice population under control. I can’ t feed them near my house because of the dogs, although some days people will see me leaving some morsels near the abandoned house next door in appreciation of the cats who keep our neighborhood free from mice….

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    1. I’d love a cat, but when rececently one was abandoned here, we put our efforts into re-homing him. We’re too near a busy road, and are away too often ourselves to offer a good home to a cat. Shame though, as one could solve our mouse problem. I’m developing a grudging respect for the little fellow … but he really can’t stay.

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  2. What you need is a peanut, not the salted variety. My father-in-law caught 54 mice with just one nut!! The mice were attacking seeds in his greenhouse; a complete no-no.

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    1. Well, I wouldn’t use salted peanuts, but on reflection peanut butter (which came highly recommended) has salt in it. We have tried peanuts (non-salted), chocolate, seeds. But chili and pepper tomato sauce remains the only thing he’s actually eaten (but not been trapped by). *sigh*

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