03 August 2007

Two more

Not sure if anyone out there is interested, but the saga of the mice continues. As detailed in a recent post, last week we nabbed two mice that had taken up residence behind the stove and were climbing up the stove's propane line to the counter top. By positioning a trap in just the right place, we nailed them as they stepped onto the counter.

I reset the trap, but two days went by with no further activity. I figured I'd leave the trap out for one more day, then pack it away until the next sign of rodent invasion.

Procrastination turned out to be a good move. On the third morning, there was a very small mouse caught in the trap; it was only one-third to one-half the size of the two we'd caught before. Clearly, we deduced, the original two were adults and they must've been making a nest back there. Knowing mice seldom have just one offspring at a time, I reset the trap. Sure enough, the next morning, we caught another juvenile.

There was a time in my life that I might have felt guilty about being a "baby mouse killer." All I can say is: it's remarkable what living in the country does to one's attitude toward animals in general --- and toward rodents in particular. If I catch Thumper in Mrs Yeoman Farmer's garden, and the 12-gauge is close at hand, Thumper is going down no matter how old or young he is. Ditto for anything that takes up residence in the house.


Steve said...

For the juveniles, use glue traps. Works better than snap traps, which won't always go off because the juvies are so light.

I used to be a cartoon-indoctrinated mouse-lover, but once I a) ended up with mice in my Boston Victorian and b) read what kind of cannibalistic filth monsters they really are, I lost all possible sentimentality for the wretched creatures. All I needed is for one the vermin to chew on one of my sleeping babies (which they'll do if even the slightest trace of PB or other mouse bait lingers on the child).

Steve said...

Oh, and stuffing any cracks in the house with copper wool works wonders. They apparently hate the taste of it and avoid chewing on it.

Any chance of establishing a barn owl? Those things are mouse Hoovers.

(Sorry, three years later, and I'm still the sworn enemy of Mus Musculus.

TYF said...

We tried glue traps for a long time, but had very little success with them. The mice would get two feet on them and realize something was wrong --- then use their other two feet to pull themselves/trap all over the room until they got to a hole/passageway, then pull and pull until they came free. In the morning, we'd find a glue trap with some fur on it. When we tried folding it into a tunnel, the mice would never go into it.

Danby said...

Glue traps are horrible. I won't use them since I found one with a mouse eyeball stuck to it. What we've taken to is putting down "tin cat" type live traps....with poison bait in them. I don't want to use poison because I don't want the dogs or cats to ingest a poisoned mouse. On the other hand, I want them dead, as quickly as possible. The tin cat seems to have a better success rate than the spring traps, and doesn't have to be reset after every mouse.

I keep a small assortment of household tools in the kitchen pantry, including a hammer. It beats having to run out to the garage every time I need a tool. One fine fall day, my lovely wife was putting newly canned peaches away in the pantry when she spotted a mouse. She grabbed the nearest available implement, a claw hammer, to kill it with.

Our oldest, then 7, came running to see what the commotion was. Unable to resist the opportunity, he called his younger sisters to "come see Mom killing Micky Mouse." The subsequent wailing only increased in intensity when she finally got the little malefactor.

As she explained to the kids, "If Mickey doesn't want to get hit in the head with a hammer, he had better stay the heck out of my pantry."