11 Comments

Our Ballsy Mouse

Not Human Bites

Our house is big and old and we live in town, but have a nice yard and trees and things.  Having a mouse buddy is nothing terribly surprising, and fortunately, both Fella and I grew up in houses with mice, so we’re not freaking out.

We also both think that ethical treatment of living critters is important, so we’re the kind of people who catch spiders and take them outside, and who would rather not poison the mice who care to share our domicile.

But our mouse–I’ve only seen one, though I am sure there are more–has become ballsy.

A short week ago, she (I like to think of her as a mama mouse, though I know this means that we’ll have additional mice before the cold is up if we do not already) was a frightened speck of a thing.  Darting out onto the counter to grab a crumb of bread or to travel between the stove and our drawer with plastic wrap where she likes to leave us her turds.  Our food was un-molested.

Not anymore.

Lady Mousington did a number to the butter last week (we leave the butter on the counter in the winter).  I forgot to take a picture, but it looked like someone had scraped it a thousand tiny scrapes with a two-pronged stick.  We tossed away the butter and bought a butter dish with a cover.

Then the pita which was on top of the microwave (and not in a cabinet, silly me).  And she did that wonderful, almost-human looking snacking.

The Scene of the Crime

I left a corn chip on top of the microwave after the pita incident.  I explained, “I’m training her to eat only the food we say is okay.”

Of course I know that is silly.  Mice are only smart in Flowers for Algernon.

But here’s the stuff: I am not rich enough to let Lady Mousington eat our grub.  Butter and pita are pretty expensive.

Also, I am rather tired of the mouse turds.

So I think we are going to get traps.

I do not like the idea of taking the mice out into the woods to become food for mammals higher on the food chain, or to freeze owing to inadequate shelter.  I do not know if that is more humane than poison.

Child has asked to catch them and keep them for pets.

My mother suggested a constrictor.  I used to keep pet snakes when I was younger.  I think that’s a brilliant idea, but we don’t live in warm enough clime for leaving a snake loose.  Poor thing would freeze to death.

Anybody have any good, humane, mouse-deterring tricks??

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11 comments on “Our Ballsy Mouse

  1. Try those sonic mouse repellents. Or if you want a humane death, go for the traps that looks like a hockey puck. Also, mice make good pets! They’re actually pretty smart little things.

  2. Then try the sonic things. They seem to work!

  3. When I first started reading this post, I kept thinking of my Big But, which is (hahaha, don’t GO there) I felt the same way at my old house—the yard abutted a woods—when I used to catch them and then carry them down to the bottom of the yard and dump them over the fence. Then I figured out they were all down there making book on this process (“Uncle Joe went FIVE DAYS without being caught!”). And laughing at me. The Big But, though, is that they DO multiply, and so rapidly that we went from one little turd in one drawer to turds literally everywhere. Nothing in the kitchen could be used without washing first. And then they were in the walls and the screeches of the babies were keeping me awake at night. By the time I got to this point, poison (actually, it makes them thirsty, so they LEAVE THE HOUSE in search of water, and thus die outside) was the only option. After THAT I spent several hundred dollars having a professional assess the house and plug all the holes — so they couldn’t get in. AND IT WORKED. That was best solution for my mental and physical health.

    • YEs… I remember when I was a kid, my folks used poison and they would turn up dead in shallow puddles outside, and also occasionally inside… like in the tub or something. So what you’re saying is that we should definitely try to nip this trouble in the bud before we have a million mice & turds everywhere… Good call. Thanks, Jamie, as always. And good post on your blog today. <3

  4. They make those wonderful mouse-stays-alive traps. (I’m sure Big Lots or Wally World would have them–or even your local hardware store.) They are very simple in design. You bait Lady Mousington with a bit of cracker/peanut butter at the end of the square cylinder. It has a little door flap thingie, so she goes in but she can’t get out. The best ones are see-through; that way, you know when Lady Mousington has gone in there. When I lived in Kansas City, I did this for a couple of mice I had and upon capture dontated them to the Methodist Church several blocks over. :)

    • Ohmigod. I love that you donated them to the church! LOLOL!!! Thanks for the tip, Dave. I hope Target… b/c I do not go to Wally World. Child has a gift card from there (from grandma), and I won’t even check the balance because you have to register for a Wally World account to use the balance checker.

  5. I love a woman who lives a mouse. I am a great lover of mice myself but , of course, it is unsanitary to let them multiply in your house. Dorland traps them in the basement because they tend to interfere with his horticulture projects. They rarely come upstairs o,r if they do, soon become cat toys. I hate to kill them but I do believe that it is more humane than dumping into a cold, unfamiliar environment. My heart breaks when I am confronted by starving babies, though.

  6. Our house also has mice. They poop all over our stove. We got the noise/electrical-pulse-through-the-wires boxes for the whole house, including the basement. They seemed to work for a little, but the mice are now back in full force. We’re considering borrowing a cat. On my floor, we keep all of our food in plastic tubs in the cupboards and on top of the fridge, which keeps the mice from stealing our expensive food. (Everything is expensive when you’re an intern.) But doesn’t do anything for the turds they leave everywhere. In my experience glue traps are useless, but snap traps actually kill and or trap the mice. There’s usually not any blood, but it’s a little uncomfortable to deal with the poor deflated and broken mouse bodies.

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