THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE.

mouse-flag-bag-2

 

A few weeks ago I discovered there was a mouse in my house.  Describing it as “a mouse” may have been an overly optimistic projection on my part at the time. It’s a well known fact that mice travel in groups of 3 million, unless their in-laws are visiting in which case the size of the group is something only Steven Hawking could estimate.

I’m not generally squeamish about having a mouse.  They’re very small, rarely attack, and other than Speedy Gonzales’ recent passionate anti-wall plea, they’re pretty easy going.

So when just before Christmas I looked up from my spot on the couch in the living room to see my cat Ernie with a mouse in her mouth I didn’t even react. I just sat there looking at Ernie. And Ernie sat in her spot looking at me.  I guess since I wasn’t doing anything other than staring in stunned silence, Ernie decided she’d better let me know what was going on here. She’d caught a mouse.  For me.  A cat’s greatest gift to their owner, other than not eating your face off while you sleep.

Ernie tried to mumble something, but the mouse was getting in the way of her enunciation so she spit it out and screamed I CAUGHT A MOUSE FOR, YOU, YOU IDIOT.  And then the mouse ran away.

I figured that was it. My single mouse would move away to somewhere more hospitable.   Ha ha.

It didn’t.

Once I figured out this wasn’t just one mouse, it was many mice, I started to research traps versus poisons. My initial hope of finally getting the chance to use a hand grenade was squashed when I realized my town has an excessive noise by-law, plus Amazon doesn’t seem to sell them.

I didn’t like the idea of poison in case one of my cats got into it. There was even a chance of me getting into it if it smelled remotely like french fries.  Plus poison is a slow painful death for the mouse whereas snap traps are usually instant death.  We don’t have the death penalty in Canada but in countries where they do, even they take a faster acting approach to death with electrocution, firing squad or repeated exposure to children’s television. Nobody executes by implementing a slow moving cancer.

So poison was out, snap traps were in.

On day one I set a fancy new fangled snap trap borrowed from my mother.  It promises instant death and less chance of pets and fingers getting caught in it.  Apparently there’s also less chance of a mouse getting caught in it.

Victor Snap Trap

My mother claims to have had great success with this trap.  The only thing I successfully caught with it was wind of the fact that new fangled doesn’t always mean better.  Total mice caught – 0

The second trap I set out was a classic wood trap. But I didn’t notice when I bought it that it wasn’t the classic wood trap that I normally use.  It was just a tiny bit different.  Again, I didn’t notice this.  Sitting quietly on my couch at night, I could hear the rat-a-tat-tat throughout the house where I set the traps.  I continued to sit quietly until I was sure the mice had died. In fact, I sat for so long they may have in fact died of old age.  After getting up and pulling on the required mouse gathering equipment (latex gloves, pajama bottoms stuffed into socks, shoes, and a hat in case any of them tried to attack from above) I made my rounds.

The first trap had sprung and was sitting a good 2 feet away from its original position.  No mouse. The second trap hadn’t actually been tripped but the blob of peanut butter I had used as bait was gone. The only evidence a mouse had been anywhere near the trap was a single whisker stuck to it and the faint smell of peanut butter fart..  All the rest of the traps had either not sprung (but the bait was gone) or sprang but didn’t catch a thing, with one particular trap breaking into several pieces when it snapped, scattering bits of mousetrap in a 12″ radius.  Like a hand grenade only completely ineffective.

The next set of traps I set were my favourite wood traps.  The original Victor wood mouse trap.  They’re what I thought I bought originally.  I laid them out around the house in discrete areas the cats couldn’t get to.  And I waited.

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By now, you understand, this had been going on long enough that I’d abandoned the Mouse Outfit.  Now if I happened to catch a mouse I’d just grab it and chuck him.  Like a cotton ball.   Only I don’t normally say I’m so sorry little peanut when throwing cotton balls in the garbage.

The classic traps work really well, but there are only so many places you can put them where they aren’t a potential danger and due to my butterfly chasing attention span, this worried me a bit.

So I researched some more, and this is what I came up with.

The electrocution chamber. That’s right you can eliminate mice with the same efficient care many serial killers enjoy.  For only $29.99.

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These electrocution mouse traps are a plastic box that have a small tunnel with a little mouse sized electrocution pad at the end of it.  The mouse walks in towards the bait (which you’ve put at the back of the trap) and as soon as it touches the metal pad it’s instantly electrocuted. So it never, ever, ALMOST kills the mouse.  There are no mornings you wake up to find only the tail caught in the trap and the poor mouse in pain, confused and super-pissed.

To get rid of the dead mouse you just flip the lid open, make your apologies and tip it into a trash bag.  No blood, no contusions, no gore.  Just a dead mouse.  Or for the progressive house lovers in the crowd, a deadmau5.

It’s been a few weeks of experimenting with the mouse traps and I’ve caught about 8 so far.  Only 2,999,992 left to go.  Ernie hasn’t caught another mouse since the original catch. She’s probably still insulted I didn’t give her the reaction she had hoped for.  Granted, I did sit as silent and stunned as a Vanderbilt at a Wu Tang Clan concert, but I promise Ernie, if you catch another mouse I’ll praise you like you sauntered into the room with Idris Elba in your mouth.

If you promise not to let him get away.

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Next week I’ll have 5 mousetrap setting tips to ensure you actually catch mice with your mousetraps.

 

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109 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    Definitely have to try this! Oh the joys of a century home…

  2. Nicole says:

    I have one of those traps, but after the first couple of mice, they seem to have lost interest. I think I need to rebait it.

    And ditto what Paula said about a century home. Come for the wood trim and stained glass; stay for the mice. Or do I have that backwards?

    • Carswell says:

      Oh yeah, the joys of an old house. My mouse population is confined these days to the odd one that wanders in to the basement from my crawlspace. Only occasionally do they come upstairs. One or two every year or so. I haven’t had to use traps in a long time.

      However, when I first moved in after several months of renovation my ex and I discovered that in the act of finishing and closing up the house we closed in a substantial colony of mice as well.

      My siamese was endlessly fascinated by the creatures although he was too old to get excited about catching them. He was content to observe. Intently. And fantasize about his younger days no doubt.

      We caught 19 of the little beggars in traps, peanut butter and the standard Victor wood snap trap. How I came to dread hearing that noise in the middle of the night. And when they were all gone we had to replace the insulation pack in the stove. Fun times.

  3. Brenda says:

    Well that’s just the cutest little mouse drawing ever!

  4. Very cute mouse picture. You could carve that onto a cheese board!

  5. maggie aikens says:

    With the Victor wood mouse trap you must wind and hide loops of thread in the peanut butter. This way the thread gets caught in their teeth, they pull and…..presto day-ed mouse. I discovered this after watching a mouse in cottage country eat my peanut butter on the trap and ask for bread and jelly. …..several times! I know they were laughing at me. I saw them bold as brass. So I wound that thread and yes….became a mouse murderer. Electocrution sounds good too. I’m in.

  6. TucsonPatty says:

    Bringing back the memories of farm childhood with mice in the walls. Ick. I hated those traps, because we had to use them over and over and over and they smelled so vile. I did not realize it was only the smell of mouse farts! I would have loved to electrocute them. So cool!
    Is your little mouse having a little Veteran’s funeral with his folded flag? Is it an American mouse with a little American flag? I spy those stars on the blue field! Great drawing!

    • dee says:

      Must be a refugee mouse

    • Dawn says:

      Yeah, reusing those traps grosses me out. And it generally takes ALOT to gross me out.
      But we have a “its your kill” rule in our house, you set the trap, you find it (I always find it cause I am the only one that looks) you must dispose of it. I pick them up with pliers and pry the bar up with pliers….then tell my husband he has to rebait them. Loving the whole electrocution idea.

  7. Toni Guerrero says:

    My kitty regularly brings home living things. Usually when she doesn’t approve of dinner. Her attitude is “Here, I caught it. Now you kill it and cook it.”
    Of course, she’s not impressed with my catch and release response. My favorite is a dust pan and broom. I scoop the critter into the dust pan and then hold it down with the brush until I can carry it outside, thus preventing it from escaping. The bristles usually hold whatever it is in place without hurting it.
    I have to admit that I chickened out of my usual method when she brought me a very live, very angry snake. Both times.
    And I’m so grateful I usually have to deal with my “gifts” in ones, not millions.

  8. judy says:

    i SPENT $70.00 on those traps and never caught one mouse. I had to have the stove repaired and when the Tech pulled the stove out from the wall I think the guy almost fainted. Looking embarrassed he said Ah….Ma’am….were you aware you have Mice? Yes -I replied but I set a bunch of traps and didn’t catch any so I thought they were gone? He pointed behind the stove and when I looked I started calculating how long it would take to move and hope the house burned down or a meteor fell on it. The floor behind the stove was almost black with mouse poop. On to the professional exterminator at a mere $50.00 per month 6 month minimum. Most expensive relationship we have ever had with a Rodent. Also took 3 tries to find a cleaning service that would tackle a poopy stove.. Haven’t seen anymore since GreyC the Feral Cat showed up-please God… let there not be anymore!?

    • Gayle M says:

      I love my feral kitty! At first he was very leery of us, but a mere year later he shows up every morning. His sweet little face peering in the house thru the deck slider. We open the door, he steps up on the sill for a look-see, and steps back down. We put a plate of dry cat food down, and he rubs up against our hand. But don’t try to pet him–he will swat at you. Now with a soft paw, no claws. Absolutely no mice, voles or chipmunks in our yard!

  9. Lisa says:

    I have the same problem but with bush rats (very cute native rats not the nasty ship rats). However, the only trap I use is the 3.5 metre carpet python that lives in my ceiling (and the many offspring she has had over the years). Only problem is that the bush rats are getting cluey and she is getting old (and slow – I can understand that)…..hoping her offspring get hungry soon. 🙂

    • Thandi says:

      Lisa your method wins! Ten points for affordability and an extra ten for ‘humaneness’ (there has to be a better word, but I haven’t had my coffee yet).

      • Lisa says:

        I watched one of the younger pythons eat one last week – fascinating yet horrifying. Mind you it is quick (and keeps the pythons away from my possums). The bush rats leave a residue wherever they go (from their scenting). Now go and have that coffee (36 degrees here today and horribly muggy – could only face one coffee this morning). 🙂

    • Karen says:

      You have a what, the what??!! ~ karen!

      • Elaine says:

        That was my response too, Karen!! ??. I’m wondering if Lisa lives “down under” perhaps?

      • Lisa says:

        Yes – a 3 1/2 metre carpet python called Agnes (named after Agnes Muirhead – Bewitched) lives in my ceiling. She’s been up there for around 15 years now (very loud when she goes in and out). Yep I live down under and only 4 kilometres from the city centre (but opposite a cemetary so area is nice and lush). Lots of possums and parrots and bush turkeys, unfortunately also foxes for the last 5 years but they keep the ferals down.
        The bush turkeys would be the bain of your life Karen – no garden survives. 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Um. 15 years? Aren’t you afraid she’ll need a snack at night? Like something from the kitchen? I’m not afraid of snakes and in fact have been covered in them head to toe at one point in my life for a tv show. But … coming toe to eye with a python would be quite … startling to say the least! ~ karen

          • Lisa says:

            My friends often make that comment…mind you 15 years is a fairly good age for a snake and – she’s still making babies. The owners of my house love seeing pictures of her (I’m a house owners delight been renting same place for 28 years – 29 in November). Had a 2.5 metre one slither across my deck when I had friends over for drinks on Friday night. That was a bit exciting for them. Plus – don’t they feel all gorgeous and smooth and silky when they have recently shed. 🙂

            • Audrey says:

              If she’s making babies, doesn’t that mean there are likely two snakes in the ceiling or does Agnes go slinking around the neighbourhood looking for a good time?

          • Lisa says:

            I had 8 carpet pythons removed from my deck last year – only 2 so far this year so the population has thinned a bit. Agnes doesn’t need to slink around – they come to her (that gets a bit much). 🙂

    • Beth W. says:

      This is a version of my personal nightmare. Rats on the ground, pythons in the ceiling. I’d burn the whole house down for sure.

      I’m guessing you’re in Australia though? I’ll take 3m of snow over 3m of ceiling-python any day. To each their own.

      • Alena says:

        I am with you, Beth.
        3 million mice still sound better to me than one 3+ meter python.
        Yikes!

        • Lisa says:

          3 metres of snow would be soooo nice. 34 degrees celcius (93.2f) and 85% humidity today (it’s already around 29 here and only 7.45am)….eek.

      • Sonja says:

        I’m right there with you Beth…down goes the house! Would make it look like an ‘accident’! Bring on the snow – can’t BELIEVE I just said that, as I’m counting the days ’til Summer!

    • ruth says:

      um, no to pythons.

  10. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I agree with Brenda…that is the cutest little mousey drawing ever…great job Miss Ernie!

  11. Alena says:

    I probably have 3 millions cousins to your unwanted guests (minus those unlucky ones) in MY house. I am lately having the same problem – trap either sprung with bait still in or not sprung but the bait is gone.
    Back home, we always used a piece of garlic-rubbed toast; my grandmother always claimed that mice love garlic. (Plus, I grew up in a country with no peanut butter; which may explain the fact that to this day I don’t love it that much and can easily live without it. Except that I buy it for mouse traps).

    If you swear by the death chamber I may invest into it. I want them gone.

    P.S. Long time ago, I lived in a rental and after a while, mice moved in, too. I watched my dog lounging on a sofa when a mouse ran across the floor. My dog didn’t even blink; clearly, it was not worth the trouble of jumping up and pouncing on it.

  12. Carolyn says:

    This post brings me back to my teen years on the farm. I caught 5 pinkies in one snap trap! I felt like the great white hunter. Thankfully I haven’t seen mice in years.

  13. Patricia Jaroslawski says:

    Recently survived a mouse invasion after the visit of a 6 year old who had trouble remembering to close the patio doors. I was fine with them living outside and under my deck, but once they breached the walls (or threshold ), it was war, plain and simple. I won using old fashioned wooden traps baited with peanut butter. I baited some with a selection of chocolate, bacon , cheeese whiz or cheddar, but it seems Calgary mice are purists and like the peanut butter aporoach…and they prefer creamy thank you very much. The new fangled ones would be snapped with the bait gone every morning. Seven dead mice later I reigned supreme…until the next battle. My house smelled like bleach for weeks afterwards…better than mouse urine I guess 😉

  14. Gayle M says:

    I was so pissed every time the dang little buggers ate the peanut butter off the trap without tripping it, that I knew I had to outsmart them or go crazy. Solution…super glued a peanut to the Victor trap, slathered on the peanut butter and waited. Success each and every time after that. They’d start feeling cocky linking at that peanut butter, find the nut and couldn’t resist the little tug–SNAP! Never knew what hit ’em. Then I had hubby dispose and reload… AND this was just in my (attached) garage, no waaaaay were they getting past that side door!

    • Karen says:

      Yup! But you don’t have to superglue it. You can just wedge it under the serrated claw that the snap trap has. 🙂 ~ karen!

  15. Linda says:

    Thanks for the laughs! Too funny.

    When we were living on an acreage a number of years ago, our cat brought up a Victor snap trap with a live mouse still in it. I felt that she was trying to reprimand us – expecting her to do our dirty work.

    Anyway – we (and I use that term loosely) had the best luck with a caramel piece. About 1 quarter of a caramel will do. Soften it up with your fingers and squish it on trap well and they can’t get the bait without losing their miserable little lives.

    The hole in the foundation where the mouse got in also permitted a salamander to get in. We had a cable guy doing some work on the internet wiring in the basement and he came upstairs a little shaken and hesitantly asked if we had a pet lizard. It freaked him out. We (again loosely) found this salamander covered with lint and released it outside.

  16. That Guy From the Boonies says:

    Mild winter, rodent hunting season.
    Old house had, at different times, mice(bad), rats (really bad), snakes(rescued them and they kept my tomatoes safe for the summer), toads(only in the winters and cute as can be), shrews(I put one into the garden and broke up with the other, much bigger one), squirrels, black and grey(horrible) and flying squirrels(too cute for words, but the most annoying of them all). The skunk under the back room got rid of the rats, so we had a truce.
    The new house has had 3 mice since 1943.
    No idea why, considering they are only 50 yards apart and is one sits in the bush, but yay for new house.

  17. i once had a little cabin on the north shore mountains above West Vancouver. I could only get up there maybe twice a month, so made the cabin classic mouse trap. A tall bucket, a wire coat hanger and a small can of evaporated milk. Punch a hole in the centre of the can’s top, shake out as much milk as you can. Punch a hole in the centre of the can’s bottom, drain out remaining milk. Untwist a wire coat hanger, straighten it out and pop one end thru the holes in the can. Stretch the coat hanger over the bucket rim, so that the can sits in the middle. Make sure the can spins nicely. Smear on peanut butter, maybe add some chocolate chips. Put 6″ of water into the bucket, and set the whole thing near a bench or somewhere that the mouse can easily hop onto the can. The idea is like logger sports. The mouse hops onto the can, does a little spin, falls into the water and more or less, dies at sea. Dump the bucket, rinse and repeat. works great.

  18. Jennifer Lee says:

    My Dad knew there was a mouse in our basement, once, and I guess he felt like brushing up on his marksmanship (he WAS a good shot). So he set up a battery and a car headlight in such a way that he could make the light come on instantly. Then he sat quietly in the dark, with his pellet gun, waiting to hear the mouse, which customarily walked on sheet metal that formed a ledge around the top edge of the basement walls. When he turned on the light, the mouse sat there, “like a deer in the headlights”, with it’s whiskers quivering, and it looked so cute, he couldn’t bear to kill it. The happy ending is that the mouse was so terrified that it never came back.

    • Mary W says:

      That is a great story!!! Would make a cute children’s book, too. Maybe not – guns you know. My husband loved to hunt but never, ever shot anything. He did finally kill a mouse in our house with a bb gun. I cut the head off a plastic mouse and glued it to a tiny round board so he could mount his trophy. He didn’t laugh.

      • Jennifer Lee says:

        I would have laughed SO hard! Very clever! Dad was in the Air Force during WWII, and enjoyed shooting targets, but he had a kind heart, and was a real “gentle-man”.

  19. Melissa says:

    Oh. No. The dreaded ‘mouse in the house’!?!?
    Ugh. Ick. Ew. Yuck.

    I’d have to move, just put up the old ‘For Sale’ sign and G.O.

    Or, the mouse trap. UGHHH.

    We heard the dreaded tap.tap.tap.tap. in the attic. Either the Mouse Von Trap family moved in, or there was Tango lessons going on up there.

    We got…the dreaded Sticky Pad Trap. The ‘Oh SO Sad’ trap really. It’s about a 12in x 12in square of super secure sticky stuff pad. You put a dab o’ peanut butter in the middle….they smell….start to walk on….and B.A.M….stuck in the quagmire of stickiness with no where to go. Can’t go left…just stickiness. Can’t go right…more stickiness. Can’t go forward to the Peanut Butter Happiness….it just looms before you saying “So Sad Suckah”.

    And there I saw….a Big Mouse, along with six little mouses, meeces? Mice. Just stuck. In mid walk on to the peanut butter mecca that laid ahead.

    No more tango lessons. So, in the same meece-gathering gear (I think even a face mask and goggles were involved), I did the Icky Mouse Gathering dance all the way to the garbage.

    Ohhhh, I hate mouse gathering!! But it had to be done. And the husband couldn’t bring himself to do it, the big dumb chicken (no offense to chickens).

    I promise, once again, to take photos next time. I forgot. But it was hard to breath and see with the stinkin’ goggles on. And the large yellow latex gloves made it difficult to carry my phone AND said dead mouses…er, mice.

    I’m getting a cat. A serious mouse-catching cat.
    Or, I’m moving.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, no, lol. Sticky traps aren’t the way to go. ~ karen!

    • pat says:

      You need a Zoomer. The neighbour’s cat that spends 95% of his outside time in our yard. Cat lovers that we are, we didn’t like him pooping in our flower beds, but tolerated him hanging around, handsome white and ginger boy that he is. My husband used to yell half-heartedly at him to go home. That is until he strolled across our yard rather nonchalantly with a giant dead rat in his mouth. Now he’s our buddy who lets us pet him, has dispatched numerous rodents (mice, squirrels, left a dead rat outside of my husband’s shop door as a gift) and my husband brags to all our visitors of Zoomer’s abilities. Now if I could only get Zoomer to chase away the deer …

  20. Claire says:

    I could not even remotely bring myself to kill a mouse… so whenever we come across one, I try to find and plug possible entry points and then liberally sprinkle cayenne powder around the edges (rodents can’t stand peppers). Thankfully, I’ve always had cats, yet the only thing my lovely deaf girl caught was a magpie out of the backyard…. which she brought into the house…. and dropped…. fully alive. I managed to eventually shoo it out the bedroom window after making sure that it was no more injured than slobbered on.

  21. Debbie D says:

    Had them in my attic this summer. Killed one of them and made sure the attic was stuffed around the eaves with chicken wire so they couldn’t get back in. Been rat free since. Thank goodness. I was tired of having them doing the tango all night long. Yuck!

  22. Louise says:

    These electric traps are WONDERFUL! Oh, the horror stories I could tell you about my early rat-trapping adventures! But now I’ve got one of those electric killers for rats and it works great! I put a little dry dog food in the back, took a nap and woke to a “clunk” sound. I went to look at the trap and there was a rat in there that was big enough to be mistaken for an opossum. Just tipped him into a bag and took him to the trash; easy, clean and humane. I’d found the hole he came in (I heard him pushing through) and I blocked it immediately, so luckily he didn’t bring any of his friends (or have time to have any babies if he was actually a she).

  23. Irene says:

    I once had a mouse coming in through the miniscule gap where my gas pipe comes in to the house, straight through my pantry cupboard. I phoned a famous herb guru, and she told me that mice hate lavender. So, I lay fresh lavender down on the shelves as well as wiping them down with lavender oil. My kitchen smelled divine!
    I also placed all the food that came in paper or plastic bags into sturdy plastic containers to remove it’s food source. It worked.
    The little cute bugger moved out.
    Rats, on the other hand, couldn’t give a rat’s arse about lavender. I used those ultrasonic devices that go into a wall plug, and that seemed to help.

  24. Debbie says:

    Mice observations: poison stays in the mouse, mouse gets eaten by owl/raptor – owl dies. Mice attract rattlesnakes, imagine the outfit you need for that friend. Mice stink if they die in the walls. Exterminator price well worth it!

  25. brett says:

    I (used to) love peanut butter on my toast in the morning until…
    one morning I was slathering some pb on my toast and my finger brushed across something very rough, I looked down to see a dime-size hole gnawed in the peanut butter container..

    • Melissa says:

      Brett, that is imagery I do not want in my head. (shivers), I would be so mortified if our occasional mice also chewed through food containers!!! Some mouse it would have to be to do that…

  26. Katie C. says:

    Ugh! We moved all the appliances on our counter the other day and found a bajillion mouseketurds. All I’ve done so far is yell at my cat for being useless and clean up the mess. I’m glad I have you to do mousetrap research for me. 😉

  27. Marilyn says:

    Hahaha. Too much…I have some funny mice stories too…but another time ..good luck

  28. Amy Schmidt says:

    Best thing I learned when we had a rat/mouse infestation was to not touch the traps with your hands since they can smell the scent – helped tremendously – just put rubber gloves on and set up traps.

  29. Sean Kelly says:

    Karen I love your thoroughness in testing things. To save you some time I recommend the greatest mouse trap I’ve ever seen. Go to your local animal shelter and pick up a playful and active German Shepherd puppy. I have had 5 of these through my life, every single one has caught mouses and driven them away from our homes. Best part is they just play with them and toss them around until the mouse is dead, probably not a great way to go but no guts or headless bodies for you to pick up. The other bonus is the same creature will keep away snakes, rats, voles, weasels, raccoons, and shady humans. And they’re super cute. Just keep them away from the chickens.

  30. Teresa says:

    YES!!! This is the world’s best mouse trap! I’ve tried every live trap but they don’t work and this is the most humane killing trap – I mean, really, imagine your last thought being, “WOW! Somebody left a perfect chocolate chip cookie!!” And, you can already imagine what it’s going to taste like, your mouth waters, your brain floods with happy endorphins and you reach out to pick it up … and then you realize you were right – this really is heaven.
    I can’t think of a better way to go.
    When I see mouse sign – the polite word for mouse poop or excited holes chewed through bread wrappers by something smaller than me – I put one of these traps out and every morning thereafter, I dump a dead mouse with that dreamy look on its face into the bin. After 48 hours have passed without catching one I know I’ve gotten them all. ….For now. I’m sorry, little ones, but you should stay out of the house.

    • Teresa says:

      Addendum for prevention – peppermint essential oil on cotton balls works wonders to keep them from coming back once you’ve cleared the “viilage”. Just remember to freshen it up every month or so, and it has to be real peppermint oil. I use it in those places where there must be access holes I can’t find and after spending $2,000 to replace the heating system in the truck where they had built a city, I use the oil soaked cotton in the engine religiously.

  31. Joanne says:

    Many, MANY years ago I had pet mice… when they had babies I’d get on the city bus and take them to The Bay and they would pay me fifty cents each. No, my mother didn’t really care for this enterprise and eventually I got tired of it too… released the last remaing few into the local golf course. Hope they managed to survive – well, maybe the white ones would be at some risk…

    Skip ahead a few years and I’m living in a mobile home at the edge of a field with husband #1. When mice moved in we set out mice poison pellets. We weren’t there long and upon moving out discovered mouse poison pellets stashed behind the makeshift bookshelves (you know the kind, cinderblocks and wooden planks). Never did find any dead mice, though, just assumed they went somewhere else to die….

    Our old cat still does a bit of hunting in the back yard, but catches more birds than mice. I’m sorry about that but I don’t think she’s making much of a dent in the population. At least none are in the house.

    If I ever discover a need for mouse elimination I will definitely get the electric chair version!

    I look forward to further updates on your situtation!

  32. Sue says:

    I tried the electrocution method also. It worked for 2 mice. Then they figured out how to eat through the plastic to get the peanut butter without ever going inside. Do I have exceptionally smart mice???

  33. bellygrl says:

    So I live out in the boonies and we’ve always kept the dog food in the garage (in a garbage can just for dog food). Apparently, most mice can get in garbage cans if they want to, because I’d often have the guys at the oil change place tell me, ‘Ma’am, you know you have mice?’ as they clean the dog food out of the air cleaner. One day I was driving to work (looong drive) when a mouse pops out from under the passenger seat and looks over at me, like – ‘Where are we going?’ OK, I am not afraid of mice or anything but there was something about being stuck in the car with it for 45 min that just freaked me out! I sped to work and one of the nice men there came out and got the mouse the heck out of there. After that, my car was known as the ‘Mouse Car’ and I made sure the dog food was well secured. Not the most efficient way to get rid of a mouse, but I am sure it never got back to my house again!

    • Teri says:

      was driving Daughter #1 to school a couple of years ago when a mouse appeared by the windshield wipers (lucking outside). Daughter was eating peanut butter toast. “Mouph! Mouph! Mouph!” I looked at her like she was crazy, then saw the mouse, (Stuart little in appearance) clutching the windshield as it slowly was whooshed away by airflow. “Mooom, Mouph!” as it flew off the car. $900 of engine electrial repairs later, I have no regrets. (and they came back)…..

  34. Trackeyb says:

    So we have mice too. I came home to 2 cats and 3 teenagers watching through the window as a mouse scampered around in the window well. Seriously?

  35. D Peterson says:

    Out of doors a mouse is a cunning, sleek, little creature, sitting up in the grass stalks, as charming as any character in a Beatrix Potter book, clutching at morsels of food with tiny, exquisitely perfect pink paws, whiskers bristling, and glistening eyes bulging slightly as they fill their pointy whiskery faces. In the house, however, they became transformed into disgusting, invasive, destructive, urinating, noisy and unwelcome vermin.
    I hate mice.

  36. shannon says:

    I hate mice. I love animals, but mice in my house…just…eww. Also live in a century-old house and discovered evidence of mice this fall. We set out the plastic capture traps (where you can’t see the mouse once trapped) and the mice took the bait and didn’t get caught. And then the traps broke.

    We sealed up some holes we found in the foundation, set out wood traps, and never caught a mouse or had the bait go missing. Nothing for two months. Finally took up the traps.

    I’m hoping the mice moved out and couldn’t get back in (ah, but there’s always away). I think they are probably still here and I just haven’t seen the evidence. Ick.

    I didn’t read them all, but the electrocution traps have a LOT of one-star reviews on Amazon. Don’t know whether your next post on the topic will address this (or address ways to make them work that the one-star reviewers didn’t know about), but I’m always hesitant to buy something when I see that many negative reviews. Curious to hear more!

    • Teri says:

      we have had poor luck with electrical traps. the plastic ones work reasonably well. Poison is great (yess, i know, they die in the house….) I think I am going to make a swimming pool trap or 4. sounds most effective….

  37. shoshana leeder says:

    If only I’d known about this when I lived in NYC!!!! Many sleepless nights there when they were running all over the bedroom.

  38. Sheryl says:

    I ignored the few little mouse turds I saw near the bird seed bin in the garage a few years back. Saw more turds, decided it was time to set out traps. 22 mice later, I vowed to never ignore another mouse turd. I had 3 of those plastic new style cheap traps, bated with cheese (interestingly, baiting them with the sunflower seeds they snuck into my garage to eat, was completely ineffective as bait.) and spent the next 3 weeks doing the grossest job of my life. Big mice, little mice, boy mice, girl mice, and possibly even a maître d’ mouse that was seating them nightly. Don’t ignore the turds!

  39. SuzanneLH says:

    After the demise of one kitty, and before the next, mouse invasion… Dachshunds are pretty good mousers, but they sometimes let them go while tossing in the air.

    Bought traps at Home Depot that look like giant clothes pins. BEST trap ever.

    A trick my grandmother taught us, for wooden traps, put the trap entrance in a corner, guess they can’t be as agile, and they fall on the trigger.

    Wish they would just stay outside, where they can be cute, not filthy…

  40. Cathy Reeves says:

    Oooohhh- I gotta dig up the pic I took of the remains I found in mine last year! It looked like it’s face was eaten off!!
    I’ve found that the black mini T-Rex raps work great.

  41. Teddee Grace says:

    So glad you didn’t opt for poison. It can kill a cat that eats a mouse with poison in its stomach or intestines. Too bad you can’t just buy a fox. Foxes have totally eliminated the need for any rodent control at the family cabin in the Rockies. Also, it’s just unfortunate we can’t live with the critters. I don’t know about all types of mice, but I found that at least one field mouse I killed with an old fashioned snap trap should have had its own decorating blog. It had set up housekeeping in an old dresser I had in the garage and had fastidiously devoted one drawer as a bathroom, one as a kitchen stocked with corn kernels and one as a living room/bedroom and the latter was decorated with bits of yarn and tiny Christmas decorations it had found who knows where and carried back to its three-story home. I was heart broken when I found it after its death.

    • Anna says:

      You speak to my heart Teedee. I love all creatures and wish it was not us vs. them.

    • Karen too says:

      I had the same experience Teddee! I had one decorator mouse. He/she had designed the perfect house with “rooms” between the studs in a storage space without drywall. One compartment for the pantry, one for the toilet and one with a snugly bed made of my finest wool threads. I still feel badly and have bought visible live traps to be prepared if it happens again. Glad I’m not the only one!

  42. Katie Schneider says:

    Have you had rats with your chickens yet? That’s a never-ending barrel of fun-house-mirror screaming laughter. Or maybe it’s hysterics, not sure. This is year 7 of chickens, and we’ve had an almost steady progression of rats come through–we’ll get rid of a few, then apparently nothing for a few months, then a family moves in, repeat. I just ordered one of those weighted chicken-feeder thingies, and we’re about to go to defcon 5 on the current teeming horde. We, too, just bought one of the electric-chair traps, but rat-sized… we’ve noticed that the discerning rat prefers cheap-ass peanut butter, like Jif or Skippy.
    Luckily they’re not in our house (GACK), but live between our fence and the neighbors, under the shed, and under our deck. That’s more of a lower-case *gack*.

  43. Marlene Eastman says:

    UGGG!!! I hate anything that looks like a mouse or rat. Can’t even go into a pet store and look at the gerbils …. freaks me right out!!!
    Lived in an old farmhouse, hubby was allergic to cats, I am squeamish about dead anything. long story short, house invasion of mice, had to put all the flour, sugar etc. into the stove to avoid contamination. We did have a Scottie who would wake us in the middle of the night, chasing them through our daughters toys. I remember hubby picking up the dog food bag and mice came flooding out of it like pouring water …….. shudder ….. Soooo, grabbed some poison, scattered it about the house, grabbed the kid, the dog and left for a few days. Came back, did a clean up of the poison and didn’t see any till the fall.
    We even had rats taking up residence …. Scottie was a great ratter too. I grabbed the kid and went for a long car ride while they got rid of the beast. So many horror stories of living with rats and mice ….. hyperventilating thinking about it right now!!!
    Hubby passed away, daughter got a cat, who was a fabulous mouser, breathed a bit easier, then I moved to suburbia. Have not seen a mouse in any of the houses since!!! New hubby is very diligent about making sure there are no mice in the house!!!

  44. FBFoodie says:

    The electric chair for rats…perfect! I had rats the size of mountain lions…almost…in my garage. They ate through the plastic five gallon drum lids to get to my bird seed. Many unsuccessful attempts led me to the electronic trap. Worked great! Peanut butter bait (organic of course), and zap…giant wood rats with little x’s on their eyes. And now, I invested in the smaller version for the attic. Often, my Corgi stares at the ceiling at dusk. I know she’s not contemplating the heavens…I just need to get up there and deal with it.

  45. Linda S. says:

    Once, after killing 30 mice with old fashioned traps and having three of the critters pop out of my toaster, I called in the exterminator. (The toaster went in the trash.) He searched our house for entryways and found that our dryer exhaust vent was unattached in two places, the dryer to the wall and the dryer vent to the outside, virtually leaving a highway in the crawl space for all the mice in the neighborhood, their friends and their friends’ friends to come party at my house.

    After the exterminator kindly fixed our venting system we didn’t have another mouse invasion for seven years and counting.

    The trick with the peanut butter is to leave a barely detectable smear on the trap. If you place a dollop of peanut butter on it they can just reach in the lift it off. A smear makes them have to work harder and fortunately/unfortunately, die while they are at it.

  46. Pippa says:

    You could try the non-lethal sort of trap, if you can get them in Canada. They’ve worked really well for me and I found I’m less squeamish taking smelly live mice to the nearest open space than dealing with dead ones. The ones I’ve used are called trip traps. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pest-Stop-Humane-mouse-trap/dp/B003D5WQFG . You do have to check often though, otherwise you have to deal with dead mice after all…

  47. ronda says:

    You would think that one dog and three cats would be enough of a deterrent, but one silly mouse decided to hide behind the stove a few years ago. Took me a while to figure out why the cats had taken up residence in the kitchen until said mouse was a carcass on the kitchen floor. No problems since then, until this summer when our newest cat brought home a “present” which then ran behind a bookcase, sending my daughter into fits! Most “presents” come into the house already deceased, thank heavens!

    • Stephbo says:

      I can always tell when the mice are back because our cats end up spending hours in the kitchen just starting at the stove.

  48. Robyn says:

    Spray foam insulation was a somewhat expensive but seemingly permanent solution to our mouse infestation. I ripped the basement apart trying to figure out how they were getting in. Found an entrance around the rim joist where electrical was coming in; problem solved. If you use poison, they die in your walls and duct work and smell like rotting carcass. Not good. I have a humane catch and release trap. They are released out in the woods. I am sure the owls are grateful.

  49. Ruth hirsch says:

    Yes Yes YES!!
    Only one person spoke of the gizmos that get plugged into the wall.

    They have worked so so so well for me.
    First in a renovated gristmill. Read: very old, little openings everywhere.

    And the past many years, here at Cantines Island. When I moved I plugged those into lots of the outlets around the perimeter of the house. That is, on the outside walls.
    Have had no mice. No mice. I did once have one in the car. But none in the house. None.

    So, once you are un-infested, I suggest getting them. Maybe sooner. Maybe it will encourage them to leave.
    And neither Giselle nor Spike–felines– minded those gizmos. But it seems rodents do.

  50. My firend lives in Costa Rica loves sloths!

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