Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Mouse tales

We are having a very cold winter. (Well, it's cold by Wellington standards, anyway.) There are many days when I am thankful that I can work from home, sitting with my laptop beside a hot fireplace, snuggled up in warm clothes and comfy slippers. Venturing outside the house has to be carefully planned; several layers of clothing and accessories are applied first then, once I resemble a walking snow creature, I make a quick dash to my car. The return journey is equally speedy.

It seems like I'm not the only one feeling the cold this winter. All around town, little furry creatures are sneaking inside. And who can blame them for wanting some warmth and comfort? However, I'm noticing a new, more resilient, breed of mouse sneaking indoors. These ones don't mind being seen scurrying across the floor right in front of you and into hiding places that they know you can't possibly get to (behind the wood burner is a good one). They are happy to be fed an endless banquet of food laid out for them on an assortment of mouse traps. My parents outdid themselves in catering for the two mice visiting their place; they were fed cheese, peanut butter, chocolate, pumpkin seeds, and combinations of the above until the mice, probably overweight now from their rich diet, either stopped running or got complacent. Snap!

My sweetie discovered a mouse at his place. Considering he has a built-in mouse trap (four paws and furry), this was a bit surprising. He invested in a super-duper quick reload mouse trap and caught his mouse almost immediately and with only a tiny bit of peanut butter as bait. Snap!

Then my brother and sister-in-law noticed a mouse at their place. They weren't sure how to catch it; a few attempts at a regular mouse trap and my mother's suggested menu didn't help. Eventually, one mouse was caught, but they kept the trap out just in case another was lurking. After borrowing the super-duper trap, two more visitors were snapped up within two days - still using the original peanut butter on the trap from three mice ago. Snap!

My brother and I were reminded of a friend of his who used to live in an old house near town. One night, he and his flatmates saw a mouse run across the floor in front of them. They set a trap in the kitchen, sat down to watch tv, and promptly heard it: snap! They decided to reset the trap. Snap! And again. Snap! ... 18 times in one night!! Surely that's got to be some kind of record?

I hear some rustling in the wood basket ...


~JarieLyn~ said...

Wow, 18 times. I'd say that's a record for sure. I used to have mice problems when I lived in California. One night, I came home with my brand new puppy, Sasha and I went into my bedroom to grab my furry soft blanket and from out of the corner of my eye, I saw something pink on my bed and I thought it had moved. Well at the time, I worked in a dental lab and made dentures so I worked with pink acrylic all the time. So, At first, that's what I thought it was. Until I saw it move again. This time I got a closer look and to my horror there were about 5 or 6 alien looking creatures, squirming around and making this screeching noise. They were newborn baby mice right on top of my bed. There's a lot more to the story but too long to leave as a comment.

Anyhow, I feel your uneasiness.

Sab said...

Wow... that's a lot of 'snaps'!

We had a mouse problem, and conventional traps didn't work. We got a box. It's a trap that lets the mice into it, doesn't snap, but they can't get out, so they die inside (use with poison and a potent food... like peanut butter or cheese whiz). Worked like a charm.

Vagabonde said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog – it’s exciting to have people from so far away read my posts. About mice – one year my mother and I (when I was a teenager) left my dad at home for a couple weeks holiday and rented an old cottage in the middle of nowhere in Brittany. The first night I was awaken by funny noises and when I turned the light on I saw at least 20 to 30 mice all around us, even on top of my mum! Could not believe it. My mum and I left the next day and rented a nice apartment in Saint Malo instead – we did not think we could fight an army like that!

Random Thoughts said...

Okay, Let's start with I am PHOBIC of mice and rats! I saw the title of your blog post and contemplated before reading. I was really afraid that reading would give me night mares, but... thankfully it is summer hear, and the mice are just happy as can be running here and there OUTDOORS!

They say if you see one, there are at least 13 you do not see, so the 18 snaps was not surprising to me. The trick with traps is they have to be loose enough to snap when said rodent goes near the trigger, however, not so loose it snaps before they are in place.

I have heard many tips on how to bait the perfect trap, and yes, you want to put something they have to work at. Peanut butter, or a little melted chocolate. I also heard from an exterminator that they use traps with a lemon fragrance. This particular scent lures them right in. The wood pile, could be the door into your house, you may be carrying the little critters in yourself. Okay enough talk about the creatures that cause so much stress and fear in my life. Good luck and trap away!

I should NOT have read Vagabonde's comment - how do you type the cringing sound I am making?

Café Chick said...

What is it about mice that polarises people? I don't mind them myself, but I also don't want to be sharing a home with them.

My sister-in-law (who isn't fond of mice) told me about a time that she went to visit a friend of hers. Her friend was inside her home standing on a piece of furniture and couldn't answer the door because a mouse was somewhere between her and the door. My sister-in-law had to crawl in through a window to 'release' her friend. I'm not sure what happened to the mouse ...