Friday, February 29, 2008

Cute but Uninvited

They’re back! We haven’t had these uninvited nocturnal guests for a couple of years, but the indication is they have returned.

Every few years we are visited by mice. It might be a single mouse or a couple or a small family. I’m never too sure until they disappear and I forget about them once again.

I’ve always hated the idea of hurting any animal. So for many years I insisted on using a Have-a-Heart trap, which meant I had to check periodically to see if any mice needed to be taken to the woods and released. But I think there was some homing device that attracted them back to our house as quickly as I freed them.

I refuse to ever consider using the sticky sheets that trap them but don’t kill them. The idea of mice in my attic or kitchen screaming as they slowly die is just unacceptable.

But the last bout of mice convinced me to go to the conventional old-fashioned snap trap, the kind that with any luck breaks their neck in a quick snap, just after they have eaten the peanut butter treat. Of course it can always go wrong, snagging a leg instead of a neck, but in most cases it works well and hopefully quickly.

I had started to wonder recently as I noticed what I thought was small dirt specks in the silverware drawer. How could dirt be getting into a bunch of clean forks and spoons? I didn’t think much more about it until this morning when it became clear it was more than specks of dirt.

I guess I will need to make a trip to the hardware store for a bag of mousetraps, buy some peanut butter, and set out the baited traps. Then it will inevitably be my job to get rid of them. Some people just can’t bear the sight of even a dead mouse.

I continue to wonder what attracted them back now? And why our house? Were we listed on some Craig’s list for mice as suckers with food in our kitchen drawers?

There could be so many things worse than mice, an annoyance way down on the list beneath things like fleas and lice. A few broken necks and they’ll be gone for several more years I suppose.


Blogger kimy said...

too bad I live so far away or I'd bring over gwen - she's an excellent mouser! although I'm quite fond of mice (duh!) I am understanding of some humans' reluctance to share their space with members of the mus musculus clan.

my 'son' t in moving into his new apartment earlier this month amd discovered he had an uninvited roommate - the poor guy was driven nuts by this little mouse, and elvis-the-dog was useless as a mouser. he didn't want to hurt the mouse (perhaps he was afraid of what 'ma' would say) t devised an ingenious trap which caught the mouse without harm. t took said mouse to a dumpster behind a fast food place several blocks away - guess he figured the mouse wouldn't mourn his earlier pad if he could dine on mickey d. I'll ask t if he can describe his better mousetrap if he does I'll let you know what he did!

best of luck. eek!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I've been lucky to avoid mice since I lived with my folks. I'm not sure I'd know how to deal with them or that I'd want to do what I knew I must. Good luck.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Set the trap in a small paper bag (carefully). That way, when the mouse is caught, you just throw the whole bag away - mouse, trap, and all.

I often use a have-a-heart trap too, and embark on a mouse relocation program twice a year. If you don't take them more than a mile away, they're back in your silverware drawer the very next day.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kimy -- All help is welcome!

Kristin -- You may not have had mice, but you have had your share of water problems, which I don't envy!

Pauline -- Thanks for the good idea! The idea of being able to dump the whole thing so easily is fantastic.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I could lend you my cats..they need to get busy for the coming of The Spring Hunt!! We've never had one mouse since we've had cats..unless you count the ones they brought in still alive, and let go just to continue or re-enact The Chase!

11:03 AM  

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