Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Mouse Story...

Living above a barn has it's appeal...and a few disadvantages as well. One of the downsides seems to be the constant fight to keep mice out of our home. Obviously the barn cats do a good job with population control, but they only patrol the outside area. Once a mouse finds his way into either the laundry room or the tack room, they eventually find a passage way upstairs....and the fight begins.

We do not use any kind of poison. With other small animals around, we were worried that if a dog or cat got ahold of a sick mouse, ate it, then we would then have a sick cat or dog on our hands! Other traps include old fashioned spring traps, new fashioned spring traps that cage the mouse, and sticky pads. We started with the spring traps. These are very dangerous to set as a good one will snap your fingers as you try to bait it no less than 3 times, sending your brain into warp panic and your eyes flooded with tears! Once set, you still have the task of placing it in the desired spot without tripping it too. These seems to work first. Our first kill was disgusting - but quick and easy.... I threw the entire thing away..trying not to look at it.

The second trapping was a bit more adventurous. Promptly at 3:26AM I heard a loud SNAP. I immediately opened my eyes as my head flew up from the pillow. The following bangs and screams (from the mouse - not me) sent me flying down the hall and into the pantry. I found a screaming mouse jumping from one shelf to another and running in circles, dragging the trap behind him since his tail was the only part captured. I used what was readily handy....plastic Walmart bags (Many of them!) using them as a barrier and swooped the mouse up. I took a small screw driver with me and outside I went. Thankfully I was wearing a night gown, but it was very cold. No matter - all the way down the driveway I went, into the darkness of night to let my captor go. I dropped him out of the bunch of scrunched up bags and off he ran....with trap still in tow I went flying after him and stepped on the trap...more screaming (..this time by both of us) and with one flick of the screw driver - the mouse was free. Okay - 2 down..but I was pretty sure there was at least 1 more.

Rebaiting the old trap and going back to the store to buy a few more, I could only find a newer version of the spring trap. This newer one had a larger bright yellow platform to place the bait on. No matter - I bought it anyway. It was easier to set and bait without getting injured and that made me happy. What I had not realized - was that mouse #3 had been patiently waiting on the sidelines and taking notes! He was going to be more of a challenge...

Morning number 1, two traps still there, untripped..with the bait missing! "Wow - how did he do that?" I wondered. I reset them, this time really pressing the cheese onto the trap platform.

Morning number 2, two traps still there, untripped..with the bait MISSING! "I can't believe this! Maybe there is something wrong with the traps!"I went to the store and found a new kind of spring trap that actually locks the mouse inside! I baited them and placed them into the pantry.

Morning number 3, Two enclosed traps, untripped and untouched..

Morning number 4, two enclosed traps, untripped and untouched... Obviously - the mouse did not approve! Back to the store to buy 1 more package of the old fashioned traps. I reset them, THIS TIME I super glued the bait onto the trap!"That will get the little shit!" Grinch smile creeping over my face!

Morning number 5, two traps still there, UNTRIPPED AND EMPTY! "Can you believe this? "How could he have gotten the bait off of the platform when it was glued onto it??? That is it! We are going to use the big guns now!" I told Don to buy the sticky traps we had seen - but not wanted to resort to. He brought them home and Emily set them for me.

Morning number 6, 2 sticky traps with a sticky mouse stuck to it...screaming! I did not discover it until I was about to leave for work, so Don was going to try to get him unstuck and let him go in the woods. 2 hours later I get a call from home. It was Don...with a screaming mouse in the background, poor Don was so stressed and unable to free the mouse. He himself was now stuck to the trap and trying to come up with more ideas. I could not come up with anything other than offering to sacrifice one of my spatulas....Don was not happy!


Susan said...

Girl, I don't even know what to say...your life is too exciting! I had a mouse in the house once about 15 years ago and that was once too many. We have 4 cats so maybe that's why they stay away. A screaming mouse would have me screaming, too!
Hugs, Susan

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

I do understand this. Being on a farm means having mice around. I know you'll keep them under control. I've never had a mouse in the house. There has been one in the garage. because we left the new unopened bag of black-oil bird food on the garage floor. The mouse opened it within no time. My hubby set a trap and we got him right away.

Gollum said...

When I saw your post, I ran over. Somehow the barn mice have found us. We don't use poison because of the dogs, and with all of the chickens and goats, well, it's too dangerous for the barn.

Long story short, we tried those electronic devices--even one that changes the sound waves.
So far, the stickies have worked best. But I do know what you mean about the micey cries--and those awful moments when they carry off the trap.

I have read about a bait that's only available in the UK. It's supposed to be totally safe to everything but mice. I just can't believe it. So I didn't order it.
If you find a better mousetrap, please let me know.
Love your blog, by the way. We don't have horses--we have donkeys.

Diane said...

OMG, you're too funny. We're having problems with rats - at least my husband thinks they're rats. Something was large enough to push open the pet door & get inside. He bought the bait & hid it in various tiny places. Something has eaten it because we've had decomp wafting through the house and can't find the source. I've threatened to never forgive him if any of our 5 dogs get sick or hurt or this. Diane

Yarntangler said...

We are full time RVrs and have twice had a mouse in the house. last year it was quickly taken care of by our cat. Then the cat left us in South Dakota to take up the life of a barn cat with a harem, in 1880 Town.

This year Jim bought those traps with the plastic thingy and every morning for two weeks it has been empty without tripping the spring. Jim is going nuts and I can hear the darned thing as I type!

Merry Christmas and thanks for a fun story. Your house looks great BTW.

Killi said...

Eradibait interferes with the way rodents take up water & it IS safe to anything that isn't a mouse, rat or squirrel ~ someone I know ate some of the bait to prove its safety.. The Owl Trust in the UK approve its use & if I use any bait I'd use that, but at present the cats, Cochins & dogs keep the rats down & ScrappyCat wages a war on the mice in the house (there was a nest in the old wall section where there was still some thatch from when the housre was thatched years & years & years before I moved in. You could read Simon Mulholland on Eradirat/Eradimouse as it started out, but beware, he is very opionated on things he feels passionate about.