It's Spring and The Battle Begins Part 1 - Mice

 Springtime Begins the Battle with Pests

Spring is my favorite season of the year. I love the warmer weather, the beautiful flowers, the sound of spring peepers at night. But for me and many others, Spring is also the time a yearly battle begins. This is the first part of a series of posts about my Springtime battles.

Mice

Mice are active in the Spring and there always seems to be at least one that wants to live in my house.
Some mice can squeeze through little holes the size of a dime, and they often sneak into homes through the cut-out area around plumbing pipes. (note - you can stuff plain steel wool around the pipes to block their access.)
Mice also love bird feeders; they are attracted by the seeds, so if you enjoy feeding our feathered friends, (like I do!) you might also discover a mouse has made it's way into your house in search of more tasty morsels!

Traps or bait?

There are "better mousetraps" on the market and I might try one of those. I haven't had much luck with old-fashioned mousetraps. They say the mice love peanut butter so you should use that as bait - I agree - mice love the peanut butter and they can eat it right off the mousetrap and never cause the thing to snap!
My sister once said cheap mousetraps work better at her house than the more expensive name brand, so I picked up a pack at a dollar store. When I got them home, I realized there was no way to set the trap! On closer inspection of the package, there was a mention of "crafting." Apparently, somewhere along the production process the terms "mousetrap" and "crafts" got confused.
Still, I usually put out a trap or two in areas where I know a mouse has been before, in hopes I can catch the thing and be rid of it, but I also set out boxes of mouse bait. 
(If you use traps, and/or mouse bait, please make sure that children and pets can't get to it!)

I use D-Con to get rid of the pesky rodents!


1.5 oz. D-Con Mouse Poison available at your local store or at Amazon. Click for info. 


The Mouse Gets A Reprieve

One Spring my sister had come for a visit and we'd talked about the problem of mice and at that point, I hadn't noticed any signs of mouse activity in my house. But, not ten minutes after my sister left, I heard my cat shuffling and running in the kitchen. The noise sounded different than normal cat craziness, so I went to investigate and found her hot on the trail of of mouse. I joined in the chase.
The mouse zoomed out of the kitchen and into the dining room, with my cat running full speed after it and me bringing up the rear. The rodent dashed under a cabinet. When I moved the cabinet so my cat and I could reach our foe, the thing took off for the living room, and went behind the couch. For a moment, we lost it. Then I moved a blanket on the couch and the mouse shot out from under it, and raced off through the house before me and the cat could react.

And it was gone. I looked for it. The cat looked for it. It was nowhere to be found. A tiny mouse can hide easily in an arm chair, on a bookshelf, under a desk. We settled into an uneasy evening knowing there was a mouse somewhere in the house.

Later that night, as my hubby and I lay in bed, we heard a little scratching noise in the closet. Hubby investigated, but found nothing. The mouse had escaped again.
We tried to sleep but could not. I lay awake thinking horrifying thoughts about mice hiding in the bedcovers.
Then there was noise in the bathroom - lots of noise. The cat was away in another part of the house, so we knew it had to be the mouse. We ran to the bathroom and there it was - a tiny, terrified mouse trapped in the garden tub. It couldn't go down the drain pipe. It couldn't get up the sides of the tub. With frightened eyes, it stopped, exhausted, and looked at us to await it's fate.

For only a brief second the thought of letting the cat into the bathroom crossed my mind, but the mouse looked so small, and so scared - I granted it a reprieve. Hubby got a big glove and a box and maneuvered the mouse into the box. He set the rodent free down in a patch of woods. The mouse was given a second chance, but if it gets back into the house again....

5 comments:

  1. Growing up, we had mice in our house, and my mother was scared to death of them (as many people are). Six-year-old me just thought it was a hoot to see mommy climb on the couch, jumping and screeching, throwing everything she could reach at a little mouse. One summer, we even found a litter of baby mice in our basement (mommy having been cought in the trap a few days earlier) so we fed them mushed strawberries and set them free outside. We never saw them again.

    I will always have mixed feelings about killing mice. There is no question of the damage them can do to a house and one's perishable food supply, but in the end they are cold hungry creatures. I hope I never live in a house that has them so I don't have to think about it!

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  2. Hopping over from Not Mommy.

    Here's to you for giving the little mouse a reprieve. I'm lucky I've never lived somewhere where we had mice, so I've never had to worry about baiting/trapping or killing.

    Of course, I have four cats...so it's quite possibly I'd never even know about the mouse until I found the...uh...leftovers.

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  3. Eek! Not frightfully afraid of mice, but not a huge fan, either. Hope the mouse finds another house to inhabit!

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  4. Wow, can I relate. After a kitchen remodel, we've started having mouse visitors. Evidently they're entering through a tiny opening by the cooktop vent's outlet that's about as big around as a pencil. Grrrr. Hopefully the application of some of that expanding foam stuff will deter them, or at least slow them down! We've caught five so far.

    I found your blog through the Not Mommy hop. Good group. I'm enjoying the eclectic posts.

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  5. My German Shorthaired Pointer caught a scurrying mouse in my house yesterday. It was a pretty awful and murderous scene. I think my birdfeeder outside attracted a few mice to come into my house and raid my pantry. Can mice get into a parked car in the garage? I can't even imagine how frightening that would be to have one scurry up my pant leg while my foot is on the pedal.

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