PEST PEEVES: ABOUT THOSE MOUSES … Marilyn Armstrong

PEST PEEVES? WE HAVE PLENTY!

We started out humanely. Traps to take them out to the woods without hurting them.

They strolled back inside as soon as they were let go. It was obvious our kindness was not reciprocated.

We gave up nice and put out real traps. We knocked off a few dozen mice, but enough survived (they only need to have two) to proliferate. They set up housekeeping in the walls and under floors. By the time we were inspected this year, there were hundreds of them hiding. Everywhere.

So much for Mr. and Mrs. Nice Guy. It was time for open warfare.

Unfortunately, Bonnie and Gibbs lack Divot’s devotion to vermin killing.

We declared war. We eliminated them in the attic and on the floor where we live, but they still have found hiding places in the basement. We may never be entirely free of them, but at least we can keep the numbers down. They make an awful mess of the house if you let them.

2005 – Divot

We have not won the war, but we never stop fighting. The weapons are out, the battle-lines drawn. They have us on sheer number, but we have better weaponry. They are losing, but they will never entirely lose because a mouse can sneak in through an amazingly small space.

Back when we had Divot, our first Norwich Terrier, she used to kill the mice by the dozens and pile them up by the foot of my desk. She thoroughly enjoyed the hunt and the kill. I’m pretty sure I didn’t fully appreciate her efforts. Oh Divot, we could use you these days. I hope you are happily hunting in the hills over the bridge.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

27 thoughts on “PEST PEEVES: ABOUT THOSE MOUSES … Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. So funny. I’ve been working for a couple of hours on a post about Morrie, then my editing program froze and won’t let me edit anymore. I decided to read more blogs, and when I came to yours in Reader, I thought, “Oh no, have I mistakenly published my blog before it was finished? Man, our doggies look alike now that Morrie’s hair has grown out!

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    1. The problem is, the mice hide in the walls and they are not easy to find even for a cat that’s a good mouser. And not all cats ARE mousers. Many are about as useful and Bonnie and Gibbs, which is to say, NOT. We have a guy. He comes once a month and while he has not conquered them, he had hugely reduced their numbers. The real test will be when summer ends and it gets cold and all the little furry ones in the woods decide it’s time to come into the nice warm house. Because right now, getting them out is relatively easy, but in the winter? Oy. Vay.

      All Scotties look a lot alike. Gibbs looks like The Wolf Man.

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      1. We lived in a redwood forest with a dirt crawl space under the house that was our storage. Much as I hated to do it, we finally resorted to De-con. They ruined so many boxes of things we had stored there, including all my scrapbooks. When the claims adjustor came and I gave him the list of what we’d lost and showed the remains of what mice had left, he asked, “Anything else?” I said, “Just scrapbooks, but they wouldn’t have any monetary value.” He said, ” Would $…compensate you?” I can’t remember the amount, but it was quite a bit and I was shocked as I didn’t even intend on declaring their loss. Of course, I answered, “Yes!”

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        1. We store EVERYTHING in heavy plastic containers. Not bags. Boxes. We never leave food around. So it has been a long time since they were able to do much in the house, but yeah, our guy poisons the hell out of them. I hated to do it, but having a house full of mice is no way to live. We’ll never be rid of all of them any more than we’ll get rid of all the ants and the beetles and the other insects, but we can keep them under control. That’s something.

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          1. The De-con dries them up so they don’t smell. It worked very well for us. It seems so cruel that it bothered me. With four cats, we didn’t have to worry about mice in the upstairs. My cats now even kill scorpions! I found one next to their food dish yesterday that was as big as a crawdad. Yuck. I finished killing it. I have no remorse over killing cockroaches and scorpions. I let spiders be unless they are black widows or brown recluse.

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            1. There was a time when they chewed through some pretty heavy duty containers, but we seem to have them under somewhat better control now. I had to throw in the towel on getting they taken care of. Whatever we were doing, it wasn’t getting the job done. I was astonished at how much of the outside had already moved inside. Not just mice. All kinds of things. Very unsettling.

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  2. Our mice keep out of the apartment. In Winter one or two might stray into the garden cupboard but are no bother, we once lived in a very old apartment and there would be a mouse now and again in the attic room, but they kept out of our living quarters

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    1. That’s the way it was for us until suddenly, no one was living in the basement and when there was no one down there, they got very enthusiastic about propagating. I hadn’t realized it because they don’t come upstairs. But we had to get rid of them for real, this time. I don’t like having them creeping around.

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    1. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, probably because they don’t come out to visit. They live in the wall and the only place they come out is in the basement. The attic and the second floor are free of them. But the basement is a bitch.

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  3. It’s the season for them here, the weather is colder and everyone I know seems to have a few mice about. I hadn’t seen mouse poop around the house for a long time although that doesn’t mean they aren’t around somewhere but one day last week I was surprised to find Polly chasing a mouse around the living room. She caught it but she was having such fun chasing it that she let it go again and repeated the process a couple of times until she lost it. I often have the back door open to let fresh air in since the estate agent told me the house smelled a bit “doggy” so I’m not sure if it is a random mouse that came in that way or was already here. Polly still seems interested although not obsessed so the problem is not over yet. I don’t like to use baits because of the pets.

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    1. There’s no such thing as a random mouse. You see one, you’re missing another 20. They are really small and they hide. But as you said, almost no one has a house without any mice. They are part of life in the country. At least we don’t live with cockroaches and earwigs.

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  4. One of my most unfavorite topics – rodents. I show no mercy. In the winter, we keep traps set for any visitors. But, this year we have had a challenge outside which we’ve never had before. So, we started with the home made remedies, but after a population explosion I moved without remorse right into poison as traps. I’m now on bag two, and I’m not being scared to death every time I go into the barn to retrieve a tool. My theory is, when they start helping to make payments, they can live here. As long as I make the payments, they need to exit farm left. 🙂

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    1. We went from “aww” to “death to vermin” pretty fast. I think the dogs keep them out of areas where the dogs live, but downstairs is a free for all For this, we have poison and a lot of it. I swear, there used to be a few mice and suddenly, there are a LOT more. Is it me? Or some kind of climate change involving vermin?

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      1. I talked to folks at both Tractor Supply and Blue Seal who sang the same song. For some reason because of the weather last winter, they went underground, multiplied, and came out with a vengeance. I read a statistic that said one female and one male can produce up to 40 additional mice in one year. That means war. 🙂

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  5. A dog that will catch and kill mice is worth its weight in gold. My cats must be excellent mousers, because there’s plenty of ways for them to get in here, but I never see any nor any of the telltale chewing. Ever. I’m not even sure my cats actually kill mice… but they keep them out, and that’s good enough for me!

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    1. Some cats are GREAT mousers and many terriers too. But not all of them. Some of them are too lazy to be bothered. I wouldn’t mind having cats, but we are over-animaled already. I don’t think we can take in anything more that requires food and vet care.

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  6. This was an enjoyable adventure story. I know exactly what you are feeling.
    In my suite I currently have: Five Tom Cat poison traps and three of the electric rat/mouse catcher.
    In the past few days I have bagged two mice – a Mutt and Jeff duo..
    The building contractor wants to add more poison’s to fight the mice.
    Officially I have the five kits but when I see them everywhere I just dump the bag of poison on the floor and hope for the best.
    I do not feel guilt or remorse over zapping these mice and welcome the flashing of the red light on top of the box telling me another interloper has met its maker.
    Thank you for sharing your story. – gc

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    1. The contractor has the poisons places all over the house — attic, basement, under the stairs. Anywhere they little bastards can hide. Anytime we bag a few, I feel the same pride our little terrier apparently felt.

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