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Either it's cold outside 
29th-Nov-2007 10:04 pm
Or our small neighbors are wimps.

I got home at 9 or so this evening. Walked through the kitchen which had a light turned on, toward the steps which didn't. At one point I saw something move. Didn't hear a thing. Wondered if it was perhaps a leaf, or if I'd kicked something that rolled... but the trajectory was wrong. Spouse was upstairs, heard my commentary, put on shoes, and came down. I pointed at where I'd last seen motion and he confirmed that we have a mouse. *sigh*

The last time I had a mouse was in the trailer, and that was the year that it was -17 F. -50 with wind chill. My heat tape was working but the pipes still froze. And I found "sign" there, but never saw the critter. Here, other than a few items appearing to have fallen over while we were at 'Bana, I've seen no sign at all. Well, I've not seen the critter either, but I've seen it's shadow.

If you've seen the inside of my house, you might be surprised that I can find the bed, the stove or the fridge, but I went right to the live traps that I bought back in the trailer and baited one. And now I wait. And walk more carefully.
30th-Nov-2007 03:38 am (UTC)
You need a cat!
30th-Nov-2007 03:44 am (UTC)
Heh. One of the journals I follow has mentioned that neither of the 2 cats are very good at catching/keeping/whatever the mice, but the wife and her tupperware work just fine.
30th-Nov-2007 04:12 am (UTC)
I have mice at the moment too. They are apparently more intelligent than I, since they can remove the bait without springing the traps. They have, in fact, demonstrated this 3 times. I have sadly had to resort to trying to poison them. It's not my first choice, but it's unsanitary to have them running across my kitchen counters.
30th-Nov-2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
In the trailer I think they'd gang up -- the traps would be sprung, the bait gone, but nobody'd be inside, so I could just see one saying "hey Fred -- hold this door open while I fetch the goods".

As much as I don't like the idea of killing critters, it may be that the snap-trap is ... better ... than poison. Faster to kill, and while you have an uggy body to deal with, you don't have them rotting in your walls.
30th-Nov-2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
What are you using as bait?

We've found that peanut butter works very well. Strong enough scent to attract them, but not something they can easily carry away from the trap.

Husband has to deal with the bodies. I'll deal with the live animals, but not the dead ones.
30th-Nov-2007 06:37 pm (UTC)
They've removed peanut butter, ham, and bread with peanut butter. But, happily, they also seem to like poison.
30th-Nov-2007 06:40 am (UTC)
Almost thirty years ago, when I shared a huge old house with two other law students, we had mice in the kitchen. Caught in traps, they turned out to be astonishingly tiny, barely bigger than cockroaches, and occupying the same ecological niche.

But that was long ago and far away. Nowadays, we have four cats in our house. They're all house-friendly indoor creatures now, but each of them lived on their own, outdoors, for months or years. Mice wouldn't stand a chance here.
30th-Nov-2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
One of my first memories is when I was 2, and there was a mouse in the house. I've heard the stories of my mom bringing cage after cage back to the store saying "it got out" and the store saying "it couldn't have" -- I don't know if she ended up with a bird-cage or just left it in the trap, but the actual memory I have is us bundling into the car to take it across town to release it in a park.
30th-Nov-2007 12:30 pm (UTC) - Mice
Not to be cruel, but exactly what are you going to do when you catch one in the 'live trap'? Take it outside and release it? It obviously knows how to get into your house, so it will just come back. I guess you could drive it out into the country, but with gas prices so high, that seems silly.
And releasing the mouse allows it the opportunity to breed, and to teach it's offspring the pathway to your house.
I know that some people object to killing an 'innocent' creature. But my feeling is that anything that trespasses into my house deserves the punishment that I decide.
30th-Nov-2007 04:24 pm (UTC) - Re: Mice
Generally agreed, but I do remember some friends who, having captured a bat in their house, took it 50 miles away to release it. When they caught another one, they took it 50 miles away in another direction.
30th-Nov-2007 04:27 pm (UTC) - Re: Mice
Good on them! (Although one trusts they figured out how the bats were getting in and blocked the entrance.)
30th-Nov-2007 04:25 pm (UTC) - Re: Mice
On the way to work I practically drive past a park that I think I'll drop it in. Yes, it knows the way _in_ to the house, but I don't know that it knows the way _to_ the house (although I accept that it may) -- and besides I don't so much mind it becoming lunch for a cat or hawk -- that's nature at work -- but I don't want it to just be a wasted death.
30th-Nov-2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
Way back when I lived in Columbus, when the people who rented the adjoining duplex moved out all their 4- and 6-legged roommates shifted over to my side. The mice were almost as hard to get rid of as the cockroaches. I became enured to the daily routine of getting up, getting dressed, emptying the mousetraps. My cat, alas, was useless for getting rid of the varmints.

30th-Nov-2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
Yecch! Having lived in the Xoo (Xanadu co-op) for 4 years, and having found roach bodies inside my taped-closed comic book bags, they are one critter that doesn't get a second chance! Right now it's just one sentient that has found a way out of the cold -- it's not (yet) an infestation, so I'm not (yet) on the warpath. If it does turn into an infestation, I'll deal with that then.
30th-Nov-2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
"The last time I had a mouse was in the trailer, and that was the year that it was -17 F. -50 with wind chill."

If you do decide to build that house someday, be prepared for this to be a regular activity. It comes with the package of living in outlying areas! Sorry.

"Right now it's just one sentient that has found a way out of the cold -- it's not (yet) an infestation, so I'm not (yet) on the warpath. If it does turn into an infestation, I'll deal with that then."

Define "infestation." All it takes is one gravid female ... (My first encounter with a mouse, ever, was in our first year of marriage. I woke to what I thought was the sound of a squeaky fan. Then noticed that both furballs were very interested in something in one corner of the room. A baby mouse, so tiny it hardly looked real. Took us a few broods before we caught the mom.)

I was pleased to learn that, contrary to my reaction to cockroaches, I did NOT leap up onto the bed and shriek. I simply took the mouse away from the cats (it was a long time before they forgave me) and took it outside, across the road, into deep woods. Husband tried to throw one over the porch railing onto the backyard -- I made him go out and make sure it was ok.

Believe me, I do not feel that charitable towards, well, the "c" word.

Edited at 2007-11-30 04:53 pm (UTC)
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