Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mice messes

I came stumbling downstairs the other morning, still half asleep. The kitchen was dark, lit only by a nightlight. I started the kettle for tea, then took off my glasses and turned on the water in the sink to splash my face.

UP popped a distressed (and wet) mouse.

Bleary-eyed, I switched the running water to the other sink (we have a double sink) and continued to splash my face.

UP popped another distressed (and wet) mouse.

I went into the bathroom to finish splashing my face. Then I picked up a large plastic cup and scooped both mice - they were only half-grown - and put them outside.

Yesterday morning I came downstairs and found that Don had left a cup with some pills he's taking on the counter.

Evidently a mouse got curious during the night because the cup was tipped over, and one of the pills had been taken out and chewed on:

Great.  Now we'll have healthy mice.  I think it's time to revert back to traps, since the poison doesn't seem to be working.

Meanwhile, this is my usual habit at night just before going to bed: put out my tea things with the tea already in the mug, so all I have to do is pour boiling water.  Why do I cover my mug like this?  Because many years ago when I got up in the morning and poured boiling water into my mug, a shrieking mouse jumped out. Old habits die hard.

Meanwhile some neighbors got a new kitten.  They have the right idea.  Unfortunately our dog Major is a cat-killer, so a cat is out of the question for the time being.


  1. Major's a cat killer!! OMG
    anyway, I think I read somewhere that you can train that outta the dog.
    don't know personally. All dogs in my life have gone early into homes with cats, so the cats taught them early who was boss.

  2. One of my dogs would kill any cat that hadn't been introduced to him as "MAMA'S kitty." If it was mine and I leaned over him with the kitten and let him smell it and lick it we had no problems.

    This is not to suggest it would work with Major, but just by way of affirming Kiki-Chan's understanding. The dog of a friend pf mine killed a cat, whereupon the friend successfully utilized an old Hebrew method of punishment: he tied the dead kitty to the dog's collar and made him carry it around for a day. It never harmed another one. Again, this is not advice, merely anecdotal accounts of my own experience.

    I have one cat, a big main coon named Tinker, who's sent more than one big dog running out of the yard screaming bloody murder. He's a bubba!

    At one time I had a pet king snake that I'd let come and go from her tank. She was a super good mouser.

    No. I'm not normal. I'm basically a cave woman. lol

    A. McSp

  3. Save the Canning JarsAugust 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    My mother-in-law used to put out poison. The mice always seemed to die in her walls and stink and stink and stink for the longest time. Not a good thing since she would have had to tear out the sheet rock to retrieve them.

    My cats are mousers and I don't want them eating a poisoned mouse. My vet warned me that it is a horrible way for a cat to die (having eaten a poisoned mouse). I figure owls could also be killed from eating a poisoned mouse. So I'm strictly a trap person. If I take out the predators (cats and owls) and mice population will certainly increase.

    As a side note, we buried our dear orange kitty yesterday. "Lilly" was 20 1/2 years old. God
    indeed blessed her with a wonderfully long and full life. There is a hole in our routine today as we try to find a new normal.

  4. Why is it that vermin are often cute? You have to admit, those little mice are adorable.

    Besides the ubiquitous mousetrap, there are other ways of eliminating the cute little problems.

    1) You could fill every crack, hole, and gap with steel wool. And install peel-and-stick strips of foam insulation on the bottom of every exterior door. That will keep them out.
    The little guys don't like to gnaw on steel wool.

    2) Glue traps work, but the mouse is likely to be alive when you check on the trap and then you have to find another way to dispatch the critter.

    3) A mouse will drown in a bucket with only a few inches of water. They can climb in (with a little help from a makeshift ladder - a yardstick leading to the rim or a stack of books stairstepping to the bucket top) but they can't climb out. It ain't pretty, but it works.

    4) Coyote urine drizzled around the exterior perimeter of your shouse will keep the newcomers out, but won't do much to get rid of ones already inside. Where does one get coyote urine? Large nurseries (it's used to keep deer away from ornamental plants), some hunting supply stores, and sometimes university extension facilities make it available. Or, you could lasso a coyote and ask it to pee in a

    If I were in your situation, I'd kick out the dogs and let the cat in for a change. (Change you can believe in. )

    Anonymous Patriot

  5. Save the Canning Jars, sorry about your kitty. You sure got to enjoy her for a long time, though. And she was lucky to have you.

    Anonymous Patriot

  6. several years ago i had three "big" cats and they were reallly good to corner the mouse..lousy at killing the mouse..the three of them would back the mouse into a corner and then lay there on the floor and bat the mouse with their paws from cat to cat to corner..i would literally have to go get the old bbq tongs and pick up the mouse and put it outside. i no longer have any cats..instead, i have two chinese sharpeis...they hate cats....but when a mouse hits a trap-those dogs will come and let me know about it..they don't like the stink of a dead mouse either. caryn in n.e.mississippi

  7. Well, looks like A. McSp has the perfect solution: get a snake! LOL - made my day!

    Florida (and yes, I have "aluminum plywood" in the garage)

    "At one time I had a pet king snake that I'd let come and go from her tank. She was a super good mouser.

    No. I'm not normal. I'm basically a cave woman. lol

    A. McSp"

  8. oh,and I forgot to say this the last time:
    most of those "blender dogs" you so dislike (I am not a fan either) were bred to be mousers of some sort or another.
    a while ago the New York Times ran an article called "Regarding the uselessness of cats" or something like that, and it said that dogs of the terrier breeds are actually better mouse hunters than cats.
    plus, humans did not domesticate the cats; it was the other way around.
    but all cat owners already knew that :)

  9. Your right to forgo the poisons; they lead to stinky 'remodeling spree'. Traps, traps and more traps. In the words of Charles Bronson (Death Wish series) "They're like cockroaches. If you don't kill them all, what's the point?"

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  10. Ug. You have mice, we have crickets. They've invaded. They poop everywhere, keep me awake at night and generally pop out of unsuspecting corners and scare me half to death. Bring on the traps!

    Stephanie :)

  11. caulk, caulk and more caulk...and some of the foamy stuff in a can too...we had a real bad mice problem..and squirrels made a home for themselves under the floor of the bathtub and ate at the insulation...then, the house needed painting inside and out soooh...i hired professional took them two weeks just to caulk and seal but it was well worth it in the more mice or squirrels either. and nothing got exterminated with poisons, traps, or glue traps.

  12. Good God Almighty, this sounds like a death struggle. There is an electric trap that has worked very well for me. As long as them little critters are not TOO big. If they are then go to plan B an old time trap !

  13. I looked at one of the electric traps but it was advertised as painless. I want one that when the mouse touches it, it lights up like the cartoons, so I can see its skeleton.
    A dead mouse stinks fro 2-3 days, a dead rat for 5-10 days, a dead possum for 21-30 days. Use with caution!
    Our old Tom cat used to come in to the dog kennel at meal time and whip up on the young pups and make them wait to eat. When I added a young pup 11 years ago he got spanked daily by the old Tom. But he never learned. Once Hambone grew up he became one of the most committed cat killers in history.
    Lorenzo Poe

  14. Go for the traps! No rotting rodents in your walls that way. Also the rat poison is dangerous to family pets. Pets that find a poisoned rat or mouse can eat it and end up poisoned themselves. Also if they find the poison you put out they can end up eating that too. I am pretty sure that is how we lost one of our dogs when we moved into this house. My MIL that lived here previously was big on pest poison and weed killers and I think poor Spike found a leftover Havoc she put out. The symptoms he died of fit that product. Good luck getting rid of your mice.