Monday, April 29, 2024

A tapping in the night

Back at Christmas time, if you recall, Older Daughter surprised us with a culinary treat correlating with George C. Scott's "A Christmas Carol." (See this post to see what I'm talking about.)

As part of that fun gift to us, she included some chocolate coins ("half a crown") to represent the pay Scrooge gave the boy at the end of the story for fetching the poulterer on the next street over.

There were about six coins left over, and for the longest time these chocolate coins were simply stacked on top a little shelving unit in the kitchen.

Every so often a coin would disappear, but I didn't think anything of us. Doubtless someone simply enjoyed one as a treat.

Well, a couple weeks ago, I woke up in the very early morning to hear a persistent tap tap tappity tap. It was loud enough to wake me out of a sound sleep. It certainly didn't sound like anything Mr. Darcy was doing. What could be making the noise?

I got up, got dressed, and went to investigate. And what did I see?

I saw a mouse dragging one of the chocolate coins under the burners of our stove top. The cheeky little bugger kept getting the coin stuck and was banging it around, trying to get it loose. So that's where our chocolate coins were going!

This was just the latest proof of an indisputable fact: we had mice.

It's not that we didn't try getting rid of them. I tried a nontoxic folk remedy that was supposed to kill mice (baking soda mixed with cornstarch). It didn't work.

Then I put out poison. This didn't work either.

So finally we fetched all the mousetraps from the barn, and Don baited them and put them all over the place, especially in the pantry.

We caught the first mouse within five minutes.

And then we caught another within half an hour.

And another.

And another.

And another.

And another.

And another.

Seven mice in the span of twelve hours. After that, we caught no more mice ... for a week. Then yesterday, we caught one more. Eight mice.

Interestingly, Don dropped the dead mice off the edge of our porch to the ground below, and by the next day they were all gone.

Apparently the mice were manna from heaven for some animal.

I can't guarantee it, but I certainly hope that's the last of the mice.Today and tomorrow I'm giving the kitchen a deep clean. Meanwhile, those traps will stay set.


  1. They found a hole somewhere, we had the same problem. We found spray foam with mouse deterrent ! it worked ..

  2. We've had rats for a while (coming through the doggie door, SIGH) but they finally seem to be gone. Poison bait stations did the trick. Snap traps work great but with two puppies in the house, and given how enormous rat traps are, I didn't want to chance it. I felt a little guilty--they're just animals wanting food and warmth, not malicious--but I cannot have rats in the house.

  3. I had good results blending a cup of oats in a blender. Then in an old container mixing the oats with an equal part of dry plaster of Paris. But those were city mice - their country cousins might be more hardy.
    SJ now on California

  4. We used the water in the bucket thing with a water bottle across the top. Peanut butter is smeared on the bottle along with a stick that goes to the top of the bucket. (all over YouTube for directions). We have this in the basement and occasionally we get one, at first we got about 10. Note, mice pee as they go, then as they are scurrying their tail leaves the scent. I never move the stick on the bucket so that others will follow. Works like a charm.

  5. Patrice, did I see cheese on those mouse traps? I found sometimes they will manage to get the cheese off the mouse trap. I like putting peanut butter on them.
    Debbie in MA

  6. "Every so often a coin would disappear, but I didn't think anything of us. Doubtless someone simply enjoyed one as a treat."

    That's hilarious.

    Mister Mouse probably figured "Well, if they aren't going to eat them, I might as well...".

  7. Debs in Central TexasApril 29, 2024 at 7:56 PM

    We are battling savvy mice - the first one absconded with the bait. Next time, I tied the bait on. Caught one mouse, the bait was gone again. Hmm... there's always more than one mouse. Tied more bait on, the little bugger worked it out leaving the string still securely tied, but the bait, a small chunk of pork, was gone. That mousetrap obviously not performing well. So, I threw it away and used another, putting a tiny bit of cheese inside the curl of the bait plate, and used a toothpick to drizzle bacon grease over it. Voila' - One young male mouse. I'll be setting it again tonight.

  8. Don't I remember that Frumpkin was an excellent mouser?

    1. He is, but he's also confined to Older Daughter's side of the house where the mice fear to tread, for obvious reasons.

      - Patrice

  9. You have chickens, right? I give the chickens the dead mice I take out of the traps, they love them.

  10. I leave my traps out all the time so that the "scout" doesn't live to tell the tale of his finds. That alone has cut down on our infestation. I think we're down to about one a year. And our old Victorian house is quite porous.

  11. We had the same mouse problem but they were stealing the dog food. Finally put out -still in the box- Irish Spring soap - the original scent. Apparently they don't like the smell. Dog food and my sanity ☺ safe!

  12. Has anyone had success with mouse repellant? I found a dead mouse in my bedroom last year, put out poison and far, so good.

  13. Yikes! I was house invaded several years ago. I went from nothing to "Par-TEE...Par-TEE". I called a pest company, signed up, and nothing ever since. And my dogs are safe. I hate rodents and snakes with a passion! Too bad I can't get rid of rattlers so easy. YUCK!