Mouse Party!

Under the kitchen sink there is a cupboard where the dusters and cleaning products belong. It’s also where the magical ever-lasting can of furniture polish lives (even though I use the can at least twice a year it never seems to empty for some reason). Anyway, it was in this cupboard that I discovered a path of confetti made from lots of chewed scouring pads, dishwasher tablets and plastic bottles. All the evidence pointed towards a late night Mouse Party.
Now whilst most normal people are hard wired to think “dirty, smelly little vermin” I automatically conjures up Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca from the Tales of Beatrix Potter! If you don’t know the story it’s about two bad mice who wreaked havoc on a beautiful doll’s house and completely vandalised it. And they look so adorable!!!


Back to reality – I know that mice are dirty, disease carrying pests and need to be dealt with swiftly but the idea of poisons and violent traps do not sit easily with me… so as my poor, exasperated husband looked on with despair (not for the first time unfortunately) as I came up with Plan A:
1. Block as as many  holes as possible in which mice could fit through. In such an old house their seems to be more holes than skirting boards! As they can apparently squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil I’m not holding my breath with this one.
2. Remove available food sources, make sure there are no crumbs anywhere and put the rubbish in a lockable bin. There’s no combination lock yet but that’s not to say it won’t happen ;-)
3. Put up a sign in the party cupboard to tell the mice to keep out. It worked for the rabbits but I’m not sure if mice can read?? If they can read, but persist anyway, they will realise that an eviction notice has been served.
4. Peppermint oil to be sprinkled around the perimeter. The house smells like toothpaste but it’s better than the fusty smell of mouse!
5. The humane traps are waiting in the wings.
6. If the above doesn’t work then my Evil Husband (cue villainous laughter… mwaa, haa, hhaa!) will implement Plan B which I’m sure most of you sensible guys would actually use as Plan A!!!.
Don’t shout at me, I know that I need to toughen up and change the cute and fluffy pictures in my head to something a little scarier…. how about the scary Vampire Mouse below??

By the way, another option that came up in Plan A and Plan B was getting a cat. Up until a couple of years ago we’d always had cats and never seemed to have a mouse problem. Our  little cat died a couple of years ago and neither of us wanted to rush out and get another one as it was all too sad. The exciting news is that we’re both finally ready to have a couple of cats again (I’m currently doing my happy dance!).
I’m just a little concerned that the kittens will be cornered by a Vampire Mouse that dwells behind the kitchen sink!! Maybe I need to scrub that image too…………

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53 thoughts on “Mouse Party!

  1. Good to hear that you’re ready to get a cat again – just don’t rely on it as effective mouse control. When our cats were younger they would catch mice, bring them home, drop them on the floor and look up waiting for us to praise their amazing hunting skills while the unharmed mouse scampered off behind the nearest bookcase! Meantime, good luck with plan A!

    • Our last cat was a great mouser and also brought them in from outdoors. She also once managed to get a baby rabbit through the cat flap too (unharmed but stunned)…. I was pretty stunned too! I read somewhere that cats bring their “human babies” live mice to practice hunting skills. They must be bemused watching us scurry around with a pair of marigolds and a Tupperware box!

  2. My Dad recently moved into what we thought was a nice apartment complex. He soon found the ‘confetti’ and set traps. One night he opened the cupboard door and a large rat was chowing down! Turns out the previous tenant had a large snake – and he fed rats to it. Apparently one got away. Once it died from the bait feast, the place smelled sooo bad for about three weeks. Good luck with your critter!

    • How awful x I imagine the smell of dead rat is quite disgusting (rather like feeding live rats to a snake!). We have a fairly large space under the kitchen floor where I’m sure that they live – they scamper up to the skirting boards and exit through the kitchen at night.

  3. I have to say I also think you’ll have to ultimately go with Plan B and be a mouse party pooper. Not nice I know but I think with things like this you do have to be practical. Hope you get it all sorted! :)

    • My husband is the practical one so unfortunately it will be his job. I don’t mind them outside but the thought of mice messing over everything is awful so Plan B may have to be unwrapped.

  4. For some reason we are having a terrible time with mice this year. We have a 100 year old house with a stone foundation. Every fall they seem to seek out ways into the house. We live trap them (pacifists that we are) and “relocate” them to a vacant field in the area.
    This year they seem to be avoiding the traps and have been chewing holes in everything from granola bars to bags of cookies. We have resorted to storing vulnerable items in plastic bins. Trying to be humane (the mice mean no harm after all – they just want to get warm and eat) has definitely not been an easy path to follow.

    • Over here the excessively cold and wet year seems to have encouraged more of them indoors than usual. It’s easy to understand why they prefer to live in lovely warm homes with pantries to raid. I can understand them eating through the cookies but ours have made a hole in cleaning products and brushes… their teeth must be amazing!

  5. Delightful treatment of a weary subject. Some years the little critters explode their numbers and have no choice but to invade our territories. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could build “hotels” for them that would keep them outside?

    • Mice would love little hotels but I don’t want to encourage them.LOL! Although I’m sure we’ll have a couple in the Insect Hotel by winter ;-)
      Can you imagine how many extra rooms I’d have to find when all those babies have babies?

  6. We have the occasional one here too. All part of living in the countryside I reckon. As ours is only occasional we are not too worried. Big J made us get humane traps but we have never caught one in them yet. The cat is quite good at getting them but does also bring them in sometimes. We have had some fun evenings chasing live ones around that he has just brought in for us!! Mr P used to have one living on his narrowboat too years ago!!

  7. A cat will definitely work! When we bought our house the elderly lady who had lived here unfortunately been ill for a long time so the house was a mess and overrun with mice. So sad that she was living that way :(! I had to call an exterminator the problem was so bad. After that we got a cat and we have not seen another mouse yet! Unfortunately though the cat also scares birds from my feeders too!

    • Poor lady – it’s such a shame when elderly people can no longer look after themselves or their homes properly. The bird feeders here are quite a way from the house, and the birds are so nervous that we rarely get to see them too close up. Our previous cat obviously terrorised them so much that it is now a folk story amongst the birds :-)

  8. Getting a cat would definitely help and would be lovely for you both too I’m sure. Though I agree with Patch above who says that cats often bring them in too. Hope you get it sorted.

  9. We live in the country so field mice sometimes come inside at this time of the year when it is getting colder outside. They are cute, but I allow my husband to do whatever necessary to get rid of them because they spread the dreaded Hantavirus here. Ugh. Love your posting. P. x

  10. Oh dear, it seems my eviction notice worked and a little family of Hebridean mice have moved south. You can tell if they’re ours as they have a Gaelic lilt to the squeak. Sorry, if you decide to repatriate can you send them to Shetland please.

    • I’ll interrogate them once captured… if they are from the Hebrides I’m sure they’ve just migrated south for the WInter so the idea of sending them to the Shetlands seems a little harsh.
      You certainly make me smile :-)

      • OK, you can give them asylum and refugee status, but I don’t want them back before Easter.
        I’m just grumpy because the moths have been promiscuous in the jumper cupboard and fed their offspring on pure cashmere.
        Off to count geese this morning and will try to be tolerant of the amount of my grass they’re eating.
        It is enough to try the patience of a Zen Buddhist monk!

  11. Currently having a similar experience, though our little guests aren’t “within” the house, but they’re tap-dancing in hobnail boots in the attic and behind the plasterboard. Their current favourite activity is loosening the old lime render from the cobble wall, behind the plasterboard in our bedroom, right behind the bed head.
    Lack of sleep has meant that we’ve gone straight to plan b. :/
    I’ve never heard of the peppermint oil, might have to try that one around the studio outside. I dread to think what they’re up to in that attic.
    Hope you get them sorted though, one way or another.

    • Ooh – I wouldn’t like them scratching about behind my bed! I can’t say I blame you for implementing Plan B early.
      Gardeners of old used to plant peppermint plants outside the doors to deter rodents but essential oil seems to do the trick too – although strangely it seems more effective outdoors!

  12. You and I are cut of the same cloth, PJ. I don’t like killing anything either, and I especially loathe the cruelty of traps. Even exterminators will tell you that the best line of defense in blocking access where possible. We did that with spray in foam when the rats were coming in under the sink. It worked!

    We have several cats, but like your others on this post, our cats like to bring rodents home, in our case rats, unharmed. I spent an hour coaxing one out of the house. It was quite the experience. We finally learned to close the cat flap at dusk since the rats are nocturnal and have not had one indoors since then.

    That said, I’m so excited to hear you are getting a pair of kitties. They are such good company for each other when you are away, and great companions. Enjoy!

  13. Well that’s a bad news/good news story. It will be so great to get a couple of kittens or even adopt a mature cat that is in need of a forever home. I could never kill them either but we had a very proficient kitty. Have you heard of those things that distracts them from an area that put out a high pitched sound we can’t hear. I also see a House Forum on line that recommends peppermint or spearmint, apparently they are not fans. Maybe new kitties names Pepper and Minty?

    • I would be happy to adopt a mature cat but my husband has his heart set on kittens. All of our previous cats were brought up from kittens and I don’t think he wants to risk having a psychopathic moggy!
      I looked at the ultrasonic devices but they’re really expensive and I had visions of mice running around trying to cover their little ears!
      Haha x like the names :-)

      • Hehe, PJ you’re hilarious, covering their little ears :D I’ve not heard that term ‘moggy’, but a psychopathic one sounds sketchy at best. Can’t wait to see your new kittens upon their anticipated arrival. xo

  14. Oh dear problems problems. What to do. We haven’t had any mice in the house for a while now, we used to hear them scratching about in the loft. Once when we had a dog we found a stash of dog biscuits that a mouse had carried off and his under the bureau. Enterprising little things!

  15. So strange to wake up to this post- I dreamt of a mouse last night. I hate getting mice and had a problem with them last year and earlier this fall. Another tip is to take up any pet food or water sources.

  16. I so understand the whole “too sad” feeling about losing a cat. I lost both of mine in 2005 and 2006 and refused to replace them. God had other ideas and gifted me with two hobo cats in January and February of this year but I don’t allow them to live indoors as the previous two cats. I’m hoping I won’t get as attached.

    • They certainly leave big furry footprints on your heart and it has taken us a lot longer than I imagined to be ready for more! As you can imagine… if I’m overly sentimental about mice then there’s no hope for the cats :-)

  17. I loved reading through all of the comments! So many different views about the mice. Our kitty doesn’t take care of the mice once they make their way inside, but I think she keeps the numbers down. I love having a cat (we’re new cat people). Just adds another dimension into our chaotic household! Good luck with clearing out the mice :-)

  18. Oh I have one of those cans of furniture polish too !! :)
    And I love the Beatrice Potter pic – I grew up on those, I’m sure I have a warped sense of the animal world becasue of them and the characters from Toad Hall !
    So you have a plan C – C for Cat. I miss our cat, and like you we have held back on getting pets again, life is busy and messy and complicated, but one day, one day…..

  19. This is such a cute post! I have a mouse living in my garden shed, it chews through what I thought were indestructible containers and eat my bird food! I caught a glimpse of ‘little mousey’ not long ago though and it was adorable! So now I just buy extra bird food as there’s no way I can block all the holes in my shed, it’s on its last legs! Hope Plan A works out for you!

  20. We had a ton of mice last winter and ended up using traps to capture them. Our dogs could have cared less about them. Mice are only cute until they start pooping all over your stuff. Then they’ve got to go! I’m so glad you’re getting cats!

  21. I emptied a mouse trap all by myself yesterday without screaming, for the first time ever! I hate hearing them in the walls working on their nest while I am trying to sleep!! still more to catch for me.

  22. I’m with you. I’d like to envision these little creatures as cute little characters out of a Beatrix Potter book, but I know they are more like the vampire mouse. I have found they have been staying with us too. We have tried peppermint oil (worked short term but found another point of entry), mouse traps (worked until they figured out that bad things happened to their little friends that greedily honed in on all of the peanut butter or cheese we offered at the free food giveaway), poison (worked but you never know where you’re going to find their decaying bodies) – I know gross! Bottom line – Cats are probably the best solution. So, please post a picture of your new kitty when you get it :)

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