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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Has the Cirque du Mousie moved on?

I doubt it.

On Tuesday, I left work early to stop at Fleet Farm and buy poison (yes, I gave in) and more traps, including a "mouse attractant".

I set them out the moment I got home, even though the 2 remaining sticky traps were still empty. I had a couple of pet-resistant bait stations which I placed along the baseboards. I told one of my neighbors (whom I know have a cat) that I had put poison out, so FYI, and explained what it was (as in..not pellets). They seemed disinterested and remain so.

As I cooked dinner, my doorbell rang.

I answered it, and there stood the little neighbor boy who lives in the townhome with the garage that seems to be the "mouse source".  He excitedly told me that their cat caught a mouse and that they could let their cat into my garage. I told him that I had just put poison out and didn't want to risk his cat getting into it. He asked a few confusing things I had a hard time understanding. He asked to "see it".  No, honey, it's nasty stuff. I told him I had caught 4 mice; he wanted to see them.  No, honey, they carry diseases and I threw them away. He wanted to see the traps.  No, honey, let's leave them alone.

Finally, as he seemed so persistent, trying to figure out what he was REALLY asking, I inquired, "Do you need traps?"


"OK, hold on a minute, I have some extra!"

I gave him a few cheap wooden  traps that I had purchased in order to have extras - the one-time use wooden ones.  I told him that his mom or dad could put peanut butter on it to attract the mice. He told me, with a big smile, that cheese is better. I told him cheese is good, too, but I've had a lot of luck with peanut butter.  As he ran off, still beaming, he said, "I'm going to have a lot of luck with cheese!"

I returned to the kitchen. Two minutes later, the doorbell rang again. I answered the door, and there stood his mother, holding the package of traps. (This is the first time I've seen the woman so I'm glad to have met her finally!).  She handed them over, explained they are fine, and also that her son is autistic and had a hard time communicating.

I learned they have 3 cats, he told her of the poison I put out and she, of course concerned, wanted to come speak with me and offer to let her cats run around my garage and maybe find the nest.

I explained that I believed the mice were coming from her garage, but running throughout our 4 linked garages so of course I didn't know where the nest was.

We had a wonderful conversation, actually. Both of her sons are autistic, and as we spoke, the youngest of the two romped around in the yard with my dog. She was thrilled, of course and said that the play time was tiring her son out!

But, well, anyway....

As of today, none of my new traps have been triggered. I did pick up the bait stations and put them away; I don't believe any of the mice found either of them before I did so. They're still in the garage, but on top of something I don't believe the mice will easily find, and back in their packaging. If the cats are going after the mice, well...I prefer their very natural intervention! This lady has 3 natural-born hunters who LOVE to hunt!

An article on a local news source today said that the mouse population is up in MN, and more people than ever before are out purchasing traps and the like.

I'd like to be positive here and think maybe the mice are gone, I know of 5 mice caught. 3 were babies, one was a mother, the other half-grown.  The cats may have caught more and perhaps decided to hoard them versus offering them as "gifts" to their human families.  (That's the down side of using cats to control mice in an urban setting - they might just eat the entire thing and leave no evidence of the catch!).

I don't think the mice are gone. They are smart creatures and perhaps have simply found my garage to be an unwelcoming habitat, so perhaps they are avoiding it or have shifted their pathway through it.  I have set traps in alternative locations in hopes that if that's where they are, they will stop to have a lick at the black goopy "mouse attractant" and lose their heads and reproductive abilities in the process.

In the meantime, while I deal with this problem, I have resolved not to watch any mousie movies such as "The Littles" or the movie about the mouse family that is moving to "the lee of the stone". (What is that classic called?????).   I don't need an attack of conscience right now. Especially considering the out-of-control mouse population due to a longer breeding season this year.


I don't want to kill any creatures, especially if I can't grill them in a nice marinade.

Mice are useless kills although there is one benefit; at least, as long as we work to control their population, maybe we won't die from the Black Plague.


Deltaflute said...

the secret of NIHM I think is what you mean. It's about rats and mice. not cool about your mouse invasion.

Adoro said...

Deltaflute ~ YES! That is it! The Secret of NIHM! Thanks!

I wish all mice were cartoon characters I would want to have as friends.

Larry Denninger said...

I guess you won't be watching "An American Tail" either, huh? :-)

Rae said...

Or Cinderella? I would suggest watching movies with evil mice in them. Like The Nutcracker.

Sal said...

Or a nice History Channel doc about the Plague. Or Hanta virus.
That'll strengthen your resolve okay.