We live in the country. There are beautiful fields and pastures all around us. It’s fantastic. But, there seems to be one major drawback to all this open space and beauty. There are field mice. And all the field mice seem to be looking for nice, warm homes for the winter. Sometimes I find myself repeating the old nursery rhyme – with a slight change, “Hickory, dickory dock. These mice are running amok.”
We have mice. I’m not a terrible housekeeper. Honestly, there are times things get out of balance. But the house usually looks in pretty good shape before my husband and I go to bed. We make sure the floor is swept, the food is kept in the kitchen and the dishes are done before we retire for the evening. Yet, we still have mice. Our neighbors have mice, and their neighbors have mice. It doesn’t matter how immaculately the house is kept, the mice love to find warm human homes to live in.
We’ve put all our food into plastic bins. It looks like we’re moving again, and it makes cooking a bit more of a chore, but it’s better than having the mice eat holes through our cereal and oatmeal. Before I put the food in the boxes, I had to throw away more than $30 in cereal. We’ve had to throw out plastic utensils, paper napkins, and paper plates. The mice in the garage have been bold enough to fight and scurry around in front of me, in the middle of the day.
We got two cats from a friend of ours, at the suggestion of our landlords. The cats seem to have helped the mice in the garage. And our landlords have had the exterminator over to place poison in places the mice can get it, and my children can’t. That also seems to help with the mice issues, too. But we seem to have a few really smart mice living inside our house.
They are really smart. They have eaten the cheese off of the traps. They’ve pushed the traps out of the way, and basically made me crazy with trying to figure out how to get rid of them. I feel that I am out witted in this battle. It’s humbling to feel like I’m being bested by these smallest of mammals. I spent the better part of my morning cleaning out drawers – which contain no food stuffs – throwing lots of things away, and setting traps in all of the drawers, because the mice are using the drawers as a thoroughfare.
Ironically, as I was writing my whine-fest about the mice, one scampered out from its hiding hole under the radiator. It stopped in the middle of the floor and I think it was trying to look like a rock. My kids and I were all around it. I thought it might be dead, or poisoned, so I didn’t want our cats to get it. It stayed still long enough for one of my children to fetch a plastic container. We put the container over the mouse, slid paper under the mouse, tipped it over, and put the lid on the container.
Now, thought I, what am I going to do with it? My fourth grader wanted me to let it go outside. My second grader wanted to keep it as a pet. My Kindergartener wanted to look at it. And my preschooler thought it would be great to add it to the hamster cages. I wasn’t a fan of killing, but I didn’t know what to do.
So, I set the container outside and waited for my husband to come home. He IS the one in charge pest removal. He was home early, and quickly took care of the mouse. My hero!
Anyone out there have any other ideas to combat these mice? I’d really love to hear the suggestions. Let me know in the comments below.