It’s me or the mouse

There is a mouse in my cupboard and so far, he’s smarter than Husband, me and even Django the dog.

It’s not the first time this has happened.  Our house is in what they call the rural suburbs.  Lots of trees.  A river just a few houses away.  Suburban American lawns. 

Normally my friends don’t go around bragging they have a mouse (or more likely mice) in their houses.  Mice don’t do much for real estate values.  It isn’t a great topic at the fourth of July bar-b-que. But the fact is, there are mice in Guilford. They are in my house and in other houses in my neighborhood.

How do I know?  We are lucky to have a 90-year-old hometown hardware store that specializes in the interests of the 22,000 people who live in Guilford Connecticut.  Page’s Hardware has a bead-eye view of what Guilford residents need to live a comfortable pest-free life in a small shoreline Connecticut town.  Based on the amount of shelf space dedicated to mouse, rat, and other rodent entrapment, there are a lot of mice living in a lot of houses in Guilford.

And since we are just 20 minutes from Yale University, I have concluded our mice are very smart and well educated. What happens is they have figured out how to eat the peanut butter bait without springing the trap.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Every time we detect a new mouse in our kitchen cupboards, Husband and I have the same conversation. 

“Let’s get out the mothballs,” he says. That’s always his first recommendation. I guess I have a mouse-like sense of smell because mothballs trapped in a kitchen cupboard for a month smell so rank, so powerful that I have to run from my kitchen holding my nose and swearing I will not cook dinner until the smell goes away. 

Husband for some reason has a nose impervious to mothballs.  Perhaps it is a genetic thing and Husband evolved from a cat.  Anyway, I end up being the one reaching into the mouse-infested, mothball-smelling cupboard. I have to get every single ball, or the kitchen smells like an old fart’s home. (Apologies to the old farts reading this.)

Then Husband and I have the second conversation.  “Let’s poison the damn thing,” says I. Arsenic, cyanide. I’m open to any poison that works because I really hate mice. I just want to be sure Django the dog lives a poison-free life.  Even better, I don’t want to look at the dead mouse.  D-Con Mouse poison has the tagline “Set it and forget it.”  That means we can put it in the cupboard and never think about the mouse again. 

“We can’t do that,” says Husband. We have hawks that are using our yard as a hunting ground. We don’t want to start playing with the ecology of our yard. Besides, the Hawks take care of the voles and if you want tulips next year, that’s really important.

I admit that if it were me making the decision, poison it would be. My love for animals and the ecology of our yard does not extend to mice.

Then I remembered the sure-fire mouse trap on YouTube.  Mouse Man Shawn Woods has 1.5 million subscribers watching mice do what they can to defy the 500+ mouse contraptions he has devised, set, and videotaped for his admiring fans.

Here is an updated version of the video I watched about five years ago. The original was taken down by YouTube. Too violent. In this redo video, Shawn caught 26 mice, using a roller, a ramp, and a bucket. No need for a Trigger Warning. In this video, he used his pet mice to show how the contraption works and it appears that no mice were injured in the making of the video.

After watching the video a couple of times I am convinced that Shawn’s novel technique works well, particularly if your mouse has recently given birth and multiplied into many mice.

As good as it might be, the idea of waking up in the morning to a bucket full of mice in my pots and pans cabinet is more than I can handle at 6 am.

So that brings us back to what we always do when we have a mouse.  We use a snap trap.  Like the one that caught Sylvester the cat in this old Loony Tunes video.

My favorite trap is as low-tech as it gets. Plastic in my humble opinion is too advanced for our Yale-educated mice. I have yet to catch a mouse in a wooden trap with a plastic tongue.

Sometimes, it takes a few tries with the wooden trap because the critters figure out how to evade the snap and still eat the peanut butter. Sooner or later though, we win.

It’s still nasty. If I see a dead mouse I yell, jump up and down, and get Husband to flush it down the toilet.  I wish at age 70 I was more mature about such things.  I’m not. 

But at least for another year, or so, my kitchen is mouse free. That’s a good thing.


    • FYI. A FB friend wrote this. Had no idea. I guess this is what Husband was tslkimg about when he worried about the hawks.

      Please do not get sticky traps. They are incredibly inhumane. Poison can cause neurological harm or even death in hawks and other animals who may eat the mouse. Quick and dirty snap traps are the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, I agree. Fortunately, we’ve only had mice once. It happened a few years back when I was working on a craft project in the garage, and I left the door open unattended. We were kind of freaked out as there were several! From then on, I always closed the garage door and no more mice. However, going forward, if we ever do have the issue again, we’ll go with the quick and dirty.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I use the snap traps. They’re instant (ie. humane), effective, and I can find places to put them where the dogs can’t reach.
    Our mice seem to come down first to the airing cupboard from the loft (we’re the end of a terrace) so I put traps down in the airing cupboard and around November I sometimes find a mouse in there. The next place I go for is the cupboard under the stairs, where they seem to find a way in. At least in this house the floors are concrete.
    The Edwardian semi where my family was raised had a cellar and space under the floorboards, which was impossible to police. I settled for lining the pantry with chicken wire to stop them coming up there and watching the skirting boards and fireplaces for new holes.
    I tried a kind of poison that was claimed to be safe for dogs and other animals, who would throw it up if eaten. apparently rodents can’t vomit. It killed rats and mice by expanding inside them, so they couldn’t drink and dehydrated in their nest. It seemed a great idea, but the rodents didn’t like the stuff and it sat there untouched.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 30 years ago I used some kind of poison that made mice thirsty. They died in either the dog’s water bowl or the walls. Yuch. This is a good example of lowtech being best for the envitorment and for the mice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That blue poison makes them thirsty, and they die nastily. We stopped using that when they chewed through an underground hose that fed the shower room in the garage when they were looking for water, and flooded it.


  3. We had mice in our home in northern New York. My husband got so mad on day he tried to shot them with a BB gun! In the kitchen! I was not aware and walked in to see what the fuss was about…and was almost hit in the cross fire. Needless to say- all BB guns mysteriously disappeared that night never to return

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I accidentally discovered the bucket drowning thing one winter. We stored some snow melt in a five gallon bucket in our garage and it became liquid over the summer. Somehow we ended up leaning a piece of wood against the bucket, I have no idea why. The mice used that piece of wood as a ramp to reach what they thought was water. Unfortunately, they died from drinking the melted ice melt chemicals. It was very horrible to find them the following spring, a mom and her entire litter. Yes, I hate (fear) mice, but I felt terribly guilty about that incident. I think the old fashioned traps are most humane, but don’t ask me to discard the dead mouse. I simply can’t. I’m chicken.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had a horrid experience with a mouse when I was a young teenager. I was babysitting at an older home. I saw a mouse run past a doorway near me a couple of times. I stood up and the next time I saw it, I stamped my feet, hoping it would retreat to another room. The mouse charged at me and ran up my pant leg! To this day I remember exactly what that felt like. In the early years of my nursing career, a young fellow who lived in our neighbouring town died from Hanta Virus after shoveling out a grain bin that had deer mice. I’ve hated mice ever since both of these incidents and frankly, Scarlet – I don’t care how you get rid of them, as long as they’re gone and nowhere near me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We live in a similar environment and have also found snap traps to be the best. We need to refresh our snap traps though, one of those arrogant fuzznuts pooped in my coffee cup on the counter! (It was empty and I saw it before I poured by coffee in, but still!)


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