Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Never Say Never, Especially About Mice

Just last week I told a neighbor that we never have mice in the house since the cat came into our lives. We do have mice in the yard, shed and garage. Not as bad as when we first moved here and the pasture behind us was only mowed once in the fall, which triggered mini mouse stampedes.

All that ended when houses were built on the land behind us, but in the last few months, another nearby section was sold. It was a piece of land that hadn't been touched by development or agriculture since we've lived here, if ever. But after they started clearing trees, the homeless mice, coyotes, and at least one bobcat began relocating.

A few days ago I started hearing noises in the house when it was quiet. At first I thought it was Hubby rattling papers in another room. I hoped it was Hubby rattling papers in another room. But he denied doing it, and since I walked into the bedroom after I heard it to find him sound asleep, I think he might be telling the truth.


Last night I couldn't get to sleep. I did everything I usually do to try to get to sleep, and finally I just lay awake thinking, and listening. And I heard it again. The sound of rustling paper and plastic. It was coming from the kitchen. As wide awake as I was then, it was cold outside the covers, and I was snuggled down into my blankets. And safety.

Or was it safe? I didn't know what it was, a mouse, maybe a rat, or maybe something even bigger, like a weasel. And maybe it would leave the kitchen and come into the bedroom, waiting to jump onto the bed as soon as I fell asleep. I heaved a big sigh, threw the covers back, and felt for my slippers with my toes - bouncing them a few times to make sure there wasn't a mouse inside them.

Stealthily, I crept down the hall so I could surprise the creature to see what it was, but I had forgotten about the motion detector night light in the hall. Well, so much for stealth. It was quiet as, well, quiet as a church mouse when I walked into the kitchen. I flipped on the light and nothing moved. I put up a few things that had been left out, checking for teeny tooth marks first. I found a package of sticky trap things for mice, so I placed one by the trash can and one in the water heater closet. Then I went back to bed fully expecting to hear a squeaky mouse scream and the sound of the trap being dragged across the floor. But there was nothing.

Now I was beyond wide awake. I was awake, nerves on edge, and cold. I curled up into a comfortable position and tried to convince myself that it was just trash in the trash can, something heavy that shifted with gravity, and then shifted a few more times. I tried to think sleepy thoughts but it was no use. I wondered if I could trap the little varmit with the sheet before it skittered up my leg. I drew the blankets closer around me and tried to convince myself that Hubby was now an easier target for a marauding mouse.

Then I heard rustling that sounded like it was coming from my bathroom. I rolled onto my back so I could hear with both ears. Yep, coming from the bathroom. I eased the covers back and crept into the dark bathroom. The noise continued; it was in the wall. Or the ceiling, it was hard to tell. Somewhere above me. Then silence. I think the silence was worse than the rustling noise. At least I knew where it was when I heard rustling.

By then, Hubby was awake, and not happy. Not happy with me; it had nothing to do with the mouse, or rat, or whatever it was. He couldn't hear the rustling even with both of his ears off the pillow. All he could hear was me sitting up to listen, me throwing the covers back, me tapping my slippers on the floor, and me making noise in the kitchen. Now we were both wide awake, so we discussed the noise. Or I discussed. Hubby listened for a few minutes, said it was probably a mouse, and then rolled over and started snoring within minutes.

I glanced at the clock, 3:30. In two hours Hubby would get up. Should I stay awake or try to go to sleep? If I went to sleep, there was no way I was going to be able to wake up when my alarm went off at 6:45. While I was trying to decide whether to sleep or stay awake, I must have fallen asleep. The next thing I knew, Hubby was up and shouting from the kitchen that he got one. Turns out, he had heard rustling in the trash can and saw the mouse trying to climb out. He shook the trash can so it fell in again, and he closed the bag and hauled it off.

One down, how many more to go? They can probably do anything they want tonight. I'm so tired I think I'll be able to sleep through a bobcat fight in the kitchen. But I went to the store today and bought real traps. It's either that, or let Buddy spend the night inside the house on mouse patrol. And I think that would keep me awake. Especially if he brought it to us in the middle of the night, trying to meow his triumph with a mouth full of wriggling mouse.

Think good thoughts if you have a moment, for us, not the mice.



Photobucket

14 comments:

thea said...

we had mice before we had cats .. now we have fleas.

Claire said...

Ahhhh, the visitations of mice...
Our Molly-cat is quite a mouser, but last year we had more than she could catch, and had to resort to traps *yuck*
I hope you are soon mouse-free again :) x

Michelle said...

We just had one in our garage. I was scared to death. I wouldn't even go out and take the recyclables, because I thought he might be in the container and jump out while I put stuff in. We were putting poison out, and the poison disappeared. I was nervous...on edge (oh gee, a pun..you'll read in a second). Saturday, we were going to go see my brother, and we got in our Edge (see? hee hee), and there was green mouse poop on the dash OF THE CAR! Check out my blog for the rest of the story!

Kate said...

Oh so not fun. Hope you get them all, quickly!

Nancy said...

I've dealt with more than my fair share of mice. A spring trap with peanut butter smeared on it lead to success.

P. said...

Hope the traps do the trick! Otherwise, let Buddy have a crack at it.

Grandma K said...

Good luck! We have had problems (like a couple of months ago) with mice and "roof rats" that the squirrles are nice enough to provide access to our attic, and we don't even have a big empty field close by. We do, however, have a bayou about three blocks away. Now at the ranch - that's a whole different story. With the house elevated 18 inches ... Well, you can guess. It's a never ending battle. Ugh.

Marti said...

Yuck! I think about that too. Luckily, Buddy hasn't had a problem with fleas. I put a flea collar on him when he's been hanging around other cats or catching a lot of mice though.

We had fleas really bad in the shed when we first moved here and the only thing I can think that brought them in was mice. Once we got rid of those fleas, we haven't had another problem.

Marti said...

The traps were still empty this morning, so maybe that was a loner. Did you use traps like these? They don't seem to have a hair trigger on them like the old type.

Marti said...

I read that! Sounds verrry familiar. ;)

Marti said...

So far, so good. I'm going to focus on the hope that one was it because Hubby isn't going to be able to dispose of any more today and I'd have to do it.

Marti said...

That's what this one is. That yellow tab has a bunch of holes that make it easy to spread peanut button in them, without a lot of excess. We used to use cheese on the old type traps, but it dried out too fast and was easy for the mice to lift off.

Marti said...

He would love that! But since he isn't declawed and I can't seem to break him of scratching on any and everything, I guess we'll have to deal with this on our own. So far, no more signs of mouse.

Marti said...

Hubby always has problems with mice and rats at the lease, but their "house" isn't built very well either. That is one advantage to a slab foundation though there are still ways for them to get in. In our case, I think it is the back storm door. There is a gap at the bottom on both sides of the weatherstripping.