July 30, 2004
The Great Mouse Chronicles, part the 4th

Mice 2, Cats, 2

Well, we had another little mouse in the house last night. It was a small little grey mouse. We came home from cat-sitting for Ellen and Scott and noticed that the cats were intent on the dryer. This normally being a sign that something alive is under there, be it a spider, mouse, or whatever. So, we moved all of the cats and started to try and catch the little guy (or gal, as the case may be).

Well, in short order, we'd identified that this was a younger mouse and it was under the dryer. So, we got prepared to catch him - seeing as how we're experts on this now. We had towels out to block escape routes, a yardstick to help force the mouse to where Amber could grab it, Pongo blocking the route that Skippy would use to try and catch the mouse, and so on. We also, had put Garrison in the office and shut the door so he wouldn't interfere.

So, after adjusting the dryer around, lifting it, and trying almost everything we can to get to the little bastard, he comes sprinting out - at me. Mind you, at this point, I've just played soccer for two hours and have managed to completely cool down, so I'm about as stiff as a board. So, can I catch him? No, I was the lifting the dryer guy, so I don't even have a towel (you want to catch them in a towel, not with your hands so you don't get bitten). So, very similar to Amber's experience, I now have a mouse running down my leg. Very light touch, somewhat ticklish - get a feather, or some very flexible thing such as this, run it down your leg, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

So, uber-mouse decides to head to the linen closet. No problem - he can't get out of there, so we're safe.

Or so we thought. He somehow disappears in the closet and we can't find him - even though we empty the thing. So, now we figure he's in the wall and relatively safe. HAHAHAHA.

As I'm trying to eat dinner, the mouse is at it again. This time he's behind the bookshelves from the earlier Chronicles. We get the same set up, but no luck catching him. He's just too feisty. And then, he makes a break for open space - and Garrison. Garrison dives, the mouse disappears. We pry open his mouth and no mouse. Hmmm... That was a quick swallow - or was it. I pick him up, and the mouse had been trapped under his front paws. Mousey goes sprinting down the wall, the other cats are oblivious, and he disappears under the fridge.

Well, we decide to leave him there and catch him later. This will prove to be an ominious decision - for the mouse, at least.

So, after a good nights sleep, I come out and see some spots of blood on the floor. No real big deal- there must've been a kitty fight that I slept through - which happens frequently. Then, upon further inspection, I see a little grey thing. In the morning light, it looks like a clump of mud from my cleats, however, it's a bit to even of a shape for that. I get down and notice the shape has eyes. This time, they left the entire head instead of part of it. Guess the mouse wasn't content to stay safe under the fridge...

And, if you remember from the last post, we'd found one of the entrances? Well, we found another. And this time I've been threatened within an inch of my life if I don't block it up...

Posted by ron at July 30, 2004 08:34 AM

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I have had a mouse living in my house for about 2 months now. I am very SQUEEMISH about this situation. He was living behind my refrigerator, but has since left and is currently in my bathroom in my master bedroom (of all places!) I love animals and would not kill hardly a flea and I don't want to kill this creature, but I don't know how to trap him without hurting him and safely placing him OUTDOORS!I'm getting a little paranoid about this mouse! Any suggestions, tips, etc. would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

Posted by: Tina on August 8, 2004 06:37 PM

There are a couple of methods that are non-lethal that you might want to use:

1 - The Tin Cat - this is a non-lethal metal trap that you can bait with anything you please. Amber's had success with peanut butter, but cheese or anything fragrant will probably work. To get the most use, I'd bait it and leave it against a wall that you believe the mouse runs along. Make sure you don't leave for a weekend or something like that and leave the trap out, but other than that, you can't hurt the little guy in any way. Once s/he's caught, take it outside and release it.

2 - You can try to catch it by hand. To do that, you need to corner the little bugger and then have a method that'll allow you actually catch it. We've found that towels work quite well for this - you just use the towel as a glove and catch him. As I'm sure you've gathered from our posts, they are rather difficult to catch this way, but it is possible. Again, once you've caught it, take it outside and release it.

Word to the wise on this, assuming you don't want a new mouse in the house - find and block their entry points. This may be difficult to do, not sure. Check all of the baseboards, especially the corners and the like, for little cracks or holes that they may come through. Note that these holes can be as small as one square inch. Steel wool works rather well as a blocking device. Now - Ellen advocates finding the interior holes, putting some mothballs in them, then sealing them with steel wool. After a few days, you then seal the exterior hole as well. The mothballs smell should drive them out of the house.

So - hope this helps.

Posted by: Ron on August 9, 2004 06:42 AM
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