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For the past week, I have been playing the role of Ramar of the Jungle. The Great Hunter. He who captures fierce, predatory animals. He who stalks at night.  He who always catches his prey in the darkness. Well, sort of anyway. Kind of. It's really not that dramatic or courageous. Or fun. Not at all. Actually, I confess, it's about the mice. And catching them. In the house. And it's not my job. No. It's supposed to be Romietta the Cat's job.

Mice:

A mouse (plural: mice) is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents, characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. This rodent is eaten by large birds such as hawks and eagles. They are known to invade homes for food and occasionally shelter.
...

Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of arthropods have been known to prey heavily upon mice. Nevertheless, because of its remarkable adaptability to almost any environment, the mouse is one of the most successful mammalian genera living on Earth today.

Yeah, successful. That means: you can hunt them 24/7 and there always appear to be more. And the more you hunt, the more you find, so the more you have to hunt. If you stopped hunting, stasis would return and they would successfully hide from you, and you could make believe that they weren't really there any more. That they had left. Well, at least so long as you managed to overlook the occasional small, black, hardly noticeable turd.

The hunting began after Romietta the cat decided to start a catch and release program in the house. She'd catch small wild, furry things in the fields and bring them home. Then if she didn't eat them, or if they escaped her clutches while she toyed with them, and it was hard for her to recapture them, she would lose interest. And they would remain in the house. Until she caught them again. Or until they left on their own. Or, worst of all, they would just stay. I've told this story before about how Romietta has been building a food pantry in the walls of my dwelling with her catch and release program. And how this is a betrayal. She is a cat and cats are supposed to keep mice from invading the house.  Obviously, she does not agree with this job description.

Last weekend, I was standing in the kitchen, and I noticed that I had an uninvited guest on the counter. A very fat, gray mouse. Evidently s/he sensed I was there, and decided immediately to scurry away, running across the counter, over the stove, and into the vent in the stove.  I was outraged. I thought seriously about turning on the oven and baking him/her into oblivion. But it was 90 degrees out, I have no air conditioning, and turning on the over was a very bad idea. My outrage, because my persona includes an action figure like Ramar of the Jungle, led directly to the hardware store, where I purchased the last remaining Havahart mouse trap. The last one in stock. Did that mean that the mice around here were on some kind of rampage?  

That's when my hunt began in earnest. The short: this morning I removed the sixth mouse from this house in six days. I took him/her across the field and released him/her. Yesterday's mouse was smaller, browner, more disheveled, and still eating the organic, crunchy peanut butter in the trap as I carried it out of the house and into the field. Today's mouse was gray and round and quite content to sit in the trap and ogle me.  Was s/he saying, "Nice job, Ramar, but I'll be back. You can catch me again tomorrow, when I have returned?"

That's a problem. These mice don't have voter id.  They don't wear name tags. They don't show their papers. I have no idea whether I have caught and removed the same one more than once. Mouse number 1 looked to me a lot like mouse numbers 2 and 6.  Mouse 3 and 4 looked a lot alike. I prefer to think I have caught 6 different mice, though that thought is extremely disquieting because how can there have been 6 or more mice in my house? I prefer not to think that I am playing a very involved game with two or three mice that has led to 6 captures.

Early this morning before I came to the kitchen, I was filled with hope. I hoped that the trap  wouldn't have a mouse in it. That I had caught all 5 mice, and that the siege was now over. Then I saw that the trap had closed, and that Mouse No. 6 was sitting in it. How very disappointing. The siege is not over. It is probably far from over. Who knows when, if ever it will end?

One other thing: this morning when I let Romietta the cat in after a night she had spent hunting in the fields and not in the kitchen, I invited her over to see what was in the trap. She could not have been less interested. I showed her, "Look, kitty, look, Romi here's a nice, juicy, gray, round mouse. Would you like it? I can give it to you if you want it." She turned her back and walked away. She went upstairs to take a nap.  This is what betrayal looked like this morning.

I'm committed to completing this hunt. Really I am.I am not running a mouse preserve.  And I'm going to try to talk with Romietta again. Maybe we should go to counseling together. Obviously, our relationship isn't working the way I'd like it to.

Note: No animals were hurt in the making of this essay.

-----------
cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Originally posted to davidseth on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps, DKOMA, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And don't ask what (145+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III, pfiore8, lovespiral, Pinto Pony, ChocolateChris, allensl, Matilda, kishik, Southcoast Luna, maryabein, Wee Mama, rebereads, radarlady, CuriousBoston, Aunt Pat, VexingEyes, One Pissed Off Liberal, politik, Lily O Lady, AuntieRa, tle, Loonesta, Vatexia, Ekaterin, carver, old wobbly, pasadena beggar, ExStr8, Diane Gee, Siri, cv lurking gf, bumbi, implicate order, tapestry, Renee, psyched, weck, DreamyAJ, Portlaw, enhydra lutris, TiaRachel, Overseas, itzadryheat, jan4insight, CorinaR, Joy of Fishes, mariachi mama, geordie, SanFernandoValleyMom, Mayfly, PeterHug, revbludge, NonnyO, idbecrazyif, salmo, billlaurelMD, janislav, Spirit of Life, congenitalefty, anafreeka, DRo, Flying Goat, ReneInOregon, NYC Sophia, mumtaznepal, hoolia, Blu Gal in DE, Duncan Idaho, mod2lib, mcronan, pico, Youffraita, Susan from 29, eastvan, sailmaker, Delta Overdue, Wheever, dear occupant, bnasley, limae, Aaa T Tudeattack, Larsstephens, Jim Domenico, sockpuppet, The Pollster, Dirtandiron, x, MufsMom, Corvinus, annetteboardman, BlackSheep1, myrealname, Louisiana 1976, txcatlin, blueoasis, janmtairy, greengemini, Superskepticalman, Mentatmark, SCFrog, wozzlecat, binkycat, LinSea, crystalboy, the good witch, ban nock, crose, winglion, Pam from Calif, CherryTheTart, Dumbo, mofembot, lotlizard, Dube, kaliope, strangedemocracy, Pat K California, kestrel9000, merrily1000, ek hornbeck, xaxnar, rb608, rl en france, Only Needs a Beat, joanil, cynndara, shaharazade, markdd, RMForbes, ApatheticNoMore1966, Joieau, miscanthus, peachcreek, boilerman10, slowbutsure, ladybug53, sidnora, annan, oceanview, pittie70, riverlover, Lorikeet, drmah, FarWestGirl, Pam LaPier

    Maya the Dog thinks of all of this.

    Thanks for reading.

    Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

    by davidseth on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:07:22 AM PDT

  •  I don't think there is anything (35+ / 0-)

    harder than to try to get a pootie to do what you want it to. It just never works for me. The best I can do with mine is to try to figure out what he wants (and when) and do that. I think he has trained me well!

  •  i tip and rec because i love your writing. (22+ / 0-)

    HOWEVER, loose cats are NOT a good idea. not good for the birds, not good for the animals they catch, toy with and leave to suffer and die.

    There are approximately 86.4 million owned cats in the United States...
    An invasive species is a non-native animal that has adverse effects on the environment and ecosystem. Domestic Cats are not native to the United States, and surprisingly enough, they are in fact the most damaging of all invasive species.
    so, if your cat kills one bird, just one... and half of those 80 plus million cats kill just one bird... that's a lot of birds.

    there are those who don't believe the impact is great. but i'm thinking in these hard environmental times, do we need to push animals even further?

    •  I second this. The number of songbirds cats kill (22+ / 0-)

      annually is staggering. There is nothing worse than watching bluebirds in your own yard only to have the neighbors cat jump out from under a bush and snatch one out of the air in font of you.

      We had a big problem with mice in our store. I'm in the birding business and we sell a lot of birdseed so the place was like a magnet to mice (older building, some small cracks somewhere that they can squeeze through). I tried all the usual means of trapping, and my terriers were trying to help as well, but the final straw came when one of the dogs emerged from behind a cabinet with a sticky trap stuck to his front leg, and another one was stuck to the side of his face with a live mouse at the end. I had to cut them off him, managed to get the mouse off and release it out back, and went and adopted a rescue cat from my vets office. She caught 26 mice in the first two weeks and we have had little to no problem since. She lives at the store and is strictly indoors so any hunting instincts she needs to satisfy are focused on what she finds at night. Thankfully, she plays with them until they are dead, but doesn't eat them.

      A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

      by marleycat on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:44:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's controversial to adopt ferals but I... (9+ / 0-)

      tried to bring two in and help them "adjust". It's very hard to transform a feral cat into a housecat. I only managed completely with one (think she was originally a throw away housecat out on her own a long time). The last feral cat I adopted was inside half the time. She was locked out and adjusted to leaving the "gifts" she brought home outside before she meowed to be let in. The birds (and rabbits) adjusted to keeping away. Tiggy died last Christmas and this summer my yard and, alas, garden are full of rabbits, chipmunks etc. Birds fill the trees and hang out on the fence.  

  •  hate to tell you this... (25+ / 0-)

    the last time I went on the great hunt??

    over a dozen.

    And just when I thought they were getting smaller (as in babies who came wandering into the trap coz Mama was long gone not to return?)

    another big one.

    sigh....

    nice diary.

    :)

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:30:42 AM PDT

  •  A long time ago (early 80's) (16+ / 0-)

    we had lots of mice in our house, way beyond what our pootie could deal with.  That's when we set up traps in the cabinets, under the sinks, etc.  (These weren't the live traps, so when a mouse got caught, it went to meet its maker.)  One night, when my ex was away on one of his many trips, I heard the trap snap shut under our kitchen sink, a horrible squeal, the the noise of beer bottles recently filled and capped crashing and falling with beer gushing out onto the kitchen floor.  I finally got up enough nerve to open the cabinet door.  The trap was gone, and whatever it caught was gone too.  Next day I waved the white flag and called in an exterminator.  A couple of days and a carpenter later I didn't see another mouse in the house.

    •  You did the right thing. Mice reproduce every 60 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Only Needs a Beat

      days.They carry parasities that are dangerous to pets and humans. Even labs that buy mice from supply houses have problems with parasites. You did absolutely right.

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:45:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You could dip their tails in purple ink (35+ / 0-)

    before you release them. That way at least you'd know if it was persistent mice getting caught over and over or a horde.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 08:46:04 AM PDT

  •  I had a fabulous hunter named Tigger (22+ / 0-)

    he was an inside cat except when we went for walks together and he never toyed with the mice, just a quick clean kill and deposit them near to wherever I was. He lived to be 17.

    The day that he was dying in my arms we lay together on the futon upstairs. Dozens of mice came out of the walls and watched us, as if they knew neither of us was going to move, they knew he was passing and I would not leave his side. I had not seen a live mouse for years; they had remained in the walls.

    After his passing they came out to play and frolic everywhere. It was painful to see them and I worried about the wiring in my very old house. I was leaving for China for 5 weeks so I bought poison, something I had never done before. I returned home from my trip late on Halloween night and went dumb with jet lag to bed.

    In the morning when I awoke I discovered I'd been sleeping in a pile of poison pellets, the bed was filled with them. The mice had stored their stash, or set their trap in my futon.

    Also the next day I saw a mouse dying from the dehydration caused by the pellets. I've never used poison again, I just keep cats to manage the problem by keeping the hordes hiding in the walls.

  •  I live in an apartment building. (15+ / 0-)

    Have seen three mice in about twn years. The first ran out under the front door, was later found dead down the hallway.

    The second the cat paraded around with, then dropped the damn thing to chase it again, mouse jumped into laundry basket, I shook out clothes one by one, cat looking on with interest. Mouse ran out of apartment.

    The next one I found when I lifted up my Nikes to the bed. The mouse jumped out of one of my shoes. I picked up the sleeping cat, threw cat on floor, instructed to catch. Mouse was already five miles away. Exterminator said was stupid mouse to wander into apartment with cat.

    When living in a third floor walkup, landlord on first floor kept track of how many mice his dog caught. By updating his screensaver. He put them in a terrarium in his kids room. When the kids went to visit Mom, she took to doctor for ringworm, or some such. Explaining why I had mice in the walls, in the ceiling-along with the zillion feral cats. I bought traps, deducted from rent.

    I put the traps, mice and all, into bleach, then fished them out with gloves and double bagged them. Ringworm can put people with diabetes in the hospital.

    The number of other parasites they carry is horrid, and dangerous. I kill every one I see, if I can.

    The parasitology course I took in school showed too many horrors. The Professor was from India, a consultant at Childrens' Hospital. Pictures of parasites, humans, pets, microscope slides, the parasites themselves.

    Mice breed faster than rabbits. Pets AND humans may be very ill from parasitites caught from mice. It may be extremely difficult to DX the problem in humans or pets.

    Use traps that kill them. They are dangerous, very dangerous.

    My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

    by CuriousBoston on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:04:22 AM PDT

    •  We live in Colorado, (12+ / 0-)

      And so does Hanta Virus.  A friends teenage son died a very ugly death from Hanta virus caught through sweeping out mouse droppings in her garage.  They're cute and furry, but you just don't mess around with mice!

      •  It will spread. When someone moves, when (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Only Needs a Beat

        someone goes on vacation. When some idiot like my former landlord decides to make PETS out of whatever species of mice.

        Exactly. Out in Colorado, do the Public Health Departments help residents with extermination? Is it covered by house insurance, do you need a rider? People in condo buildings need to have an exterminator on contract. People in rental buildings need to cooperate.

        Hanta is a reportable disease, of course. A link to the cases reported in Colorado and the USA would be a good thing to have on your favorites bar.

        That was horrible. I know everyone that knew the teenager has learned. A boilerplate LTE sent to various local papers on a regular basis, Columns updating the situation, would be a very good school community service project for a teenager interested in science. Describing some of the papasites with pictures would be very eye opening for everyone.

        My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

        by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:40:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I also have a catch and release cat. (13+ / 0-)

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:13:58 AM PDT

  •  This is a link to a large PDF (11+ / 0-)

    http://ehs.uc.edu/...

    Describing the parasites that are found in LAB mice. These mice are bought from supply houses, may be bred in the labs.

    Labs have extensive problems with parasites in mice. The mice you catch will have even worse parasites.

    Mice are able to breed every two months.

    Please don't hesitate to kill them. Please.

    Ask a doctor before getting a pet mouse.

    My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

    by CuriousBoston on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:21:21 AM PDT

  •  We recently (12+ / 0-)

    had the same trouble with our cats and a chipmunk.  A horrible six weeks. The chipmunk was incredibly smart, and though the cats waited and hunted and attacked, they never caught him.

    Neither did we, and finally he was getting so fat and sleek he wouldn't have fit into the traps even if he hadn't already figured out how to get the goody and not get caught.

    Ultimately, we got a window open where he was wont to go (he had a couple of tracks, and would not vary from them) and persuaded him to exit under his own power.

    Someone else on DK suggested peppermint or spearmint as a rodent repellant.  In fact, it worked pretty well - chipmunk did not go burrowing into furniture where we put sachets of peppermint leaves.  I also sprinkled peppermint oil on the sink, and it avoided those areas, at least while the oil was potent. If you ever get down to the last mouse, you might try barricading the place in the wall with lots of peppermint sachets.

    Good luck!

    •  Yes for the peppermint (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Vatexia

      When I moved into this house, there were mice in the CLOSED METAL FOOD CABINET (the holes for the plumbing were too big).  The cats couldn't get in to get the mice, which were exterminated quickly in the rest of the house.  In addition to leaving the cabinet doors to the main section open every night when I went to bed, I filled the drawers with peppermint.  It took a couple of months, but the  mice obviously avoided the mint (fewer mouse turds in minted areas, even the nice drawer full of soft kitchen towels) and eventually I was able to close the doors at night and never saw evidence of mice again.  Since the prior owner who bequeathed me the mice also bequeathed a patch of well-rooted mint, I had no shortage of what I needed, and those drawers remain lined with mint leaves to this day.  It smells nice, and it doesn't hurt to discourage re-occupation.

  •  Our little cat loudly announced last (19+ / 0-)

    night, after we'd gone to bed, that she'd caught her "mouse" again. We got a cat-nip stuffed one years ago, and it's pretty much flat now, but periodically it comes to life and she proudly displays her catch, usually in the middle of the night. She showed up de-clawed in the back yard about six years ago. We have had two mice, but she has a method. She sits on them! Then she'll lift up cautiously and catch them in her mouth. It's really goofy. I've seen her do this with the stuffed one too.

    We had rats years ago, but I had the queen of cats then, Zoe. I had her almost nineteen years (damn the vaccine that gave her cancer). She brought them in dead to us. The first time we were in the front of the house and she came running up with this fat rat in her mouth, making that odd victory call. Horrified, we told her that was a kitchen thing. She ran back to the kitchen door, and yowled with it there. CV took it from her, told her she was good, and disposed of it. The next night guests were coming. Just before, we heard her victory call. She was sitting at the kitchen doorway with another. CV took that one too, again praising her and disposing of it. She was confused that she couldn't find it again. Then (of course), after our guests arrived, once more from the kitchen came the sound of triumph. We didn't have the heart to take it from her. Now, Zoe had two food bowls, one with dry to nosh on all day, and one for a tablespoon of wet which she got in the afternoon. After she was told she could have it, she put it in the dry food bowl and stepped back. She stared for a moment, grabbed it, put it on the wet food bowl, and dug it. Nasty, but how could we deny such a smart cat?

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

    by cv lurking gf on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:08:28 AM PDT

    •  Absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

      If the cats bring me their kills (and I'm quite sure they only bring me SOME of their prizes as gifts), I praise them enthusiastically and then put the prize either out on the back deck where they like to lounge if it is very large and smelly, or in the food bowl (they often drag things into the kitchen, because that's the Food Place, but leave them in the middle because they're presents, not possessions).  I'm careful to always reinforce two messages: 1) hunting is a Good Cat Thing and AWESOME, and 2) What you kill is Food.  If anything ever happens to me, it might be days before someone thinks to take care of the cats.  Being able to catch food is an important insurance policy for them.

      •  Plus that way you don't become food. (0+ / 0-)

        "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

        by cv lurking gf on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:55:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My grandfather always said... (10+ / 0-)

    ... that if you don't want an animal to come back, you need to take it across a river before you release it. Though I like the purple ink on the tail idea!

  •  Can you borrow a terrier? (7+ / 0-)

    You can also buy some steel wool and stuff it in the places you think mice might travel, they can't chew through it. I don't use hav-a heart traps for mice or rats, but I do for opossums and raccoons.  I need a cat that can eliminate squirrels!

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 10:50:52 AM PDT

  •  Back when we only had three elderly pooties we (9+ / 0-)

    had a rat problem. Not mice but rats. Big ones. I did some research and found they were called Norway rats. I have no idea why. They had left the warmth of the barn, dug under our foundation and up into the attic and into the house at night.

    I first tried one of those sticky traps. I will never use one of those again! Yes, I caught a rat but the damage it did to itself trying to get away is something I never want to see again!

    I found a place online that sold the Have-A-Heart traps. I ordered one and paid attention to the tips they gave. Live traps work better than the ones that kill because once a rat or mouse dies in the trap the rest know to avoid it.

    Their advice on the most humane way to deal with the ones you catch was that you could catch and release if you're in an area you can do that. Otherwise their advice was to put the rat or mouse in an air tight container and put them in your freezer. It sounds awful, but, it's not a painful way to go. If there's a wildlife rehab place in your area you can donate to them.

    They feed them to the owls and hawks they have.

    •  Getting torn to shreds by an owl or hawk (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Only Needs a Beat, CuriousBoston

      might not be so great either. There are rat traps that are like huge mouse traps that work well, or do as they do in every city in the US, poison.

      The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

      by ban nock on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:10:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DO NOT POISON. It kills all the other predators (6+ / 0-)

        that will catch and eat the dying rodent. Ask any wildlife rehabber about the never of animals killed by poison.

        Just don't.

        •  If you live in the city, rodents are killed by (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          poison. Every city has rodents that are driven out by contruction projects. Hospitals and doctors offices have huge problems with rats. If you live near a grocery store, if your building has a dumpster. The fast food dumpsters.

          Talk to anyone that has worked the shipping deck at a grocery store. Or in the produce section. Ever seen a bag of potato chips with a tiny hole? An egg carton that has a tiny gnaw?

          Supermarkets use poison. Regulated poison, but poison. A very good reason to wash every piece of produce, AND wipe of the top of canned goods.

          Talk to anyone that has worked in a supermarket for any lenght of time.

          In an eating place, from cheap, to fancy. One of the  famous hotels near the library, had literal "walls" of cockroaches, and a DAILY exterminator.

          My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

          by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You don't feed them LIVE (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        to owls and hawks in rehab.  We had a small problem with some white rats I had taken home from the lab once; they reproduced with a vengeance and I had neither space nor sufficient cats to control two actively breeding families.  I also took to freezing newborn litters as the most humane way of putting them down.  I then gave the frozen "pinkies" to a veterinarian friend who worked with raptor rehabilitation.  They would pop the dead newborns in the microwave and heat them to blood temperature, making them acceptable to the birds.  This helped to save half a dozen injured hawks who might have starved without appropriate food.

        •  I'm glad they weren't fed live though I'm not (0+ / 0-)

          squeamish, I just don't like any animal to suffer unnecessarily. I'm glad you could kill the pinkies, I can shoot a wild animal easily but have a hard time killing captive ones like our chickens.

          I'm not real big on rehab as it looks at animals from an individual basis instead of species wide and I think the resources could be better spent, assuming of course that the species itself isn't truly endangered. Then again I'm the one who has the hard time offing any captive animal.

          The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

          by ban nock on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:55:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Norway or brown rat, Rattus norvegicus, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidseth, Only Needs a Beat

      … is one of the two common rat species worldwide (the other being the black rat Rattus rattus). Most white laboratory rats are descended from albino Norway rats.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:26:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For rats, see if the local health department will (0+ / 0-)

      take them away. Freezing them is good. Never use the container again. Use heavy rubber gloves, clean them with bleach.

      You may need to have any pets tested. let your doctor know you have been exposed to rats, even if you feel perfectly well. The doctor might want to know when you are exposed.

      Kill traps are the alternate way to catch mice. They are small, so they almost always die instantly.

      That is good information about the rats. Thank you.

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pooties only eat meesies when they're hungry. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, Only Needs a Beat

    Otherwise, they're just playthings.   Cats aren't really domesticated.  Stop feeding them and they'll just leave.  The only effective mousers were once feral and developed a taste for meesie meat.

    People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.

    by BlaiseP on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:06:04 PM PDT

    •  My White Cat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      was a pampered housepet all her life until her owner abruptly moved out and left her behind outside the door of her old apartment.  A pair of friendly neighbors fed her intermittently for a month and then corralled me into taking her in.  She was never trained or raised to hunt for herself.  Nevertheless, now that she has learned that we DO that in this household, she has become an accomplished huntress.  One night last month she leapt down from sitting in the window beside me, dashed out into the back yard, and was back in the study inside of TWO MINUTES with a newly-dead vole in her mouth.

      It's instinct.  A healthy cat knows how to hunt and enjoys doing it.  That doesn't mean that an inexperienced cat can make a good living out of it, and even the very good ones are going to get skinny in the middle of a long Midwestern winter.

  •  Alas, I, too, have a catch & release (4+ / 0-)

    in the house cat. We've just had our second still-alive mouse dropped off in my bedroom, which seems to operate as the main room of the pootie den. First one I caught in a trap and released it back outside whereupon the pootie instantly killed it. Second one died of its internal injuries the same day and I eventually found it midst the laundry.

    It is not safe to leave the window open so the pootie can come in and out as he pleases with or without mouse.

    "We have cast our lot with something bigger than ourselves" - President Obama, July 30, 2010

    by Overseas on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:06:09 PM PDT

  •  Snakes! (10+ / 0-)

    When my son was a teen, he had all sorts of pets. One was a snake. When he went to college, he left me caring for them.  Unfortunately, I am not very good at that sort of thing, especially with snakes.  I accidently left the screen top only half latched and Adam escaped. I was in big trouble.

    About six moths later, I saw Adam through the dryer vent.  He lived, very happily, in my kitchen wall.  After we captured him, I noticed that our little visitors increased in number ... from none to lots.

    Not inspiring but true.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:23:29 PM PDT

    •  In Appalachia (6+ / 0-)

      it is not uncommon for folks to locate a black rat snake in their attic if they have mice. Works like a charm.

      "No one earns $100 million. You steal $100 million." --Fran Lebowitz

      by SNFinVA on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:17:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My cats will kill mice, (0+ / 0-)

        moles and voles outside, but not inside. Because they think any odd animal that's inside must be a pet.

        Outside is 26 acres of thick southern Appalachian forest beyond the yard. I encourage black snakes under the decks and shed because they eat copperheads as well as mice/voles. Never had a problem with the timber rattlers, who stick to the forest, the rabbit warren at the high field (quarter mile from the cabin) and rhododendron thickets. Copperheads think they own the place and are very aggressive. They'll come right in if a door is left open, sometimes sleep under the tomatos or cucurbit vines in the garden. Three cats, one dog, one grandson and one nephew have been on the wrong end of a copperhead, grandson lost half his thumb. The cats and dogs swell up, but manage to get over it in time.

        We have a variety of impressive beheading devices, and a fenceline full of skulls...

    •  My cabin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      was INFESTED with mice, and I despaired because I couldn't bring the cats up for occasional visits as the trip upsets their stomachs too much.  Then I returned this spring after being gone for a year, and there were no mice at all!  At first I thought the neighbor kids had been using the place and done something, but a handful of drunken teenagers doesn't get rid of mice.  Then we started dragging the snakeskins out of the attic.  Then we saw the moving tail and realized that the live one was still up there.

      You have to admit it's a perfect place for a snake.  Tin roof over a 20X20 bed of foot-thick cellulose insulation, holes down to a 400 sq foot cave full of Dinner.  We saw enough of the snake to identify it as non-poisonous, so I named him/her Tommie and am not asking Tommie to leave.

  •  Love it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, Only Needs a Beat

    I have no idea if you meant a metaphor in there, but one could be observed if you read into it.

    Love it

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 12:52:56 PM PDT

  •  a few years back, Ms. Janislav got a humane trap (6+ / 0-)

    for mice in our ductwork - where the cat couldn't patrol. One night around midnight she heard a noise and found the trap contained a mouse. She took it out to the street corner and released the little fuzzy fella onto the street.

    It made it about 40 feet before an owl picked it off!

  •  My cat found a mouse inside as a storm (6+ / 0-)

    was coming up, years ago. I was embarrassed by how freaked out I was. I was hoping the cat would kill it, but she just chased the thing upstairs into the kitchen. I tried to get it, but it ran behind a desk. I had a heavy briefcase sitting between the desk and the wall. I thought the mouse might be behind the briefcase, so I lifted it but didn't see the mouse, so I set the briefcase back down. I hoped it would come out of hiding eventually, but never saw it.

    A week or so later I noticed an odd smell. Of course, that's when I found my poor victim, squashed flat by the briefcase. It was the only mouse we ever had. First contact didn't go too well, after all.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:12:49 PM PDT

  •  Lessons from Squirrels in the attic (9+ / 0-)

    The old rule is that where you see one rodent, there are at least ten.  One mouse per night, for one trap set each night, means there are way more mice around.

    The limiting factor for rodents is food and habitat, not predation.  Unless you up your game significantly, you are not going to relocate mice faster than they can reproduce.  

    Transporting mice outside and across the field is not mouse removal, it's an exercise and education program.  The trapped and transported mice may not be beating you back across the field, but they are not losing the race back to your house by much.  My version of this involved squirrels in the attic.  I eventually marked the squirrels I was releasing, and found that I had to either drive them several miles to be released, or put them across a significant barrier, if I wanted to never see them again (mark by applying orange spray paint behind their head and on their back between their shoulders - they can't clean themselves there).  Eventually, the mice you train to avoid the trap will become the dominant members of your rodent colony if you keep the current program going.  

    FWIW, I picked up pack rats in my RV at a Montana campground, and it took rodenticide to rid the camper of them.  Those are really nasty creatures.

    •  Cleanliness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo

      helps with packrats.  Cleaning out their STASH means they have lost their home and food supply, and are much more likely to leave and start over somewhere else.  If you can't get rid of the nest, you will never get rid of the rats.

      •  They were in closed spaces (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        An RV has a lot of closed spaces - electrical boxes, in my case which doubled as the electrical lead storage area, water tanks, wastewater tanks, spaces for slides with associated motors and drives, etc.  The pack rats were in there, as well as in the ceilings and walls.  There must have been a big influx at the campground.  Even though were were there only one night, for the next two nights I was listening to them chewing within virtually all the enclosed spaces simultaneously.  I might have had half a dozen adults.  

        I spent the first night digging into various spaces, intending to scare the rats into leaving.  If any did leave, it was not obvious.  By the second night, I had traveled down to Yellowstone Park, and we were staying in Grants Village.  The local concessionnaire told me that I couldn't buy rat traps or rodenticide in the Park.  It turns out that the Park Service regarded the pack rats as a protected native animals.  I had to drive out to West Yellowstone to get the means to deal with them.  It took most of the following day.

        The rat traps never produced a thing, but shortly after putting rodenticide in every space I could open or access, the problem went away.  I never found a carcass, nor did I smell the distinctive smell of a rotting rodent.  So, whatever happened, it didn't happen inside the RV.  In my view, it was a case of the pack rats losing their lives, or me losing the RV, and maybe our lives from an electrical fire.  

  •  A tale of three mousies (7+ / 0-)

    The two cats caught and killed the first mouse.  

    They brought the second mouse upstairs alive;  I managed to trap it in a coffee can and threw it outside into the snow.

    The third mouse was a plaything.  They would catch the mouse, carry it around for a bit, let it go, then catch it again.  The mouse was growing weaker, so I just killed it.  Bandit looked at me with reproach, as if to mourn her playmate.

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 01:48:20 PM PDT

  •  I feel your pain. I have four cats and live (8+ / 0-)

    right next to a National Park so field mice abound.  (So do coyotes and bobcats so mine are strictly indoor cats.)  Two of them love to play catch and release at about 2:00a.m., in my bed.  Yes, they want to play on the big soft king size bed.  With their new friend.

    One of them got so tired of us taking the mice away that he started hiding in the hall and eating them.  I didn't mind that.  But when he only wounded one and let it escape into a large dark closed filled with Xmas decorations I got a little pissed, I don't mind admitting.

    They are cats.  They do what they do because they can.

    But aren't they neat?

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:45:01 PM PDT

    •  They're wonderful. (5+ / 0-)

      But my Nicky used to do the same thing.  I was living in Manhattan & there was a deli downstairs.  Lived in that place for about 10 years.  It wasn't until about 8 years in, when the new landlord started doing something in the basement, that I ever saw any mice.

      Nicky would find them and want to play with them on my futon in the middle of the night.

      Catch and release.  He would eventually kill them, but until then, they were the best toys he ever had.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 03:06:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cats are neat, mice are not. Please see my other (0+ / 0-)

      comments. Thank you

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:21:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ds, you are most DEFINITELY (5+ / 0-)

    running a mouse preserve.  I do not know but have read that mice will come right back (unless you drive them miles away before releasing).

    Wonderful anecdote, LOL!  I seem to get a mouse or two every autumn...and sometimes will find a dead one in the middle of the floor.  I assume there is poison in the cellar.

    And then there's my fire escape cat.  Haven't noticed any mice in the place since he decided he wanted to move in (December, I think) but he did bring me a "present" one night.

    I had to do the "give a cat a pill" maneuver to get him to drop it outside my apartment.

    He was so proud of it.  I could tell.  But please, Buddy, not IN the apartment.  Leave presents for me on the fire escape.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 02:49:30 PM PDT

  •  last year (6+ / 0-)

    I started trapping the mice in my garage turned shop. I finally quit counting at 34.

    •  They breed every 60 days. They chew everything. (0+ / 0-)

      They chew through anything. Did you use kill traps?

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:23:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Across the field" is too close (4+ / 0-)

    Needs to be more than a mile, or the mice will just find their way back. (Yes, I've tested it with a sharpie. The marked mouse always came back until I drove it into town and let it out in a church parking lot.) Adds an additional layer of irritation to the process, yes, but works.

    "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

    by Wheever on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 03:35:45 PM PDT

    •  Ok. I just have to say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, Only Needs a Beat, Wheever

      I loved that you're dropping them off in the church parking lot!  Lol!

      •  They need to be killed. Don't make them another (0+ / 0-)

        person's problem. Please see my posts above. They are moblil parasite carriers that can kill both pets and humans.

        My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

        by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:25:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh. All animals are disease vectors. -eom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CuriousBoston

          "'club America salutes you' says the girl on the door/we accept all major lies, we love any kind of fraud"--The Cure, "Club America"

          by Wheever on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:09:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

            If you have read the pdf., researched for yourself, you will find out that mice carry very many diseases that are dangerous to other animals and humans. The state and city Public Health sites are good sites to read. The CDC and NIH are good sites to read.

            Mice breed every 60 days, every 60 days. They can chew through concrete, given time.

            You cannot find another mammal, or maybe even eny other animal, that carries as many dangerous vectors than rodents.

            My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

            by CuriousBoston on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 06:08:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of a church mouse story. (4+ / 0-)

      Once I was a member of a small church on the edge of the cane fields in Hawaii. We had the District Superintendent as a surprise visitor one Sunday morning and it happened to be a Sunday when our organist was absent and I was filling in at the piano. There was a small but very lively mouse in the church. It ran all around the front of the church and was spotted by several horrified church members who did to want the visiting church official to see this mouse in our church. We all pretended not to see it. It even ran across my foot at the piano when it was startled by members standing up for a response and I kept playing without a pause to acknowledge the brief presence of the mouse.

      Then the mouse was seen by one of the less calm members of the congregation who immediately screamed and jumped up to stand on the pew. The superintendent was laughing so hard her face was red. I think she had spotted the mouse long before the scream and was observing our efforts to ignore it.

      One of God's creatures, after all. What can you do when your church is on the edge of a cane field?

  •  i took over a homeless shelter that had a (7+ / 0-)

    mouse & rat problem.  Got very good, metal containers for the dog food then went through the kitchen, cleared EVERYTHING out, cleaned everything and got sealable plastic containers for most of the staples.  The cereal and some other foods that come in the large, economy size i/we made sure was on the highest shelves or otherwise hard to climb/jump to.

    I did put some poison in the crawlspace under the shelter but i'm pretty sure the single biggest thing, besides putting the dog food in a decent container, was we also stopped leaving dog food in bowls for guests' pets to dine at will.  No one saw a rat ever after the dog food was better controlled and after a few weeks no one reported an indoor mouse sighting for the rest of my 3.5 years there.

    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face" & "Polka will never die." - H. Dresden.

    by bnasley on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 04:09:40 PM PDT

    •  That was an excellent way to get rid of them! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      They can chew through plastic, they left to find an easier meal!

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Learn to coexist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cynndara, salmo

    After all the mice were here long before we were and they are only doing what comes natural to them. Your cat isn't killing them because they haven't reached their natural balance yet. Trapping is inhumane and monstrous, mice have family who love them and are sentient beings also. Until we stop torturing and murdering our non human brothers and sisters we will never learn. What about the rights of the mice to lead a trouble free life without artificial relocation, or worse dying a slow and painful death from the neck hold trap? What do the family members of the mice think when they are forcibly taken from them? I cry for the souls of all the murdered mice. Squeak, squeak squeak!

    Snark, sorry couldn't help myself, just imagine how folks in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming feel about the vermin foisted on them, and then they have to listen to lectures such as above.

    The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited

    by ban nock on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:20:10 PM PDT

  •  I have two office cats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth

    and when we were in our old building, they would catch and kill mice, nomming either one or two widdow legs or leaving nothing but the head.  ACK

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 05:43:46 PM PDT

  •  When my husband was out of town (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, davidseth

    and I had a mouse in the house, I got one of those sonic mouse repellant things.  They seem to work.  I have four cats - two mousers - so mice don't seem to last long in our house, but I'd prefer to drive them back outside instead of cleaning up their mangled remains.  When all evidence of the mouse/mice invasion are gone, I unplug my magic little device until the next time I see a cat patiently crouching next to the stove or the dishwasher or the refrigerator.

  •  A routine trip to the mechanic resulted in the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, ban nock, CuriousBoston, salmo

    news of a mouse infestation under the hood of my car which, for a couple of months, had been parked in a wooded area before I'd moved into a house with attached garage.  Fortunately, the house was not yet infested but they'd had a field day carrying insulation from the garage to put under the car hood.

    For those who are willing to send the mice to their maker, the best product for me was the RatZapper that uses 4 D cell batteries.  Death is as quick as possible. and very clean.  It took several weeks to remove about 30 mice.

    You can Google it.  

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 09:22:30 PM PDT

    •  I've never used a zapper. Is it safe with pets and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea

      small children in the house. Have you ever tried it on a deck or porch?

      My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

      by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their website shows a sort of cage for temporary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CuriousBoston

        outdoor use to keep it dry.  I personally try to allow the critturs free use of outdoor space and so far haven't felt the need to rid them from there.

        I certainly wouldn't use the device if the pet in question were a smallish rodent... ;^)

        I have neither pet nor small child and would place the device very carefully so as not to attract the attention of either.  

        I thought their FAQ dealt with this question, but couldn't find anything when I just checked.  If I had concerns in this or any other area, I would call them.  

        If, after talking with them, I were anything less than totally satisfied of its lack of harm for a pet or child, I'd go on to research something else.

        Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

        by LinSea on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:53:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. Good information. I'll ask my local (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LinSea

          hardware store. When you bring a problem, they tell you what you need and how to do it. I believe in local hardware stores, I do!

          My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

          by CuriousBoston on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 04:10:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  David, here's what you do... (4+ / 0-)

    If you want to awaken your cat's sometimes dormant hunting instinct: play with it.  Get yourself a laser and run it all over the floor until you wear it out a few times.  What works best with my cat, Dora, whom I have many times referred to on this site as Deadly Dora because she is such a killing machine, is to play with her with a long shoe string.   It drives her nuts.  The high-tech toys are fun, but that shoestring, oh boy.  

    As for the mice themselves... That's weird they would be that bold.  I've got mice in my house, but I'm only aware of them because I see their droppings in drawers once in a while.  When there's a busy mouse at work, I know because Dora will plant herself in front of the place where she hears it (often the cupboard under the sink) and just go into "Sphinx" mode, not moving, just perfectly motionless like a statue for hours at a time.

  •  A friend of mine found the desiccated remains (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, CuriousBoston

    … of a mouse in his electric stove. One burner had stopped working properly and after some months he finally got around to opening it up to investigate.

    A gray mouse had made the mistake of trying to squeeze past one of the rheostats, whereby it had evidently touched one of the live contacts and electrocuted itself.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 01:48:05 AM PDT

  •  What a lovely mouse you've got there... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth
  •  Mine still are serious about what they do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston, cynndara, shaharazade

    The senior cat however has become very hard of hearing, which really cripples his hunting skills. I resorted to sticky traps in the basement after I saw the world's biggest deer mouse waddle across the floor one night. (I swear the thing was the size of a hamster.)

    Imagine my surprise the next morning when I heard a clattering noise and went to check it out. It was the senior cat coming up the basement stairs with a sticky trap stuck to his right front paw... and that monster deer mouse stuck to the trap!

    I'm just glad I was there to get him unstuck and dispose of the mouse. A few hours later, somebody managed to catch another mouse (without the aid of a sticky trap) and left the partially dismembered corpse where I could find it.

    Your cat may not be showing all that much interest in the ones she brings home because she's already stuffed to the gills with mice. Nobody is that thrilled with leftovers usually.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 06:31:37 AM PDT

  •  Probably no truth to the rumor that Romietta, (4+ / 0-)

    … in another of her nine lives, moonlights as head of the SEC or the New York Federal Reserve.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 07:13:28 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Alexandra Lynch

    Romietta needs some help.  Maybe the problem is simply overwhelming what one cat can do.  A new young farmcat might be the trick.  Or a ferret.  Ferrets are a mouse's nightmare on four legs.  They don't stop when they've killed enough to eat.  They don't play with one mouse while others are running around.  They just gleefully kill everything in sight or out of it.

    Ferrets aren't something to jump into without due consideration.  They are fuzzy little maniacs.  They can follow the mice INTO your walls if you're not careful, and will make their ways into any ductwork that isn't covered with solid metal grillwork with no hole more than a square inch open.  In my old house, they'd end up inside of the blower in short order, so I wouldn't dream of bringing them here.  But if you have a sealed-up modern home with no holes more than an inch square (and if you don't, there's no wonder why you have mice!), they're a possibility to consider.  They also train cats to look lively and open cabinets, while cats can teach them how to climb bookcases.

  •  You need to rig up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill Roberts

    one of these.

    The whole lack of bladder control thing in mice is what makes it particularly creepy to think about them in your kitchen.

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 09:31:26 AM PDT

  •  Our old boy, Gnat, is also a catch and release... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, Lorikeet, ladybug53

    kinda guy, but he was weaned early and his momma did not have a chance to teach him how to kill. He has a strong instinct to chase and catch, but doesn't know what to do with his prey once it is in his mouth.

    Needless to say, this has led to some rather interesting and entertaining situations for me trying to dispose of his "playthings." At times (and most recently) he has played with his catch so much they die from exhaustion, but he rarely eats them, so it is my duty to take care of the disposal. I was very proud of him one night not too long ago when he decided maybe it was time to eat the mousie, and he did, so perhaps he has turned the corner to becoming a more adept exterminator.

    The toughest part for us right now is that our daughter, 8, just finished The Mouse and the Motorcycle and loves mice because they are so very cute (no matter how we explain that mice carry disease and parasites that can hurt us.) She is just in that animal loving phase and won't see past the "cute" factor. It also doesn't help that we have one mouse that is so brazen it comes out in the open to nab kibble from the dog's bowl while we are around! UGH!

    We will certainly implement some of the methods presented in this thread...particularly the peppermint sachets, and also making sure the dog food is not out all the time. (Our pooches will learn when it is time to eat quickly enough.)

    Thanks so much for the entertaining diary and the discussion that has resulted.

    Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth. - Jean Paul Sartre

    by ApatheticNoMore1966 on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 10:45:11 AM PDT

  •  when my wife and i first moved (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, ladybug53

    into our house (back in dec. 86), we brought my cat with us. in short order, he dragged me down to the den one day, after i'd gotten home from work, to proudly show me the results of his handiwork: 6 mouse corpses, lined up side by side. as we live in a subdivision filled with woods, field mice are pretty common, so i wasn't surprised by the fact of them, just so many at one time. he was pretty damn proud of himself too. my wife, not being a cat person, was appalled.

    since that day, we've rarely had a "mouse in the house", and i've had cats since then. currently, our beast and beastette have continued to have the desired effect: no mice in the house for ages. i guess the word gets around, even in the mice community.

    the difference between cats & dogs:

    dogs: have masters and mistresses
    cats: have wait staff.

  •  You are so funny! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth

    I'm got tears rolling from eyes in laughter! My Junior had one teeny tiny mouse cornered one night when I came home from work to our new (old) house. I shrieked, torn between rescuing and letting him have at it. I finally said do your thing boy, we don't need mice. I haven't seen one since but, hopefully, at least one of my cats understands his place in the world!

    "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Mother Teresa

    by Pam LaPier on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:06:36 PM PDT

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