How to catch a mouse, in 32 days…

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This is a slightly longer post than normal, but it needs to be. It’s beenΒ emotional…

It was actually a couple of months ago when we first glimpsed the furry little rodent. Brazenly scampering across our front-room floor, as we tried to stay awake through some late night film. We then witnessed the cheeky little thing squeeze himself down the tiniest of holes in our floorboard. A few days later, after a few more rodent sightings/encounters we decided that enough was enough. The hunt was on…

First priority was to catch it/them. Second was to do so in a humane way (we’re not killers in our house). Third was to find out whyΒ we had the mouse/mice.

The third point can be answered using 3 simple words; food, Jake & Sawyer. Our house is by no means an untidy house, but the mice are here for one thing & one thing only; food. Despite attempting to keep our house as spotless as possible, a 19 year old & a 4 year old will alwaysΒ leave a trail of food wherever they’ve been. Our dog will hoover up most of Sawyer’s leftovers (and often the non-leftovers as well!!!), Jake’s room however, was out of bounds for our greedy hound. Not so for the hungry little mice, who must’ve thought all of their Christmases had come at once when they discovered the Aladin’s cave of food in Jake’s room. It was time to take very drastic measures. Jake tidied his room 😯 So drastic was this that our almost new vacuum cleaner snapped a drive-belt within seconds!!! Jake then doused his room with an absolute mountain of peppermint oil, which I’m guessing our entire village could smell!!! We’d been tipped off about using this as aΒ deterrent… It didn’t work πŸ™„

For the traps I headed straight to the Internet and instantly found something that appeared to work everyΒ time. Even better, it was something I could make myself, which did rather appeal to the ugg-man hunter side of me. Squishing them on a sprung-loaded spike, in the dead of night, was no fun at all. Where was the cunning in that? No, I would makeΒ my own trap, bait it, lure them in and catch them. Easy πŸ™‚ Well, making them was easy enough. Catching the little buggers, not so!!!

The trap was simple. A cardboard loo-roll tube balanced on the edge of a bucket/high container. You put a little ramp up to the tube, some bait at one end & some coins as weights on the other and wait for the little rodents to plop into the trap. I made a couple and set them up. I then moved them to another spot, with still no joy. On the third day I replaced the plastic bucket for our tall metal pasta pan & set the trap in Sawyer’s room. Later that day I heard the clang of coins dropping into the pan & dashed upstairs. Sure enough the trap had been sprung. The bait had gone and so had the mouse!!! How had he managed to escape? A little disheartened I reset the trap and a few hours later the coins were clanging again. Exactly the same scene lay before me; trap sprung, bait eaten & no mouse. The ugg man hunter was annoyed. The mice were winning 😑

The days went by without even a sniff of catching one. We didn’t even hear or see them for days and actually thought for a brief second that they’d gone. But then one night I heard squeaking in our kitchen, behind the washing-machine. I hastily rigged up the trap & waited… Nothing πŸ™ A few days later and we started to notice little droppings on topΒ of our washing-machine 😯 And after that the tiny droppings were spotted on our kitchen worktop 😯 Tracy even spotted a mouse on our kitchen windowsill in broad daylight. They’d gone too far this time!!! Enough was enough. Tracy bleached our entire house while Mr Ugg-man hunter marched into Alfreton for a ‘proper’ mouse-trap.

After completely baffling the guy in the pet-shop by using the word ‘humane’ (sprung loaded spikes all the way in Alfreton it appears), I returned with the impressively titled Big Cheese Multi Catch from Wilkos. The trap was placed in our now clinically clean kitchen & we waited… Nothing πŸ™ The following day I discovered mouse activity under the stairs in our pantry. We had a bag fullΒ of spare spices, to top up our bottles & jars when they’re empty. You name it & we had it. We buy in bulk from an Asian supermarket, so we never run out of spices. We now have noΒ spare spices; they’ve been chucked, as greedy little mice have been at them. They’d even eaten paprika, tumeric & chili powder 😯 After clearing away the debris I decided to place one of the homemade traps into the pantry, just on the off-chance that they’d return. Trap #2 had been tweaked slightly. The short tube had been replaced by a longer version & the bucket/pan had been swapped for a really big garden tub… And then on day 32 of this epic mouse hunt Mr Ugg-man hunter got his mouse πŸ™‚ Finally!!!

The homemade trap had done the trick after-all and there, scuttling around at the bottom of a big plant-pot was the mouse. The first thing I wanted to do, bizarrely, was to take a picture. Just as proof I guess. But as I watched the little thing batting about in the pot I suddenly got worried. The mouse started to jump, really high 😯 The pot was about 2 foot high, but the mouse was getting reallyΒ close to jumping out!!! A quick glance around our pantry & I spotted the solution… The paella pan was plonked on top. There was no escape πŸ™‚

The poor little mouse remained in his ‘trap’ until Tracy & Jake returned home later that night. Mr Ugg-man hunter needed to show off his prize, which I gleefully did πŸ˜€ Then with Jake’s help (the thought of an angry mouse loose in our car wasn’t a nice thought!!!) mouse, plant-pot & paella pan were taken up the road, to a darkenedΒ lay-byΒ near Tibshelf. Mouse scuttled off into the night & Mr Ugg-man hunter returned home for a well earned beer…

And today (day 33), I’ve bagged 2 more. Two in one day 😯 Today’s captives were taken up the lane & into the fields beyond… Where, armed with plant-pot, cardboard tube & paella pan, I promptly bumped into our next-door neighbours!!! I think they believed my explanation???

The impressively titled Big Cheese Multi Catch is still empty!!!