Sunday, February 17, 2013

The single woman's guide to mouse catching

I've been waging a battle, over a couple of weeks, with the sneakiest, fastest and most well-fed mouse in the history of rodent study.  Cheeky, pushy, intellectual, fast, sleek.  

I'm no slouch in the removal of Mickey's less engaging cousins from residential premises.  I've lived in many places which have had the odd in-comer, and have developed some damn sneaky methods of trapping, if I say so myself.  But this one has evaded and escaped and become a veritable rodent Ronald Biggs.  If you missed the 60's and 70's, I'd explain who RB was, but in the time of the interweb, if you didn't know, you've probably clicked on the link by now. If you don't, and you didn't, then you'll probably never know.

I started with the usual mousetrap. I spurn the new-fangled ones and go with the old wooden-based ones. I can understand the 'live trap' ones, but what do you do then?  Let me explain.

It came in once.  If you let it go, outside, it will come in again.  You could drive it a long way away and release it, if that makes you feel better.  Then it will get into someone else's house.  This is not an endangered animal. If you don't want to release it into the wild, what are your options? Things get a bit hands-on.

(I know someone who caught a mouse in a trap by the leg once, and ended up taking it to the vet.  Who sniggered, and said that she could pay $40 for the green needle, or just quietly walk away.  She walked away, her reputation as a farm girl in tatters.  She's never really lived it down.)

When the original traps didn't work, I replaced them with nice new ones.  I tied the bait to the trap, the mouse chewed through the thread.  I bought new mouse attractant gel, for the new traps.  It was attracted,  but not fatally.  

A friend suggested a method she'd found successful in one of the great mouse plagues of the last century in Victoria.

Take a glass bottle. (This may involve emptying a wine bottle.  Remember - waste not, want not.) 

I put a bit of sand in the empty bottle, because this mouse may have assumed sumo-mouse proportions.  I needed extra stability.  Place some bait in the neck of the bottle. ( I used the crust from some toast.)  Place the bottle on the edge of the bench or table, as appropriate, with the neck sticking out.

Take a bucket of water.  Place it on the floor under the bottle.   Wait about 5 minutes, and plop.  Sumo-mouse can't get a grip on the slippery bottle.

It's free, it involves wine, and it's effective. 

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