The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

An infestation of mice

 

Photo: Humane mouse trap

Photo: Humane mouse trap

We have mice in the chicken run, mice in the garden, mice in the larder, the kitchen, the bedrooms. In fact there are mice everywhere. Looking ultra cute and messing up our cottage big time. Something had to be done. I tackled the larder first. Trapped one within minutes and no more came. Just one mouse had created havoc in there.

QD had a great deal on Tala Le Parfait style jars so I invested in loads of them. Now nothing in our larder is contained in a box or a bag. It looks pretty too.

“Catching mice is easy peasy.” I thought as I set the trap beside the toaster. A mouse – possibly not the same one – had been spotted there several times.

Well those mice have clearly come from a home with lots of sharing of ideas. They shun The Deadly Traps and continue to torment me with pounding behind the cooker. How can things that small make so much noise?

So yesterday I bought a humane mouse trap – this can catch multiple mice. It’s aluminium so can be used in the kitchen garden when my pea seedlings come up. Perhaps the mice in the kitchen wouldn’t realise that this is a prison? I baited it with chocolate, cake, salami and went to bed. This morning the trap was empty. I hate intelligent mice!
Then I ventured onto the internet to read the reviews about my The Big Cheese – Multi Mouse Trap. My heart sunk when I saw the star ratings for this device – just 2.5 stars. I settled down with the Min Pins to read all the reviews. The one star reviewers had used the ‘normal’ sure fire success baits, similar to mine. But the five star reviewers had used wild bird seed and raved about the traps.

I trundled down to our grain store and spread some wild bird seed in the trap. Within an hour we had caught one mouse. Relocated swiftly over half a mile away. Danny and I went out foraging for wild greengages this afternoon. When we returned there was another teeny mouse in the trap.

As I drove down the village to find a suitable release point I pondered on my situation. I’m now a taxi driver for mice that need to be relocated. Fine as long as they don’t return! We are leaving the trap in the kitchen until we stop catching mice, then we’ll move the trap on. Next move will be upstairs. This Big Cheese trap gets the thumbs up from me in fact I’ve ordered two more. They are cheaper on Amazon and having signed up for Amazon Prime, I don’t have to pay postage and get next day delivery. Mice ate so much of our produce this year – soft fruit, pea shoots and larder stores. From now on hopefully it will be a different story. I do feel better using these aluminium humane mouse traps than the killer traps. The mice are released well away from houses in woodland areas and when I open the lid they happily scamper away to enjoy total freedom and a brand new adventure.


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26 Comments

  1. I too have been told that peanut butter is pretty much infallible. Hope you get the little blighters under control soon. As an aside, not so long ago we realised that Ollie our Wheaten was sauntering around the garden with his telltale “I’ve got contraband in my mouth” swagger, but we couldn’t see the usual stolen sock hanging from his mouth. After being told very sternly to “drop it” he reluctantly spat out a live, completely unharmed but very, very soggy little mouse. Goodness only knows how long he’d been sucking it for.

  2. veronica

    Julie: you are so right. Our old cat was really good at catching mice, but he did that all the time :/ We had more mice with a cat than we’d have had without one!

  3. Flour in traps works a treat , starnge but true
    Shaz

  4. House mice find survival in the countryside difficult – it’s probably more humane to kill them.

  5. Veronica

    hmm, this is very apposite. I’ve been hearing the little blighters thundering about, although there isn’t any visible evidence (we do keep all our food in sealed containers).

    The other day, I actually saw a mouse lurking under the sink. Our new cat, Mystère, was sitting right next to me. Me: “Look! A mouse! Go!”. Mystère: “(shrug) Hey, how about putting some food in my bowl? I’m hungry.” Sigh. I think we need one of those Big Cheeses, because it doesn’t look as if M is going to work for his keep, despite his Nimrod looks.

  6. My mother used to swear by Polo mints which do work. However a good cat is even better, except when they bring live mice in and let them go in the kitchen!!

  7. We found peppermint oil deterred them quite well. I’ve also been on the release trap run – two miles down single track lanes in snow drifts to release the little blighters :o)

  8. jackie Gibbins

    Try peanut butter. We’ve found that to be the most successful bait.

    As for the cat suggestion…we have four!
    Obviously mousing is beneath them!!

  9. Polyanne

    Please be careful when releasing the little blighters. We have lived with mice in the house for years now and I have long since learned to seal everything in containers before putting it in the larder and never leave food overnight on the kitchen counters. When we first starting catching them we did exactly the same thing as you, used a humane trap then drove miles and released them. One day it was blowing a gale and we were struggling with car doors and the mouse cage, somehow a wee beastie managed to get back in the car where it lived for several months filling its belly with the straps of the rear seat belts. When MOT time came around we had to have them all replaced at considerable expense! Now I use an electronic trap.

  10. Magic Cochin

    You need a cat 😉

    C

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