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. Relocated mice do not know where there is shelter, food, or water. No idea where local predators hang out. If it is good habitat for mice, there are probably mice already living there, to the carrying capacity of the land. And if there’s a house nearby, the homeowners are unlikely to welcome additional mice.

    Mice are a prey species. As such they breed at a young age, have large litters, and then breed again. Most die in under a year, and not of old age. Eaten by hawks, owls, snakes, foxes – you name a predator, and mice will likely be in their diet.

    Relocating mice may appear to be compassionate, but it is not especially merciful. As was already mentioned, they’re going to die.

  2. Ah yes, the mouse in the house season is upon us- or more correctly, the mouse under the sink in the downstairs loo season. As soon as the chillier nights start, in the little blighters come- wood mice, not house mice, very pretty, but they wear hobnail boots and chew stuff! Andrew gets all excited and wants to get into the cupboard to find them, but takes a VERY dim view of me trying to shut him in there at night with the cupboard door open so he can make himself useful.Peanut butter=the biz. Chocolate- well, they just take it away to eat in the comfort of their own homes.

  3. Try dipping a crust of bread in the oil from a tin of tuna and hooking that on the trap. I caught a mouse in less than 5 minutes from setting the trap using this.
    Mice may seem cute but are incontinent and will pee everywhere they feed. The quicker you get rid, the better.

  4. I shouldn’t really relate this story as it tells everyone I share my bedroom with three dogs. But here goes. One night there I am sitting up in my bed reading my book, with one labrador lying beside me and another lab and a hairy mongrel curled up on their bed. Suddenly a movement catches my eye and out from the fitted wardrobe as bold as brass comes a little mouse. It gaily scampers over to the bowl of water left for the dogs, puts its front paws up and for a few seconds quenches its thirst. It then about turns and nips back into the wardrobe. Not a paw moved, not one nose even twitched as the dogs slumbered on. Still it is good to know I am not depriving my mouse population of their sustenance. Perhaps I should have put a peanut butter sandwich out too, although I suspect the dogs would not have ignored that!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Apple chutney is perfect bait. We had one single half-filled jar covered with film and paper and the little darlings just kept coming back for more. Even when we stirred a handful of mouse poison into it – we think they invited friends. Strangely, they ignored the un-chutneyed fresh apples only a few feet away.

    Would that we’d been able to use humane traps, but it just wasn’t an option due to the number of mice and where most of them seemed to be located.

  6. Peanut butter is what my husband swears by too. Mice love chewing through the electric cables in the factory where he works and they have definitely found peanut butter the best bait. The strong smell attracts the mice but they cannot just run away with it as they can with other foods.

  7. Corn crakes how wonderful , lovely little birds

  8. Mice have been nibbling our melons in our polytunnel and we haven’t been quite so humane as you, we set the real things. Not caught any yet. After all how can we traipse miles into the countryside to release them, we are in the countryside? A cat is not the answer for us either, partly because we don’t live on our land but also because they will then eat all the little corncrakes that nest nearby. Heh ho!

  9. jabblog uk

    Mice can’t burp so if you happen to lose one in your car the solution below might help. Rather cruel, though!

    http://jabblog-jabblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/mice-cant-burp.html

  10. Instead of woods, can you release them in a field where they can become lunch for some raptor? That way, you’re sure they don’t find their way back to your house, and they don’t suffer much looking around for food. Just an idea.

    My varmint problem is moles. They are tearing up the garden, and Juicy Fruit gum is not working. It’s time to gas them, I’m afraid, with the exhaust of a pickup truck and a very long garden hose….

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