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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  1. He caught one! I’m so proud. Despite not wanting mice in the house, I couldn’t prevent myself from exclaiming “Oh, clever boy!” when he charged in with a (live) mouse in his jaws. Pity my mouse-phobic mother-in-law was sitting on the sofa at the time, but he couldn’t know that 🙂

  2. The idea of no-kill traps is good, but in practice, can cause more harm. Especially to the released mice that can’t find safe shelter or food. Plus, I’ve had mice re-enter my home too many times. That’s why humane traps that quickly kill work best for me. Victor makes a trap that completely seals the dead mouse so you don’t have to see it or touch it. And the nasty parasites and diseases are contained safely inside the trap as well. Here’s the one I’m talking about:

  3. amy manning

    I’ve read that there are certain breeds of chickens that are really good at hunting mice. The breed that we have available here is called Buckeye.

  4. Jo@LittleFfarm Dairy

    We use a product called Eradimouse similar (I suspect) to the one Michelle mentions. There’s also Eradirat if you have problems with their larger cousins; or Eradirodent to get rid of the lot.

    It’s based on dried maize (sweetcorn) which for some reason rodents cannot process: basically it dessicates them from the inside out.

    The added advantage is that unlike using conventional poisons, the corpses do not smell owing to the fact they are already virtually mummified when the mouse/rat dies.

    Also because conventional toxins are not used there is no danger of a pet inadvertently coming across a corpse & getting poisoned.

  5. That looks interesting Michelle. Has anyone here tried it? Does it work?

    Our mouse count since Saturday: 5, using a cheese-baited non-lethal trap that can only catch one at a time. Cat’s mouse count: 0. He just isn’t interested.

  6. Michelle from Oregon

    Hey Fiona, have you seen this?

    They are on amazon….

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