Our house is big and old and we live in town, but have a nice yard and trees and things. Having a mouse buddy is nothing terribly surprising, and fortunately, both Fella and I grew up in houses with mice, so we’re not freaking out.
We also both think that ethical treatment of living critters is important, so we’re the kind of people who catch spiders and take them outside, and who would rather not poison the mice who care to share our domicile.
But our mouse–I’ve only seen one, though I am sure there are more–has become ballsy.
A short week ago, she (I like to think of her as a mama mouse, though I know this means that we’ll have additional mice before the cold is up if we do not already) was a frightened speck of a thing. Darting out onto the counter to grab a crumb of bread or to travel between the stove and our drawer with plastic wrap where she likes to leave us her turds. Our food was un-molested.
Lady Mousington did a number to the butter last week (we leave the butter on the counter in the winter). I forgot to take a picture, but it looked like someone had scraped it a thousand tiny scrapes with a two-pronged stick. We tossed away the butter and bought a butter dish with a cover.
Then the pita which was on top of the microwave (and not in a cabinet, silly me). And she did that wonderful, almost-human looking snacking.
I left a corn chip on top of the microwave after the pita incident. I explained, “I’m training her to eat only the food we say is okay.”
Of course I know that is silly. Mice are only smart in Flowers for Algernon.
But here’s the stuff: I am not rich enough to let Lady Mousington eat our grub. Butter and pita are pretty expensive.
Also, I am rather tired of the mouse turds.
So I think we are going to get traps.
I do not like the idea of taking the mice out into the woods to become food for mammals higher on the food chain, or to freeze owing to inadequate shelter. I do not know if that is more humane than poison.
Child has asked to catch them and keep them for pets.
My mother suggested a constrictor. I used to keep pet snakes when I was younger. I think that’s a brilliant idea, but we don’t live in warm enough clime for leaving a snake loose. Poor thing would freeze to death.
Anybody have any good, humane, mouse-deterring tricks??