Home life

Rodent update

At some point after the mouse in the garden incident and a notable increase in rodent activity around the house (twice I saw them scurrying around the laundry) I put down some rat/mouse poison a few weeks ago.

What I found several days later was a huge, dead rat next to the side gate. ‘Orrible, it was. It was only after I had disposed of it that I realised that to eat the bait, it must have been inside my house. Huge! Eek!

Nothing else appeared to have taken the bait, and when another mouse was noted in the fireplace, I decided it wasn’t working, and threw the remainder out a week ago.

Earlier this week I was sitting on the can just before bedtime when a mouse ran in, saw me, then ran back off through the laundry. It was more scared of me than I of it, but it caught me by surprise. I made a note to find some alternative method of rodent removal — for instance an actual mousetrap, since the mice didn’t appear to be going for the bait.

Then last night it happened again. This time the mouse, obviously feeling much braver, kept going, underneath me, and into a hole in the wall at the back of the toilet.

It gave me rather more of a shock than last time. I jerked my left leg up to avoid the mouse hitting me (or lodging in my shorts, which were on the ground — frankly that would have been beyond terrifying). It was a reflex action, and I actually managed to pull a muscle in the process, leaving me in agony for a few minutes, and cursing under my breath.

So now I’m definitely looking for mousetraps. Or perhaps I should get a cat.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

11 replies on “Rodent update”

Please, for the love of all things cute and furry, do not get a cat. Cats kill native wildlife with great skill and enthusiasm (and that’s bad).

If you must get a cat, get a cat from the pound and desex it. Then, to save the wildlife, never, ever let it out of the house except on a leash or in a box.

We had numerous frogs, lizards and skinks here. Then the neighbours got a kitten. Ah well, I’m sure the neighbours will understand when I catch that kitten and painlessly put it out of my misery.

Reminds me again of the adventures we had with a mouse back in 2005 (must be doing pretty well since I’ve been living here for over 5 years and that’s the only evidence I’ve noticed of a mouse being indoors). I tried catching it in an ice-cream container; I actually successfully did this once when I was a kid. However this time the damn thing was too quick. So we put out traps and laid down bait, until finally I found it looking rather sorry on the kitchen floor. So flicked it into a plastic bag and took it out to the bin.

Rather nasty things though, they certainly give you a fright when the fly out from under the door. Yet as cute as they may look, their tails are horrid and they smell. I’m glad we got rid of it.

Calling an exterminator would be a better idea, Daniel. Sounds like your place has a major problem which could be causing more trouble than you realise.

Don’t bait. You never know where the dead mouse (or rat) will end up. I found the last one in the back of the wardrobe covered in maggots. The maggots had got themselves so tightly woven into the carpet that I had to take the whole lot out and wash it under hot water. Not nice…

Or you could borrow my terriers for a few days. In their heyday, they were a crack team of rodent-killers, and love to sniff out the wee mousies and catch ’em. (However, it is then a battle to remove said corpse from dog’s mouth before it is grotesquely chewed into a mushy pulp. Too much information? Ah, I thought so).

Seriously though, you needn’t go to the extent of acquiring an animal, you could just try borrowing a known successful mouser or ratter (a cheerful dog would be better than a cat for this purpose, it is too stressful for most cats to to be relocated like that).

We had mice and got the humane traps, but I have heard that the stress of being caught and the subsequent re-location tends to kill them anyway, we have two cats now, so I’m hoping it won’t happen again.

To be honest the main reason I used the humane traps was actually so my little ones fingers didn’t get caught in a mouse trap.

Honestly? The best option, and most expensive, is the exterminator. That way it is done with, for a good long while. But it’s you that ultimately has to decide.

We had a mouse in our house in the summer. A mouse trap got him right by the washing machine. Ugh. Scary stuff, I know. I detest mice and rats. An irrational fear of them in this lady, honestly.

Good luck and for goodness sake, get rid of them. :)

Definitely get a cat.

We had a swarm of non-native birds taking over our house, much in the style of Hitchcock. Nests in the gutters, in the roof, under the verrandah, and bird poo everywhere.

We picked up two gorgeous cats from the Lost Dogs Home (you’d think they’d have to be real lost to make it to a Dog’s home). They’ve so far failed to catch any of the Indian Minors, but they’ve put enough fear into them to stop them coming back. No more poo, no more nests! (Incidentally, the moth and cricket population is under much greater threat)

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