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in the House?
We just returned from some winter traveling
and discovered that our house had a lot of activity
in it while we were gone. We arrived home to find mouse
poop all over our kitchen counter. Do you have a cat
I could borrow? Seriously, though, if/when I catch the
little guy(s), is it okay to put them outside in such
cold weather? (It's highs in the single digits for us
this week -- Brrrrrrr!)
Yes, of course you may borrow one of
our cats, but I doubt they'll be of much help. When
we had a solitary field mouse here years ago, our cats
sat in wait for it. However, when the mouse finally
crossed their path they didn't even notice -- they were
totally clueless! I suppose they're true vegans at heart....
My guess is that you have more than
one mouse. Set several humane, box-type traps and check
them frequently. We've found that a nice piece of breakfast
cereal is less messy than using peanut butter as a lure,
and just as effective. Once caught, mice become very
frightened and, because of their high metabolism, they
can get hungry and thirsty very quickly. When you find
one in the trap, release her/him at least 50 to 100
yards from your home, or further. You can always take
the mice in the car with you and release them a mile
or so away. If you release them too close to your home,
they will undoubtedly find their way back. Don't worry
about it being too cold for them outside. The outdoors
is their natural home, and they will find a place to
burrow and stay warm.
Mice need food, water, and shelter,
and evidently they found them at your home. Here are
some important tips to keep in mind to discourage a
- Make sure all water faucets are turned
off and none are dripping. Wipe off the area around
sinks and countertops and check to make certain they
- Make sure all potential entry holes
are plugged or sealed. Most mice that get into homes
are very tiny and can fit through astonishingly small
- Make sure NOTHING is accessible to
them. In other words, put ALL your flours, grains,
cereals, crackers, cookies, bread, pasta, sugar, and
so on, in airtight containers, canisters, or jars.
Mice can smell quite keenly and have surprisingly
sharp teeth. When we had an invasion, the mice ate
through our unopened cereal boxes, bags of rice crackers,
and -- incredibly! -- through sealed aseptic packages
of nondairy milk!!!!
If your home is free of easy-to-get
food and water and the entry holes are closed, the mice
won't return. Well, they may come back once or twice
(if they can get in) just to check and see how good
a job you've done trying to keep them out. If you've
done your homework, they'll move on.
The mice who invaded our house (and
we had zillions of them!!!) ate particularly well. They
devoured everything we had that was organic (they especially
enjoyed the organic chocolate rice milk!). We now have
everything in metal tins, mason jars, and plastic bins
with tight lids. We also purchased an ultrasonic repellant,
but I could have sworn I saw the mice down in our pantry
dancing to the beat. I'm not sure these ultrasonic machines
do any good (although when they are on the audible setting
they are particularly annoying to humans!), but it may
be worth a try in addition to everything else.
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