Mice: poor wee critturs. Regular readers might recall that I’ve often had a solitary mouse in my life.
Folk would say that “where there’s one there’s many more”, but I just assumed this was the “nature red in tooth and claw” brigade, whose basic belief is that everything should be killed generally.
I do believe there was just one wee moose in the kitchen – until recently. I saw him from time to time, skedaddling from the terrifying sight of, well, me. I didn’t mind him, as long as he stuck to the floor, where I let him clean up the occasional dropped seed or raisin.
Latterly, though, I’d heard noises in the attic, and also discovered that something was gnawing through plastic bags under the sink. It, or, they, had even started eating dishwasher tablets. Indeed, I was grateful to it, or them, for getting the packaging off these things, because I never could.
Imagine eating dishwasher tablets. How desperately hungry must you be? Actually, mice must gnaw to keep their ever-growing teeth in check: isn’t Mother Nature mental?
However, it was on noticing that they’d got into the medicines drawer, and gnawed at cardboard packaging, that I decided enough was enough. That meant they were getting off the ground and near the kitchen surfaces.
Another curious fact about mice is that they poop all over the place. And I don’t think they wash their hands afterwards.
So I decided they had to go. The first traps caught four, and I began to worry about a major infestation. Online, I read of people catching up to 70, though these surely came from barns and the like.
In my house, two were caught under the sink and two in the attic and, thankfully, it turned out there were no more. I caught them in humane traps, which raised the problem of where to let them go.
Luckily, I live near a large forest, which is indeed the recommended location, particularly away from human habitation. But where is that nowadays? We’re everywhere!
I put the wee beasties, one at a time as they were caught, on the passenger seat of the car, and let them listen to some music as their last contact with civilisation before their exile to the wild. Would they survive there? It was lashing with rain when I let the first one go.
Poor wee thing. But I couldn’t worry any more on their behalf. They were being given a sporting chance. What worried me was the ethical aspect of letting them go when, even if the nearest house was distant, they might still eventually make their way there.
In effect, I’d just be displacing the problem to someone else. But maybe they couldn’t make it that far. Besides, they were wild creatures. They should be eating berries and stuff, not human detritus in kitchens.
Fresh air is better than stuffy houses. The forest overlooks the sea, and is a beautiful spot than surely they would appreciate – if they gave it any thought.
For my part, I’ll give more thought to mouse management. Prevention being better than cure, I’m blocking up possible entries with gauze and steel wool.
Meanwhile, I’m still wondering how the little critturs are getting on in the forest. But I’m sure the lifestyle change will do them good.