Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Of Mice and ME .........

image from istockphoto



Eeeeeks !  There are mice in the house !!!! As of this writing I have managed to catch and release (by my own methods with a little help from Kitty) three wee mice in the last 24 hours. I am hoping that there are no more, but am well aware that mice can have nearly a dozen babies in one litter ! I haven't noticed Kitty on the prowl the rest of the day (probably because the mice are sleeping since they are nocturnal). Then again, maybe she doesn't want to catch any since I keep taking away her "toys" ?

It all started at 9:30 last night when she brought the first one up to me and dropped it at my feet. I initially thought it was a really large bug, but quickly found out otherwise. I was unable to catch the mouse, it ended up falling into the cold air return vent, wonderful. She caught another in the basement at 10:30, I was able to catch that one by dropping a plastic container over it upside down , trapping it (those little guys are FAST and squeak quite loudly!!!!). I slid cardboard under it, put on thick ski type gloves then carefully lifted the contraption up, keeping pressure on it so the little critter wouldn't escape. I carried it out to the field near a pile of wood. Entering back into the house she had ANOTHER mouse cornered in the basement, but that one got away, running along the wall where a bunch of stuff was in the way. I gave up and went to bed at nearly 1 AM.

7 AM  Kitty had one for me, this one was stunned or hurt so it didn't move very quickly, easy to catch and take out to the woodpile.

I ran out and bought two live catch traps first thing this morning and set them as soon as I caught and carried yet another mouse out to the woodpile, this one was upstairs in the hall at Kittys feet when I walked in the door. Say what they want about my old fat cat, but she can still catch critters.

Neither live catch trap has gone off the entire day, of course mice are nocturnal by nature which would explain in part why I've not seen them when I am down in the craft dungeon during the day the past week while working. Then again, maybe the mice are too smart to enter it or are too small, lightweight to trip it or perhaps they are not interested in peanut butter when there is cat food available. I did make sure the container I store it in is tightly sealed now, can you imagine me slipping my hand in to get food and have little mice jumping out !??! There is also the possibility that I don't have the traps set in the right area of the basement: perhaps where I have seen the mice is where Kitty dropped them off to play with and show me. I have after all not ever seen any signs of mice living in the basement in the area I frequent.... Geesh, I don't want to think about this too much. I've never, ever had baby mice in the house and only had a couple of mice (lizards and a snake, too) over the 14 years I've lived here. I guess this is another sign that I do indeed need more pets, although Kitty certainly alerted me to the mice and did her part to catch them (ummm, play with them) she isn't able to keep on top of the problem alone. Sigh, makes me miss my Mulligan and Ringo cats even more and Cassie dog, too. This should make for an interesting week ahead. Ah, the joys of living in the country !


What have I been working on in the craft dungeon that I made reference to ? I started to do some scrapbooking, working on my very first real traditional paper crafted scrapbook album... I may not finish though, what a HUGE, time consuming project ! I will share photos soon of the few pages I have managed to complete before discovering the new residents in the basement.



The below information was found at www.orkin.com



Country Mouse

The country mouse is also known as the field mouse. They are most commonly gray or white in color, although some specimens may be brown or black. Country mice are nocturnal in nature and eat a variety of foods, including fruit, carrion and rotting vegetables.
Country mice are fast, small and highly intelligent when compared with other mice. However, they are not good at defending themselves from predators and most specimens do not live more than two years. Researchers are unsure of the country mouse’s life span in natural conditions, as studied specimens tend to be consumed before they die of natural causes. Birds, snakes, foxes, rabbits and other rodents are common country mouse predators.
Despite their vulnerability to predators, country mice populations remain steady. Females reproduce every month and give birth to a number of young each time. Upon reaching maturity, country mice immediately seek mates. Country mice also reach maturity at a faster rate than most other mouse species.




Field Mouse

Field mice are characteristically small rodents. As their name implies, they are most common in fields. Field mice may also be found dwelling in the plains, forests and in old, rural homes. They are cousins to the rat and possess some of the same physical characteristics. Field mice are brown, black or white in color and feature long, hairless tails. Field mice also have sharp claws. However, field mice are smaller than rats. They are also extremely intelligent.
Field mice are scavengers that will feed on any food available to them. These mice are prey to cats, dogs, bears, wolves, snakes, owls and rabbits. Nocturnal in nature, they are cautious and only venture outside after having fully-assessed the situation at hand. Field mice use their coats as camouflage, blending in with rocks or dried leaves. Despite this, these mice are rarely successful at eluding their predators. Most field mice are eaten before they reach their second year.
Field mice mate more often than other mice. Females tend to be pregnant at least once a month. During the pregnancy, only the male goes out in search of food. Baby field mice are born blind, bald and deaf. However, within three weeks, they will have reached maturity and begun mating.




2 comments:

  1. We have this problem every fall when the fields behind our home are harvested. The farm cats catch quite a few, but apparently a few sneak past...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hats them too. Sounds like you do need more kittens. Cant wait to see the scrapbook pages

    ReplyDelete

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