Yup. I'm pretty sure we do have mice. As winter approaches, the mice migrate into the house looking for a warm, dry place and food to eat. The first tell-tale indications are the sounds of little paws running along the ceiling in inaccessible spaces between the first and second floor and some attic spaces. I've posted before about our local vermin - outside we have woodland voles who live outdoors around the foundation of the house and in the garden beds. Indoors we have woodland jumping mice - your typical bulgy-eyed field mice. They're cute, but they're destructive - and they don't pay rent.
They tend to congregate downstairs in the basement, which is an un-finished space. I've had thoughts about putting in partitions and making a rec-room of sorts down there, but I have visions of this:
DW is concerned about the mice as well because we have a set of pantry shelves in the basement where we store groceries and other dry goods that get purchased in bulk or because the price is good. If anything, the mice get into bags of rice and barley and sometimes will chew on boxes of baking mixes. Actually, I think she's more concerned about sharing her wine supply which we keep on the pantry shelves as well:
Because DS and DD have gerbils, killing traps are frowned upon in our house. The mice are pretty close cousins to the gerbils and the kids don't want to see us flattening mice with the old-fashioned traps. I also find that they don't work that well and I have to finish the mouse off, or discover the the mouse has suffered some long-lasting and horrible fate in the trap. I've found the Have-a-Heart traps to work pretty well, too. Witness today's haul or the reason for the post's title:
We've now caught 11 mice in the last two weeks or so. They get released far down in the woods away from the house to become part of the food chain again. We've been amazed to watch them climb trees high and fast enough to put a squirrel to shame and run down to the edge of the pond, jump in and swim out to small islands of brush and trees. DW is still convinced that we're catching the same mice over and over. Personally, I think the place is just lousy with mice at the moment. Anyway - I caught three in one night last week, so there are at least three of them! Perhaps someone is dropping them off like kittens at a dairy farm!