The Mouse Wars

mouse trap gameWhat’s worse than living in a half renovated house?

What’s worse than living in a half renovated house with all kinds of small gaps and openings?

What’s worse than living in a half renovated house with all kinds of gaps and openings, and children who leave food crumbs everywhere?

What’s worse, is living in a half renovated house, with all kinds of small gaps and openings, with children who leave foo crumbs everywhere…. in the middle of a mouse plague!

Yes, we have a mouse problem.

When the kids all finally go to bed and the house is quiet, I hear little scurrying feet and chewing teeth everywhere. Behind the TV, under the bed, in the laundry basket. And if the noise isn’t enough one night a mouse popped his little furry head up from behind the couch and started watching TV between my husband and I.

I am not scared of mice, they can even be kinda cute, but I have a problem with bold mice… the kind that attack you when you least suspect it, and I have vowed to eradicate them.

A long time ago, in those carefree childless days I encountered my firs bold mouse.

We lived in the city back then, and when this tiny little mouse scurried across our lounge room floor my first thought was “awww it’s so cute…. don’t kill it!”

As we chased it down the hallway I eagerly suggested “let’s catch it… and let it go in the park.”

We cornered it behind some phone books and I was instructed to move the phone books aside so he could catch it in an ice cream container. I got in close, and carefully, carefully moved the books… “come on little mousey… we won’t hurt you” I coaxed.

Suddenly that tiny, ‘so cute we should save it’, little mouse, shot out from it’s hiding place and ran right up my leg.

Yes… it ran up my leg.


And into my pants!

I was wearing shorts.


That bloody, stinky, feral beast, of a bold mouse, literally clawed his way up my bare leg and attempted to hide in my shorts.

I screamed, and leaped around, and screamed some more.

Before I could manage to get my pants off, the mouse dropped out of the leg of my shorts and ran under the front door and away.

I was left, shaking, standing with my pants around my ankles, damning that bold mouse to hell and vowing to kill every mouse that ever entered my house for the rest of eternity.

Fast forward to last year when I attempted to put on a shoe which contained a dead mouse.

And then, just the other day, when I went to put on my jacket and found a relative of that very first bold mouse living in the sleeve!

That was it, the mouse that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. I am now on a personal mission to kill as many feral mice as I possible can.

Each night we set an elaborate series of traps and baits that makes the Mouse Trap game seem lame in comparison. During the day I dream up more and more places I can hide traps and even crazier food I can lure those bold mice with.

We’re keeping a running tally, on who’s caught the most mouse and with what. I text my husband while he is at work to share my mouse killing prowess and he leaves me little notes in the morning before he goes to work to update our tally. Last week we caught seven in one day and I am almost ready to declare Natural Confectionery Company jelly snakes as the ultimate mouse trap bait. (And before you suggest we try peanut butter, remember the deathly peanut allergic kids we have. Same goes for suggesting we get a cat.)

Ok… I know that this might seem a little gruesome, declaring war on small seemingly innocent rodents, but they started it. If those darn bold mice would just stay outside then I’d be all ‘live and let live’ about it. But when they decide to come into my house and have the audacity complain about what we watch on TV and take up residence in my clothes…. then there is nothing left to do but declare Mouse War!

{image: by paulmoriss via flickr}

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Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:

  1. says

    We are in the middle of the same war. We just updated our traps to a super-dooper version that comes with its own bait, but it looks suspiciously like peanut paste to me. They caught 6 in one day, so jelly snakes might still be ahead.
    At least the chickens are enjoying it.

    • katef says

      tried chocolate… wasn’t as successful as sultanas, and no where near as good as jelly snakes… so far! LOL

  2. says

    I am all for a mice war. I hate the little vermin. My cat just brought me the biggest mouse I have every seen in my life. I may or may not have screamed. One of our other cats left a mouse under the clothes line for me the other day too. Yuck!

    We have always used peanut butter wrapped in chux in the traps and that has always worked for us, but isn’t helpful for you… Jelly snakes though, hadn’t thought of that one.

    • katef says

      wrapping the bait in the chux is a good idea… I like the jelly snakes as they are super sticky and wrapped around the trap they are hard to get off…. go one little sucker with his teeth sunk deep into the snake!

  3. says

    Kate – I waged a war on mice too. We bought a cat. I am not a big cat fan, but I dislike mice more than cats. Pippi-cat is a fabulous mouse-catcher. I don’t have to worry about setting traps, or putting out poison – she just deals with them all for me. As an added extra – she is super warm on my feet!

    • katef says

      we can’t have a cat as the girls are chronically allergic… no cat, no pea nut butter… makes you wonder if the mouse aren’t scamming us with this whole allergy thing hey!?!?

  4. says

    Thaks so much for putting a smile on my face today!!! I know EXACTLY how you feel as we are experiencing the same…especially with all the wet weather! I hate the noises they make when the house goes quiet and you KNOW they are there! Done the shoe thing too!
    have you tried pumpkin seeds? they love em!Good luck!

    • katef says

      Pumpkin seeds? really?
      Ok adding that to the list of things to try… any tip for getting them securely on the trap?

      • Trace says

        there are some traps you can get that have a little kind of cage to put the bait in that clicks shut. That is how we put the chocolate on them.

  5. Trace says

    oh yes I second the pumpkin seeds (we were drying some out to plant and the mice attacked them!).

    Also, chocolate – they especially liked my Malteser Easter eggs :(

    And dog food – the mice ate a hole in our brand new bag of very expensive dog food within an hour of buying it!

    but we did the tally thing – caught about 20 in a week and then the numbers have quickly declined to 1 a week if we are lucky. Hopefully we got through the worst of it!

    Good Luck!!!

  6. Alissa says

    If I were in your situation I would totally be doing all out war!!! Mice in the house are gross! I’m shuddering just thinking about it!
    Are cashews on your allergy list too?
    Makes me feel just a little better about our cockroach problems – at least they aren’t mice!!

  7. says

    What’s worse than a mouse problem? Children that check the traps hoping to find one still alive. They plead with us each time to keep them as pets. At least they would be free and plentiful.

  8. Sharon says

    Oh Kate, I should have heeded your warning not to read this! I am so rodent-phobic it’s not funny! I wouldn’t cope in your house LOL. We have had a few around here lately since the neighbours pruned all their garden and hubby thinks he even saw a RAT in the garage – EWWWW! We had a dead one under the fridge in our last house – the smell was so gross! And another time one ate the block of chocolate on top of the fridge and a really bold one ran across my desk…talk about a heart attack! And there was another incident a couple of years ago that still has me the laughing stock of hubby’s family :)

  9. says

    Ugh, I feel your pain. They live in our shed and chew holes in the tarpaulins. I don’t mind them outside but if they come in here I shall be most displeased!

  10. Melissa2cats says

    Great article, made me smile and good to see someone else has declared war on mice. Bacon has been the best bait for me because you can tie it to the traps.

  11. says

    We had mice in our last place – an apartment. The maintenance people put down “humane” traps and the mice saw right through those. So we put down good old fashioned traps, smeared on some peanut butter and had 3 dead in 20 minutes! It was so disgusting, they were living in the ac closet which was in our kids room. we ended up killing 7 total but I am absolutely with you and support your noble quest to get rid of the mice!! They better watch out. Good luck!

  12. says

    We resorted to peanut butter on the traps but even though we kept the peanut butter away from Heidi and the traps out of her way (behind cupboards etc where they were in the mouses way) she was getting rashes.

    So we got the cat and lucky me is the only one allergic to it and cat litter. Joy. Oddly he loves me best, despite me directing the children to feed him daily.

  13. Holly says

    I have previously worked in a remote office surrounded by farming land and at the time we had a mouse plague of the worst proportion! I use to grease the legs of my desk and chair with vaseline to keep them from running up them pooping on them and prevent them from eating everything on my desk. They still managed to outsmart us. We had so many traps that it took the first person in, 20 minutes to check and clear them each day. We had a running “Dead Mickey Mouse” tally going on the work fridge and everytime you would hear a trap snap shut during office hours, a cheer would erupt from the staff.

  14. says

    The mouse ran up your leg and into your pants?! I’m not afraid of mice but that made me go a bit faint! I have no suggestions but offer my sympathies – here’s hoping they are all gone soon!

  15. says

    We won the battle last year but they are back with thier mates this year. I had some sucess with a trap my father in law showed me. You have prob tried it. A bucket of water, a greased up winebottle and some bait. sounds kind of weird but it works. Balance a wine bottle on its side (we did it on a chair next the bucket) with the end with the hole over a bucket of water. You tuck your bait in the end and then grease it up so its slippery. When they walk out to get the bait they slip and fall in the water. Might be an idea.

  16. Nicole Harry says

    Was giggling so hard I almost wet my pants! Although I take your mouse UP YOUR SHORTS and raise you a mouse ON MY NECK! From out of my bag, while standing a boat! With a large crowd on the beach. At age sixteen and trying to be cool, collected and sexy. Screaming, flapping arms, throwing bags, and jumping into the ocean do not make ANYONE sexy! War on all mice, bold or not..