Upon Discovering a Mouse in the House…



Turns out we have a mouse in our house. Yes, a mouse. Just like in the Dr. Suess book. Who knows, maybe even mice.

I had noticed soon after we moved in and I’d put everything in place in the kitchen that under the sink were some little black seed-looking things. At first, I thought it was dirt dropping off of the brush-and-dust pan I kept under there.

I cleaned it up, but a week or so later, noticed some more. This time, I made sure that I removed all of them, to see if they’d come back again.

By now I was thinking they were eggs from some kind of bug or something. Within a week or so again, there were more. So I went online and started doing some searching, typing in, "found small black seed dots in kitchen" and similarly ambiguous descriptions like that.

Lo and behold, someone had posed the same kind of question on some forum and dozens of responses chimed in, "Mouse droppings!"

My jaw dropped and I was immediately gripped by the heebie jeebies. What I thought were seeds were actually…droppings?! From a mouse?! Ew.

It’s not that I’ve never seen a mouse before. Once when I still lived at home, my sister and I were baking cookies of some sort—fortune cookies, maybe—in the kitchen and we saw a mouse scamper across the counter. We screamed bloody murder, somehow managed to trap it and then I think let my mom deal with it when she got home.

Even at our old apartment we had a squirrel—yes, a small, acorn-eating, fluffy-tailed squirrel—sneak into our apartment which we chased down—oven mitts and all—to shoo out the front door. (Read more about that adventure here.)

But those were both one-time things. No, this time, it’s obvious that the critter has been here so often that it knows its way around the place, leaving a trail, as it were.

My online-search suspicions were confirmed the following night when I was sitting on the couch in our living room and all of a sudden a small brown (admittedly, kind of cute) mouse darted from the fireplace across the living room and disappeared in the kitchen. By the time I got in there, it was gone. It knew where it was going.

Now, I know we live in the woods. I know our house is older so there are likely to be quite a few side doors for the little critters to enter in. It’s not that we’re dirty or cluttery or leave cheese sitting out on the counter.

But part of me is embarrassed to admit that there is a little mouse who considers this his house as much as we do. Part of me feels like if we were doing this home-ownership thing right, the mice would turn around and march right out, tipping their hats and waving goodbye as they go.

Of course that’s absurd.

But isn’t that how we think, sometimes? That if I was better or more prepared or more whatever, then I wouldn’t have to deal with this problem. Sure, sometimes that’s the case. But sometimes—it’s not. Sometimes there’s a problem and you simply have to deal with it.

Did we hollow out those holes into our house? No. Did we empty out a mouse-sized crevice and invite him in? No. Those things already existed and now, we simply have to deal with them. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is.

(But truth be told, it’s enough to make me want to get a cat.)

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When a Squirrel Sneaked Into Our Apartment...
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11 comments:

  1. I hear (not that I've ever dealt with it) from other people that have older homes that poison is the best way to get rid of them. They say that usually, the mouse just comes in to get food and goes back out and they they usually make it out after they eat the poison so you would have to deal with a dead mouse (eww) lol

    Don't be fooled, most cats I've ever had are totally USELESS when it comes to hunting critters. And I've had a lot of cats in my life.

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  2. Haha, I can only bet you're right, Jackie! That always seems to be the way it goes, doesn't it?

    We're going to try traps first, because my husband doesn't like the idea of the mice dying in the house but we might have to do it depending on how things pan out. Fingers crossed :)

    Thanks for the tips!

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  3. I had almost the EXACT same experience last summer! I was subleasing an apartment that was on the bottom floor of an old house, and I kept finding those black "seeds" under my kitchen sink. Like you, I googled a similar phrase and came to the realization that I had MICE (although being a little dramatic, I referred to them as RATS - not sure the real difference). I was so freaked out that I stuffed towels in the little space under my bedroom door so they wouldn't come in my bedroom at night!

    I had luck with traps, but be glad you have a husband to get rid of the potential 'successful' traps...that was an experience all in itself!

    The girl I was subleasing from did say that she had two cats, and had never noticed a mouse/rat before. So, maybe the cat did help?

    I remember getting really embarrassed about having mice in my house...but after all, it's an old house, and like you said - things like that just happen. :)

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  4. Some cats are really great mousers, others have no idea what to do with them. It depends on how diluted their instincts are, I think. The closer they are to being a feral rescue, the better hunters they are. We never had mice inside our house, despite living near woods and corn fields thanks to our cats. I just recommend not being around when the cat actually catches and decides he's done playing with the mouse and it's time to eat...eww. Maybe poison is better than a cat.

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  5. Ha! Katie Grace, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one clueless about those little "seeds." Yes, my husband will be taking charge in dealing with the traps :)

    I think you could be right, Kate :) At any rate, I was kind of kidding about getting the cat to catch the mouse. I would only get a cat because I love them. (Which I totally do! My husband is a different story though...)

    differentparent, you know, I thought the very same thing myself... ;)

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  6. Hi Carmen,

    I know I haven’t really been a visible reader of your blog but just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger award! Please see and accept below:
    http://amelbournegirlatheart.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/back-but-not/

    Keep up the great work!

    Ames

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  7. you should definitely get a kitty!! ;) they are so much fun and bring so much joy!

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  8. Aw, thanks for the award, Ames! That's so kind of you :)

    Anonymous, I couldn't agree more!

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  9. OH ! That must have been a thrilling experience. I have had this experience a few times when rat had entered our house. Chasing it down, beating or catching and the throwing it outside is a skill that requires focus, agility, and strength. OFcourse, FEAR has no place here. :D Hehe. Good writeup. I particularly loved the title of your blog 'Blessons'... I like that word. Is it devised by you?

    AJ
    http://ajstates.blogspot.com

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  10. Thanks, AJ. Yep, it's a word of my own making; blessings + lessons!

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