A couple of weeks ago I told you about the little mouse I trapped in our laundry room and released in my neighborhood park. (Hmm, TNR for mice? Although I skipped the “N” part…) I was well aware that mice are usually not single creatures, and sure enough, last week, I saw another one scurrying behind the washer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the girls are not allowed in the laundry room. It’s unfinished, and there are too many nooks and crannies they could get stuck in, so it’s off limits to them. So letting them loose in there to catch the mouse wasn’t an option – and even though I’m all for letting cats be cats and exercising their natural instincts on a toy mouse, I really didn’t want that poor little mouse to get killed.

So, I set out the trap again. On the first day, the mouse outwitted me. The cheese was gone, and somehow, even though the mechanism had sprung, the mouse managed to somehow open the door to the trap and escaped. The second day, I had just settled down to watch TV. Ruby was asleep in front of the Christmas tree. Allegra was sleeping on my lap.

All of  a sudden, Allegra’s ears started to twitch. She jumped off my lap and ran down the stairs. Since Allegra hardly ever goes downstairs in the evening. I was pretty sure that she had heard something in the laundry room. Sure enough, there was an angry little mouse in the trap.

I was already in my jammies, looking forward to an evening of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. I knew the mouse probably would have been fine in the trap overnight – but of course, there was no way I could leave him in there all night. So, I got dressed again and took the mouse for a little ride to the neighborhood park. At least it wan’t raining this time! Given that the mouse had somehow managed to dismantle the trap the first night, I was a little paranoid about just picking up the trap and putting it in my car. The thought of the little mouse getting loose in my car was just not appealing to me… So, I put the trap inside a big plastic storage container.

When I got to the park, I took the container out, then picked up the trap, opened it, and released the mouse. And it made a beeline for my car – and I had left the car door open! Thankfully, I was able to head the mouse off at the pass and managed to gently nudge him back toward the leafy, grassy area where I had initially set him free. He scurried off underneath some leaves, and I hope he is living happily ever after, maybe even reunited with his mouse buddy from two weeks ago.


Meanwhile, Allegra was not happy with me when I returned.

Allegra: I KNEW there was a mouse in that room! Ruby and I had discussed it for a few days before Mom set the trap, and Ruby smelled it, too. Of course, Ruby slept right through the excitement when the mouse actually went inside the trap. I told Mom she didn’t have to go out again that night, I would have taken care of things for her, but nooooo. She had to be a hero and go set the mouse free. She’s such a party pooper!

Ruby: What? What’s happening?

Allegra: Go back to sleep, Ruby.

Ruby: Did I miss the tuna?

Since relocating Mouse Number Two, I followed the advice of one of our readers and left some tufts of fur around the outer edges of the laundry room (thanks, Debi!). So far, so good!

26 Comments on A Mouse in the House, Part Two

  1. Just to get an idea of how small an opening they need: the latest mouse in the house was in the large kitchen, but most likely brought up from “finished” basement. For two days my “hunters” sat staring at the trash compacter and the dishwasher. The “gaps” at the base of these are so small I cannot even get my finger into it, yet the mice can squeeze through (no other access to those – base is sealed tight.) They finally waited it out long enough that the bugger came out. Free-for-all in the kitchen for about 1/2 hour! I almost snagged it a few times and they kept chasing it into the radiator, behind the fridge, stove, etc, but in the end it met its demise.

    The point here is a crack that small can let a mouse in/out! More than likely you will not even see one that size (or it could be under the bottom piece of siding, so you will never see it.)

    As for tufts of fur… perhaps it has worked for some of you, but there are LOTS of tufts of fur here (12 cats! I call it Savoir Faire because it is EVERYwhere! Even after sweeping up, 5 minutes later there’s another.) yet they still come in… I’ve been tempted to post cat pictures outside, but mice are stupid and wouldn’t know what it means!

    • Ha! I like the idea of posting cat pictures outside! And you kind of have to wonder whether mice are actually smarter than all of us if they can figure out how to aggravate us so much… 😉

  2. Bless you for not killing the poor rodent. decades ago, I trapped a mouse in my house with a killing trap because I didn’t know about the traps that can catch them alive, and I was terrified of the mouse. I’ve regretted it very much for a long time.

    Leaving cat’s fur for the mice to smell and stay away is a brilliant idea.

  3. We bought some “pulse tone” rodent deterrent devices from WalMart a few months ago. Just plug in and “no more pesky rodents.” I don’t know if they are really working or if the mice are getting smarter but so far…so good. One little one found its way into the downstairs entryway but it was absolutely frantic trying to get out. Could it be that the pulse tone was really “driving the little thing crazy?” We did manage to catch it and send it on its way. Fingers crossed!

  4. For most anyone who thinks they don’t have mice – you probably do.
    For those who have seen and/or captured one, you have more.

    Despite having four cats at my previous home, every year there would be “presents” left for me. Like Ingrid, I hated the thought of them being killed and would attempt to rescue and relocate. At some point I got tired of this and asked my pest treatment (for bees at the time) guy to set traps. Within TWO weeks, 7 of the 8 traps had mice. BTW, mice breed WORSE than rabbits! From Wikipedia: “The gestation period is about 19–21 days, and they give birth to a litter of 3–14 young (average six to eight). One female can have 5 to 10 litters per year, so the mouse population can increase very quickly. Breeding occurs throughout the year.”

    When selling said home, the RE agent saw a trap I had (was already living elsewhere, so there was no live pest control) and in a horrified voice said “You have MICE?” My response to her was no matter how clean you think your house is, YOU have mice. It is funny that she then related a story about doing some renovation and finding odd items, including a breast milk pad, stashed away by the mice…

    In this house, now with 12 cats, there are still episodes of mice. The best mouser will now growl at me and run away when she has a mouse, because she knows I will “steal” it. Of course she brings it up from the finished basement and then lets it loose so that she/they can “play” with it!! Sometimes I can capture it during “play” time, and it goes into holding for a day or so to ensure it will survive, then gets relocated (or tossed into the woods if it did not survive). Once a mouse she had was most definitely dead, but Sylvia wanted to play with it and kept running away from me with it. I tolerated that until she flung it and it sailed about 5 feet in the air. THAT’S IT guys! I do NOT want dead mice hitting me it the head! So out it went.

    Mice are very secretive. There are plenty of non-livable spaces in your house that they can live in (and destroy) – attics, crawl spaces, inside the walls, between floors – virtually any nook or cranny, and they can squeeze through incredibly small spaces to get in (Ingrid, you may not be able to find their egress!!) You only happen to see either 1) the ones your cats flush out or 2) those who get brave (or stupid) enough to wander into actual people/cat living spaces!

  5. We went through quite a time a few years back (fields and trees all around us). Hannah Mae thought they were toys…played a few minutes, sat and watched for a few minutes, got bored and went to sleep. She is the Princess, after all. We finally trapped the last one but it was “lively” around here for awhile. LOL

  6. My Maine Coone girl Shelley loves to sit out on our back deck. She can’t leave the deck so I feel safe letting her out there. Last year she brought me a present of a mouse head, yuck! A couple of months later I looked out in the back yard at my bird feeder and saw a large rat on the feeder. I chased it away and put clumps of cat fur all around the back yard. I haven’t seen a mouse or rat since. Shelley has been disappointed though. And yes she had to visit the vet and get dewormed and medication for parasites.

  7. Oh boy, I can relate to these mouse stories…..I can’t remember how many I trapped in a previous apartment….And I figured out that a piece of cheese was not the answer…for some reason they manage to get it and back out.

    I use those little have-a-heart traps and put peanut butter way in the back…..that works.

    • Peanut butter worked with the first mouse after three days of no cheese in the open trap. With this one, I put the cheese underneath the trigger mechanism, that seemed to do the trick.

  8. Oh boy, Ruby does not look like a happy camper!
    I guess you can’t locate the entry point in which the mice are getting in – maybe a small hole behind the washer/ dryer and seal and caulk it?

  9. Lol… I’ve never had a mouse in the house and my two cats at the same time. Although I’ve heard all the negatives about letting your pet cats eat mice (could have parasites, diseases, etc…) I still want to let my cat Charity experience it. I swear in her previous home she was a field cat. Man, she’s a born hunter.

  10. My husband and I trapped a mouse earlier this fall in our house. We also let ours lose in a nearby park. We think it got in during renovations and so hope that’s the last mice we see.

  11. Growing up, our house backed on to a field and we used to get mice in every fall. Our cats were adept and finding them, and my mom would vacuum them up with the built in.

    Later, when I had moved out, my mom called me and asked me to come over because she thought she had a rat. I told her probably not, but went over anyway. But that’s another story!

  12. Check where the dryer vents to the outside of the house. Even the slightest crack or opening can be a “welcome” sign to a mouse.

  13. Many years ago I had a mouse in my pantry. I’m sure that mouse thought it was in heaven. I tried a trap but the mouse wasn’t interested so I did the only thing I could do. I cleaned the floor of the pantry out and fetched my mighty hunter, Spooky. He pounced on that mouse, picked it up in his mouth and trotted to the back door. I followed him out, praised him up a storm, and while he was distracted my husband shooed the mouse away. Fortunately that’s the only mouse I’ve had in my house.

  14. That mouse, or mice, sure know a good home when they see it. And ready to jump into your car for a ride back home.

    Allerga, missed some fresh meat. Mice can be a devil to get rid of. We had to call an exterminator to rid us of mice. I didn’t want my cats to go after the mice.

  15. Last year, my human’s boyfriend went through a scenario similar to that one, oh, maybe a dozen or so times! We had a lot of them. But so far, it’s been pretty quiet here this year.

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