I thought I was running a pretty tight ship these days when it comes to keeping the mice at bay …
Everything edible in tight-sealing plastic containers; or other wise stashed in mouse-proof cupboard, the door of which is always kept closed.
Remove paper from other cupboards, too.
Rubbish bin always closed when not in use.
Sweep floor after zealous cooking sessions.
But still, there have been telltale blurs of movement in the peripheral vision.
Gnawed packages when vigilance has momentarily lapsed.
And the telltale signs of poo.
While I’d previously thought the kitchen table was an unmousey haven where a more relaxed attitude could prevail, the critters have discovered the foodie potential there, as well.
So I line up the kitchen chairs against one of the walls – and well away from the table.
Surely that’d stop them from gaining access to the table?
That night, trying to get to sleep, I hear definite sounds of mousey voraciousness, ripping and attacking.
I get up to check the table’s contents. All seems OK, so it’s a mystery.
Back to bed and more fossicking sounds.
This time, I put on clothes and turn on the hall light so the kitchen is lit, but dimly so.
I grab a kitchen chair, sit and wait.
But not for long.
Within about five minutes, out they come.
Skittering across the floor.
And straight up the table legs.
Like tiny mountaineer monkeys.
I’m sitting a few feet away.
I feel like David Attenborough.
The unfolding spectacle is fascinating.
They’re kinda jittery, darting here and there on the table and the floor. The three of them seem preoccupied with their own missions, though they stop for a chat when crossing paths.
As a species, these common mice are obviously successful survivors.
But as individuals, the three at play before me seem dimwitted and myopic.
No wonder they’re such easy pickings for any feline with a semblance of patience!
One of them seems to have dibs on a particular plastic container.
It’s old and thin – I’ve had it for years, it being full of crackers at present.
His pals mosey over to see what he’s up to then go their own ways.
He hops on to it and heads straight for the hole he’s gnawed in the lid.
But instead of trying to widen the hole so he can get right inside and have a full-on cracker party, he merely sticks head through and desperately tries to fang any cracker within reach.
Arse up and tail twitching, it’s a comical sight.
Into the rubbish bin go the container and its cracker contents.
And the cardboard box of drinking chocolate that has a corner missing.
And the kiwifruit with a big hole in it.
They don’t seem to like bananas, pears or mandarins.
I’ve always assumed that because our house is so old and creaky, the mousey access points so plentiful, that the key to keeping rodents at bay is leaving them nothing to eat.
But I’ve stoppered up what seems to be the main access hole and things have improved dramatically, so maybe the house is more secure, mice-wise, than I figured.