Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Uninvited visitors

On Saturday the casserole for that evening's meal was in the oven and everything else was under control so I thought that I could treat myself to a bit of blogging. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop when I heard a rustling noise. The noise appeared to be coming from the lobby between the kitchen and the utility room. This is a small square room that the kitchen door opens onto, as does the utility room door and the back door opens off it. I went to investigate. In the dark I saw something move amongst the rubbish, that I had earlier decided it was too cold to put in the dustbin. Quick as a flash I was upstairs to my husband. He was quickly downstairs and into the kitchen. We both stood there listening. Yes, there was definitely something happening in the lobby. My husband opened the kitchen door but couldn't see what was making the noise, so opened the utility room door and as he did, a small dark brown creature scuttled into the utility room. Now we had lost it as the utility room is quite big. We moved things around but it had gone to ground and was silent. I think that it was probably a mouse, but the question is how had it got in? It was three and a half hours since the back door had been opened. Surely, if a mouse had been in the lobby for that length of time we would have heard it sooner.

We have not heard or seen it since, so either it has found its way out or is still in the utility room. Since this incident I have insisted that we keep all the doors, both internal and external, shut at all times to try to prevent the mouse getting into the house. It is amazing the number of doors that we have in the downstairs of the cottage. Each room has at least two doors. It is a bit like a rabbit warren.

Later in the evening I remembered the windfall cooking apples that I had left on the utility room floor. Recently I had noticed that some of them looked as if they were being eaten but as I could not think what could be eating them, I had assumed, that as they were now old and going rotten, that they were self decomposing. I realised that the mouse had probably been in and out for a few weeks helping itself to our unwanted apples. The apples have now been thrown away and we are planning on having the utility room refitted.

Then last night just as I was about to drift off to sleep I was aroused by some animal doing a clog dance in the loft. It wasn't a mouse. It made too much noise. Two minutes of Strictly Come Dancing in the loft and I was wide awake for the next three hours! We need to have some repair work done to the barge boards, soffits and gutters and hopefully any holes into the roof will be filled in.

18 comments:

CG said...

A humane mousetrap? For the utility room, not the loft. I wonder what you have up there???

Mima said...

I have spent a lot of hours chasing mice over time as my cat brings them in! My Mum used to have them in the house, and sadly the only answer is traps (with peanut butter is best if you have any). Good luck with tracking it down.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Oh no CW - what a nuisance. Humane mousetraps are a good idea and they do work. My daughter had a mouse (we think the cat brought it in) set the humane trap and next morning released it back into the garden. Not sure what to do about Fred/Ginger in the loft though. Local pest control are usually helpful. A x

Maggie May said...

Oh..... Cheshire Wife... sorry to hear this. mice are more respectable than their larger cousins, though!
Could it be a squirrel in the roof?
I find that poison works quite fast and then you can remove the body if you can get at it, that is. Traps are messy and can only be used once.
These blasted rodents will be the death of me.....

Strangely the word verification was biker! Nothing to do with rodents but not often do I get a proper word.

Akelamalu said...

Oh Crikey, you don't think it's rats do you? I'd have to move!:0

Scriptor Senex said...

http://www.alanaecology.com/acatalog/Trip_Trap_Small_Mammal_Trap.html

Brilliant things. I use them for studying wildlife but they are equally good as a mouse trap. Please don't kill me, squeak, squeak...

Lindsay said...

Pest Control Man might be a good idea, pesky rodents might eat through electrical wiring. About 15 years ago we had to have our fuse box changed in the Utility room and when it was unscrewed four dead and flattened mice fell to the floor!

Gilly said...

Could be squirrels in your roof, or starlings. They use hobnailed boots to dance in, so make quite a bit of noise.

Mice can squeeze through the tiniest gaps, are you sure they can't get in under the door??

Humane traps are good, but you have to take the mouse away far from your home. But then it would get eaten by an owl, or something. Maybe a quick death is best, so long as you have a husband who can empty traps!

The Dotterel said...

Catch it and give it to Auntie Gwen's daughter - she's desperate for a pet!

Sandi McBride said...

The mouse was just doing his bit for the Green effort and recycling those apples you forgot about! Clog dancing on the other hand is just plain worrisome, however! That's some might big feet up over your head...I'd definitely send hubby up there with the torch!
Sandi

Lakeland Jo said...

we once had a rat in our loft ( just one small one) but is sounded like a herd of elephants overhead...

Catharine Withenay said...

I'm tempted to comment: "Now, when I was in Africa ..." as there such things seemed quite mundane ... but that's not really fair and I still wouldn't like rodents in my house. (Children, ok; rodents, no.)

Sounds like you have some good advice for getting rid of them though!

david mcmahon said...

Clog dancing? You are brilliant. Seriously.

Suburbia said...

In my experience (we had two cats who used to bring in live mice and loose interest in them!) The damn things can get under any sort of closed door, as impossible as it may look to us! Good luck with catching the thing. Can you 'borrow' a cat?!

French Fancy said...

Do you know I'm going to move you to my sidebar because I completely missed that you had posted this.

anyway commiserations on the scuttling creature and to take your mind of it I have tagged you.

Did you ever put the mirror up?

French Fancy said...

'of it' - honestly! Why don't I read the comments I leave before pressing the final button.

Of course I meant *off*

imbeingheldhostage said...

We had those dancers in our place last year! Turned out to be a family of Starlings and they sure kept odd hours (and sounded exactly like rodents).

Good luck with your new pets ;-)

Mojo said...

My most notable "indoor wildlife experiences" both involved young opossums that climbed in via the outside of the drain pipe for the washing machine. The story ended badly for both of them.

Mice are clever beggars, and quite the escape artists too. Live trapping is the most humane thing, but the little devils will strip the trap and scurry away laughing if you don't have good ones.

Good luck!