A mouse in the house

I’ve made no secret about my struggles with anxiety. I worry. Constantly.

Less than two weeks after moving into our new home, and I’ve come to the conclusion that homeownership, while wonderful, has extended my list of worries by about a mile.

At the top of my list? A MOUSE. In my kitchen. At least one, probably more, likely living behind the dishwasher. Tony came face to face with it last night before it scampered under the counter behind the dishwasher.

After the mouse encounter, I seriously considered packing up and moving in the middle of the night like the family in “The Amityville Horror.” Because seriously. IT WAS A MOUSE.

So far it’s been suggested that we get a cat or set up traps. But the idea of finding dead mice freaks me out way more than a live mouse. I mean, I used to have hamsters when I was a kid. This is no different, right? Except he feeds himself. And doesn’t require a cage.

I’m not sure a cat would help anyway. My parents live in front of a corn field, and they used to get field mice in the basement in the fall when the weather started turning colder. We had a cat — a very lazy cat who didn’t seem to mind the mice. In fact, my bedroom was in the basement, and I distinctly remember waking up to see a mouse getting into the cat’s dish while the cat lazily slept next to me.

I like the alternative even less. A cat who actually hunts mice? When I was a kid, I had a neighbor whose cat was a skilled mouse hunter. It wasn’t uncommon to find a random mouse head on the porch. No thanks.

Not to mention, my husband is deathly allergic to felines, and it stands to reason that our son will be, too.

I don’t suppose there’s any magical, humane solution, is there? Because I was just kidding about letting the thing roam my kitchen as a pet.

Please, help, Internet! I don’t want to move again. But I also don’t want a mouse for a roommate.

10 thoughts on “A mouse in the house

  1. Brittany

    LOL, welcome to Southern Indiana! Mice were pretty much my second siblings growing up. I never did learn to like them but at least to tolerate.

    I dunno about humane…they have those trap-door ones, but I don’t think they’re very effective. I, too, am allergic to cats. Our best bet was always the sticky glue traps. It doesn’t technically kill them, though how you unstick them once you catch them…well, I dunno (my dad used to smash them and then I would cry at the horror!). And always use peanut butter on the traps instead of cheese!! Cheese is too easy for them to pick up and run off with, but peanut butter is sticker and will require them hanging around longer if they actually want to eat it all!

    Good luck! Keep your cereals in plastic containers. And remember, they’re more afraid of us than we are of them, right?

  2. Rae

    I wish I had advice on humane…. but the only thing that worked for us was poison. Apparently, it makes them thirsty, so they go outside to find something to drink, usually. So sorry you’re dealing with this. We had an invasion move to our house when they were clearing out the house next door after they were evicted.

  3. Cheryl

    We used to live in the country and we would get mice in the fall. There is a new trap that lets you dispose of them without ever seeing or touching. Maybe not humane, but less “eww” factor. Once they are gone, to keep them out, have your hubby seal every little crevice/hole with steel wool. Anything else they can chew through. Also, I have heard that they do not like the smell of Bounce dryer sheets and will avoid them. Hope you are able to solve the problem soon. Good luck!!

  4. Megan

    I grew up in the country and this was an almost anual problem. The best poison we found is called “Just One Bite”- it comes in pellets and logs that you break apart; you can find it at most animal feed stores or farm supply shops (I found ours at Atwoods- not sure if they’re in Indiana). Like Rae said, they usually leave the house so you don’t deal with dead mice, however they have taken the poison back to the nest so they all get it. I know it isn’t exactly humane, but it would be better than getting bitten by a mouse with rabies. Don’t freak out- not all mice have it and if someone gets bitten you just get a shot (my dad was bitten while picking up a glue trap- if you use this method and they are close to where you grab use tongs). I just purchased poison and glue traps two weeks ago and I haven’t seen a mouse since the first 48 hours. It will all be gone shortly! No worries!!! :)

  5. Rachel

    I would suggest the humane traps with peanut butter as well. That’s what my dad used to use at our lake cottage. I had had mice as pets growing up, and I could not stand the idea of a trap smashing one. However, you’ve got to be sure they can’t just get right back in after you dump them out of the trap! Seal up all their potential entry points and store away any food that might be attracting them in airtight containers.

  6. margot

    Yes, you can get humane traps at some stores and online. They work well. The are usually wire boxes that the mouse goes into and can’t get out of, and then you (or rather, your husband) lets the mouse go outside. This is the only thing that I would ever use. I can’t believe that any person with an ounce of caring or humanity would use traps that glue an animal’s feet to them to the point that the animal tries to gnaw off its own leg or use a trap that squishes the animal in two!

    Also, try reading PETA’s website and the Humane Society’s website for other humane suggestions. I’m sure there are many.

    I have personally caught 2 mice in 2 different friends’ houses, and it wasn’t that hard if Tony is up for it. I just had a big tupperware ready for when I saw the mouse, managed to put the tupperware over the mouse, stuck a sturdy piece of paper under the tupperware, and transported the mouse outside. Or I put a big box on its side with cheese in the box, waited for the mouse to go in, put the box upright, and took the mouse outside.

    Also, maybe the mouse can be an exercise in reducing anxiety. Easier said than done, I know. I’m only not fearful of mice because I made the conscious decision not to be. Whenever I see one, I force myself to focus on the fact that it’s actually really cute and that I had hamsters growing up and that a mouse is no different. Mice might actually be cuter than hamsters. Other than not liking the surprise, I’ve gotten myself to where I don’t even mind having a mouse in the house.

  7. M

    Be glad you just have a mouse. Home ownership can come with all sorts of creatures. We’ve had bats, and squirrels, and mice. One summer I caught 15, before we figured out where they were getting in. I’ve had squirrels running between the floor boards. Neighbors have had raccoons and I’ve smelled skunks nearby. I live in an urban area. I got to know the Animal Rescue League well, learned how stun the bats with a broom, put all my food in tupperware containers in the pantry. As we have renovated, old holes have gotten plugged up and it is not so much a problem now. I’m sorry it makes you feel so anxious. The first time I saw a bat I was freaked out, but had to stay calm for the kids. Didn’t want to scare them. Amazing how much courage and calm you can find. Meanwhile, do what you can to eliminate them from house, but try not to get too anxious about it. Make jokes about it. My kids got presents at Xmas from the “Bat in the closet” and they love hear us tell the stories… It is part of the lore of our house and our life as a family in it.

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