Friday, October 10, 2014

Of Mice and Other Fears

Few things inspire such fear in people as mice.

Sure, there's  "standard" fears; heights, snakes, bugs, spiders, dark places, tight places and so on. None of these are to be made light of, but as a person who is afraid of mice, let me tell you that there is, sometimes, no rationale to fear. Let's take mice.
Please, take them all.
My eldest son tells me, mice have fear too. Personally, I don't believe this for a second. But many will tell us that they are more afraid of us than we are of them.
I don't care!

Apologies to my eldest son, and others who think mice make cute pets.

The little bastards have no place being in homes. They belong outside, not in my house.
Living out in the bush, I can tell you that mouse fertility comes in waves. It doesn't take a mouse long to get pregnant, carry and give birth to more  vermin. The gestation period of the common house mouse is just under a month, and they can give birth to a litter anywhere from 3-14 young. Mother Nature has pretty much ensured the continuation of  the house mouse with a range that covers North America. It's not like they're a threatened species!

My fear is not unfounded. The common house mouse can carry deadly diseases. Leptospirosis, Murine  Typhus, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Bubonic Plague, and the list goes on.

I don't really care if they live outdoors and remain part of the food chain, but I do not want them in my house.
To that end, we have lifted every vent cover and inserted common window screen, then replaced the vent cover. We did this because a couple of us have spotted mice coming up from the basement this way, then returning to it's dark sanctuary the same way.
I have scattered mothballs throughout the basement because it's said that mice don't like mothballs.
(I can understand that, those things reek!) We've also invested in sonic rodent repellers for every room, and while the house was empty, they seemed to work.

So of course, after doing all that to keep the mice out, wouldn't you know, we got a mouse just the other night.
We had gone three or four nights without seeing one, but then Betty and I heard one in the walls of the back porch late one night. With a growing sense of dread, I knew it was only a matter of time.

We have mouse traps in the kitchen and back porch, but when Eldest Son saw it, it was quite happily exploring the kitchen. Eldest Son talked to it while I tried not to have a melt down and secretly prayed the mouse would bolt for a peanut butter baited trap and die quickly.
Of course not. That would make my life simple!

In the end, Eldest Son was able to capture Micky with a peanut butter baited bowl, flashlight and a piece of cardboard. Mouse was taken down the road (not far enough for my liking, but Son was in his pajamas) and released!

I respect my son's mouse-whisperer gifts, but I subscribe to the "the only good mouse is a dead mouse" belief. I know I am not alone in this, lots of folks are afraid of mice. But we can fill all the holes we see, keep our homes as clean as possible and yet still have to deal with them!
On behalf of all the mouse-haters, we do not apologize for our fear any more than someone who is afraid of heights can.
All we ask is that you bear with us.
And clean up those crumbs!

How do you feel about rodents?