We did not just have a sometimes mouse, it turned out. Word had spread of our delicious and plentiful crumbs before we’d been able to kick out our uninvited house guest. Friends arrived.
Friends that would come out from under the fridge while I stood at the stove. Friends that made it all the way to our couch while we sat at the dining room table. Friends who had the gall to climb up onto our counter.
That, for Colin, was finally the last straw.
“What harm could they do?” he had asked. I couldn’t really say, having never before shared living space with the little critters.
“The spread germs, right? Everyone else seems to take issue with them.”
When Colin discovered one making a ruckus behind our cutting boards, he took issue with them too.
The collective wisdom of the internet had a lot to say about mouse problems, it turns out. They don’t like mothballs; unfortunately, neither do people. They avoid peppermint, which, unfortunately, I didn’t have on hand. They love peanut butter though; a nibble of peanut butter has been the undoing of countless mice, if one would guess from the internet.
The internet also said those iconic wooden traps have been around forever for a reason—they work. And we already had some. Apparently we weren’t the first tenants with this tiny problem.
With much hand-wringing, we set up two traps for the mice—I figured we had three at the time—before going to bed, one lethal, one non-lethal, both set with peanut butter. Our non-lethal trap was a greased-up waste bin covered with a sheet of paper with a tantalizing spoonful of peanut butter on it. There was a mouse-friendly staircase of books leading up to the trap.
We woke to a disappointing scene. The peanut butter Colin had set the wooden trap with was gone, but there was no sign of any mouse. Colin, big softy that he is, put away the wooden trap for the day.
As darkness fell that evening, I heard the bucket trap trigger. The cutest little mouse was curled up in the bottom. There was no way we could reset the lethal trap after getting a good look at this little bugger.
I could take him out into the cold, though, and tip the bucket towards a neighbor’s house (sorry!). Our bucket trap worked like a charm; Colin emptied it twice the following day. We’ve been mouse-free for four days, and hopefully that’s the end of the story.