With the recent drop in temperatures, I’ve been warming up my house for the ensuing winter months. But it seems I’ve inadvertently created a nice cosy space for some uninvited guests…
Last week I saw a mouse dart out from behind the fridge and across the kitchen floor, quick as a pinball. My heart sank.
I’ve had to deal with rodents in most houses I’ve lived in, but I thought I’d solved the problem last year. I bought an ultrasonic deterrent that emits high-frequency sound waves heard by rodents, but not humans.
I try to live by the principle of no harm to living things. Finding a device that you simply have to plug in seemed like the solution after years of bloody battles with Micky and friends.
But, alas, it appears that after several months, the mice adjust to the sound. So, it’s back to the old dilemma: how to get rid of them in an effective yet not horrendously cruel way? I’m currently approaching the kitchen with loud stomps to make sure any crumb-seeking mice have fled before I enter. But it’s not a particularly relaxing – or hygienic – way to live.
Of mice and men… an uneasy relationship
When living in a house-share a few years ago, my friends resorted to the dreaded super-sticky mats, after poison failed to get rid of our furry little housemates. I used to walk into the kitchen to find the poor things quivering with sheer terror on the mats. There they would remain until someone with a stronger stomach killed them. Never again will I go down that route.
Many people swear by traditional spring-loaded mouse traps – with peanut butter overtaking cheese as the bait du jour. And it’s true that they’re the quickest – and thus potentially most ethical – device. But my brother’s tale of finding a half-dismembered mouse hopping helplessly around his flat with a trap on its back isn’t really an endorsement for this method either.
Poison seems ineffective. Humane, live-catch traps are something of a pain (mice have a homing instinct, so you have to release them miles away). So what’s the solution?
Is there such a thing as a mouse-free life?
For now, I’m going to buy another ultrasonic repeller, in the hope that it will work at a frequency the mice haven’t yet adjusted to. And I’ll attempt to keep the house scrupulously clean – ‘a single crumb can keep a mouse going for days,’ a pest-control professional once told me (which means the average toaster provides a feast).
But this all-too-familiar dilemma is making me think that, while a new-build apartment isn’t as romantic as the Victorian house I currently live in, perhaps a lack of cracks is the only real solution to a pest-free life? It’s either that or convince my landlord to let me get a cat. But do I really have to go to these extremes to make my house rodent-free?
How do you remove mice or rats from your home?
I kill them with traps or poison (60%, 1,033 Votes)
I don't have any mice or rats in my home (19%, 322 Votes)
I use humane traps and set them free (13%, 221 Votes)
I have a cat (9%, 160 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,738