Friday, December 26, 2008

The Mouse Wars Begin

What we've suspected for the past few days was confirmed last night: we have a mouse in our apartment.

Our suspicions started with the faint sound of scratching under the stairs. It was later reinforced when we heard it again just a little louder somewhere behind the kitchen cabinets. Last night, we saw the varmint. It was sneaking out from under a closet door and ran around the corner into the kitchen.

We suspect it's getting food from the bottom of the bird cage. Sidney knocks food down off his feeder shelf onto the floor of the cage so he can scratch around (it's a big cage - about 4 feet wide, 3 feet deep and 5 feet tall). There is a gap where the bottom door meets the frame of the cage which is too small for Sidney to squeeze through, but wide enough for a mouse.

Now the question is: how do we get rid of it? I called our apartment management the other day and the most they would do for us is give us some poison bait, so we're pretty much on our own. Mice have a very important part to play in our ecosystem - outside - so I really would rather not kill it. Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to catch it live for release. Mice are very good at avoiding traps but terrible at avoiding poisons. I can't recall ever seeing a live catch trap for a mouse.

We pulled everything out of the closet we saw it come out of and found some cracks where the skirting board along the back wall meets the skirting boards which go along the side walls. (The builders didn't really pay attention to detail when they built this place). We filled the cracks with silicone caulk and inspected all the boxes in the closet for signs of nesting. After we put everything back in the closet, we heard some scratching under the stairs - where the cracks in the closet led. Perhaps we've sealed it in and it'll have to find another way out - preferably outside.

For now we wait and watch.

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