Amityville Horror (but with mice)

Caught what I believe is baby mouse thirteen and fourteen tonight. Once again within like twenty minutes of each other. Around nine o’clock, the mousing hour in our home, the wife said “Did you set the trap because the cat is playing with it”.

“No I didn’t set the trap. Let me check and see if there’s anything in it”

Well I picked it up and about jumped out of my skin, for a mouse was concealed under the trap. In fact the whole family jumped and screamed. It was quite a site. The mouse darted from the hall into the bathroom with cat in tow. I closed the door so we could get the mouse box, yes we have a paper box that is the official mouse box.

I opened the door and this one was a jumper. I cornered it behind the toilet, and it was trying to jump up the corner of the wall. Quickly I got it in the paper…er, mouse box. The kids and I took the mouse out. There was still some daylight so we were able to take the mouse far down the driveway. Along the way we saw the milk snake sitting silently in the middle of the driveway. I so badly wanted to drop the mouse right in front of the snake and watch the snake kill it, but the kids begged me not too.

Darn.

A half hour later, as we were relaxing in the family room, my kid says “Dad I think I hear squeaking!”.

“Turn the tv down” and I jumped up to go find the cat. Not on the main floor, in my bedroom or foyer. But I could kind of hear squeaking too. Damn it.

Then my cat comes prancing up the stairs from the basement with a mouse in his mouth. The bastard brought the damn thing upstairs like it was his little stuffed animal or fuzzy ball. The cat dropped the mouse of in the bedroom. I’m scrambling for the mouse box. The cat has the damn thing under his paw against the baseboard. I make him let it go and the freaking mouse goes under the dresser. We get a yard stick, shove it under the dresser. I move a little chest at the end of the dresser on the floor and the mouse pops out and jumps into the mouse box.

We took the stupid mouse outside and let it go in the driveway.

This is so annoying. All I can think of is we have to totally go through the bedroom and storage room to exercise any nests and plug any holes we can find. I don’t know if the damn things live in here or they are coming back repeatedly. We have two cats for the love of god. These stupid mice should not want to be in our house.

I need more snakes.

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Milk Snake

The other day, after days of releasing baby mice outside of the house, I saw a big snake moving in from the front planting bed towards the front deck. I called for the boys to come take a look. We had no idea what kind of snake it was. So I googled it and found this keen article on Cleveland.com about the 25 types of snakes that live in Ohio. The wife and I narrowed it down to milk, rat and fox snakes. I sent a message off to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park asking them to help me identify it. Turns out it’s a milk snake. The milk snake is a constrictor, meaning it squeezes it’s prey and swallows it whole, and their primary food is mice. So it is a very friendly animal to have in our yard. I’m hoping this two foot long snake eats up all the mice it can find around the perimeter of my house.

One note on the mice: number 12 and 13 baby mouse were caught and released last night. Ugh.

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2′ long milk snake

 

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Milk Snake by front deck.

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Mice

I may be premature in saying this but we may be on vacation from the mice for a while. Baby mouse number nine was found brained in my bedroom two days ago. Baby mouse ten was caught in a box ten minutes later and released by the porch. And finally baby mouse eleven ran into the live trap and was released the next morning out by the driveway.

The wife says an average litter of mice is 6-8 baby mice. Two mice being low, and fourteen mice at the high end. So of course we were at the high end.

No, we haven’t found the nest yet, and no I haven’t working on closing the hole in the rim joist behind the air exchanger (which will be pretty much impossible. I did line the siding a month or two ago with steel wool where the mice are coming in. They can not eat through steel wool, so clogging up the termite gap behind the siding with steel wool should impede them until I can find the hole and close it.

The cats have returned to normal in their routine so I’m thinking that’s it for mice for a while.

I’ll keep you posted when…er, I mean…if, we see more mice inside.

 

Baby mouse ten

Baby mouse number ten after being released.

 

Mouse Update

Well I’m pretty sure yesterday’s mouse was the mom mouse. We had caught or killed four baby mice. And today that total rose to six total baby mice. Our smaller cat was sitting in my bedroom hallway in an unusual spot. I didn’t think much because I didn’t see anything. Then after lunch she was back in there and this time I saw a little ball of something. It was a baby mouse, basically dead. I got rid of it outside.

Then a half hour later I came back inside and both cats had another baby mouse cornered under a pile of clothes. This mouse I was able to catch and release alive.

Somewhere in that bedroom is the nest. And possibly some more baby mice. But the cats aren’t in there really sniffing around showing me where the nest is at. I’m taking the night off. Maybe more mice will come out of the woodwork so to speak.

I feel bad though, all those baby mice separated from their mom. Some of them dead. Her out there wondering where her babies went. But there’s not much I can do about it. She was dumb for having babies in our house, especially since we have two cats. Hopefully she is smarter next time.