Tuesday, 22 April 2014

confessions of a mousekiller

(Because some stories just NEED to be told!) 

(And just in case anyone questions my sanity, I am traumatised by the events described here, but I'm trying to make light of it so the whole thing will just ... go away. Forever, hopefully!)

Years ago, when we first moved into the house we built on the corner of my brother-in-law's farm, the mice moved in too. But we found the gaps they'd crawled into, blocked them up, and haven't seen them since.

But with the arrival of spring sunshine the kids have been flying in and out of the house, dusting off bikes, shovels and sand buckets, leaving the garage door wide open. As the kids went out, the mice came in - I saw the first one face to face last week just as I was heading for bed.

The next day, after getting the traps down from the attic, the girls and I saw another mouse in the playroom. We opened the patio doors and tried to shoo him out but he squidged himself under the adjoining door back into the kitchen. I got the kids to jump up on chairs while I swept mouse turds off the bookshelves.

"Why didn't you kill him, mum?" Amber asked as I muttered to myself, swishing the broom. Which is exactly what hubby said when I messaged him about the mouse in the laundry.

"I'm not fast enough, and besides, I just couldn't do it!" I said. "I've never killed anything!"

"But you've got traps for them, isn't that the same thing?"

Ah. "I guess you're right!" I admitted. That girl can think!

That night as I sat knitting on the sofa, taking in a movie after a hard day of keeping the kids entertained during mid-term break, a mouse wriggled through the leather sofa under my butt. I took that as a personal insult! Wretches! (We haunted the furniture showroom for months waiting for that sofa; and finally bought it only after someone scratched it while moving it, knocking the price down by 50%. Worth the wait!)

So I got up and baited two traps, setting them in the kitchen and playroom, and removed myself to the relative safety of the study and youtube.

The first trap went off just a few minutes later. I went out to check the trap under the kitchen sink but couldn't find it; it seemed the mouse had somehow flipped itself and the trap over a pipe and down behind the cupboard unit. Oh well, deal with it tomorrow I thought.

But when I opened the cupboard the next morning I nearly had a heart attack. The mouse hadn't flipped back at all, but fallen to the lower shelf where it still lay flipping about in smears of blood.

Sick to the stomach, I knew I had to kill it. All I could think of at the time was our meat mallet. A few quick jabs with my eyes averted and the mouse was dead. I flushed him quickly before the kids realised what was going on and cleaned up the cupboard, all the while feeling my stomach churn. Why did this have to happen while hubby was on night shift?

More mice surprised us that day - as bold as brass - and I found stuffing falling out of the leather sofa so I knew we had no choice but to set more traps. Alone again that night, I heard the first trap go off and walked out to find another still-alive mouse.

What to do? I couldn't face the meat mallet again. Heart pounding, I thought of the loo. Reaching forward gingerly, I picked up the trap by its' back end, keeping my hand well away from the wriggling body at the front. Snapped open the trap into the loo and hit flush. Phew!

But lately we've had problems with iron and manganese deposits in our water, radically reducing our water pressure, and the mouse just wouldn't go down. I stared in horror as he paddled frantically. No, no! Could this get any worse?

I grabbed the gallon bucket we use to get milk from the farm, filled it at the laundry tap and threw the water down the loo, eyes closed. Then looked again with huge relief to find the mouse gone.

Texted hubby, looking for sympathy. One down. He was alive - I had to flush him.


Are you serious? I've never killed anything before. I'll need counseling after this!!

Within the next hour or so, three more traps sprang, catching three more mice by the leg.

Texted hubby. Wish you were here.


After four flushes the traps were empty and I couldn't set any more. Horrible useless things. I went to bed with my stomach still lurching.

The next day we bought more traps - great heavy things with springs so tightly wound that they wouldn't trip without savage pressure - I almost split my thumb testing them out.

Hubby's still on night shift - but tonight's his last night for a while. HE can deal with the mice after this. I'm calling it quits!


  1. I laughed and winced in equal measure! I feel your pain sister! x

  2. I had to laugh at the title.
    On reading further, yes your story had to be told. And oh yuck, you poor thing, I could picture all the bits of the story - not nice for you or mice!! But I confess the way you tell it, I had to giggle when the first poor unfortunate was frantically paddling in the loo. Too horrid. Wretched for you.

    I've heard rats can climb into a house through the sewage pipes and out of the loo, to run amuck inside the house! (I keep the toilet door shut after hearing that story.) I hope mice can't do that too - but, by the sounds of it, your mice might have been a bit lame.

    Good on you - it had to be done. Hope you've broken the back of it now!