Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

A Mouse in the House


I’ve been in denial for a couple of months now, ignoring the tiny pieces of evidence left on the counter tops in the morning. The odd noises coming from the kitchen in the middle of the night. When the dog wakes me up with loud barking directed at the hallway, I tell her to calm down because there is nothing there. Many a morning, I’ve cleaned the counter tops while telling myself, “It’s not what you think.”

This morning, while brewing my coffee, I decided to wipe the counter tops more thoroughly and lifted a basket that held a plastic bag of pistachios. Well, it used to hold pistachios. As I discovered just a few minutes ago, all the pistachios are gone, and the plastic bag has a small hole in it the size of a quarter. Also, there were lots of gifts under the basket.

I wiped the counter, threw out the empty plastic bag, and put the basket in a lower cupboard.

Denial, no more.

I am sharing the house with a mouse (I choose to believe it’s just one).

The question is, what now? Do I try to trap and kill it? Or do I accept that, apparently, I have a roommate? Part of me feels like I brought this upon myself by moving to the countryside, and this sort of dilemma goes with the territory. I am living close to nature. Maybe I should just be “one” with it.

Besides, as a former city dweller, I have had my share of unwanted guests, including roaches, ants and what really should have been the 11th plague – bed bugs. In comparison, a mouse seems almost quaint. Not that I want to see it. Or hear it. Or continue cleaning up after it. But I also don’t want to deal with a dead mouse. And I’m not getting a cat.

To be quite honest, I’d really rather not deal with it at all.

This past month has been crazy busy, and things are not going to let up any time soon. To mention just a few recent activities, I completed a first draft of my book proposal, met with my book agent, developed a professional website, updated my LinkedIn profile, traveled to NYC twice, flew back to California once (more on that later), spent a weekend reporting a story, and wrote my first news article (to be published). I’ve also read three books, taken my dog to the vet twice (she’s fine), went to Albany for the first time, and learned how to make chili.

In the next week, I have to read a friend’s book proposal, give feedback on said proposal, finish reading another friend’s book, write an essay, write another article, type up all my notes from last weekend and cook some dishes for Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I finally took a day off to go shopping for food and much-needed cooking supplies. Which brings me back to my unwanted friend.

Maybe if I simply hide all the food, he will go somewhere else? Is it possible to lure a mouse away from your home, which is also his home? Should I borrow someone else’s cat? Or try to peacefully live together? Is that gross? It’s hard for me to gauge.

I do have to say, this mouse seems really discreet. So far, he hasn’t dared to show himself during the day, or even at night, when I sometimes get up for a glass of water. The city mice I’ve met in the past were much more bold.

I think if I saw him, I would probably feel different about the situation. As it stands now, we are like strangers who keep missing each other, but know the other exists. Except less romantic sounding.

On the bright side, at least I’m not dealing with a bat. That would be a little too much nature in the house.





Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

6 thoughts on “A Mouse in the House

  1. If it is a mouse, fine. Squirrels, not so fine. I am now a country girl. I don’t have qualms about killing mice. I don’t want to share their germs. Good luck.

  2. Niva,
    Being a city boy from Toledo, I was amazed at the amount of wildlife I encountered in my own backyard once I moved to rural Georgia some 17 years ago.

    After spending the day cleaning and painting our new home, my wife (now ex) and I were relaxing on our back deck when a hawk flew overhead with a large black snake writhing in its claws.

    “Oh my God!” she exclaimed.

    Without missing a beat, I turned to her and proclaimed: “Welcome to the South, dear.”

    I suggest you get rid of your mouse immediately. Right now it’s kind of a cute nuisance. The main concern is the numerous diseases these little buggers can carry, the chief one being hantavirus — which can kill you. Worse yet is when they die inside your walls. The stink will linger for weeks. I had one which built a nest in an electrical box and succumbed by chewing through the wiring. It could have led to a fire.

    You don’t have to use traps that kill them. There are many types of live traps available for less than $10. Once caught, take them miles away and release them. They will survive and set up shop in their new surroundings.

    The next step is to look around the outside of your home for any possible means of entry and seal those areas up. Look at every square inch. Mice are mighty crafty and can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks and crevices.

    Even after you think you’ve caught them all, keep the bait in your traps fresh, because there will be others.

    Best of luck.

    • Hi Paul, good to hear from you, and thanks for the sensible advice. I’ve pretty much resigned myself now to getting rid of the mouse. I suppose I’ll write an update about it at some later point. (sigh) I’m just terribly annoyed that I have to deal with it.

      I love that hawk story. I’m pretty sure I saw an eagle in the first couple weeks here. I was down by the creek and a huge black bird with a white head glided past me. I couldn’t tell if it was carrying anything, but it surely took my breath away.

  3. Havahart (spelling is different) mouse traps work very well for mice and chipmunks and woodchucks. Mice like raisins and raisins aren’t messy. Take your friend for a ride. I use live traps for chipmunks in the summer (they burrow under my porch), but I’ll admit that I use Victor snap traps (raisin baited) for mice in the winter. If I keep on top of it, there are few. I figure they won’t survive if I take them to new territory in the winter, so let’s get this over fast–and flushed down the toilet. I call me Mother Kali’s Extermination Service. Mice will chew through your walls and wooden doors. I know because they invaded my 200+ year old house years ago. I was a sentimental vegetarian then. Now I’m a realistic vegetarian. (D-Con is horrible. If a dog or cat or bird eats a D-Conned mouse, they also die. And the death is slow and painful. Sorry, because it keeps the reality of fighting for a space a little more remote.) Country living means fighting for our territory. The end.

  4. Pingback: What Makes a Home “Home” | Riding Bitch

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