MICE MAKE ME SHUDDER

Be it a good attitude or not, I have to say that mice are creatures I find quite revolting. Having lived through a mouse plague many years ago, I feel for those who have had to endure invasions by mice in following years. In my case, our remoteness meant that mouse traps were hard to acquire. I had four traps, three with the capacity to catch pone mouse at a time, the fourth being one with four entry points for inquisitive mice.

We had a 44 gallon drum outside the fence to our house. This served as a bin and incinerator. For quite some number of weeks, I was emptying traps after work, then getting up and down all night to reset sprung traps. The most mice I ever caught in one night were 64. It was common for two mice to both be caught in a trap that had a single mouse capacity. Quite often, there were four mice caught in the ‘four mouse’ trap,

Mice were through our clothes, the wardrobes and dresser cupboards. They would run across our beds of a night. They would scoot across the top of our ceilings and scritch and scratch their way up and down the spaces between the internal panelling and external walls of our house.

We had food in our cupboards in tins fitted with plastic lids. Mice would get on top of these food containers, chew through the plastic lids, fall into the food and then go dead.

Our kitchen sink has a leak in one of the pipes feeding water into the sink itself. The house belonged to the WA Education Department. This, and other glaring faults had been left to fester over time – notwithstanding requests for fixing. The mice found the area behind the sink a beautiful, cool and refreshing place to nest. They established a colony. In the end, I had to dismantle the storage space connected with the sink. It was full of refuse, dirt, wet soil and was laced with a myriad of mouse tunnels, burrows and nests. The whole lot went into the incinerator.

Apart from noise and total living discomfit, the mice brought with them a horrible and penetrating stench, one that grew over the time of their invasion.

Finally, the plague abated, leaving us with a lot of cleaning up and re-provisioning to do.

This plague was of mice from the bush, for we lived 519 kilometres from the nearest town. I am sure readers would understand why I am not sympathetic toward mice and why I would never ever donate to any fund that sought to preserve these rodents.

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