Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Haven’t seen a mouse for a while

On this day, since I haven’t seen a mouse for a while…

Famous Mouse Trap

Famous Mouse Trap

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January 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Christmas cat and mouse

I’m guessing our recent/current hit of pretty cold (-5 deg C) and slightly snowy weather (only a few cm, but the cold meant it lay) meant that my local mice made the wise decision of staying at home, wherever that may be.

But I thought this seasonal variation on the theme of cat presents was worth including (obviously not my pic).

It didn’t say, so not sure if cat is making present to useless hoomin hunter, or if it’s a present for the cat.

The look on the cat’s face… could be interpreted in many ways.

Christmas Mouse Present

Christmas Mouse Present

While there were quite of a lot of successful pics of cats killing/felling Christmas trees, and a few crazy solutions to ‘cat proof’ the tree, I found this one, which looks both simple and effective.

Cat Proof Christmas Tree

Cat Proof Christmas Tree

December 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Unwanted early Christmas present

I thought the arrival of frosty days had curtailed the steady stream of unwanted little visitors, and occasional morning discoveries.

We’ve had a turn in the weather, and the line appears to have restarted as the Foehn Effect (it’s real, look it up) has brought mildness, and temperatures that have gone up to 12 deg C during day, and even night.

I actually heard this on during the night, and this was the result once it got light enough to see what had been going on in the dark.

Mouse Trapped

Mouse Trapped

I think they’re getting bigger – it may be time to go check out rat traps.

I saw someone who had a real infestation, and found a ‘trap’ that hangs on the rim of a bucket of water.

The working part is a smooth platform, hinged to drop down when the weight of a mouse overcomes a light magnetic catch.

Adding the magnet means the mouse has to be near the end of the platform before it tips, ensuring it cannot jump off and escape.

Update

The few frozen days taught me it was a waste of time and effort to bury these corpses, just to be neat and tidy.

I just leave them out back, and is by magic, they have disappeared next morning.

It seems this works even BETTER in warm weather.

Deposited ‘Christmas Mouse’ at 13:01.

Had to go outside again at 13:06 – no sign of mousey.

Wonder who claimed the body?

December 24, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Bad luck mouse

It’s a while since the last mouse invasion, three months, and this lucky fellow almost made it to my (internal) back door.

I usually have a look around every morning, and had begun to think the cold weather (and my cold house) has maybe seen them off for a while – but no such luck (for me at least).

Legs in the air, this was the sight that greeted me when I opened the door this afternoon.

This guy had made it past four other traps to get this far – glad I decided to up my protection against the little invaders.

That’s the back door threshold visible on the right.

Bad Luck Mouse

Bad Luck Mouse

I resisted the temptation to reach for one of the kitchen knifes, and check the veracity of this image, collected a little while ago.

Somehow, it just seems… unlikely.

Mouse Kiwi Fruit

Mouse Kiwi Fruit

December 18, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Rain don’t keep meeces away

After a few days’ respite, it looks as if curiosity killed the mouse this morning, and they’re back.

Although I’m hardly suggesting they were ever away, just not trying to get in.

We’re rather soggy at the moment, with more rain than we’ve seen in a while, and I wondered if would keep the little invaders away – clearly not.

No pic evidence of this morning’s catch – our garden bin collection was on the way (we have a selection of wheelie bins to segregate our assorted wastes into) and since I’m fed up digging graves I wanted to make sure I caught this collection since I had filled the bin and it was ready to go this morning.

However, it gives me a chance to include a pic I got from someone who was having a problem getting their ‘little friends’ to obligingly wander into the waiting traps, and they consulted a local ‘expert’ who advised the following.

Occult Mouse Trap

Occult Mouse Trap

I think…

I’ll pass on this one.

Many years spent watching education films produced by Hammer Films suggest this is actually more likely to conjure up a giant demon mouse, rather than attract any ordinary one to the trap!

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Aaaaaand another one

No wonder I was getting unwanted guests!

If the past few weeks are typical of the ‘passing trade’ just outside my back door, I’ve actually been lucky and the fact that there have been long periods with no ‘guests’ is becoming surprising.

Given I am not attracting these pests by having fragrant bait in any of the traps (as can be seen below), the catch rate based on my careful trap placement on their rat runs (do mice have ‘mice runs’) suggests there are loads of them running around.

I’m beginning to think it’s a pity the build of the outhouse precludes a simple lower edge sealed threshold for the doors. I could, but it would kill the area ventilation and be major trip hazard due to placement (tried once, it was a real nuisance, and was better at keeping rainwater IN than keeping it OUT).

Guess I’ll just have to keep the mouse burial ground open.

A bit of digging is worth the effort, if it keeps them out.

Poor Odds Mouse

Poor Odds Mouse

This one REALLY had a bad day night… caught in TWO traps!

When I dealt with the corpse, I found his butt was in the trap on the left and his head in trap on the right – and he’d actually gnawed away a sizeable portion of the one on the left. I know where the traps were, and where the gnawed plastic was, but it took me a while to work out what had happened, and it’s a pity mice don’t do the lottery – chances are with the luck I know this one just had, it would have won.

Even had a go at the base!

If mice had wallets, I’d dig him up and make him pay for a new one – but mice don’t wear trousers.

I didn’t notice the base damage until I saw the profile, at the top of the pic…

Gnawed Trap

Gnawed Trap

October 5, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Success – not always a good thing, but…

If you’ve been looking in here for a while, you may have noticed I (or perhaps the east end of Glasgow) have an ever-so-slight… mouse problem!

I still this is something that has peaked in recent years – the back door used to be left open during waking hours, and we never saw (or saw evidence of) the presence of a single mouse inside the house.

Now?

Well, as seen in past posts in this Blog, a search for ‘mouse’ will not fail to find something, and that doesn’t even include the time when I didn’t post as I was still innocently unaware I was running Mouse Hotel.

This year’s invasion was kind of irritating. I had organised a tall board to block the lower half of the door – but that depended on remembering it EVERY time. I only forgot to go back and replace it a few times OK I fell asleep rather than forgot), but that was enough to render it pointless.

The back door stays shut now, and I have no-manmouse’s land declared in a sort of outhouse area the back door opens into.

I moved the traps out of the house and into no-mouse’s land, they’re not even baited, but the number of catches suggest my thought that when I used to put bait down, all I was doing was attracting and feeding them, seems to be true.

Yet another one.

No wonder I was being invaded when I left the door open, bearing in mind the trapped examples represent only a fraction of the number that must actually be running around.

Yup It's An Ex-Mouse

Yup It’s An Ex-Mouse

I’m sad it’s come to this, with such apparent regularity, but on the other hand, they’re doubly incontinent and just drop ‘stuff’ everywhere as they make ‘your’ house ‘their’ house – and it’s no fun finding their droppings anywhere in your home.

October 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Why cats have nine (more) lives

Thank (another) anonymous benefactor for this follow-up to a recent graffiti post.

Reminder (click for bigger):

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti

If the hint that came with it was accurate, then this is an example from the Netherlands.

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti 2

Mouse Axe Cat Graffiti 2

September 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

They party while I sleep

Good job I don’t sleep much, I hate to think how busy my house would be if I was out of circulation for 8 hours or more every night.

It looks as my accidental discovery that leaving my rather effective ‘new’ plastic mousetraps in the outhouse (a no-man’smouse’s land declared between the back door and the garden) is turning out to be a handy gem.

It may be tough on the mice, but I’d be trapping or poisoning them if they got indoors anyway, however I find it preferable to deal with them BEFORE they find a way in, and do their incontinent business all over my carpets and floors.

I collected another one during last night, and this is without even baiting the traps. I’m liking these plastic traps, they actually work.

Early Morning Mousey

Early Morning Mousey

BUT…

There was more.

As I did a 4 am coffee run, I spotted a snail had decided to try to be clever, and somehow managed to find a gap to squeeze in past my front door, not the usual back way.

This one was ejected in the usual way, to join its friends in the middle of the road (sent there by the garden spade ‘launcher’ seen in the pic below) and be despatched by a handy passing car.

This one was quite small, and it was actually its shiny trail that first gave it away.

I just wish I could deter or catch them BEFORE they sneak in – but so far, all the tricks I’ve been told about, and also the commercial goodies sold in garden centres have all failed to prove effective, and the snails just laugh and ‘run’ past them without a care.

Snail Trails

Snail Trails

September 25, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Good morning Mr Mouse – Goodbye Mr Mouse

Since I’ve never been able to find the ‘MICE WELCOME HERE’ sign that they’ve nailed somewhere to my house, it looks as if I’m going to have to get used my new job as Unpaid Gravedigger.

Since I hadn’t seen my traps (installed indoors) for so long, they were all fairly mucky, not from the attention of mice (since they only caught their first mice recently, but had been down for years – I’ve even discovered a fifth), but from insects and spider’s crawling over them.

I gave them all a bit of a wash and brush up, then left them to dry in a sort of outhouse at my back door.

Notably unbaited, but set, just to make sure they dried thoroughly, I unexpectedly came face to face with my enemy this morning – staring back at me, and almost hidden under my drying umbrella (of course it’s drying – this IS Scotland!)*

This is no real surprise, I was sure they liked to run around here freely, as I found one that had just dropped dead some years ago, and gave up leaving bait as I was going through buckets of the stuff, and it doesn’t come for free.

But now I know I can’t leave my back door open, so maybe I should just leave these traps here (baited) as a first line deterrent.

  • Scottish umbrellas operate in binary – they’re either getting wet, or getting dry, with no intermediate state possible.

Quantum physics also applies if they’re in a box (while Schroedinger’s Cat is out chasing mice) and their state is indeterminate until you look at them, and fix their state.

Mouse Surprise

Mouse Surprise

 

September 20, 2017 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Sneaky sneaky mousey mousey oopsie oopsie

Even though my working life has included periods involving the preparation of procedures, and auditing systems to avoid the effects of systematic errors and complacency (say from routine and familiarity) leading to errors, it’s still surprisingly easy to get caught out be not following out even simple tasks fully, or to the letter.

After last week’s successful catch and trap of an invading mouse, the low level of evidence of its presence, and zero disturbance of any bait stations laid to reveal any activity meant I stepped down the level of attention being paid (truth be told it was rather low anyway, since I was a tad unwell and in bed most of the time).

WRONG!

While I had glanced at the two other traps lying close to the first mentioned above, and they had appeared to be empty, a second look this morning (while trying to track down the source of another pest) showed I had been complacent and careless. In this case, while there was no overwhelming smell, my nose was telling me something was not ‘right’ and the cupboard demanded a closer look.

While the day had started as unsuccessful insect hunt, it ended with a successful mouse hunt.

I had thought having three traps was excessive, but in this case all three did their job.

In fact, the two traps I had previously casually observed as not being triggered had been tripped BEFORE the one I mentioned earlier, but one was partially hidden and the corpse ‘end’ was out of sight, while the other one completely hidden. In both cases I made the mistake of seeing the non-trap end was clear, and assumed from this partial evidence that they had not been touched.

Once again, making assumptions or not checking evidence fully makes one an ASS and a FOOL.

Here are the little swines. While one (giant) was still presentable, I thought I’d leave the cover that was concealing the other in place, it had been there a bit longer, and was probably the first to be trapped.

I’m hoping the lack of any little unexplained noises and untouched bait (and lack of droppings trails) means this attack was limited to the three I caught – but the traps will be going back down.

Mousey Mousey

Mousey Mousey

Update

Oh dear… Oopsie time again.

Better up that count of three traps, given above, to FOUR! (Seems I forgot about one).

Recall I mentioned my day was really about tracing a possible INSECT problem when I started, then got diverted by discovering those pesky meeces.

They were in the wrong place to be related to my intended search, and once dealt with, left me free to get back on track.

Long story short… having once found a mummified cat, I can now add finding a mummified mouse to the list.

I’ll spare you the pic this time (it’s actually quite funny, but shows some other… less than amusing sights).

I’m quite pleased (in relative terms) as I’m pretty sure this second find of the day explains my sudden insect problem of a few days ago, and I reckon I’m also pretty lucky our Scottish weather only got warm for a day or so, meaning that only a few ‘woke up’ and finished their breeding cycle. If not, I think I just might have had a major problem.

I’ve scraped, brushed, swept, and vaccuumed up all the evidence and ‘sleepers’, even cutting out a section of carpet lest anything was hiding in it, and buried the lot.

It’s funny how a change of habit can have long-term implications – after having had to work with a ‘Tidy Freak’ for a few years, even I found it was a good idea to implement a ‘Clear Floor Policy’ (meaning nothing stays on the floor unless it genuinely belongs there), which makes it easy to keep clean. But this particular corner ended up being unused, and less accessible, even if kept mostly clear.

But there wasn’t a direct eyeline to it. I couldn’t see it all with just a glance.

I guess I threw one of those traps down there ‘Just in Case’, then forgot about it.

Well, at least I found it… eventually… and at least it had done its job.

I just didn’t find it quick enough.

ANOTHER free lesson learnt!

September 15, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

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