Mice are the devil’s minions

Well, we’ve just finished mouseproofing our flat for the second time (it’s for real this time – it’ll work).

Stuffed every crevice potentially leading to the neighbour’s flat with wirewool, taped over that completely with sticky tape, left traps outside these holes just in case the mouse manages to knaw itself through all that. And of course, that tea towel wedged under the bedroom door is NEVER moving, due to the fact that, no matter what, I know it will prevent a repeat of an event that has left me traumatised…

Don’t read this if you’re easily scared. It’s a horror story, really.

It all began what feels like an age ago, I can’t even remember when. It was late in the evening. The kind of late only just precluding bed time and complete darkness, in which everything is 10 times scarier than it is in the daytime. I was sat on the sofa, Steve was in the bedroom. I thought I saw a black shape move near the TV, and, although I thought I’d probably imagined it, went to tell Steve so that he could investigate. He crept up to the corner, I watched nervously. Suddenly that black shape burst out and bolted across the room to some place – so fast we didn’t see where – but we both realised instantly it wasn’t a huge spider or moth, but something a hundred times worse – one of those ‘cute’ mice we’d seen running along the tube lines many times before.

Panic set in – I jumped on a sofa and stood there terrified, evidently resorting to the one reference of such a situation I had – from Tom and Jerry. We both replaced our Facebook statuses with desperate pleas for help. I found a pest control service in Walthamstow and put Steve on the phone to them – we were horrified that they didn’t think our situation was sufficient reason to come out to us at midnight. Feeling hopeless, we tremblingly tucked ourselves into bed.

The next morning, I entered the living room/kitchen in the manner of a lone soldier walking into the enemy’s barracks. We delayed going to work in order to kit ourselves out at Wilkinsons with boxes of poison, which we laid around the room before finally leaving.

Time passed, in which I think we probably suffered a few genuine shocks and many episodes of unfounded paranoia at any kind of rustle. Checking our countermeasures, it eventually became clear that the mouse was mocking us – not only were their droppings surrounding the poison boxes, but crumbs of poison too – yes, it was ENJOYING munching on the poison we’d bought to kill it and laughing in our faces.

The final straw came when we were lying in bed one night and heard a rustle… then a scamper… then lots of strange rustling noises and squeaking coming from behind our wardrobe, where it seemed to have become stuck behind our rolls of wrapping paper. We were petrified. Yet somehow we persuaded ourselves to try and sleep it out until morning.

Another trip to Wilkos. This time, there was to be no mercy. Mechanical traps that would kill the demon and plug-in sonar devices that destroyed the money in my purse. Sent another text to my workmates excusing my lateness due to another ‘mouse crisis’ and proceeded to set the traps with peanut butter in every place we’d seen droppings before…

Fast forward back to our bed the following night, where we’re jolted awake by the most horrific noise – squeaking. And it’s manic. And it’s never ending. Accompanied by far more scuffling than you’d expect such a tiny creature was capable of. And yet nothing can be done – I’m too scared to investigate, Steve’s too scared to investigate. So we wait for the noise to abate enough to sleep through and we manage to drift off.

Work the next morning delivered us from our living hell and it was only several hours later, when we’d returned from work and Steve ventured behind the cupboard, that he discovered the horrible truth. The mouse was in the trap – but it was still alive.

I never saw it and I’m glad I didn’t – Steve protected me from that. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he still has nightmares about a mouse with its back-end in a trap, while it tries to pull itself out with its front paws…

And was that it over? Far from it.

We’re in bed again when we hear it again, barely recovered from the last time. No squeaking this time – it’s happily crunching its way through the poison the exterminator that we called in left there for it. But now it’s scraping wildly at the wall/door by our heads, trying to knaw its way through the towel we stuffed under the door to try and keep it OUT, on the opposite side of the door. Thankfully my tears of frustration force Steve to open the door and let it out, much to his discontent. The room is silent again so we presume it has left to die from the poison, as it’s supposed to.

And it had left – literally leaving a trail of door sawdust crumbs and shredded towel fluff behind it.

So we pulled out every appliance and piece of furniture, stuffed absolutely every crevice we found with wire wool, and stuffed teatowels under every door to stop it from getting under them, on the off-chance it got through those holes.

So is that the end? Nope!

A few more frights later and much gripping on to each other to listen for those terrifying sounds, including one night when I’m sure I was listening to it trying with all its might to knaw its way through the bedroom door/teatowel combo to get to us, that was the last straw. Seeing that it had been around, but not fell into, any of the remaining traps, and also that it had pushed out the wire wool from the crevices, we decided to mouseproof the house for a second time.

So here I am now – a huge weight off my shoulders, feeling more at ease in my own house than I have for months. So. What have I learnt from this experience?

  • Mice are not cute, but in fact evil, conniving vermin.
  • They must be shown no mercy. Kill them if you can – if they’re anything like our mice, they deserve it.
  • Poison doesn’t work. In fact I’m sure it just gives them a good square meal
  • Sonar doesn’t work.
  • Traps barely work. And if they do, you could still be left with a trapped but alive and very noisy mouse, which is perhaps even worse than a free quiet one.
  • Apparently having a cat works, but we couldn’t find one to steal.
  • The only way to truly free yourself from mice is to stop them at the source – make it impossible for them to come in, and then you won’t need to make futile attempts to kill them!
  • No number of anti-mouse precautions is too many.

And to anyone doubting the true horror of this story – believe me, you had to be there!


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