It’s fall and the … mice … are coming

EWWWW! I took a baking pan down from the top shelf of my pantry shelving, and found it coated with a thick layer of mouse droppings. Before I could prevent it, the droppings spilled out in a black nasty shower, and because the shelving is one of those chrome open wire affairs, they fell down into all four shelves below. Down into the pots and pans, utensils, cookware, mixing bowls, you name it. So the entire contents of the shelving have had to be removed and washed. Not what I was planning to do today.

Mice are a fact of life in the country, but this fall has been one of the worst years I can remember. I hope that doesn’t mean we’re expecting an especially cold winter. More likely it means we had an easy, cool, moisture-filled summer that caused the mouse population to explode.

The cats have helped in the past, but don’t seem to be doing a good job now. Traps have to be placed very carefully, so the cats aren’t caught in them. Poison is out, not only because I don’t like using it, but because I don’t want to lose a cat that has eaten a poisoned mouse. The non-kill traps, as far as I can tell, seldom work. Either the mice are able to take the bait without tripping the trap, or they just ignore them altogether.

So about all I can do is keep every single morsel of foodstuffs in mouse-proof containers, and put the cookware and bakeware in plastic tubs on the shelving. I don’t know whether that will discourage the mice, but at least it will keep their contamination off the food and dishes.