Bug-eyed deer mouse (top) and sneaky little house mouse (bottom)
One of the seasonal routines that gets fired up here in the fall is the Rodent Harvest.
Yes, admittedly, this is a gross topic, but…one we’re all probably familiar with: mice do outnumber us, greatly, and once it becomes cold, they like to come inside, too. The greenhouses are especially plagued, and overnight I will notice that one of the 6 precious Delicata squash, while curing, has been entirely EATEN, blossom to stem, by obviously more than one gnawing creature. GRR. War!
We (my daughter and I) bait regular old mousetraps with a solitary sunflower seed (in the shell). It’s highly effective because the mice really like sunflower seeds, and try very hard to get the seed out of the trap with a satisfyingly predictable result.
Now, mice like squash but usually leave my lettuces alone. They like to chew the exposed tops of my carrots, and will climb a tomato plant for the fruit. The voles, my lettuce-eating nemeses, are fairly resistant to sunflower seed bait. They are, however, fairly stupid, so if I put mousetraps, unbaited, around the inside of the lettuce beds, they’ll run across them and inadvertently get trapped.
All this, incidentally, makes working around the greenhouses a fairly fraught affair…SNAP!