First of all, a warm welcome to Pensive Pensioner, DC, Simple Living and Sue Settle, I hope you enjoy reading. Thanks to everyone who commented on Pam's lovely gift to me (and contributed to her red cheeks!), I think we're all agreed that she does some lovely work.
We've always come across mice or rats here, ever since we first moved in. A day or 2 before we actually moved in, we were here decorating and the plumber was here also, finishing off installing the new bathroom suite.....he went outside for something or other, came back in with a white face and big eyes and announced he'd just seen a rat run straight across in front of him. Clearly not his favourite creatures! We live in the country, on farmland, both us and our next door neighbours feed the birds, neighbours on the other side of them have lots of chickens, so a vermin presence is inevitable really. I'd rather they didn't come indoors, but am not really scared of them.
Having said that, one evening last year I discovered a mouse hiding behind the food processor on the kitchen worktop - I don't know who was more surprised, me or the mouse. Well, the mouse was clearly rattled, as it proceeded to spend the next 5 minutes or so (it felt like an hour) charging around the work surfaces at the speed of light.....that did put the wind up me a bit. I was here on my own, OH was at work, so I HAD to deal with it....I eventually managed to knock it off the worktop onto the floor (have you any idea just how FAST a mouse can move? They're like lightning) and it scarpered out of the open utility room door. I then spent the next hour moving everything off the worktop, scrubbing it all and disinfecting the work surfaces.....I mean, I make pastry and bread on those surfaces, and had visions of mouse wee everywhere. Yuck.
We had a mouse living in our sitting room last year too (maybe it was the same one....he'd probably snuck into the kitchen to get his evening meal, since he turned his nose up at the peanut butter-laden traps set in the lounge). I often saw it over a period of 3 or 4 weeks, it would appear early in the morning or in the evening, streaking across the carpet and diving under the sofa or computer desk....never when OH was around, of course. It eventually disappeared, no idea where, it certainly wasn't in any of the traps. Fortunately, there was no decaying body smell and I never found it when hoovering, so possibly it legged it outside.
Over the past month, we've seen rats every day out in the back garden.....now, I would throw a fit if one of them came indoors, a mouse indoors I can cope with, rats no way Jose!
OH said they'd been nibbling the tomato, cucumber and pepper plants in the polytunnel, so they had to go (the rats, that is, not the veg). Rat traps were bought and armed with peanut butter and laid along the areas where we'd seen them running. I wasn't particularly optimistic - why settle for a bit of peanut butter when you can have an unlimited supply of fresh veg, bird seed and chicken feed? Well, blow me down, this morning OH waved at me through the kitchen window the body of the 7th, yes seventh, rat he's caught in the past 10 days (he seems to think I like to see his hunter/gatherer efforts).
We'll never eliminate ALL the rats and mice, I know, but do want to keep on top of them.