Ros Ellis discovered she had moved into a house with a mouse infestation. This is her story about the best mouse deterrents she discovered.
“My husband and I bought a beautiful old Victorian house in north London some years ago, and moved in with our little baby. It was on our second day in the house, whilst relaxing in the conservatory after a marathon of unpacking boxes, that we first saw the mice. There were four of them running up the guttering outside the conservatory. They looked the same size as the mice or rats you sometimes see under the tracks on the London Underground, and I remarked to my husband that I hoped they didn’t come inside the house.
The following day we saw a mouse run across the carpet in the study. In the evening we saw another, this time in the kitchen. On hands and knees we peered under cabinets and radiators and discovered a number of telltale signs that naturally weren’t in the estate agents’ particulars about the property, weren’t highlighted in the surveyor’s report, and which we hadn’t spotted on the three occasions we’d visited the house before moving in. There were numerous mouse droppings in corners, nibbled holes in the skirting boards, and a dusty old mouse trap under one kitchen cabinet. Oh dear.
However, we rapidly made a second discovery. We had moved in with our two mature cats, and one of those cats – Georgy – was looking with great interest at all the same places we were examining. She was sniffing corners and pacing backwards and forwards along the skirting boards with her eyes large and round and shining. Was staid Georgy going to be a mouser? Our other cat, Baggio, normally the more active cat of the two, was up on the sofa and looking unconcerned. We didn’t have to wait long for an answer, as the next morning Georgy woke us up yowling at the bedroom door, her meows as loud as our baby’s crying, and between her paws was a dead mouse.
Then she caught another, bringing us a mouse clamped between her jaws. Then another, its body parts in different rooms. Then another, and another. Georgy was a brilliant mouser! Two weeks after we moved into a house with at least a dozen resident mice, there were no mice left in it at all. And word must have got out about the demon cat who’d moved in, because no local mice even dared to venture into the garden after that.
Fast forward three years. There was now a toddler and also a younger baby in our house. Sadly we had to say goodbye to the cats – first Baggio then Georgy departed from our lives. We had almost forgotten about the mouse infestation when we’d moved in. Indeed, it was about three months after Georgy had gone before we spotted the first mouse to move back into the house. I was playing with my children on the lounge floor when a mouse suddenly dashed across the room, grabbing some crumbs off the floor along the way.
I was mortified. My children were at an age when life is at ground level, crawling and rolling round everywhere, putting everything in their mouths, and they could so easily start to pick up mouse droppings and try to eat them. Georgy, the best mouse deterrent, was no longer around, so I would have to try other types of mouse control methods. I went on Amazon and ordered three types of mouse traps.
Two months later we’d had mixed results. Two of the mouse traps, including the humane one, hadn’t seen any activity at all. The cheap spring-loaded wooden trap had killed two. But it wasn’t pleasant dealing with dead mice. My 3-year-old daughter actually loved the mice and was traumatised to see them caught in the trap. Not only that, we sensed that there were increasing numbers of mice in the house. Sightings were more numerous, and I was having to hoover up droppings from various locations every day. It wasn’t easy finding places to put traps that weren’t also going to be a danger for young children.
Owing to a change in work location, we also needed to move house again at this point, and I was worried about trying to sell it with a rodent problem. Whilst I was with the estate agent and two potential buyers in the lounge one day, I heard a mouse trap trigger in the kitchen followed by clattering. After hastily shutting the kitchen door and managing to usher the visitors outside, I went back to find a terrified and very much still alive mouse charging round the kitchen with the trap caught on its back leg. My daughter burst into tears and insisted that we save the poor little thing. I somehow managed to get the trap off its leg and put the mouse into a cake tin to take it to a marsh area a mile from the house. The mouse peed into my cake tin on our journey there.
I was sick to the stomach of trapping mice after this incident and wanted to look at other pest control solutions. We decided to try a plugin mouse deterrent and ordered a Green Shield device that a friend had recommended. We put it in the utility room by the kitchen. At first I didn’t think the device was working, as we were still spotting evidence of mice activity, and another mouse was caught in the trap. However, after two weeks, the sightings and need for hoovering were definitely less. We got an offer on the house, and were honest with the buyers about the historic mouse problem, though by the time we moved we hadn’t seen a mouse or droppings for several weeks.
We left the Green Shield mouse deterrent in place when we moved, and as far as I know the new owners are still using it without any issues.”