11 November 2011
Monday morning, 5:30am: I am sitting in the kitchen “mainlining” a cup of coffee when a very small scratchy noise attracts my cat’s attention. I don’t hear it but I can tell from her reaction that we have trouble.
Emmalina is in hunting mode, completely alert, ears pointed forward, stalking the heat vent under the kitchen table. I put my head under the table and now I hear it too. Aaarrrggg! There’s a mouse in the ductwork.
I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this.
Emmalina had been giving me hints about this critter for more than a week. She spent extra time in the basement and came upstairs wreathed in cobwebs with that hunting glow in her eyes. I suspected she was tracking a mouse so I laid traps (safely out of her reach) where I thought a mouse might be, but I never caught anything. Neither did Emmalina. Instead she stared at the ductwork crisscrossing the basement ceiling. I was too dense to figure out why.(*)
All of this transpired while the weather was warm and the furnace was barely running. This morning the temperature is near freezing and the heat is on.
Warm air wafts through the kitchen. Emmalina pauses to sniff the air. Scent of mouse? Fortunately I can’t smell it… yet.
So now what? Should I seal the outside of the house with the mouse indoors? Is it wise to put peanut butter laiden traps inside the vents? Can I lure the mouse out of the vents… and how? Will it die in the ductwork and make the whole house stink?
This is an opportunity for crowdsourcing. Dear readers, your advice? (NOTE IN 2018: No need for additional comments now, folks, but you’ll enjoy the old ones. Read on.)
(photo by Kate St. John)
(*) Dec 2018: In 2011 I didn’t know that mice use ductwork like highways the way squirrels use wires.