Over Run by Rats and Mice


Yesterday morning I was down in my basement where I have a small den (my man cave) sitting at my computer reading some of the great hubs written by others and right out of the blue I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. It was one of those things that gave me a start. Did I just see what I thought I saw. I turned my head and the images I suspected were confirmed. Two little mice darted under the book shelf.

The cold weather we are now having has brought these unwelcome guests into my basement I suppose. They are simply trying to survive the winter but at my expense, they have never offered to pay rent for their nice accommodations. I now have four traps set with cheese as the bait and am hoping to rid the basement of these pesky little critters. Whenever I see mice in my house I always am reminded of the times when I grew up in the cotton mill village of Tuxedo. Rats and mice were common in the old mill houses because the houses were very open structures and also the fact the community barn was close. The following is from a book I wrote a few years ago, My Tuxedo Doesn't Fit Me Anymore-Memories of a Mill Village Brat, where I shared some of my memories of a time when there was a problem with rats.

Rat Killings

The late Jerry Clower, who was a country comedian, and appeared on the Grand Old Opry and many other venues, had a story about rat killings that he used to tell. This reminded me of Tuxedo during the time that I was a boy and there was an infestation of rats in our community. No doubt we all have read the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin and in Tuxedo; we had a very real rat problem and his services would have been welcomed to rid us of this plague. This in all probability was due to the fact we had a large open community trash pile and the community barn was a haven for all kinds of mice, wharf rats and vermin.

Some of the older boys would take their 22 rifles over to the trash pile, an area that had been scooped out in the ground, providing for a community dump. Garbage and waste from the mill village was dumped into this large hole in the ground and it was a breeding ground for rats and mice. The guys would target practice on these critters and the rat population was temporarily curtailed.

When the old barn was demolished, just a little while after the J. P. Stevens acquisition, rats infested every house near where the barn was located. Our house was quite close and my parents set ten or more traps inside our house and for several days the traps would be thrown and dead mice had to be discarded. The first night after the barn was raised; dad had just come home from his second shift job, and as was his custom had eaten a bite, and sat down to read the evening paper. When he sat down he crushed two mice that had infiltrated the house and were hiding in his favorite chair. Using traps and with the help of a good rat poison, the problem soon went away.

Rats and mice can be a real problem and at first signs of infestation, steps should be take to exterminate. When me and my wife were first married we lived i a small 4 room house. It was our honeymoon suite and where our first son was born. We kept our new babies crib right next to our bed so we could take him out during the night for bottles and changing diapers. The bedroom did have a hole in the floor and the crawl space wasn't that far off the dirt floor under the house. One Sunday night after coming home from church and visiting some friends, we prepared for bed.

The old house still had those chain pull light fixtures and when I pulled the light o in our bedroom, a big wharf rat made a beeline for the hole in the floor. Somehow the little area rug we had covering this hole had been moved away and the wharf rat had found it rather easy to get into the house. I had just enough time to pull off one of the wingtip shoes I was wearing and throw it at the scoundrel. I hit the devil and he fell dead underneath the house. We never again let our baby sleep alone and fortunately we soon moved into our first real home.

As winter comes, be on guard. Mice and other rodents will seek warm places to reproduce and survive. We had some corn used for fall festival in the basement so without a doubt this ready supply of food was enticing as was the warmer accommodations. Bed and breakfast for mice! Care should be take not to leave grains or foods mice tend to eat in open areas or unprotected containers.

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Comments 8 comments

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Poor little Teddy Tail and his bro. You big bully! Nice title...Bob

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PenMePretty 5 years ago from Franklin

Good information. Voted up/useful/interesting/good job.

Mom Tyra used to set mouse traps and Pa Tyra paid her a silver dollar for each one caught. (My Mom and Dad). Then,

Mom Tyra started a ceramic/other materials, mouse collection. She got noticed by write ups and people all over the world sent her mice. :-) They aren't fun when they are real and live with ya.

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

I love your title. It's also true for me - I can't stand them. Enjoyed your story and information.

Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

Absolutely loved the title of this Hub -- and of course the Hub itself. I not only hate mice and rats I'm deathly afraid of them. I know they won't hurt me but they could make me kill myself getting away. My son used to laugh because I'd grab anything from a shotgun to a garden hoe to kill a rattlesnake (which are quite prevalent here in Texas) but would scream and run at the sight of a field mouse. Wherever a mouse moves in I move out until he's dead. Great Hub and enjoyable read! Best/Sis

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

With the nights becoming cool here in WNC those little field mice find a way to come into our house. We set traps to get them which usually works pretty good. With two young grandsons who leave cookies or snacks everywhere from basement to the attic in my mouse mind I think I'd enjoy the warmth of the indoors especially when there is take out food. Thanks for stopping in to read and for your comments. By the way I spent almost 18 months in South Texas at Laredo AFB and saw some of the biggest rattlesnakes ever.

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City

Nice hub! I remember my sister and now ex-husband lived in a house with their two oldest girls. The girls were real young and one of the girls was in her crib and my sister saw a mouse. I wouldn't want any mice in the house. The mouse was near her crib. I remember smelling a dead mouse that was behind a refrigerator when I was a kid. Mice do carry diseases, which is gross. I remember my mother setting mouse traps and my grandmother, as well. Very interesting hub!

Fiddleman profile image

Fiddleman 4 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina Author

Thanks for stopping in to read and comment.

gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City

Your welcome.

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