White Dog threw herself into my arms and rolled her eyes. "What next?" she asked. "This summer it was ants, then spiders, and now a MOUSE?"
The White Dog Army rushed over to crowd around us, unsure of how to react to the news Michael had just brought from the basement...except he called it a rat! When Steve went down to investigate (thank goodness he is feeling better), he caught a quick shadowy glimpse of a tiny black mouse as it scampered into hiding.
The family reactions were varied. Puff was all ready to go hunting and Zsofia was a student ready to learn from our once nearly feral girl. YoYoMa was OK with the newcomer as long as it didn't try to eat his food and stayed in the basement. Sachi liked the idea of a live toy to chase and bat at. Taiko lived with mice and all kinds of critters in the backwoods of Kentucky as a forgotten boy tied out and mostly left to fend for himself; he was not thrilled with sharing his space again. Bella asked me to hold her.
White Dog wanted the little beast gone! Now! She stared at Michael. "What? I don't have any food under my bed." he protested. "I cleaned up that mess a long time ago!"
Debate among the humans ruled out sticky traps. "Not humane," said Candace. "It is slow tortuous death." No snap spring traps. "High maintenance, hard to find the right bait, and messy," Steve argued. "I don't want dead a mouse in my room," Michael wailed. "NO warfarin poison," I said. "Even if it is confined to the basement where none of the WDA goes, I won't take the chance. Plus if our Huntress happens to catch him after he ingests the poison, she will be poisoned as well."
Peppermint Oil! Seems this scent that reminds us of Christmas and deters spiders also is a mouse deterrent we learned from an internet search as we brainstormed. The scent has to be refreshed frequently but it is safe and humane.
Quickly we devised a strategy of spraying heavily in the upstairs first, to keep the rodent from coming up into the kitchen and dog areas. Steve and Candace got to work spraying behind the stove, frig, under the baseboards, in cabinets, It was smelling pretty festive despite the true purpose. The bathroom, the vents, the thresholds and window sills all were heavily dosed.
Then the march started down the basement stairs, each was sprayed. The White Dogs followed as far as the gate at the top of the stairs, supervising and yipping threats down the stairwell to the tiny intruder.
After a while, the humans returned and set aside their spray bottles. "Now what?" Michael asked. "Now we hope the little guy takes the hint and finds somewhere else to live," Steve answered. "Woo, wooo woo woooooowooooo!" Zsofia sang to the stairway gate. "Or else!"