Mice or Madness?

KamarKamar Registered User regular
Okay, this is driving me nuts (does it count if you're already nuts?), so maybe you guys will have an idea or three for figuring out what's going on. I'm not really sure what advice I want here, I guess I just want to unload and let someone not in my head have a look at it and say what they think.

For the last few months, I occassionally spot something black and largish (at least mouse sized) moving around in my kitchen. But I can't seem to get a good look at it. The first time I ran across it, I walked in towards my bathroom, see something big and black moving suddenly from my stove down the rack thing beside it and presumably behind it. I freaked the fuck out, since I have a phobia of bugs and my first irrational thought was some monstrous insect from hell, called a friend over from next door. We couldn't find anything.

Since then, I occasionally catch a glimpse--something streaking from the cabinet to the fridge, between the fridge and stove, etc. Seems closer to rat sized and narrow, but that could be say a mouse moving fast. Even when I should get a very clear view of the thing, like that first time by the stove, I can't resolve any detail other than 'black and fast moving'.

Now we get into the weird bit. I've laid down traps in places the thing MUST move through to get where I see it. Nothing. Also no droppings, dribblings, chewed up stuff, etc. Haven't had bugs in here since I sprayed some good poison, so it's not likely to be me catching a glimpse of a huge roach or whatever either--and this thing moves faster than I've seen any roach ever move anyway. I actually thought the most likely answer for a while might be a skink, but then I let my apartment get goofy cold for a while--still showed up.

Now, I'm bipolar. And for me, occasionally that means peripheral illusions--thinking a stationary dot at the corner of my eye is scurrying away, stuff like that. And I still haven't got a good look at it, one beyond a vague impression. Or any physical evidence beyond my untrustworthy, useless eyes. Today I spotted it again, rushed to where it HAD to be (under the fridge, no escape route) with a flashlight, and couldn't find shit.

So I'm left wondering if I'm seeing a living creature in my home at all, or if this is just peripheral illusions combining with my impression that 'I have something alive in my kitchen' to drive me madder than ever.

I guess I'm wondering what other people think. Should there definitely be physical evidence if I have a mouse or something? Is there something else it could be, something that wouldn't set off well-baited and positioned traps?

If this is in my head, should I be worried or relieved?

Posts

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Do you have a friend you could invite over for an evening of mouse watching? Perhaps set your phones on record, pointed at areas where the mouse commonly appears?

    That might be a funny and de-stressing way to gather more information. Either you find it, or you have a friend there to help comfort you.

  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    You don't always need evidence, my house had a mouse problem about 6 months ago, there were no droppings and food wasn't eaten but we definitely had mice. We cornered one behind the microwave once but it go away, but the second time we caught one under a measuring jug.

    We tried traps but they didn't really work, the only way we stopped them was by finding where they were getting in and blocking the hole up. Good luck!

    Liiya on
  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    Seconding the recording advice, and the blocking holes advice. That is what worked really really well for me when I had a similar issue in a rental. Never got a good look at it until I set up a webcam with motion activated recording and left it and the lights on all night.

    It was like some kind of disney musical cartoon. About an hour after everyone was asleep a mouse would pop out and prance around exploring everywhere and climbing up the sofa.

    Every day I'd block increasingly smaller and more unlikely holes and set up the webcam and every night it would be back, until one night nothing happened. Kept checking for a week or so and all was calm.

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  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    Have you heard any sounds that might be attributed to a mouse? Do you have a friend who has a cat that you could borrow for a couple of days?

    My own experience with mice has been that you will hear them and find poop before you see the mice themselves. Look in storage areas where you may have boxes of papers and in drawers in the kitchen that you don't often use to see if you can find signs of them.

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  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Try putting out a single cheerio or other cereal piece in a set place and then check it every morning, that's what I always do when I think I might have a mouse.

    As for the traps, what are you using for bait? I've tried just about every type of trap/bait you can think of. But what always seems to work is a classic snap trap with a piece of string tied to the trigger and some peanut butter, the string is so they can't just lick the peanut and leave, the mouse will try and bite on it a bit. It's gruesome when you catch them, but I've never found a human trap that works yet.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited October 2014
    Rodents are going to crap where they hide and not in the middle of your floor. If you do have them chances are good you will find evidence under/behind your cupboards. If you can, pull out your fridge or oven/stove and take a look at the floor behind/under them. If you have seen them make runs along a route (e.g. along floor trim or kick panel between stove and fridge or cabinet) then put traps right on that route.

    Djeet on
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    I had a mouse too a few weeks back. Obviously looking for shelter in while the weather goes cold.
    I bought some of those D Conn or whatever evil poison pellets. Some were eaten, and I'm sure the mouse is gone because I've not seen any more evidence of it. I also live alone, so I don't have to worry about pets or people eating it, so I know it's probably the mouse eating them.
    I also went outside and used some of that expandy foam stuff in the obvious holes I saw. Now, it is quite possible I have a dead mouse, or mice, somewhere inside my walls, but I don't notice any smell, so I think they're all gone. Some were eaten, and then after a week or so I patched up the holes specifically to prevent the mouse from dying inside.

    Alternatively, you could get a cat and/or a Cairn Terrier, like Toto from Wizard of Oz movie.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Follow up, the mouse was real. I finally got a good look at it yesterday. Saw where it went in, took every trap I had and laid a goofy mousetrap wall blocking the way. Got up this morning and it's been got, assuming I only had the one.

    LiiyaForceVoidL Ron HowardCalica
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    there is never just one

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    BouwsTDaenrisMichaelLCL Ron Howard
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    you must display his remains on a pike as a lesson to the others

    Evil MonkeySmrtnik
  • L Ron HowardL Ron Howard Registered User regular
    you must display his remains on a pike as a lesson to the others

    Shush you.


    Kamar, this is how your house gets haunted and demonically possessed. Don't listen to him.

    TalonSE
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