I got him/her/it!!!
A few weeks ago we started hearing scratching sounds at night… thought it was in the attic, but closer investigation yielded no trace.
Then figured out it was in the wall, moving around, almost every night at some point we could hear it.
Then, 2 days ago, my mother in law opened the slide out drawer/cabinet where the recycle bins are, and there was a mouse in the bin. In the time it took her to try to brainstorm something to catch it in, it escaped, leaving a trail of turds behind it.
I had to pull everything out from under the kitchen sink and clean under there because there were so many mouse turdlets. I kept everything out from underneath, and doused the entire cabinet with peppermint oil and stuffed a peppermint oil soaked, wadded paper towel into the hole I thought he was coming into near the plumbing. It turns out there was a hole next to another part of plumbing that I did not plug, and it’s no matter anyway because the oil was not deterring him. Then the next day we found signs that he had made it out of the cabinets altogether somehow because he left a little turds on a plate James left at his computer desk. And last night James saw him scuttle at lightning speed across the kitchen floor and disappear behind the refrigerator. More poo was found under the kitchen sink again, so that hole was clearly the entry point.
Today I went to get live traps. I put almond butter inside of it and placed it under the kitchen sink as soon as I got home. Then I was just sitting in the living room watching a show when I heard a snap and jumped up to check the trap. It was in their scuttling around trying to figure out how to get out. Because the trap was triggered by the mouse’s weight I had to be careful picking the trap up and not shifting the weight so that it would pop open again. I duct taped it on both ends so that it couldn’t pop open, and then just drove him about a half a mile up the road to a nearby church next to a pasture to release in. I took the tape off and opened the trap but at first it wouldn’t come out, even when I held the trap up right and tapped it and shook it a little bit. So I had to carefully open the other end of the trap, hoping the mouse wouldn’t jump out into my face.
Success! He cautiously peeked out at me and then took off running into the pasture.
Now let’s just hope that was the only one.
[Edit: literally as I just finished typing the above I heard it click again. Guess I just caught the mate.]
[Edit edit: just released rodent 2. That one was much more feisty.]
[Triple edit: James just noticed his mouse scroll wheel at his computer desk had been chewed on by the mice. It’s like mouse-ception.]
Here’s a picture of the one that evaded the traps for multiple nights onto to manage to get stuck int he bottom of the emptied recycle bin. So I caught him in a cup and took him up the road to the church pasture.
[Final Edit …for now (as of Dec. 31st): I just took the 9th mouse we’ve now caught, all the way to Asheville with me on my way to work, and released it along the way there. This one was the smallest and most timid by far, it also came with a 1-2 night delay in capture after having captured number 8. Since we’ve not caught another last night I’m hoping this time for real it really was down to the last in the nest.]