The other night I was sitting at the kitchen table and, out the corner of my eye, I saw a mouse. To be honest, we see mice quite often. We do keep the house (reasonably) clean but these terraced London houses often have a problem with mice – as all the houses are connected, if one house in the street has mice then they all do.
Ever since, I’ve been feeling a bit squeamish. Before I lived in London, I used to think “Ugh, such a fuss! What’s the big deal? It’s only a mouse”. But the thing is, it isn’t only a mouse. They are front and back incontinent so are just the thing for spreading disease. Seriously, rats are much cleaner even though they sound far more disgusting. And females can produce ten litters a year, each litter having up to ten pups. So one mouse can soon become ten, twenty, thirty, all of them scurrying around your kitchen. Ugh. Even now, I keep thinking that I can see them in my peripheral vision.
When my Dad lived in the US, he would have the same reaction to cockroaches. If he saw even one, he would go barmy and throw it out the door (if you kill a cockroach, its mates all turn up to see what’s happened). His house was a timber framed one with wall cavities that made the perfect home for cockroaches, you see.
So – back to London. We put down a mousetrap but it didn’t catch anything.
I did, however, have to make sure that I was the first in the kitchen the next morning to set off the trap (I used a knife handle) to make sure the kids didn’t get their fingers caught. Mousetraps are just the thing for breaking children’s fingers.