Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mice in the Park

One morning, when we were in New York , we were walking through Madison Square Park, just besides the Flat Iron Building. We saw this young man releasing trapped mice from a couple of green boxes he had. The mice were tiny, and looked a bit bewildered. They went hopping their merry way, looking for somewhere to hide behind a tree. Actually, they may have looked merry, but I'd say they were stressed out, emerging from a warm building into an open space with squirrels, dogs, birds, cars & people.

We asked him where they had come from. They had been trapped in his office, he said, and he was the lucky employee whose job it was to trap and release them humanely. They were so cute you could understand why nobody would want to kill them. But you have to wonder about their chances of survival, in the middle of a small park in the city. The young man's theory is that the mice will have made it back to his office faster than him!

If you want to find out more about pest control, check out the New York State Integrate Pest Management Program website. There is a section about live trapping. Here is an extract: "Live trapping with box traps or glue boards may be used for monitoring and for removal. The technique raises legal, ethical, and biological concerns, especially with exotic species such as the house mouse and Norway rat; these issues are discussed in the "Beasts be gone!" brochure."

I'm happy to report we have had no mouse in our house since we got Willow. He's brought back a few mice he'd killed, and also a rat(well dead, thank god), a few years ago. He also catches the odd bird, but seems to be getting lazier year by year. Or maybe the mice and birds are avoiding our garden.

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