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Suddenly find myself a mouse owner after a wild house mouse came to me for help

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Suddenly find myself a mouse owner after a wild house mouse came to me for help Empty Suddenly find myself a mouse owner after a wild house mouse came to me for help

Post by maynard Sun 23 Apr 2023, 7:37 am

I live in Mississippi in the southern US in a very old house in the woods; this winter we had the worst mouse infestation I've ever seen in my entire life living in this area. I'm in my 30s and have always used no-kill traps because it's easy here to drive a mile and release a mouse into the woods.

Anyway, I assumed at first our infestation was deer/field mice or white-foot mice, both living in this area. Cold weather should drive them in, right? But since I use no-kill traps, I discovered they were all wild house mice. All single colors, particularly small, extremely non-aggressive, not really even very scared of me, etc. I assumed they would just live in the walls or attic without any issue but maybe actual deer mice drove the house mice further in.

None of that matters though; one day I was in my bedroom and this tiny tiny mouse comes running out from under my bed directly at me. I have no phobias, fears, or anything else when it comes to mice but I admit I may have still let out a yelp when a mouse literally seemed to be chasing me. I changed directions and moved completely and she still followed me. Then, she collapsed, right at my foot, with blood coming out of her nose and mouth and she started convulsing and I noticed a long trail of blood had been following her. Just so nobody gets freaked out, this story has a happy ending. This mouse? Found a silica gel packet and choked on a silica gel bead. It spit it up. I thought for sure it was still going to die, so I got a plastic tube container out of the trash (it used to have beef jerky in it lol), put some paper towels and toilet paper in there along with a medicine bottle cap with some water in it and some peanut butter crackers. The idea was for her to die peacefully in as little pain as possible.

That little thing made an absolute full recovery within days and I suddenly found myself with a huge dilemma. How do you NOT form a bond with a mouse that literally chased you around in a delirium looking for any kind of help. I kept looking at the weather; "ok, on Sunday it'll be warm with no rain for 3 days, I'll let her go then". Never happened, I figured something would just eat her. On short notice I couldn't find a cage with bars close enough together the mouse wouldn't squeeze through (she was VERY little), and I have a friend with a PhD that works with lab mice and lab rats (though it's not mice behavior he studies or anything so he could only give me advice for how they take care of their mice) who helped me set up a living space in an aquarium. I know all about the potential ventilation problems etc. but I'm working with the hand we were dealt.

Oh, and I named her Lump, because she turns into a little ball and for the first few days? She might have been dead.

First picture of her. Not for the faint of heart, but remember: she made a full recovery. If I can figure out how, I'll spoiler/hide the pic so you don't have to look at it. There's blood.

WARNING:Sick Mouse, blood visible:

This is her a couple weeks ago, sitting alone in a boggy marsh:

I caught another female house mouse in a no-kill trap (my PhD friend put me on to 9 mil Nitrile gloves which are great for handling mice, but I only do that when sexing them) and added her to the tank since I read wild female house mice are very social, and they get along fantastically. Named her Bump. But she is afraid of me, because I caught her in a trap instead of nursing her back to health like I did with Lump, who comes out to visit me every time I enter the room. But, at least they're friends.

Sorry for the length and content of this message, it's just been a bizarre 2 months. Of course this community is about taking care of all kinds of these lil guys, but I still have to laugh at myself for having an actual infestation (they destroyed a lot of my food, clothes, not to mention all the cleaning I have to do) and then nursing one completely back to health and turning two of them into pets. Feels like some kind of mid-life crisis. Love them though.

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Suddenly find myself a mouse owner after a wild house mouse came to me for help Empty Great job

Post by Wolfie65 Sat 29 Apr 2023, 6:00 am

A few years ago, they annihilated a big bush on the property next to mine, which had a happy family of house mice living among the roots, I would watch them scoot around there all the time, even gave them little food and water dishes and a small wheel.
Their home destroyed, they moved into my place, I used to have hardly any mice, now I have TONS.
I have several humane traps set up in strategic locations and every once in a while, one gets caught - or one gets away from the cat unharmed, but stunned enough for me to grab it.
They get to spend the rest of their lives as quasi-pets in small cages I have left over or find at thrift shops and convert to mouse use by wiring 1/8" hardware cloth to the outside. Takes a while and dealing with the cage gates is tricky, but it can be done.
I buy bulk grains such as millet, buckwheat, oat groats, barley etc. for myself anyway, so the mice get some of that, too, as well as a little bit of fresh vegetables, which they love, that's the first thing they grab.
I also put a little food and water under my kitchen sink, keeps the loose ones (mostly) out of the pantry and away from the cat. The occasional little piece of fruit or homemade bread serve as treats.
They get cleaned once a week, which can be an adventure, they are VERY small, VERY quiet and VERY fast....
I currently have 2 who seem to have some health problems, one looks injured, but moves around ok and eats just fine, the other may have some sort of birth defect, very small ears and limps. They are being treated with tiny pieces of boiled garlic, drops of Grapefruit seed extract and tiny dabs of Ivermectin (for horses) as antibiotics and seem to be doing better.
Squeaky the house mouse passed away last November, had him for almost 2 years and he was already an adult when he walked into one of my traps, so he got to be pretty old for a mouse, living in what was originally sold as a 'hamster cage', converted as described above.

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