"Normally when theres heavy mouse numbers I see at least one in the house. This time I actually fried one in the toaster. I was half way through a slice when it dawned on me what the odd singed smell could be..." more here
Feeling squeamish? Needless to say I'm so glad it wasn't me!
The worst we've had was mice eating wires in the dishwasher, then getting fried. The dishwasher stopped mid cycle, and the finale was an oozing, nauseating, sickly smell. The repairman wasn't at all surprised. Apparently it's a common problem; mice eat the wires and get electrocuted and short out the electrics. He cheerfully presented me with the carcasses; proof that he wasn't making the story up. I suppose repairmen are gearing up for some robust business given the prevalence of mice across the country. The Department of Primary Industries is predicting the worst plague in decades.
So, not only has nature thrown some crappy events at us this year, but has topped it off with creating perfect conditions for a mouse plague. Whoopie.
I came face to whiskers with one IN the dishwasher one day which was a little unsettling - I'm not sure who was more surprised. I think we both stopped and stared before reacting with either a squawk (me) or a twitch of the whiskers and a scamper through the little vent (the mouse). I wouldn't have believed an adult could squeeze through an opening 1 cm (three eighths of an inch) wide until I saw it happen. We've since strung a piece of wire around the inlet nozzle to prevent it happening again. The thought of the mouse not being quick enough to escape before being caught in the swishing water and being spun around the dishes like a tiny furry dish mop doesn't bear thinking about.
It's unsettling to realise that perfectly hygienic storage of grain is an impossibility (though when I think about it, not unreasonable) and that at least in the USA, hygiene regulations allow "up to two fecal pellets per pint of grain" (Bryson. 'At Home') I doubt Australia would be much different.
I'm not sure how much enjoyment I'll get from my wholegrain and seed bread in the future. Perhaps It's best to just pretend that all the little seeds really are linseed.
And if we have trouble in the home, how do restaurants and cafes manage? Is it "out of sight, out of mind"? "If you can't see it, it doesn't exist?" Ergh.
I was listening in horror earlier today to a farmer describing mice up to a foot deep near the farm sheds, and found this youtube delight to share. It's exactly how the farmer described the situation in central New South Wales. But be warned, PLEASE don't look if you're about to prepare any food or have just eaten ... or are thinking of eating any time in the near future. Viewing this video could lead to nausea or sudden, unplanned dieting.