We have a mouse running around at home, or more likely a few mice. There´s one in the kitchen and there´s another that does the rounds of various bedrooms.

I have a lot of time for mice in general but they are beginning to take liberties in our house. Last night I was awoken by the sound of scratching and turned on the bedroom light only to see a mouse scurry, with commendable athleticism, from under the chest of drawers on one side of the room to under the curtains on the other side. When I lifted the curtain the mouse wasn´t there. That´s one of the things mice are good at – vanishing. I went back to bed but the little bugger repeated the exercise, in the opposite direction this time was now back under the chest of drawers scratching away.

That mouse was already on his last warning even before legging it from one side of the bedroom to the other and back. A few days ago I went to grab an avocado while it was nice and ripe and discovered a little hole chiseled out by little rodent teeth. I figured that it was not too much of a big deal and that I could just eat the other side but when I turned it round there was an identical hole in the opposite side. Avocados cost a fortune at this time of the year. This mouse was treading on thin ice.

Despite their misdemeanours I have to admit to having a kind of admiration for mice – for their ability to evade capture, and to squeeze though and disappear into tiny spaces (skills rivalled only by octopi which are master contortionists and escapologists) and so, once I decided it was time to act on our “mouse problem” it became clear that I didn´t want to harm or kill any mice.  I merely wanted to capture them and release them somewhere away from the house, presumably after subjecting them to a lengthy lecture about the evils of feasting other other people´s avocados.

I needed a mouse trap. First I headed into the hardware shop next to Dunnes Store in Fuengirola. I told the man I had a mouse problem and he led me to the “mouse” section and talked me through the options available to me. I never realized how much human intellectual energy has been diverted to devising brutal means of abruptly terminating the lives of mice. In addition to the familiar traditional mousetrap there was a box into which a mouse could be lured with poisoned bait and a little container where he would expire. And then there was this other thing that a mouse could enter, presumably tempted by some nice smell, before it would be zapped with a gazillion volts of electricity and disappear in a puff of smoke. I didn´t ask to see anything else because it was clear that no mouse was ever going to live to tell the tale of its visit to any of these brutal contrivances.

That left me with little alternative but to take a 15 minute walk into the heart of the town and a hardware store in which you can buy just about any imaginable thing. I explained things to the lady there and she managed to find the humane trap I was looking for. There was only one left – lucky for me, unlucky for the mouse.

Here´s how it works: the mouse is lured inside the cage by the smell of some yummy bait which is impaled on a metal rod, it nudges the rod and a spring activated mechanism slams the door shut. Game over, mouse!

I´m going to bait the thing up in a moment and leave it overnight.

I´ll let you know how I get on.


Mus musculus – cute but a little trouble maker.



Cheese is impaled on that little spike inside the cage. Mr mouse starts nibbling it and the cage door slams shut. Wham! That´s the theory at least….