The mouse that got away Friday is a clever little thing. Somehow it eluded Polie and now it is eluding my trap. It has successfully eaten two chunks of pecan and a smear of peanut butter without getting caught. I have never before experienced trap failure with a nut as bait. Never.
I decided this afternoon that I was not going to continue feeding this mouse. Polie was out with me so I peeked behind the full compost bin to see if the mouse was active. No sign of it, but it was hard to see in the narrow space between the back of the bin and the wall. I pulled the empty bin away from the wall and rocked the full one to see if I could disturb the mouse enough for it to run out into Polie's field of view. No such luck.
Then I started rocking the full bin forward, trying to work it away from the wall far enough for me to poke through the debris behind it. After some time, I got it out far enough to poke the pitchfork behind it and out ran a young mouse.
Polie got it. Another one ran out and hid under a piece of cardboard. With some direction, Polie found it. I continued to work the bin away from the wall, periodically poking through the debris, finally yielding one more mouse - an adult this time.
By this time, it had dawned on me that keeping the bins away from the wall and separated from each other might make it easier to discourage the mice.
I repositioned the empty one and moved the full one a little further out. Polie can't quite get behind them (see him at the back?), but he can get to the edges and I can poke through the debris regularly.
He can get between the two bins, though, which will definitely keep any mice on their toes.
With all the loose neighborhood cats that use our yard as their toilet, I'm disappointed they aren't at least helping deal with our pest problem. Nor are the local coyotes taking up the slack. C'mon, predators, do your job already! Does my dog have to do everything?