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Battling those little furry creatures

THURMAN - As if it's not rough enough to get older, aging brings with it some hardships, including accomplishing the normal household chores.

As anyone in the North Country knows first-hand, such chores in rural homes include battling uncalled-for wars with cute little mice, who in the wintertime are both hungry and are looking for a warmer place to make a nest.

Long ago, we set out traps baited with cheese. Well, now the mice have more exotic tastes.

A few of the critters go to a trap baited with peanut butter, and they can slurp it off without springing the trap.

Other mice only go for the more expensive, black-oil sunflower seeds used to feed birds.

The old kind of traps seem to work best - but only if you can outsmart the mice! Ha!

Some of the new gray live traps that have a flap that closes when the mouse enters may work sometimes, but more often you will find the shells of the sunflower seeds outside on the floor and the flap closed, but no mice. Sometimes you wonder if they are smarter than the trapper is!

We have been fortunate in many years of not having a mouse in the house. But so far this year, we've had three playing hide-to-get with us. One was caught swimming frantically in a gallon-jar of water that we baited with peanut butter - it was strategically smeared inside the jar rim, far enough to make the critter stretch too far for his own good. Personally, I was surprised at how fast those mice can swim. Do mice enter the Olympics?

Now, the traps are still set, but nothing has taken the bait since , so we've got our fingers crossed at this point, hoping that the remaining mice have gone looking for greener pastures, or for warmer dens.

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