Sunset and Vermin

Indigo Lady is on a mooring in the middle of a tidal river. How the heck did a mouse get on board?! We’re not sure, and it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we get rid of it before it causes any damage, like chewing on important wires.

We met out at Lady late Wednesday afternoon to escape the humidity of the night by sleeping aboard, and to hang out during the worst of the heat on Thursday. I brought dinner from home and we spent a lovely evening mostly hanging out in the hammocks and relaxing. I was very tempted to sleep in the hammock because of the lovely breeze and lack of mosquitoes. Dave actually thought I’d fallen sound asleep in mine, so around 10pm he quietly slipped out of his, shut off the music and went to bed. Perhaps it was the sudden silence that woke me (okay, maybe I snored myself awake), but I decided a real mattress was probably a better idea and I toddled off to join him. It was a lovely night’s sleep.

Dave made his coffee in the morning, and I was contemplating doing some yoga on the bow when I heard Dave’s exclamation from the galley. Some critter had chewed through the bottom of the plastic bag in which we had a new homemade loaf of bread, and also though the smaller bag that contained a single homemade English muffin. There were many crumbs around the loaf. We found only a couple of mouse turds nearby (and later noticed a couple at the helm station in the cockpit). We went on the hunt! We looked in every food storage locker, in every cabin, and anyplace we had paper goods stored, but saw absolutely no other sign of rodent. We suspect it had only gotten aboard the day before. I wonder if it stowed away in the dingy and climbed aboard by the dock lines after we were aboard. I know rodents can swim, but it’s awfully far to shore for a mouse. At any rate, Dave made a trip ashore for some mouse traps, baited them with bread and peanut butter, and set them everywhere (10 total).

Dave returned to Lady today to check the traps. One in the workshop cabin had sprung, but no mouse, although it ate the peanut butter and left the bread. There were also a couple of new turds there. He found no sign of rodent in the rest of the boat. So now we have to check each day until we find something in a trap. If we don’t have success by Monday, I fear Decon will be our next step. A small mouse can wreak a lot of havoc aboard. (I really hope it’s not a pregnant female!)

Anyone have any tips for successfully capturing a rodent on a boat?