By Guy O’Connell
In truth, there’s always been, but parts of Fitzrovia are like a Greek Island holiday for the little creatures. The house mouse (Mus Musculus, Mus Domesticus) long ago found a place in the small flats and restaurants of our home turf. They are a part of life, but they contaminate food and they spread disease.
Residents divide on how to deal with them. One friend has a live trap, and releases any captives in Regent’s Park (think “Shawshank Redemption.”) Another has a snap trap, which he baits with peanut butter. The mouse in his place eats the nutty lure most nights, while the device itself only ever seems to snap on his toes as he stumbles into the kitchen for a midnight trip. My neighbour has invested in a cat, and whatever it does to the mice, it’s also learnt to poop at will on our window-ledge. Bingo, no more mouse droppings, just cat poo instead.
There may be much to admire in a mouse. Wikipedia claims that the female of the species has five (count them) five pairs of mammary glands and nipples. They can squeeze through the smallest of holes, down to 6 mm, and scarcely ever need a drink.
But Camden Council warns that they are a health hazard. Our high score of pubs restaurants and multi-occupancy houses mean that the mouse population is a real part of life here in Fitzrovia. Council officials advise that “where more than 15% of properties in a block have problems with mice, we recommend the whole block be treated as one programme.”
Here at FN we’re conducting a small, mouse sized survey, do contact us to let us know if you see more of the mouse now than in the past. What should be done? While you’re thinking about it, here’s an old proverb “never throw a stone at the mouse, and break the precious vase.”