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Mouse Wars 2020: We’ve reached a Christmas truce
Platte Valley Farm-Her

Mouse Wars 2020: We’ve reached a Christmas truce

Barb is a freelance journalist who grew up near Battle Creek, Nebraska, and now farms row crops with her Platte Valley Farmer, Don Batie, northeast of Lexington. She can be reached at

For those who have followed along with the Hof Batie 2020 Mouse Wars either through this column, on Facebook or both, we have reached a Christmas truce.

For the past 10 days there has been no activity either in the basement, main floor or garage fronts. No signs of nibbling on anything and nothing caught in the trapline. A large container of red pepper flakes was purchased from the ethnic foods section at our local grocery store and has appeared to be a strong deterrent from anything entering the garage. A side benefit has been it has also kept the cats from scratching their claws on the south garage door and further ripping the weather stripping there.

So if you aren’t on Facebook, here’s the daily recap and tally that kept many previously entertained:

Day 6 of Mouse Wars 2020: The battle lines have widened and now include the basement. One invader committed the ultimate sin in human-mouse warfare – stealth eating of chocolate! Hubby had a small sandwich bag of Halloween candy on the computer desk and last night while on the church board Zoom he reached for a bite to find said miniature candy bar gone - totally gone! Needless to say the remaining contents of the sack have been disposed of and thankfully the rest wasn’t chocolate.

Late yesterday afternoon I found another mouse in the trap by my gardening shelves so our tally was Baties 7, Mice 0. We are starting to move into football scores now. This morning’s trapline yielded one more mouse on the south wall of the garage. Given the chocolate theft I am putting today’s tally at Baties 8, Mice 1.

Day 7 of Mouse Wars 2020: Baties 11, Mice 1. Today’s tally reflects another mouse caught last night in the garage, one this morning by the south garage door and a dead mouse found under the basement desk.

Because the trap on the desk was tripped, but no mouse there, we believe the wily basement mouse got stunned and was the eventual victim of blunt force trauma. Just to be sure, tonight the desk will be booby trapped with at least three traps and we will sweeten the pot by sacrificing a small piece of plain old Hershey's chocolate stuck in the sticky trap and smaller pieces in the peanut butter on the other traps.

Meanwhile we have been able to follow the enemy comings and goings in and out of the garage and are deploying pepper outside to discourage entry. Oh, yes, must add crushed red pepper to the grocery list!

Day 8 of Mouse Wars 2020: For the first time since the battle lines were drawn over a week ago the trap line yielded nothing this morning. Even the chocolate-baited traps had no signs of even a nibble. Hoping we have finally thinned the ranks enough that the little invaders are beginning to think twice about moving in. So for this morning at least the tally stands at Baties 11, Mice 1.

Day 9 of Mouse Wars 2020: No new captures inside the house today. However, the battle continues in the shop where I store my chicken feed. Thanks to my new little female kitty, Christie, those numbers are down. One little thief was in the feed sack this morning and she heard the rustling when I peeked in and literally dove inside the sack. A slight tussle and out pops Christie with her prize. Baties 11, Christie 1, Mice 1.

So ends the Mouse Chronicles, at least for now. I have high hopes my grey kitty will prove her worth and her running tally in the shop will quickly mount into double digits. A friend just this weekend wished us a “Mouseless Christmas,” and I am wishing for a night before Christmas like the famous poem, “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

Barb Bierman Batie can be reached at  

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Barb is a freelance journalist who grew up near Battle Creek, Nebraska, and now farms row crops with her Platte Valley Farmer, Don Batie, northeast of Lexington. She can be reached at

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