17 March 2022


On Sunday we left home in the UK at 4.45am and arrived chez nous in France just after 6pm, a straightforward journey of just over twelve hours.  We even stopped for a burger and chips at Burger King in Yvetot on the way.

All seemed good when we arrived, the heating on and the house nice and warm.  Our house guardians had told us there was a problem with the basin tap in the ensuite so we were prepared for that.  What we weren't prepared for was this:

The living room had had an invasion of mice.  The little bar stewards had nibbled the covers on all three sofas and excavated a hole in a seat cushion to extract nesting material.  They had also eaten a path up both of a pair of curtains  and consumed a whole 5kg bag of Hugo's dog food.  We think that was probably the cause of the trouble, leaving plenty of food for them to eat.

After last year’s experience we had stored all the scatter cushions in big plastic crates so they were not damaged.  Unfortunately the mouse activity also included upstairs.  There were mouse droppings all over the house, two bedspreads had holes in them and they had attacked the duvet on the spare bed.

This was not the welcome we had been hoping for!

However, after the winter we had had we were not to be ground down by the activity of a few pesky mice!  More like an army of mice as it turns out, but we set to and hoovered up as much debris as we could, remade the bed with fresh linen just in case and retired for the night.

On Monday the weather was glorious so we sorted through the damage, washed everything we could and got it on the line to dry in the sunshine and light breeze.  We dusted, cleaned and hoovered everywhere until there was no trace of the invaders, Nick cut the grass while the weather was fine, and at half past four the elusive gardener turned up to discuss our gardening requirements.  We said that now we were here we could manage the grass and hedges ourselves so all we wanted him to do was trim the lime tree.  After he’d gone we dashed up to Loches to buy a new tap for the en-suite wash basin.

On Tuesday I went to Ikea in Tours to buy new covers for all three sofas while Nick fixed the tap and by Wednesday evening peace was restored in the house and all was calm!

Well, almost as there are a few places where evidence of the invasion still lurk but they will be dealt with by lunchtime today!


  1. Oh no! Last winter we had an invasion of rats while we were away. Probably only one or two, but they’d chewed up plastic water pipes running behind plasterboard, and then legged it. Thank goodness we’d turned the water off, but it was a real hassle to replace the pipes. I’m very careful about not leaving rodent-friendly food.

  2. Having dealt with mice at my Aunt's house before Christmas, I recommend chocolate Rolos as very successful mousetrap bait

  3. Eek!
    I suppose it is not a bad as rats.

  4. Jean,
    Welcome home I said.... but not wanting you to have this problem.... sads for you.
    It is however, part of the problem of "country" living.... even here, full time occupied and three cats, we keep everything in metal or plastic boxes... cat food kibble lives in a large metal "steamer" trunk.... all bird food in the plastic tubs [but even those are not invincible... and the assorted French Poison-ery does more damage to the local wildlife than it does to the mice themselves.... and, of course, once you are present, with Daisy.... such things are a nono! They are all ones that kill by causing hemmorages.... but any residue in an animal, or a mouse caught shortly after feeding.... the poison then works on the family pet! If you have animals, the collection of metal, glass or very tough plastic with clamp on lids is the only avenue....

  5. We've had mice in our cellar where we store food and wine. We've also ended up putting everything in tight-closing plastic boxes with clip-on lids, and other things in glass jars with screw-on lids. We haven't actually had mice in the house, but then we are here all the time, with the dog and the cat. We had mice in San Francisco for a while too, years ago. Mice area fact of life.

  6. You've got me thinking now, we have an identical sofa and left cat food in the garage in Italy for Grigio and Enrico. Still worse pests in the world, those with 2 legs and speaking Russian spring to mind. Take care.