Jasmine from Wildcare called to talk about the critter problem, which actually has been peaceful these last few days since I made the phone call.
So, it seems we are dealing with a mouse most likely, but mice attract rats. A mouse can get through a hole the diameter of one Bic pen. A rat can get through a two pen hole.
This year mice and rats are breeding longer than usual, because the weather is warmer than usual, and there is water around and wonderful fruit from trees.
We need to get a tincat. They are available at our local hardware store. Once the mouse is out, we plug any holes with steel wood.
We set the trap with birdseed or popcorn. Rats and mice know all about cheese and peanut butter and won't touch it. I don't know if this is rats all over the world, or just local rats, but I am reminded of the 100th monkey principle. Rats and mice have been wise to cheese for five years, and wise to peanut butter for a long time. Who knew?
They love to make nests behind dishwashers and stoves, so now you know.
Also, coyotes can only climb six feet, so if you put an eight foot pole in your yard, a cat can climb up it and escape. Our fence has eight foot poles, so there is a reason Bella and Tiger are still with us.
Since coyotes brazenly stroll our streets, this is useful information.
We have a lovely yard for all sorts of critters. Now, we just need to mark our boundaries more clearly and we can all coexist with a better awareness of inside and out.