It's that time of year again.
The tomatoes are swelling on the vine and looking almost ready to pick when I notice chew marks. Little tiny chew marks in the soft flesh of my lovely pineapple tomato.
And now...something must die!
So I rustle up the 2 mouse traps that were over wintering in the basement, taking out those that dared to come inside and attempt to escape the weather, and return them to the raised bed. One on either side of that mysterious hole that wasn't there a few weeks back.
That was last night.
This morning, I found 2 dead mice who will gnaw on my tomatoes no more. However, with last year as my first foray into Mouse Murder 101, I know that those will not be the last of them, so I reset the traps. I checked once more before lunch and there was another dead Mickey.
It makes me sad to have to kill them. However, I have a line drawn in the soil and that line is this: I am willing to kill for fresh tomatoes. Like I said last year, I'm not willing to poison them because of the unknown consequences downstream, but I am willing to give them a swift, sharp death to keep them away from my food.
The compost heap and sunflower seeds the birds throw around should be enough for them. Anything else is stepping over the line.
Last year, I closed the season out at 17 mice. Apparently I didn't kill off all of the stupid ones.
P.S. Next year I swear that I will only plant 5 tomato plants in a single bed and will plant nothing else in there to compete. I'll even cage them up. Ugh!