Unwanted visitor on board….mouse or rat?

I think we have a visitor on board our yacht. A very small visitor, who never shows himself. But he’s there, I know it. I call him Mickey. I think he is a mouse!

I found just a couple of old, dried mouse droppings in the cupboard where I keep the tea and coffee. Another day, I found just one dried mouse dropping on the chart table. Sorry to have to keep referring to dried mouse droppings all the time, is there a better word I could use? I’ll say DMD instead.

I cleaned out the tea and coffee cupboard thoroughly, and in the back I found an open packet of digestive biscuits, the contents of which had definitely been nibbled by Mickey. I cleaned out my food locker, but there were no open packets of anything, everything is in containers. We have some cereal boxes under the bench in the saloon, but Mickey hadn’t touched them. We didn’t find any more DMDs or evidence of him being around for the next few days, and though he had deserted us.


Without telling me, TH (the husband) left an old slice of bread on the galley worktop before going to bed the other night, just to see if Mickey was still around. The next morning I woke early, made coffee as usual, and we carried on our daily activities. In the afternoon, TH said to me – “I guess Mickey never nibbled the bread I left out for him, then?” “What bread? There was absolutely nothing there when I made the coffee!” I replied. It was true. No slice with little mouse shaped teeth marks round the edge, not a crumb left on the bench. No pieces of crust found hidden in any lockers. No tell-tail trail of DMDs anywhere. Very strange indeed. We suspected that maybe a feral cat had come aboard in the night and taken the slice.


Last night I didn’t put away the last two slices of stale bread from the packet, and left them on the galley worktop again to see what would happen. This morning – both were gone! But no crumbs, no nibbles, no trail, no DMDs, nothing. Where is Mickey taking it? If it was a cat, it would be quite a leap from the shore to our boat as we had taken the gangplank in, and also quite a leap from the nearest boat to us, but I guess a cat could do that if it was starving. But how did it know the bread was there? Why would it eat both slices of bread? Perhaps a whole fleet of feral cats regularly invade us at night without us knowing….


Cat wearing a slice of bread…..

This morning after discovering the bread disappearance, I sat in the saloon by myself reading, and then I distinctly heard a scrabbling, gnawing noise coming from the other side of the boat. Something was there! I didn’t dare open any lockers, but told TH. Of course the sound stopped when he came to listen. But I heard it again later. If only Artemis, our boat cat was with us! She is on holiday in England at the moment, but I feel like sending for her immediately, to deal with the intruder……


An article on the excellent Boat Galley website gives hints and tips of how to deal with a mouse on a boat.

Have you ever had to deal with a mouse or rat?


9 thoughts on “Unwanted visitor on board….mouse or rat?

  1. I find it lovely to have a mouse on board. This mouse is a pioneer amongst mice. He is making the holiday of his life on board a boat cruising around the greek islands and with food and lodging. I really think you should keep him, the first ship’s mouse. Think of what he can tell the other mice when he returns. They will be so jealous. Perhaps you could put mouse food on your shopping list the next time you dock in somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed, he is a mouse pioneer. But how did he get there in the first place? I have a habit now of banging on the cupboards and lockers before I open them, to scare him, as I don’t want him leaping out or even just sitting there when I open them…. And mouse food is definitely not on my shopping list!


  3. I recall having mice in a house we lived in once. I became quite an expert at fine tuning the release mechanism on mouse traps so that they almost went off if you beathed on them! My best bait was peanut paste with a very loose wrapping of cotton thread. the mouse would eventually either get caught up in the thread or pull on it to get the paste off. Some sailors write of the bigger mice playing havoc by chewing insulation on wires.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Our cats brought the mice into the house! They would play with it for a while then lose it or get bored. In a house, though, you can open a door and chase it out; more difficult on a boat. I dread a rat coming aboard when we’re tied to the shore.


  5. Mickey Mouse is a little devil isn’t he? A clever little mouse too! Hope you get rid of him soon and I hope Minnie Mouse doesn’t appear otherwise there will be loads of Mini Mice!


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