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Identify mouse-like animals?


sid
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Over the past week I've seen several mouse-like animals running across the outside walls of our barn after dark. Spotted only by chance as the floodlight came on and they were out in view. Black, about 15 cms long overall, head to tail, and with larger "folded" ears, definitely bigger ears than a mouse. They appear to be living under the tiles which cap the wall.

I've tried Googling images but not been able to specify a search properly. I guess they've probably always been around but never seen! Are they pests? Can I just leave them? Will they come into the house? (Mrs Sid would NOT be pleased!).

Any ideas?

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Oh No!!!!! They could be "rats noirs" or "rats de champs" although it seemed to me that "our" rodents had shorter tails! Very difficult to describe when you only get a couple of seconds.

I just found an image which matched what I remember! I daren't tell madame, but I think some drastic action may be required. 

 

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I had no idea what a "loir" looks like and having Googled just now they appear to be brownish rather than black and somewhat bigger. I'll have to get my camera ready and try and catch another glimpse I think!
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Thanks for the suggestions so far; I don't think they are dormice, from the wiki info the dormice tails are quite bushy.

The problem I have is that I only got a fleeting glimpse. Last night I set up my camera on a tripod with a remote shutter control and patiently waited inside the barn door under cover for nearly half an hour in the dark but there was absolutely no appearances! Perhaps they've gone? Perhaps they were patiently watching me! [blink]

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[quote user="sid"]

Thanks for the suggestions so far; I don't think they are dormice, from the wiki info the dormice tails are quite bushy.

The problem I have is that I only got a fleeting glimpse. Last night I set up my camera on a tripod with a remote shutter control and patiently waited inside the barn door under cover for nearly half an hour in the dark but there was absolutely no appearances! Perhaps they've gone? Perhaps they were patiently watching me! [blink]

[/quote]

Sid, having caught about 6 this week, Dormice (Loir) have smooth tails; although there is a version with a slightly bushy tail. Instead of setting up the tripod try the Lucifer mouse trap, it works a treat. Just a thought, but from your your description it sounds very much like bats?  

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Bats, Nick !! ?? They have wings and no tail surely? We have plenty of bats flying around, and clinging to walls sometimes, but these are definitely something else.

Lerot... Now that looks a better bet! Some of the Google image results show the big ears I was trying to describe, but the colours look browner. As I said earlier, I only got a fleeting look, and it was dark, so I could be wrong.

I'd use the "lucifer" trap ... if I had one! But I do have a camera and tripod so I'm going to persevere with that first to try and get a proper image.

I assume you're trapping them and releasing them some distance away... not killing them?

EDIT: Lerot is a type of Loir or Dormouse, which was previously discounted by me, apologies if it turns out to be correct after all!

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[quote user="sid"]

use the "lucifer" trap ... if I had one! But I do have a camera and tripod so I'm going to persevere with that first to try and get a proper image.

I assume you're trapping them and releasing them some distance away... not killing them?

[/quote]

I don't kill them Sid, the Lucifer does, I just help out nature by feeding the corpses to the fish in Le Loir.[:D]

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