I found mice in the dog food againóafter buying a plastic container with a closing lid, since the last time they just got into the unzipped bag, and later by chewing through the bottom corner of the bag.
So. I finally set out traps and cleaned up the landing to the basement, which is where we keep the dog food. (Each mouse occurrence has coincided with an overabundance of recycling/deposit piles cluttering the landing/providing a handy way for the mice to get high enough to fall into the food.)
I thought the trap would just catch the two that escaped the dog food while I was trying to catch the other, but the one I caught with the trap today was much larger than the others. It seems the problem was worse than I thought
I still need to figure out how they are getting in and where they are living. The only evidence of mice Iíve found in the entire house is just on that landing, which made me think they were getting in under the exterior door there which is drafty as all get out (on our to-do list, but since there is another door between it and the heated space, itís not high priority), finding the food immediately, and getting stuck there. Two escaped to the basement, though, so it seems another search is called for.
Bright sideóIím motivated to keep our bottle/can deposit pile in order, and return them far more often. And, I need to clean up some "hidden corners" in the basement in search of more evidence, as the basement needs cleaning anyhow. Also, dog kibble dust works way better than anything else Iíve ever used as mouse bait.