Publication date January 23, 2024

Caught on Camera! Man Secretly Filmed a Mouse Tidying Up Shed

The 75-year-old man secretly filmed a mouse tidying up the shed almost every night for two months. Wildlife photographer Rodney Holbrook realized that objects he left out of place were being mysteriously put back where they belonged overnight. 

The photographer from Builth Wells in Powys, Wales set up a night vision camera on his workbench to find out what was happening and captured footage reminiscent of the 2007 animated movie Ratatouille, where a rodent secretly cooks at a restaurant.

Holbrook told the BBC, “It has been going on for months. I call him Welsh Tidy Mouse. At first, I noticed that some food that I was putting out for the birds was ending up in some old shoes I was storing in the shed, so I set up a camera.”

Night vision footage that you can watch below showed the seemingly conscientious rodent collecting clothes pegs, corks, nuts, and bolts, and placing them in a tray on Holbrook’s workbench. The photographer even experimented with leaving out different objects to see if the mouse could lift them, but the tiny creature was undeterred and was even seen carrying cable ties to the pot.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw that the mouse was tidying up,” He said. “He moved all sorts of things into the box, bits of plastic, nuts and bolts. I don’t bother to tidy up now, as I know he will see to it. I leave things out of the box and they put it back in its place by the morning. Ninety-nine times out of 100 the mouse will tidy up throughout the night.”

If you missed it, let me tell you that it was not the first time a mouse was captured tidying up, a similar incident occurred in 2019 when a viral video showed a mouse “stockpiling” items in a man’s shed near Bristol.

Steve Mckears who lives in Severn Beach, told reporters he thought he “was going mad” when screws and metal objects kept reappearing in a box containing bird feed. To know what was actually happening, he set up a camera and captured footage of the mouse putting screws and other metal objects in the container.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Why do mice tidy up?

While the exact reason why mice tidy up is still a bit of a mystery, researchers have come up with several possible explanations.  Mice naturally gather materials like leaves, twigs, and bits of fabric to build cozy nests for sleeping and raising young. The collecting and arranging behavior can appear like "tidying" from a human perspective. Moreover, Mice can be quite fastidious about their living spaces. They usually separate food scraps and other potential waste from their nest areas, creating a cleaner environment. This behavior helps prevent the spread of diseases and parasites.

Q. Should I worry about mice in the shed?

Whether you should worry about mice in the shed, depends on several factors such as a single mouse isn't a major concern, but a larger infestation can quickly become problematic. Mice can gnaw on stored equipment, tools, and even electrical wires, potentially causing damage. Additionally, the common house mouse isn’t as dangerous to your health as a deer mouse, they can still spread diseases, such as hantavirus, salmonellosis, and listeria through their urine, droppings, saliva, and nesting materials.

Q. Where do mice usually hide in a house?

While mice hiding places can vary depending on your house’s layout, food availability, and access points, commonly mice hide in remote areas where there isn't much foot traffic, including wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, and garages. They also hide in the warm cavities beneath appliances, and in pantry cabinets with easy access to food sources. 

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