Monday, September 20, 2010

A Mouse in My House

Yes, it's true. At almost 1:00am Fri. night my friend, Joanna, and I were chatting and doing at home pedicures. And Joanna said as calm as can be, "There is a mouse on your kitchen floor." I didn't believe her and when I finally looked myself I jumped up unto my coffee table where I proceeded to stay for about 5 min., yelling, "I am moving out!"

This mouse must have felt at home because it just moseyed around my kitchen without a care, until finally retreating under my fridge.

I was so freaked out. I have never seen a mouse in my house.

My dilemma is how to get rid of it (and the many more I know it represents.)

I can't afford an exterminator.
I don't want to use a live trap (I am not going near that thing to release it.)
I don't want to use kill traps (I am not cleaning that up.)
I will not use poison (not around kids, and again I am not cleaning up dead mice.)

What else is there to do?

I am so prepared to make a treaty with the mice, I will supply you all the food you need if you stay out of my kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. Stay within the walls or under the house or behind the fridge. Basically out of sight, out of mind (for me.)

This is a very fair arrangement. Now how do I let the mice know my terms? lol.

Seriously, I stuck some fresh mint all over the kitchen (especially under the fridge) as I read it discourages them, but what else can I do? Help!



Whitney said...

you should get a cat :-)

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

Get a cat or a kitten!! you can adopt one very cheaply with all their shots. All you need is food and litter.


Becky R said...

Should have mentioned Joshua is allergic to cats or I would have a cat already. I like cats.

Do dogs catch mice?

Sisters of the Blog said...

There are those things you can plug into the wall that send a signal mice find intolerable.

Do they work? Well, yes and no. If you have a room with relatively straight walls, and the space isn't larger than the area it says this gizmo will cover, yes.

If you have dirt walls or come with odd angles, the answer is probably not.

I have this problem in my house. I had thought installing these in the kitchen, upstairs, and down cellar would let them know they needed to go.

I wasn't here full time for nearly two years after i bought my current home, so the mice really had no one to encourage them to move out other than the electronic gizmos. The previous owners had dogs, and as a search in an old cupboard downstairs showed, a ton of mousetraps.

I do, however, have three cats. All excellent mousers.

I arrived full time here before they did and was shocked to see that there were acorn shells down cellar, a telltale sign that the chipmunks had found their way in and munched up in the recesses of the cellar wall (used to be all dirt, was cemented in the 60's).

DH moved out the fridge for something on one of his visits here alone, and found mouse droppings. He cleaned those up. I installed the electronic gizmo in the kitchen. When the repairman came to fix the fridge soon after i got here full time and before the cats came, he had to pull the fridge out. I mentioned the possibility of mouse droppings, which didn't seem to bother him a bit. It was high on the EWWWW factor for me.

Anyhow, no droppings to be found, so i'm guessing the gizmo works well for the kitchen.

Current situation is this: mice, moles, voles, shrews, and chippies are not to be found in the house proper. However, one of my kitties makes it her business to go down cellar every day and hunt. She thinks the indoor hunting a swell feature of this house. She used to bring what she caught upstairs so she could present me with gifts. I am not a good recipient.

The day she dropped a live chipmunk at my feet, the chippy ran as far from the electronic gizmo room as possible. I was able to shut all the doors to that room and open the patio door to let him run outside. Thank God.

I've also looked to see where there are holes in the foundation and plug them up. If you've got a stone foundation, you most likely have a hole or two where a mouse can get in. They can get in a hole as small as a dime, so the hole needn't be large.

They don't like steel wool, so stuffing the hole with steel wool helps. You can also use that insulation foam stuff, as they don't like that, either. DH used quick drying cement to plug up holes, but i found out later from someone that vermin can and do chew through that. sigh.

I wish my indoor hunter kitty would take a tip from my oldest kitty and simply eat what she kills. I am not good at removing the carcases from the house. That is a huge understatement.


Becky R said...

I keep reading mixed reviews on the electronic devices. Some swear by them, some swear they are junk. I think I will try them, but with so many brands to choose from it is confusing!

Tina said...

Well, you sound like my daughter. She hates mice and would stay atop a table for hours if it did not leave on it's own. Not me, never have been afraid of them, but I do not like the filth they bring with them.

I have used the traps to kill them, then get a shovel and promptly throw the entire thing in the garbage. Then bleach the shovel and where the mice were. I would not want to empty the is disgusting. Dh is allergic to cats too so I have to use either that or poison to rid a place of mice. Our last house was brand new and a nightmare with mice.

The foam insulation is now beginning to be a treat for mice..they actually will chew right through it. But like Megan said, steel wool is great. Is there a possibility of keeping a cat outdoors? Or would it be just a target for the cars on the road?

I have heard both on the electronic devices as well..hope you find what works and soon. Oh, and by the way, sticky traps..THEY DO NOT WORK!! I tried.


Becky R said...

Honestly I shoved fresh spearmint everywhere in my kitchen (as I read they don't like the smell) and so far no reappaerance or even evidence of mice.

Sisters of the Blog said...

Unless you've got enough fresh mint to see you through winter, i'd suggest getting one of those electronic gizmos, too.

As i said, they seem to work in finished rooms all right, it's the dirt dug rooms or stone foundations that have funky angles, where they seems to be spotty.

Tina, i'm sure you would have laughed at my last attempt of carcase removal. Phoebe, upon hearing my squeal at seeing the dead mouse at the bottom of the cellar steps, took that to mean that she needed to make it better by gnawing at it. She tore the head from the body, and the guts fell out on the old throw rug down there. When i approached with shovel in hand (long handled), I had to really push at the body, becuase the guts stuck to the throw rug. I screamed and cried the whole time. I had gotten the head on the shovel, and it started rolling when i tried to pry up the body. I told God if it rolled off the shovel, i didn't think i could stand it.

I thought of the Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me," but i must say, i had to rely on His strength to get me through this.

So as i sobbed and screamed, i got so angry that i had to deal with this. The anger leant the energy i needed to walk up the steps with the two-piece carcase.

I walked out side with deliberate steps, taking care not to walk on the dead mouse that JoJo had caught and killed outside, and threw the one on the shovel over the fence.

Well, "throw" is incorrect. I get to the fence, turn my head away, and turn the shovel so the carcase slides off.

Good news is that crows come and clean up all carcases. They do a good job, are glad for the eats, and i'm glad that they leave no trace.

It's at times like that that i really miss DH.


Denise Punger MD IBCLC said...

I was going to say cat, but I am here way to late.