Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Nature & Wildlife, Preparation & Readiness
MOUSE ATTACK!! (part 1)
Of course, we also have deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, foxes, owls, hawks, snakes and even an occasional coyote. The last five of these critters are suppose to eat mice. Unfortunately, I think they missed a few.
I believe it was the winter of 2006. Our camper had been parked since late November. All of the food had been removed from the cabinets so as to not attract any hungry invaders. Sometime in early January I went out to check the camper just to be sure everything was OK. Scattered across the counter tops were these little black rice sized droppings interspersed with acorn shells. Further investigation revealed shredded rolls of toilet tissue that had been used to make these nice little cloud soft nests in the kitchen drawers and under the bathroom sink.
We had been invaded!
I spent the afternoon cleaning out the nests, vacuuming up the acorns and droppings, running the drawer contents through the home dishwasher, and disinfecting all of the drawers with a bleach solution. I had to throw away all of the toilet tissue and a drawer full of dish towels. There were droppings and acorns behind the pillows on the couch and in the corner of the bed. All of the pillows and bed linen had to be run through the washer and dryer. In case you did not notice, all of the cleaning was referenced as “I”, not “we”. I kindly spared Nancy of the unpleasant and sometimes surprising task of cleaning out mouse nesting materials.
Our visitors were no longer cute furry little critters with big black eyes nor the cartoon dipected creatures dining on a feast of cheese! No, these were uninvited invaders — enemies of the state trespassing on protected soil!
Once the camper was cleaned, I did a search for openings where mice could get in, sealed those I found with Great Stuff and set two mouse traps baited with peanut butter. I felt confident my mouse problem would soon be over.
Two days later I returned to check on my traps. Both had been tripped, but there were no mice in the traps. Telltale droppings once again littered the kitchen counter.
This time I decided to put out some poison pellets. I placed part of an open package on a paper plate and set it on the kitchen counter. Another paper plate with poison pellets was placed under the bathroom sink. I figured the little critters would eat the poison, go outside and die.
The next day when I inspected the camper all of the pellets were gone. I was somewhat surprised since I had left such a large amount of pellets. But, if the pellets were gone, the mice must have eaten them and would soon be out of my life.
I refilled the paper plates with more pellets.
The following day I was shocked to discover that the pellets were once again gone. Wow, I thought, there must be more mice in here than I originally concluded. But with the pellets gone, surely the hungry little varmints would soon be eradicated.
Just to be sure, I once more refilled the paper plates with even more pellets.
When I returned on the third day I could not believe my eyes. All of the poison pellets were once again gone! I thought, “It would take a hundred mice to eat this many pellets.”
I began to look around. Behind the couch I discovered a horde of pellets in the corner. The same type of horde was found in the bedroom next to the mattress. The kitchen drawers were full of the little green and white pellets. The mice were taking the poison pellets and moving them to another location.
Perhaps they would eventually eat the pellets and die. But, for now they were just interested in stashing them away (I guess they had plenty of acorns for now).
That was when I decided to really declare total war on the furry little creatures. Traps, poison and Bounce Dryer sheets were not the solution to abating this type of invasion.
In the military, a commander will quickly tell you that if you want to win a war, you must know your enemy. Where they sleep, what they eat, how they think, what they value and what weapons they have at their disposal.
I knew if I was going to win this war, I must approach it like a true military commander. I must, in my own mind, become a mouse!