Saturday, July 28, 2007

EEK! Mouse Adventures

I’ll start my ‘mouse adventure’ story by saying in the 2+ years of having Jeremiah, I’ve never had a problem with mice. And I’ll admit I’ve never had the need to package foods in mouse-proof containers. In fact, I’ve been keeping crackers, nuts, cookies, pasta, etc. in one of the drawers.

On Sunday evening, I heard noises coming from this food drawer. I tapped the drawer with my foot and the noise stopped, then the noise moved to another location. I tapped there, and it moved again. Then it stopped. It was late, so I decided to check things out in the morning.

On Monday morning when I opened the drawer, it was obvious that one or more mice found some stomach-filling snacks. I cleaned mice droppings out of the drawer, washed it thoroughly, and threw food away.

In the afternoon I cleaned out the motorhome’s outside storage bays; took everything out, vacuumed, looked for access holes. I found mouse evidence in two of them. One was the compartment that I store bird food in and the other was the place where water and waste hoses are attached through an opening in the bottom. I also discovered that the mouse/mice had chewed into the birdseed container.

Inside my motorhome I removed all drawers, looking for mouse evidence behind and below. None was easily observable due to the way my motorhome is constructed.

Evidence gathering was over; Now to make a plan. I borrowed three mouse traps, got a lesson on how to use them, and baited them with peanut butter. One trap went into the bird-food compartment, one into the hose hookups compartment, and one where I calculated the mouse would have to traverse on his/her way to the former food drawer (this location is reached by taking out a drawer). Then I eagerly awaited morning when I would check my traps.

Tuesday morning I was disappointed - but also elated - that the traps were untouched and there were no tiny black droppings anywhere to be seen. Tuesday night I put the traps back out.

On Wednesday, I was awakened at 4 a.m. by a strange sound – I thought it was Cat playing with something. Went back to sleep. After my morning coffee I checked traps and looked for mice droppings. Aha! The trap behind/below the drawers had been sprung – but no mouse. That must have been the noise I heard. The trap in the hookup compartment was untouched. No sign of mice! But, it must have been a mouse that sprung the trap. So I rebated the traps and headed for bed.

On Thursday morning I cheered: Hallelujah! Both traps are untouched, and no sign of mouse droppings! Have I eliminated the mice and any access they would have to my motorhome? I was feeling good and smug to think I had eliminated my mouse problem. No traps had been sprung, no sign of droppings. Is it time to celebrate? I was feeling victorious. I’ll again put fresh peanut butter in the traps tonight – just in case.

A little after 9 p.m. on Thursday evening, I was watching a video. In my peripheral vision I see a brown ‘flash’ darting from my bathroom area and going under a chair across from me. My smug and celebratory feeling left as fast as the mouse ran. Bad words had to be kept from coming out – replaced by “shoot” and “phooey”! I had a mouse INSIDE – where I eat, sleep and write. Not good! Not good at all!

I quickly put Cat in the carrier, opened the motorhome cab doors and poked and banged around in the cab area with my hiking pole – hoping the mouse would run outside. Since I couldn’t bang and poke and watch to see if it ran out. I have no way of knowing if it is inside or not.

So, how do you sleep with a mouse possibly in the small living area of my motorhome?

I baited another trap and put it where a mouse could get it, but where Cat couldn’t.

Friday morning and no sprung traps. I cleaned out the motorhome cab area and found no sign of mice. Friday evening I decided to change my trap bait – and used cheese.

Saturday morning:


Peanut butter – 0; Cheese – 1!

Saturday morning or late yesterday evening this sneaky mouse nibbled his/her last morsel!

I’m cautiously feeling victorious. Cautious because the last time I felt this way was before the mouse made its mad dash from the bathroom/bedroom area to the motorhome cab – and I was deflated and defeated. I’m setting traps again tonight.

Here’s a photo of my now-deceased mouse!