Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Creature Was Stirring...

Let's admit it: mice are cute.  In the movies.  And in books.  Not in my closets.  Not on my back porch.  And especially not when I find them eating the corn intended for the sheep.

And I really don't like to sit down on the couch after a long day of work, sink in and relax, and then hear the scampering of little feet running across the wooden floors upstairs.

I've spent the last few weekends cleaning out the closets upstairs and unpacking all the boxes that we shoved into the un-lived in rooms and closets when we moved in a year and a half ago.  I've done a lot of trips to Goodwill.  I figured if I could live without this stuff that's been in boxes for the last year and a half, I can probably live without it altogether.  It's been quite cathartic to shed all this extra stuff, clear up space, and actually start unpacking a little.  The upstairs is still nowhere from being finished, and we just decided to make a stairway project into an even bigger project by knocking out a wall, which in turn, means we have to open up the ceiling.  Which may actually reveal the electrical wiring and help us figure out why some of the lights upstairs work, and others don't.  In other words, we've got our hands full with this house.  And it's also full of mice.

Luckily I haven't seen any sign of them downstairs, or in the kitchen.  But they definitely made their mark in the closets upstairs.  Disgusting.  I read that mice hate the smell of peppermint and that if you soak cotton balls in peppermint and place them around your house, the mice won't come in.  I used half a bottle of peppermint extract.  A few minutes after I put the cotton balls around the upstairs, I actually heard a mouse (or mice) squeaking.  Joey didn't believe me when I told him the mice were shrieking over the smell.  The upstairs smelled really minty for about a week.  And then the mice were back.

I've also read that you should go around your whole house and plug up any holes bigger than a quarter so the mice can't get in.  The only problem is I don't know where they are coming in since I've only seen them upstairs.  Plus, how am I supposed to find every single crack around my old house?  I'm sure there are tons of them.  The mice in my house have probably been living there since 1908 when the house was built.  They are thousands of generations separated from their 1908 mouse ancestors.

While I was shopping at the FarmKing Monday night I picked up some new mousetraps that are plastic and look like something you use to keep your bag of chips fresh.  The are supposed to be more "sanitary" since you don't have to touch the mouse, just squeeze the chip clip open to release.  Either way, it's still Joey's job.  And I'll avoid the room at all costs until Joey disposes of it.  And with curious dogs in the house, I would never consider using poison.

However, I did see something at the FarmKing that looked like it was in the same vein of thought as the peppermint-soaked cotton balls.  They were bags of scented herbs that were supposed to repel mice.  But they were $15 and I was feeling cheap.  Maybe next time.  I certainly wasn't shelling out $35 for an electronic noise-maker that is supposed to repel mice through sound.

And so the saga continues.  Maybe we should just go with the option Joey read to me last night out of the classifieds:  Free calico cat to a good home. Between 1 and 2 years old.  Very nice and playful.  Grandma has too many cats.

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