Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mice! and make sure your preps are safe from invasion

After last evening's King snake surprise I thought it would be a good sign for not having too many mice.  I should have thought just the opposite.  Snake is here because there are lots of mice.  I haven't really noticed too many mice around lately.  I did see two dead ones in the garage but that's because we have mouse poison blocks in there.  Yesterday when I took out the kitchen trash (it's under the kitchen sink) I saw three or four mouse droppings.  I wasn't sure if they were mouse droppings because lizard droppings look pretty much the same and we have lots of lizards running around.  I cleaned it up and told Army daughter she needs to do a better job of cleaning up after herself in the kitchen. 

This morning I walked into the kitchen and saw that the food she dropped on the counter yesterday while she made lunch was still on the counter.  Dinner drippings were there as well.  I muttered some stuff under my breath (only 1 1/2 more weeks till they move out).  Then I opened the cabinet door to throw something away.  The trash was full and overflowing the can.  I pulled the trash out and the entire cabinet was filled with mouse droppings.  There was probably one at least every 1/4 inch.  What?  Were a million mice in the cabinet last night? 

I showed boy the disgusting mess and let him know it's because there are filthy things in the house.  Of course mice can come in even if the place is clean but it's much for enticing for them when you have things they want to eat in the open for them.  I checked the drawers where I have packages of things that can be easily eaten through.  All was well. 

Most of my preps are in heavy duty buckets, cans, and jars.  Very few items are just left in original packages.  Most get repackaged for storage.  I do leave bread out on top of the microwave to dry out before packing them up for future bread crumbs.  Fortunately there wasn't any evidence of the mice there.  I will put the bread on a baking sheet and leave it in the oven to dry out as I don't want anything around to attract them.  I brought home a box of snack items for the kids from when I was out working last week.  Those are going to be put into a gallon jar.  People think it's odd that I save gallon pickle jars and I ask others to do so as well.  Once you get the smell out they make great storage containers. 

I told Army daughter about the mouse invasion but she didn't see the evidence because we cleaned it up before she got up.  I told her that she needs to be more careful about leaving things out.  She proceeded to take the store bought brownies that have been sitting on the counter for two weeks, that nobody wanted to eat, and threw them in the trash (the chickens would have eaten them!).  She then left the house for the day.  What about cleaning up the counters from yesterday's lunch and dinner?  What about the sugar you spilled on the counter this morning when you made your coffee? 

I've heard that mice only travel about 20-25 feet from their nest.  I need to put out more mouse poison blocks. I set some traps under the sink this morning.  An effective home made trap can be made by using a five gallon bucket. You can make a ramp on the outside of the bucket for the mice to climb up more easily.  Take off the bucket handle and run a wire across the top.  Before you connect the wire center a paper towel cardboard tube on it.  In the middle of the paper towel tube rub on peanut butter.  Keep the wire stiff.  Put water in the bottom of the bucket.  Mice will climb up the ramp, jump on the tube, the tube will turn upside down and they will fall into the water and drown.  Using all these methods, by tomorrow I'm hoping most of those disgusting creatures are gone.  King snake, come back!


  1. It's getting cooler and it's most certainly mouse season. So far so good but I'm still putting out more traps. I can see them tearing through a plastic storage box and into the dog food, cereal, whatever.
    I use the old fashioned snap traps, so far nothing else I tried works as good. I'm big animal rights guy but I don't do spiders and mice. I would prefer a mountain lion in the yard than mice running over the counters.

    I'm guessing the snakes are active for you all year.

  2. Uggh, hate mice! I am fanatical about not leaving food out, have used those snap traps and they work pretty well. Your home made trap sounds effective. Do you have cats? They usually do a pretty good job keeping mice away. Good luck on catching those critters!

  3. I don't leave food out. Somehow Army daughter didn't learn that. The homemade trap works well. We have two cats that are getting up there in years. One is really old and isn't good for anything other than laying on top of me when I'm sleeping. The other will catch critters every once in a while. When I was cat sitting for my friend who is in the Navy they caught mice nearly every day.