Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We Had A Visitor

It's been cold outside lately and you are alerted about the dangers of being outside or having a pet outside in this chilling weather. What you don't think about are the wild animals. When it is cold, they need a place to go to stay warm and it's an added bonus if there is a food source close by. So when my Mother in Law saw mouse droppings yesterday, after inspection I made the dreaded trip to a hardware store to get some traps.

While browsing I see they have these electronic traps, which according to the package quickly and safely eliminate mice from your home by delivering an electrical shock to kill mouse in seconds. The price of $20.00 delivered a shock to me and I decided to go with old reliable.

I set two out in the kitchen, smearing peanut butter on the latch. Sure enough when I woke up this morning I went downstairs found a small mouse the size of my thumb caught in the trap, dead.

I got some gloves, bagged it and dropped it in the trunk of my car Soprano's style and got rid of it later (sorry 7-11). Good news is there was only one. I will set a trap tonight and see if there are any more before pricing exterminators.

In the meantime, we have cleaned up the house and bought a rice storage unit. Here are some other tips to follow:

As I said earlier in the cold weather, mice look for food and shelter. If you cut off access to these it will help solve the problem.

1. Clean areas under stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers. Keep food preparation and serving surfaces clean.

2. Store dry food (rice, pasta and grains), dry pet food and birdseed in metal, glass or plastic containers.

3. Clean pet bowls at night. Place bird feeders with seed away from the house.

4. Store lumber, firewood and compost away from the house. Elevate lumber and firewood on pallets. Use thick plastic or metal trash cans with tightly fitting lids.

5. Rake, collect and remove fruit, nuts and other foods that have fallen out of plants or trees. Repair all small holes in foundation, walls, basements, etc. Use caulking, a concrete patch, course steel wool or copper mesh. You can also fasten a sheet metal plate or cement over masonry.

6. Properly dispose of garbage.

7. Make sure doors and windows have fine-mesh, well-maintained screens. Cover vents, ducts, holes around electrical conduits, floor drains and other openings with copper or aluminum screens, or with metal coverings.

Hopefully this is just a case of some mouse randomly passing through looking for a warm place and I won't have to consult an exterminator. This was definitely not one of my fun things to do as a homeowner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

or ...

get a cat.