Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mouse in the Greenhouse

Mice on the farm.
Image from

The only mice I like are the ones who wear clothes.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Speedy Gonzalez, and Cinderella’s little helpers are all fine.

But the real naked rodents are not my friends, even if they could learn to sing, tap dance, or sew my clothes.

Recently we lost dozens of toddler pepper plants to a marauding mouse living the high life in the greenhouse. A few traps later, a bit of hot dog, and the problem was solved.

But alas, it was too late for our peppers.

Mice have always given me shivers up my spine.

When I was in university, a mouse, perhaps dislodged from its timeshare by nearby road construction, took solace in my apartment.

Obviously, one of us was going to have to go.

I threw some clothes together and high tailed it out of there.

A generous relative put me up for the duration of my self-imposed exile, and an indulgent landlord disposed of my new roommate.

I am grateful to my family who drove two hours to help clean the place once the all-clear was sounded. (Typical roomie, have to clean up after them.) We had spring cleaning in September that year.

One little mouse brought a lot of generosity of spirit, all aimed in my direction. (Perhaps they are good for something after all?)

According to a pest control company I consulted, here are a few tips to deal with mice:

1.       Search the outside of your dwelling. Look for any openings through which you can stick a pen (near cable or other wires, for example).  Mice can collapse their lungs to fit through an opening that small. Stuff such openings with steel wool.
2.       Mice will only travel short distances from their nest, and usually no more than 20 feet. If you are putting out mice bait (preferably in bait boxes too small for other animals to access), do so in concentric rings around your dwelling. Think of a target with your home as the bull’s eye. Replenish the bait until it is no longer disappearing. Then go further to the next ring and repeat, so that a perimeter is maintained.

3.       Mice populations are on a seven year cycle. If you are hard hit one year, you may get off easy the next if the cycle is beginning again.


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