Saturday, November 30, 2013

Let’s Talk Mice – What Worked for Us


No, not Mickey and Minnie.  We’re talkin’ field mice and Winter.

Whether you full-time in your RV or store it during Winter, you very well may have visitors seeking warm shelter within the confines of your rig.  Mice.  In our case, field mice.

We had one (or two or three or ??) get in the “attic” of our 5th wheel a couple of Winters ago.  The sound of them above us was maddening and we had nightmarish visions of the damage being inflicted.  We placed small bait trays in a couple of spots via the A/C vent openings, but there simply was not enough room and no access to do much of anything about this except worry.  Turns out it/they chewed through a wire to one of our A/C units.  We discovered this when we turned on the A/C for the first time when the weather warmed up.  Ouch.  $$$ to fix.  We also had evidence of mice under our kitchen sink.

At that point, I got some of the plug-in sonic pest repellants and Dave went around our rig – inside and outside – with expandable insulation.  It comes in a spray can and is easy to apply.  This helped quite a bit and we have not had evidence of mice inside the rig since.

However, we continue each Winter to get mice in our basement, even with one of those sonic plug-ins in there.  There are simply too many places for mousie to squeeze through; one just can’t plug up every single opening.

Following are some of the popular remedies, most of which I have tried.  I’ll save the winner for the last:

  • Fabric softener sheets:  Did not work for us.  Mice tried to use ‘em for nests.
  • Peanut butter, cheese, Fritos on a snap trap:  Mice had a snack and didn’t snap the traps.
  • Bait boxes:  Worked to some extent, although it did not rid us completely of mice.  I placed them inside the basement and outside on the ground.
  • Victor Sonic Pest Chasers:  We have the mini version and I got them at Lowe’s.  Can’t say definitively if they work or not.  I will say that when we first arrived here, a mouse or two was seen in the office.  Since using these plug-ins, I have not seen a mouse inside the office.  We have not had evidence of mice inside the our rig, either.
  • Steel wool:  The access compartment in the basement of our rig where the water hoses come up is a hole, obviously.  I pack coarse (the coarser the better) steel wool around the hoses to seal up that hole as best as possible.  Again, perhaps this works, as we have seen no evidence of mice gaining access to the basement via that route.
  • Moth balls:  Have not tried this. 
  • Peppermint:  Supposedly mice are repelled by this.  Peppermint oil didn’t do squat.
  • Altoid mint on a sticky tray:  And here we have the winner!  Altoids are “curiously strong” mints, right?  So I figured this might work.  My first attempt was placing some Altoids at different access points in the basement area.  Mice ate the freakin’ mintsBy this time, it was an “us or them” situation.  Okay, so I figured I’d try an Altoid in a snap trap.  Crafty mice stole the mint, leaving the trap intact.   Having had experience with sticky trays in the past, I really do not like them; however, we cannot tolerate vermin in the rig.  Thinking the mice were hooked on the mints by then, I placed one mint on a sticky tray, positioning it in a place where the mice liked to hang out.  Next day?  Bingo!  Rigged up about three of these in the basement area, with positive results.  We had no more mouse issues for the remainder of the Winter.  The mice had a nice treat and departed this life with sweet-smelling breath.

There are more popular remedies such as I’ve listed that folks have tried.  Just thought I’d share what did and did not work with us.

Mice visiting this Winter?  Treat ‘em to an Altoid! 

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Parked here in Camp Driveway no evidence so far this year. Could be because daughter has an exterminator here every other month and lots of traps sitting around. While traveling we've had evidence, like you, in the cabinet under the sink.


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