© Photo by beverley barker from FreeImages
We have a situation. Yes, I am sorta back. I just wanted to get this out there to help counter what many believe is true. So I may disappear again, but this is important.
I began cooking last Saturday. I open the utensils drawer. I see what I thought was dirt on a spoon. Odd, but I thought nothing more about it. I put it in the sink, and kept doing what I was doing.
The next day, I see more strange pellets or specks of dirt. Then it hit me. A mouse. We all may have experienced this. It's getting colder, according to the bane of my problem. More on the bane in a minute.
I do what I do with a situation I have little knowledge on: I head to DuckDuckGo. Also known as I researched. I wanted visual proof of what I saw. I got it. I found out a lot about a mouse's habits. I found that I needed to clean and not just clean with soap and water but I needed to add bleach to the mix. The areas where the mouse had been was soaked with the solution and then scrubbed and mostly air dried. Dishes that had been washed the night before along with that spoon was soaked again along with all of the utensils in the utensil drawer.
I wanted to go with natural repellents.When I read peppermint oil was a repellent, I rejoiced because I had peppermint oil. Peppermint oil began to permeate the air. Peppermint oil was placed in cotton balls and placed in the utensils drawer and on the stove and near where I thought the mouse was nesting. At the same time, I told Mother Dear. I tell her the mouse may be hiding behind the refrigerator because I see a concentration of mouse poop over there.
Monday morning comes and mouse says "Haha! Nope."
I say "This means war and punk, I'm gonna win!" I order humane mouse traps. They'll be here Wednesday.I have an issue with bleach cleaning the areas every day. This gotta end.
At this point, neither myself nor Mother Dear decide to contact an exterminator, who will seek the ways the mouse found to get in. They will set traps and capture or kill the mouse and plug the holes or areas where the mice get in.
In my research, mothballs were included in a way as a repellent; not natural but a way. I dismissed it because I thought why in the world would you use such a loud scent in the house?! They work great for skunks outside because that animal also uses its nose for everything so to counter them coming in areas, use mothballs. But more on why not to use mothballs later. It's time to talk about my bane of the problem.
Monday night, Mother Dear say Sister So-and-So says to use mothballs. I didn't answer or even look up. I thought "Here we go. Here comes the bad advice."
I figured someone would come over and maybe provide a trap before the traps arrive. I also knew I needed to tell her the traps were coming. We have a conversation on why the mice are coming in. Mother Dear doesn't know a doggone thing about mice. She hasn't done research. But she has gotten all info from people she know. That's where the mothballs came from.
In all fairness, I, too, turned to friends. I asked one if her dog caught mice. I asked another if I could borrow one of her cats. See, the house used to have a cat who would have thoroughly enjoyed having pets of her own, but she died. Two months after her death, the mice move in.
After reading on the habits of mice, it confirmed that it was time for my next cat. But I didn't want a kitten, I wanted a mouser. I wanted an adult cat that saw a mouse for what it is: prey. A dog would do the trick, too, but I prefer cats. My friend with a dog said her dog was not acquainted with mice. My other friend proclaimed one of her cats was a good mouser.
The humane research would barely mention a cat. Only saying get some used cat litter. I could do that. But that's time-consuming. You would also need to refresh so that means going to get more. See? Time-consuming. Still I prefer it to mothballs. Plus all other research said get or borrow a cat. A mouse smells a predator, it marks the place as a hostile environment. We have had a cat in the house for almost 25 years, mice have been in the walls. A mouse was brought in by lovable but idiotic cat who dropped it but they did not come in on their own. It promptly left when given the opportunity..
I guess Mother Dear thought I would use the mothballs she got. I didn't. I was standing my ground. I don't know if she asked for it or not, but saying using mothballs is incredibly bad advice. We had an issue with a mouse in our previous house. We were in between cats, so it invited itself in. My dad bought a humane trap. He put out cheese, and bam, mouse was stuck to the glue trap. I put it outside. It peeled itself off the trap and scampered away. We got another cat (RIP Blue!) and no more mice problem.
I used the peppermint to keep the mouse out the utensils drawer and our lazy Susan, while we figure out what to do. I don't own the house, so I waited for a decision until I realized a couple of other problems had arisen. I had to act. Plus I was in a war.
Wednesday comes. I see a beautiful package waiting for me. That night I put out both traps with peanut butter. I hear that works better than cheese.
Thursday morning, guess what's in one of the traps? I caught one. So, I release it across the street in a field, in the direction where the feral cats hang. Sorry, circle of life. I warn it to not come back.
Thursday night, just to be sure, I put out the second trap. Friday morning, there's a second mouse in a trap. That mouse had to stay in the trap until after work because I was releasing it near a stream by the house. If those two mice had babies, if they are old enough, they'll be caught, if not they'll die. One thing we have learned: they were not behind the refrigerator.
Both traps are being cleaned in bleach and water because mice poop all the time. They will be put out again and used until I move or we get another cat.
However, Friday evening, I come in to grab rubber gloves. A must for handling mice, bleach, and sadly, mothballs. I smell something weird and Mother Dear wants to have a conversation but I got a mouse to free.
After the mouse is freed in the area of a stream, I come in and ask what is the smell. I thought she called an exterminator and they sprayed something. It's an extremely dense smell. It was slightly suffocating, that was how heavy it was. I ask and she tells. I look at her and say, "Mothballs are toxic."
I am hopping mad so I keep to myself and turn on my fans and open windows. I turned on nearly every fan we had.
The box says mothballs are toxic to humans. It says so on the box. Our house is not well-ventilated. If you keep the windows shut, the air is stagnant. So coming in to the house shut tight but filled with a mothball scent, well, it wasn't pleasant.
I needed proof. And I got it. The first mention of toxic was enough to dissuade me from putting out mothballs. Remembering what my dad used and the fact that it worked had me about to expound on humane traps before making an executive decision to get the traps myself.
But after wondering why my throat was feeling scratchy and feeling the beginning of a headache, plus itchy eyes and extremely dry lips that were becoming cracked and split, I started searching again. Here's what I found: A Mothball Mishap on the National Pesticide Information Center website.
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So what's happening on Saturday aka today: Getting more rubber gloves. Mopping the floor with bleach, soap and hot water to get up the invisible urine that has marked the house as a good territory; and removing the smell of mothballs.
Future thing: Get a cat!
© Copyright Mine
Listen, people are going to give advice, but you can also do research. And seriously, if the box tells you it's toxic, don't use it. Reading is fundamental. Do.Your.Research!
Update: A third mouse was caught with the trap and no mouse has been seen or caught or left poop since Sunday morning. Still getting a cat, though.