I’ve borrowed the title of this post “to a mouse” from a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns (the same poet that penned the famous saying “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”).
While this post is by no means a poem, it IS about a mouse, the one that decided to hitch a ride in our motorhome. We believe he came on board somewhere along the Oregon coast, at least that is where we first noticed his presence, about 4 weeks ago.
This mouse, who shall remain nameless, is no more. He passed away last night while eating some peanut butter that Linda and I had put out for him . . . . on a trap.
We believe that about 2 weeks ago, he wised up to the fact that we were aware of his presence and had started to plan his demise . . . We first set a few traps and when that did not work, we purchased some Fresh Cab. This stuff smells like a pine forest and is advertised as being “a natural rodent deterrent”. Rather than kill the animal, it would simply irritate it enough for it to leave. To us humans, it is actually a very pleasant smell and, to our delight, it seemed to have worked immediately – our furry freeloader had disappeared, or so it seemed.
We had almost started to congratulate ourselves on it working, when, shock/horror, we found more droppings one morning. This time, not in the kitchen, he had simply moved to a different location.
This, of course, meant WAR!
We concluded that the pine scent of the Fresh Cab DID indeed irritate the mouse, but not enough for him to vacate the comfort of the motorhome. He simply moved to another part of the coach . . . in this case to our front sitting room and even the bedroom, thus avoiding being close to the Fresh Cab, which was in the kitchen. THIS was now getting serious enough to really put a strategy in place to get rid of him.
Because he initially ignored the traps we set, we concluded he must have had access to enough food not to risk going after the tidbits on the traps. We decided therefore, we needed to starve him so he would be more desperate and willing to risk attempting the traps.
Our first move was to ensure that NO food, or even smells, were around after we went to bed. We would wipe down the countertops, take the trash out to the dumpster in the RV Park and put ANYTHING that we believed had a scent into completely sealed enclosures – like the microwave and refrigerator. We were determined to starve him.
We could tell this strategy was starting to work when the evidence he left behind during his nocturnal wanderings were found further and further away from the original area we first saw his droppings.
We knew he was desperate when we saw that he had attempted to get at the tops of a bottle of olive oil. In other words, any easily available food was now gone and he had to work harder and go further afield, to find something.
THAT was when we played our Ace card – 3 different kinds of mouse trap with 3 different kinds of bait. How could any hungry mouse resist? Well, he couldn’t and around eleven thirty PM, he met his maker.
Cleanup and lessons learned
Getting rid of the intruder was a great accomplishment, but now the cleanup started. We were disgusted by the invasion and EVERYTHING needed to be cleaned . . . Thoroughly!. We removed all the drawers so we could get inside the cabinets, we moved the couches to really get underneath, washed everything with a bleach solution and mopped the floors when all done.
We learned a lot about what NOT to do . . . like leave food in the trash can. We now religiously take the trash out, every night. We put anything with a scent away overnight and we have become a true believer in this Fresh Cab stuff.
Like I said earlier, it smells like a pine forest and is actually very pleasant. It looks like a pouch of sawdust and is impregnated with essential oils from a Fir tree. This gives it that “pine forest” scent. You simply place it in areas you suspect a mouse (or rat) might enter and just leave it to do its thing. The scent deters any rodents.
The instructions say each pouch lasts about 3 months, after that, the scent has diminished and is less effective.
Now that our mouse is gone, we have 4 of these pouches spread around the areas we know he had got into. Under the sink, behind the cabinets and under the couch. While the pouches did not GET RID of him, we hope that the scent will prevent newcomers entering the coach. Only time will tell.