As if, AS IF, I don’t already have a full house with Checkers the RV Copilot, the varmint squirrel, Bugzilla the well-groomed Giant Cockroach, and Sparky the Bird, now there’s a mouse in the house, my RV.
I have a cat. I shouldn’t have a mouse.
Let’s review: My cat/RV copilot can’t read maps, and doesn’t deter rodents. This is just wrong.
In her defense, at the ripe old age of 18 she probably can’t hear the mouse chewing up the inside of my kitchen drawers.
How do I know there’s a mouse?
The other morning I opened the silverware drawer to see one of those crushed red pepper packets you get when you order pizza broken open, contents spilling out. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the packet wasn’t broken, but chewed open. Finely shredded bits of paper and of the drawer lining lay in a small pile.
- Poos in the silverware drawer.
- Poos in the utensil drawer below.
- Poos in the dishtowel drawer below that.
I bleached the drawers and contents, and washed the dish towels so I don’t get Hantavirus. You know, that life-threatening disease spread by mice.
From the US Library of medicine:
Avoid exposure to rodent urine and droppings. (Gee, and I try so hard expose myself to rodent urine and droppings. Whatever will I do for fun, now?)
- When hiking and camping, pitch tents in areas where there are no rodent droppings. (<<— Funny! You ever seen how small a mouse poo is?? It’s smaller than the two “o’s” in poo. Now go look on the ground and see if you see anything like that among all the dirt, grass, rocks and weeds. Just don’t inhale while you’re looking.)
- Avoid rodent dens. (Aww, shucks, you take away all the fun.)
- Drink disinfected water. (And I would know this how? Is there a test kit for Hantavirus water? Do I need to use it every time I turn on the faucet?)
- Sleep on a ground cover and pad. (Ok, sleeping on/near the ground is NOT an issue for this Glamper.)
- Keep your home clean. Clear out potential nesting sites and clean your kitchen. (What the heck is a “potential” nesting site?? My bed could be a potential nesting site, but I’m sure as heck not clearing that out. Otherwise, I’d have to sleep on the ground. Not. Gonna. Happen.)
The death rate is about 50%.
I’m actually (honestly) feeling a tad feverish at the moment and have a sore throat. *panic sets in*
AND, as if this wasn’t bad enough… Let’s recall some of my varmint squirrel deterrents: many moth balls scattered under the RV, and purchase of one ultrasonic rodent deterrent that gives off an annoying sound only rodents can hear. It cost $25 and has a small blinking red light on top so you know it’s working while it sucks the electricity out of your meter.
The drawers, particularly the one in which the mouse, a rodent, spent the most time, are DIRECTLY under the wall socket in which the ultrasonic rodent “deterrent” is plugged.
Apparently I paid $25 for a blinking red light that’s not even bright enough for use as a nightlight and doesn’t deter rodents in the slightest.
How to get rid of the mouse?
Well, I can tell you what I’m NOT going to do: buy another one of those $25 “ultrasonic” blinking red lights.
Several folks on Facebook suggested getting that sticky paper. As much as I don’t want the little Hantavirus-carrying, poo-making varmint in my RV, I don’t want to kill it so cruelly, either.
My dad, creator of the Adventures of Chickenbone and Kernut childhood bedtime stories, invented a “no hurt ’em” mouse trap when we were young. It even sold in the back of Sunset magazine for a bit. It was a cute little cage/trap on which the door would snap shut when the mouse wiggled the bait. You can only imagine how excited Chickenbone and I were to have a “pet mouse” each time one was caught. We would feed it and look at it for about a week, at which point it would die of fear and refusal to eat. (Horrid, I now know.) After a couple of those episodes my mom said, “No more keeping the mice – it’s too sad to watch them die. We’re going to release them far away.”
Maybe it’s because I used to think of mice as pets, or because they’re cute and furry, or because I did wildlife rescue (see above influence from Mom) for years, but I just can’t kill the thing. Part of me wants to see baby mice.
But I’d rather see them outside.
When I packed up the rig to come to Bandera, Texas (in lovely Hill Country) this weekend, one jumped out of the external plumbing bin (which has access to the interior via plumbing lines). It was cute and furry just like the ones I “had” as a kid.
I hope it was the only one, and didn’t leave a pile of babies – or poos – somewhere inside.
Have you ever had a mouse problem? How did you get rid of them?
And, have you or a friend survived a case of Hantavirus? Please provide symptoms at onset and any resulting long-term complications, so I can start panicking properly.