What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Mouse in the House

I dealt with mice on numerous occasions in my childhood home.  Believe me I do not have fond memories of them at all!  I did not have to deal with them again until our kids were adults and we had moved into our fourth house.  The house was sandwiched between a farmer's field and the river.  As soon as the crops came off mice would find a way into the house.  Our fifth house was also sandwiched between a field and the river and although the field was further from the home, copious English Ivy gave a natural habitat for the field mice who made their way indoors each fall. 

Our new house is in town but it does back onto a field.  The crops came off shortly after we returned from our fall vacation in October.  We kept a close eye for any signs of mice getting in.  There were none.  We left on our winter vacation on December 4 returning on December 22 and all looked fine.  Then between Christmas and New Year's I was in the utility room where I thought I saw mice droppings.  The following day when my husband brought up the deep fryer there were mouse droppings under it! 

The rule of thumb for rodent control is to remove the critter, seal so no more can enter and remove all sources of food.  We set out three baited traps indoors, a few bait pouches outdoors and I plugged in all the electronic rodent deterrent devices.  My husband picked up a few more plastic food bins from the doughnut shop for the odds and ends in the pantry that were unprotected. Unlike our other houses, this is a newer house so less chances for rodents to get in to begin with.  We only found one possible entry via a cable but looking at it outside a mouse would not have been able to get in, still we blocked it just to be sure.

We think we sealed the mouse out, scared off by the electronic devices or us making a bit of noise as there has been no sign of a mouse since that day (almost a week ago now).  The traps have not been touched, I've not noticed any new droppings and nothing has been disturbed in the pantry or kitchen cabinet. 

This house will be rather easy to rodent proof.  There are no carpets for food crumbs to hide in and I've been doing daily vacuuming anyway.  There is no rodent friendly vegetation like tall grasses or English Ivy.  We will do a thorough perimeter check of the house as soon as we get a warm enough day or as a worse case scenario in the spring.  Any fine sealing will have to wait until spring as will a roof check since there is snow on the roof but any noticeable hole can easily be blocked temporarily.  The snow actually works in our favour in identifying any possible entry points as their little tracks become rather visible in the snow.  It's a rather small field behind us as well so the rodent population can't be very large to begin with.  Essentially as long as any food in the pantry and kitchen cupboards is in heavy plastic bins, metal or glass containers there shouldn't be a problem.  At least we are now aware that somehow at least one mouse got in. 

What we do have to check and that will have to likely wait until spring to be sure, is there are no possible entry points between the attached garage and house.  I suspect this is how the mouse got in as we could find no obvious entry points around the perimeter.  At any rate we have identified where to look, what to fix if necessary and a bit of a temporary knock-down to get us to spring.

Garden Gnome