Almost Over?

Well the past two months or so have been some of the craziest of my life. As my previous post noted, my husband was thought to have a bleed on his brain, which after "minor" brain surgery was fund to be nothing but begin calcium deposits. Then shortly after coming back from the hospital , I remarked to A (a friend who is finishing medical school) that a tick had left me with a strange rash (picture below). He rushed me off to our local urgent care clinic where I was diagnosed with a probable case of lyme disease. I was put on a course of antibiotics and the CDC was contacted. Next came my birthday, anniversary, and Mother's Day within three weeks of each other (pictures of all the cool loot to come). This period was really great, until the end, when on Mother's Day my DH went to make me some chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and found a tiny chew hole in the bag of chocolate chips. Yup, mice.

I actually don't have anything against mice in general (rats are a different story), as long as they are where they belong, ........outside. However, these are in my house!

I really can't blame them for coming in my house either. Their natural habitat is currently being destroyed by a developer that is trying to put high end housing in an area that was until recently, fairly rural (for example, the people that live behind us still have cattle and horses, and at one point raised sheep). As a result of the development we have had to cut a new driveway as well, further destroying their homes.

We found the first mouse last night. I was putting clothes away, and opened a nearly empty drawer in my DH's dresser, and to my surprise found a cute little mouse looking back at me. Feminists everywhere will cringe when I say this, but, I have to admit, I screamed and called for my husband. I even got up on my bed as if this mouse, that was about the size of two cotton balls was going to jump at me and begin eating my face (thank you "1984").

The mouse was eventually caught in a mostly humane fashion, and was taken to the loading dock of a nearby big box store. Good luck mouse!

Stuff I have learned since I began fighting the good fight against mice:
Since I would rather the mice simply leave my house than than have to kill all of them I thought I would share with you some of the natural deterrents I have found effective against mice. Note: these do not kill the mice, they simply make your house an unpleasant place to live.

1) Mice, and most rodents, do not like mint. Grow it inside and outside your house (orange mint is an espically aggressive variety, but can become invasive). Get mint essential oil, natural potpourri, candles, etc and put it all over your house. I found that a combo of canola oil and peppermint and spearmint essential oils in an oil burner will quickly fill your whole house with the scent of mint.

2) Get rid of all possible food sources. Sounds simple, but this means even the tiniest crumb in a crevice that you have never even thought to clean. With a 2.5 yr old, 14 month old, and two dogs, I have found this extremely difficult. This also means decanting all food that could be chewed into, must be decanted into chew proof containers - metal or glass with tight fitting lids.

3) Sonic wave plug in pest deterrent products do work, but for a limited range.

4) Eliminate all possible nesting places. This is the hardest part. Mice can fit into a hole the size of a US dime, and can chew a bigger hole if needed. The most important part is to minimize their hiding spots, and remove all clutter so that disturbances can be easily seen, and deterrent efforts can be concentrated on a limited number of areas.

Good luck!