Friday, November 18, 2005

Eeek - Part II

I am in the throes of a mouse problem. I thought things were under control, but I woke up to mouse noises coming from my bedroom walls this morning.

Two words. This sucks.

Three words. This totally sucks.

One of the previous owners of the house decided that when the top concrete step to the front door decayed they would just chop it up - leave the concrete pieces in a pile - and cover the whole thing up with a pressure treated wood platform. The sides were decorated with a wood lattice. The gap left by the stair near the foundation under the platform was left wide and clear.

This wood platform has been on my list of things to repair. Pour a new concrete step. But I wanted to figure out what my front steps looked like originally (my neighbor has photos). It appears there may have been a concrete arm rail (does that make sense?) on either side of the step.

Now, mice have apparently discovered this little highway into my house. Earlier this week I took off the lattice and discovered the pile of broken up concrete and the gap in the foundation. Its hard to see exactly what is going on under there, but you can see enough to know it is not good.

So, I placed some mouse traps there. I caught a mouse. It was ugly. I'm still trying to erase the picture from my mind. Seems though there is a family of mice - so the trapping continues. Did I say how much this sucks?

Today I went out there and stapled hardware cloth over the lattice and then a layer of black aluminum screening over that. It actually doesn't look that bad and I am hopeful it will work in keeping new mice out. I don't want to make any permanent changes, because once Spring comes I want the whole thing fixed properly (a new step can't be poured now that it is cold.)

I am just thanking heaven that over the past two years I have weatherproofed this house to within an inch of its life. I am fairly confident that the mice will not be able to find a crack into the house. Having said that, there is now a trap sitting in my bedroom.

Sigh. If I actually catch a mouse in my bedroom, I may have to move. Could it get any more gross than that?


Jocelyn said...

I just don't share the aversion to mice I guess, but then we don't have any inside. I say get a vermin killing cairn terrier to fix this situation. Or a feisty cat.


derek said...

I think just the smell of the cat deters the mice. We had a 1" gap under the basement door for months. I know there are still gaps on one side of the house too. I lived in a house with a mouse problem before, not fun at all.

Scout said...

When I moved into this old (new) house I gagged constantly the day of 'move in' - as I found piles of mice poop in the kitchen drawers and under the kitchen cabinets. I took out the drawers, and cloroxed them - etc. To hell with warped wood! I set traps (the little neck breaker kind), but the traps on lids of boxes (easy clean up) - BUT never caught a mouse. Had exterminator come, and he gave me low down on the 'little mice' versus field rats (based on poop size). I just now (after 4 months of living here) and finally removed the mice traps and began to fill cabinets and drawers. Gross, ick. I feel your pain. Good luck. Jane

jm@houseinprogress said...

Oh no! I feel your pain. Dave didn't care what our resident mouse did...I think he liked having him around. Me? Not so much. I think he was getting into the awful back room that was added in the 60's (and which will be coming back off of the house). We trapped 'im eventually, but it was awful. A recent Ask Metafilter thread discussed the complex issue of trapping house's not as easy as it would seem and folks had some very good ideas

bungalorama said...

Ewww. I feel your pain. As for your question about whether it could get any more gross, well, a friend just found a dead mouse floating in her dog's water bowl the other morning. Is that worse?

Good luck. Show those mice who's boss!

StuccoHouse said...

Lol...piles of poop and a dead mouse in the dog's dish. Pretty gross. I think the worst story I have heard was from my dad. He worked in an old building that had been turned into trendy offices. One day his secretary was walking to her desk and impaled a mouse on the heel of her shoe. I would have died right then and there.

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