26 January 2014

The Great Mouse Saga, Part 3 -- The End of the Story (Hopefully)

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

We ended last time with The Great Mouse chase through the house and thought we might be lucky enough to have only been dealing with the one mouse.  We still couldn't figure out how he got in the house, but we had some ideas.  Maybe Simba brought him in and he got away and went into the heater vent to escape.  That would explain the scratching and the poo in one of those vents.  And he came up from the vent under my desk because the heater was on that morning and it got too hot for him.

Yeah.  That's it.  It's a theory and if you have one better, let's hear it.

There were no more mice as there were no more evidence of mice.

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A few days later there was scratching and squeaking coming from the corner of the office/craft room and Leia was loosing her shit over it.  I thought another mouse got into the house and this time got himself behind all the totes full of fabric I have in the corner.  So I moved them all out. All 6 of them - most of which are a bit heavy.  I grabbed a flashlight to look behind the craft shelves and was able to finally determine that the squeaking and scratching was coming from inside the wall.  



Have you met my dog chicken, Leia?  That dog freaks out over crumbled paper and electrical cords - can you imagine her reaction to the scratching and squeaking in the wall?! Great. Now, take what you are imagining and multiple it by at least two more levels of her freaking the frick out. 

She would slowly stalk up to the wall, low growling with her hackles raised and tensed for immediate flight if The Noise fought back when an extra loud scratch or squeak would come and she'd bark like mad while running to hide behind me with her tail between her legs.

The poor, poor silly thing. 

Those squeaks were LOUD! Like maybe the mouse was stuck or hurt, or drunk and calling all his friends over for a party. I don't know.  All I know is I couldn't get the dog to stop barking at the wall and the Goddamn cats were nowhere to be found.  Lazy Bastards.

I eventually found Timmy and woke his majesty from his slumber to put him on guard patrol just in case I was wrong and the mouse was in the house.  He sniffed at the wall and batted at it a few times so I took that as confirmation of the mouse in the wall.

On the other side of the "mouse wall" is the kitchen and the dishwasher.  Robert pulled the dishwasher out in case the mouse was behind that instead of in the wall.  It wasn't. Good news, aside from a rather small amount of dust and dog hair considering what I was expecting to be behind the dishwasher, it was relatively clean back there and I vacuumed what was there out so...positive.
Deciding there was no more procrastination to be had, Robert finally went under the house. He didn't want to (and I don't blame him) and was avoiding it.  He didn't see the mouse, nor mouse poos under the house and the squeaking soon stopped.  Maybe the mouse got unstuck or moved on or died in the wall.  We don't have a stink coming in so I'm going with the belief it went away.

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Leia likes to follow us into the garage.  In the spring and summer we go out that way to get tools for working in the yard and working in the yard leads to playing with Leia.  In the winter, she runs around the garage while we get what we need from the freezer or pantry shelves and then bounces back up the stairs into the house all happy she got to do something and was helpful to us.

She followed me out to the garage one day and instead of bouncing around she went straight for the pantry shelves and started sniffing around.  I moved a pet food bag on the bottom shelf (which is about 3/4-inch from the floor) and swore I heard a squeak.  I took her inside, grabbed Robert, a flashlight and Simba (for mouse retrieval) and went after the mouse I thought was there.

We found mouse poos and found a hole in the bottom of the cat food bag - but no mouse.  Simba didn't spend much time sniffing around so we figured the mouse got away or was long gone.  We opened the food bag, determined it wasn't contaminated and sealed it up - the pet food now goes on the top pantry shelf.  We did find an area behind the furnace that is a small hole that could lead to the crawl space under the house and that could be an entry point for a mouse, so we went and got a few mouse traps and set them around the garage.

The mouse traps are still out there, unused and untriggered in the slightest - just waiting for any mice to return.

It's been a bit over a month now since our last mouse-related incident, and so hopefully it truly is the end of the story. . .

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