Sunday, September 6, 2009

A mouse in my white house

All summer I have been in a battle with a little mouse who keeps insisting on building her nest in a recess of the mower deck of my riding lawn mower.

I don't like to hurt or kill little creatures and I have a rule about mice. Come in my house and you get trapped. Stay outside and we'll try and co-exist.

But the stubbornness of this little mouse is really stretching my patience. It has been necessary to mow every ten days to two weeks all summer due to the rainy weather. But even with only ten day intervals the mouse insists on returning to build her next, always in the same place.

My mower is lodged in a little white metal shed - "the white house" as we call it - in the back yard.

So all summer I go through this little ritual where I pound on the walls of the shed and then slam some tools around to let her know I am in the house. Sometimes she pops her head out and looks at me and then dashes back under the mower deck.

To keep from harming her or her babies I don't start the engine or blades until I push the mower outside and lift up the deck to make sure she and any little ones have departed. I feel kind of bad because she never quite gets the nest finished before I need to mow.

Twice now I have moved her nest to a corner of the white house where I would be happy to let her raise her young, but always she returns to the mower deck.

Finally today, she came out from under the mower deck kind of looked at me, walked away a few feet stopped and looked back as if to scold me for once again spoiling her work.

Any suggestions (please don't suggest murdering the mouse) that might convince her to move elsewhere will be appreciated.


Jan Scholl said...

I had a mouse who decided sitting on top of my engine near the spark plug wires (and gnawing on them) was the warmest place. I don't drive much so it was over a 6 week period that her nest was constructed. I found out there was a nest going on when the car stumbled and the check engine light came on on my first day driving after the long time without. I took it to the dealer. Cost me several hundred dollars in repairs. And all anyone told me was kill the mouse. It was cold outside and I wonder how I would have felt had it been me as a person trying to stay warm. thank you Jim for not wanting to kill these very intelligent creatures. I have raised mice as pets (and rats too). they have their place in the world just as we do. I installed a thingie I got at Meijers that you plug into a socket and it emits a buzz that mice and other rodents don't like and they will find another place to nest. I have these in the garage and have not had a mouse inside since. These don't kill them, they just will stay away from the emitting noise as it's irritating to the ears. I think a pack of 5 was about 20 dollars. I know Menard's and Lowe's also carry them. I would also put moth balls around the shed and I remember my dad using coffee grounds on the farm. put these both in "her spot" and see what happens.

Jim of L-Town said...

Thanks Jan. Good ideas and I'll give the mothballs a try.

I don't want to kill the creatures, they are just trying to survive.

Her industriousness impresses me, but her persistence, not so much.

But thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Jim...I know this has nothing to do with your mouse dilemma, but have you heard anything about a big announcement scheduled for the end of this month at the F.J.? There are some strange rumors and I would appreciate you asking your sources for the "inside" scoop

Jim of L-Town said...

I have been bombarded by the "September Surprise" rumors. Here's my dilemma, I don't want to push any sources for information for one reason:

Booth has become ruthless about those who might be responsible for telling me anything.

The last thing I want to do is cause someone to lose their job or fall into a set up to find out how I get my information.

The pool of suspects is much smaller than it was 18 months ago. I'm open to receiving an anonymous message from anyone with direct information, but I just don't feel right pushing for information.

All of my former sources have either retired or taken the buyouts - and trust me on this my sources went far beyond the Flint Journal.

I appreciate the risks taken by a number of folks in the effort to get the word out about what was going on inside all of the newspapers.

The rumors as I have received them - offline - are a reduction of print days from 3 to 2 and then just the opposite a return to seven-day printing, to a complete end to the printed product altogether.

It is my guess that these are almost surely guesses too.

Of course, if I hear any credible reports, I'll be happy to put them up.

Pam said...

Hi Jim! We have a mouse in our shed too. The mouse chewed a hole through the palms of a pile of work gloves.

I had a mouse in my office. The little fella ate an entire bag of Hershey kisses one evening, littering my office with colorful foil. I didn't see it again after that, probably od'd on sugar. But before it found the motherlode it would stay in my trash can, and jump up and peek out at me. Funny little things. We wouldn't kill them either. We'd catch them in a box, or trash can and take them back outside. But within a day it would be back inside.

I've seen those transmitters. My neighbor has them and I believe they are helpful, depending on the size of the area and the number of critters.

They can be hazardous to vehicles and wiring like Jan said.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Come on, Its just a mouse. E-vict it, and buy a gerble. Get a cat!I know you have room for a cat at your house. Being your son, I have been there. If you had a cat, mice would learn not to mess with you.