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Year of the Mouse

I got a log cabin and I got mice in it. Funny, because it seemed like I had them licked for a number of years, but last month the trapline was full. And they’d eaten my crackers and shit in my bed, my fridge and my pots and pans. Game on. I’m in the middle of instituting a multi-pronged attack to foil the little bastards.

I’m using Warfarin, which is poison that kills them, and dries them right out so they don’t rot under the bed. It’s working; three of the traps had nothing but a skull and a spine left, and some dust. (Zero sympathy. Don’t even start with the ‘cute’ stuff. This is war.) And I’m going through traps like nobody’s business. I was experimenting with a new type, they’re the same as the traditional ones, but with the really large bait platform. They work great, but they have a hair trigger and are really hard to set. And I’m using peanut butter instead of cheese so it doesn’t dry out as quickly, but I’m not entirely convinced about that yet.

I’m about to start re-chinking the entire cabin, too, inside and out. Chink is what they call the mortar that you put between the logs to make the joints airtight (and mouse-tight). We initially did the whole place with a brand called Permachink, but I’m experimenting with a new one called Log Jam. Mostly because it comes pre-packaged in tubes, instead of having to fill the syringe thing out of a bucket. It’s all very messy. But yeah, the cabin’s been around for five years or so now, and there’s been some shifting as the logs settle under all the weight. So there may well be a few places the mice can get in. We’ve all heard our moms tell us about how they can fit through a space the size of a dime.

Am also investigating pest flashing. Someone told me about it, but I’m having a hard time finding it, and am beginning to doubt whether it exists. Basically, you ring your building with a tin collar, about eighteen inches off the ground. The tin sticks out about eight inches, and bends slightly toward the ground, making it impossible for any critters to climb the outside walls. Sort of like the inward sloped barbed wire fences you see in prisons, so people can’t climb out. If it doesn’t exist, then I’m gonna build my own. I have to put new sweeps on the storm and screen doors, too. There’s a little daylight there.

I’m taking the woodpile off the deck. Those are prime territory for mouse houses. That should help.

There are a couple strategies I can’t employ, unfortunately. They make electronic audio tone emitters that are supposed to be pretty good, but they need to be plugged in all the time and I only have generator power out here. Also, the best weapon of all, a cat, isn’t viable. I’m not here regularly enough to take care of her, otherwise I’d be all over that. I like cats to begin with. But she’d starve to death, and there’s no way of giving the cat access to the cabin without letting the goddamned mice in, too.

Late breaking development though; I think they may have been getting in through the sink drain. I recently trimmed the drainpipe which I think made it harder to access from the outside. Also, last time I left I put the sink plug in, and, voila, empty trapline. Could the answer be this easy? Maybe, but I’m not slowing down on the other fronts. They’re not gonna fake me out.

I got a record coming out, and interviews to give, mixes to approve, T-shirts to print, Ian Tyson songs to learn, AND I’m fighting the mice. Times are busy. You’re lucky you got a blog at all this week.

The struggle continues. Death to rodents. It’s the year of the mouse.

11 Comments

  • Jo Anne Vidito Says

    it seriously may be as simple as putting the sink plug in when you leave. We have a cabin in NS that only accessible by boat that we have an issue with mice. We learned the drainpipe lesson the same way as well, purely by chance. Also, try placing a five gallon pail with bait in the bottom..they can get in but can’t get back out..voila…dead mouse…good luck!!

  • Hi Corb love the new site…yes peanut butter does work but only a little at a time. I has to be spread quite thin.. My dream waa to own a little cabin but life passed me so fast I am now just 65 and starting to enjoy the freedom of life…Keep up the great work Good luck on the mice drama and keep up the great songs…
    always a great fan
    Miss Fay
    Alexandria ontario

  • Andy Says

    Kill those little bastards. Fight on.

  • Heather deJong Says

    Cheez Whiz and bacon grease work well as bait too. You know you can reuse traps, just dump the bodies out and rebait; the smell of dead relatives doesn’t seem to phase the little blighters!

  • Pam Says

    use steel wool around your pipes, where you can, like under the sink. Also check where the phone comes in, if you have a land line. That’s where they came in our country home. They don’t chew through the steel wool and you can stuff that stuff in pretty good. Good luck, having mice is very disturbing and violating! Also, if you have neighbours that may have cats, plant some catnip around, the cats will come visit your nip patch and you may benifit from it. All the best.

  • James McIver Says

    A beer can with a rod stuck through the top and bottom suspended over a plastic bucket works too. Slather the can with peanut butter when the bastards try to eat the peanut butter on the can they fall off into the bucket. A few inches of water in the bucket takes care of them in no time.

  • Jamie Says

    My first visit to your blog! Love it!!

  • Linda Says

    I have to tell you. My son caught a kitten in the field behind our house. We nursed the kitten until it was grown and it would be outside for days. It would actually bring me dead mice and baby rabbits and put them on the front porch! You would be surprised at how well a cat can survive without u around all the time. I say get a Cat and the mice will be gone. We had barn cats that use to cone and go all the time. At least you don’t have rats…… Yet

  • biggie smallz Says

    Smalls reunion tour. Just sayin’. I know I’d go to at least 5 shows.

  • Mosey Says

    Just moved into a new place only to find signs of serious infestation. Bought a couple of different poisons and a pair of Cruncher traps. They come pre-baited with peanut butter, which I have been using for years. These really are better mouse traps: They’re super easy to set – and to toss the little carcasses into the ditch without ever touching the nasty bits.

  • peter Says

    I had a mouse problem in my cabin. I noticed empty beer bottles make good traps. But the only thing that kept them from returning was to keep my food tight.

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