So you made the first trip of the new year to your cottage only to find the place hasn’t been empty all winter after all. A family of mice have moved in and are wreaking havoc all over the place.
Mice can wreak havoc? Well not exactly havoc, but mice do make a mess, and they are not healthy critters to have around either. In fact, they are anything but healthy. Lets face it, they are rodents, just like rats only smaller. Not something you want running around the cottage.
You know they are there because you found mice droppings, or “scat”as we like to call it, all over the kitchen counter and table, on the floor and in the sugar bowl…yuck…
So how are you going to end this little problem? It is only a little problem because the mice are little, the actual problem can be huge and quite disconcerting to some folks, especially anyone not particularly keen on small rodents running around under their feet.
At one time I owned a little hunting and fishing camp that was a popular hang out for mice. Lots of mice. Lots and lots of mice…did I say lots of mice?
Over the course of a winter they moved in and set up housekeeping. We found the usual signs of mice living in the camp in the Spring while checking the place.
So a quick trip to the local hardware store for some mice traps. “Nothing to this.” I told my wife who was sitting in the car with the windows rolled up. “I’ll just set these mice traps and presto! We’ll clean them out.”
I set the traps all over the camp, about six traps, baited with raw bacon and we went home. I returned the next weekend and found six dead mice. Yippee success, or so I thought.
Then I found another 10 or more dead mice in a metal garbage can…uh-oh.
Mice and Hantavirus
It seems that the mice had jumped off the counter into the garbage can and then were unable to climb out. At this point I became quite concerned because there were news reports of these little fellows carrying something called Hantavirus which is known to make people very sick.
We don’t have a cat, and I am allergic to them anyway, so getting a cat and letting him loose on the mice wasn’t an option. Besides, from what I have read, and contrary to popular belief, cats are not always effective at catching mice, some are, but not all of them. Look at Tom and Jerry for heavens sake.
So a big cleanup was underway. Everything was vacuumed and scrubbed with disinfectant, all the mice droppings were cleaned up and the place aired out for days.
Because it was a hunting camp there was little or no bedding because we took sleeping bags when we used it. I aired out the mattress’s as much as possible, and threw out a lot of clutter