(WARNING: animals were harmed during the making of this blog)
Mice like motorhomes and we’ve had them before, but this was different. If you heard three voices whimpering like small children confronting a monsters under the bed – that was us. The monsters weren’t large but they were noisy, sneaky, disease carrying and a pain to exterminate.
We’ve had mice before, usually we set a couple of traps, catch one or two and we’re done. Not this time! We were parked at a nice site under the trees (mistake one) at a campground in Olympic National Park. We didn’t know at the time that this particular site was holding a mice convention and that mice like to use trees to access motorhomes.
Lisa actually believes she heard them dropping down into the roof. They also climb tires and levelling jacks so they probably attacked from above and below. The first night we heard them in the ceiling above the bed. We set a couple of traps and caught one, but he wasn’t alone.
The next night we set 12 traps with peanut butter. Checked the traps later in the evening – all 12 traps have been picked clean. Reset the traps and went back to bed. Not to sleep – just lying in bed waiting to hear a trap go off.
SNAP – ah got one, but when I go out to find him there is one in the trap and another one apparently trying to pull his dead buddy out of the trap. The live one just looks at me – like “hey what did you do?”. Doesn’t even run – apparently I am such a wimp, even mice aren’t intimidated. He’s right I don’t want anything to do with the live mouse – so I stomp on the ground a few times and he runs around behind the fridge and back out the other side to see what I’m going to do. What I do is put his buddy in a plastic bag and bring him outside to another campsite (there no nearby garbage bins and I figure I’ll dispose of him properly in the morning).
A little later SNAP again. I go out into the living area with flash light- no mice. Come back and check the traps next to my bed. Ah there he is looking up at me with his leg or tail caught in the trap. I place him in a plastic bag and now have the pleasure of needing to put him out of his misery. I am not releasing him so he can scammer back into the motorhome. To understand how I feel about this you need to know – if Lisa wants me to get rid of a spider I usually try to catch him alive and bring him outside.
However, it’s time to man up, how hard can it be, I’ll find a rock and be done with it. You would expect in the wilds of a national park there would be plenty of suitable size rocks – you’d be wrong. There is not a single rock I can find that is small enough for me to lift (remember I’m a wimp). So I settle for a thick branch and I beat the bag about a dozen times. I stop, the friggin bag moves. Turns out my branch is a rotting, it is about as solid as an over-ripe tomato. Nonetheless another two dozen smacks and the bag stops moving – though by this time it has holes in it and for all I know the mouse has gotten loose and is heading back to the motorhome – no I did not look in the bag to check.
Back to bed – SNAP – clean kill. SNAP – another god-damn live mouse looking up at me. It’s 3 a.m. and we are all up and haven’t slept. I’m irritable. I no longer feel empathy for other living beings. I put the mouse in a bag take him outside and stomp him to death with my Croc-shod foot.
At some point during all this Alyssa has decided she just can’t take it and leaves the RV to sleep in the car. Unfortunately, she finds mouse poop in the car and end up wandering around the campground in the rain.
Meanwhile back at in the motorhome there is another SNAP. Flashlight in hand I search the RV, nothing, No mouse, no snapped traps. Hmmm this is curious. Then I hear something. The mouse has dragged the trap between the fridge and the cabinet wall. He is far enough back that I can’t reach him. Now what the F*&% am I supposed to do?
I need a tool – how ’bout the BBQ Tongs? I still can’t reach the guy and I notice the trap is now vertical – the little sucker is trying to climb while attached to the trap. I go looking for something else to reach him. When I returns he’s gone trap and all. Did he manage to get behind and beneath the fridge?
Below the front of the fridge is a panel that can be removed. I remove it, but I can only see the central vac – no way to get to the back of the fridge. Great, in a few days we’ll have the that lovely fragrance of dead mouse rotting permeating the motorhome.
Next day we moved to a new location. There is a stray cat – we feed the stray cat so he likes us and stays nearby. We set 12 mouse traps – none of them go off, none of them have any peanut butter eaten. YEAH! Outside of the mouse dying somewhere in our kitchen we appear to be in the clear.
We bleach everywhere we think the mice have been. Feeling like I should be thorough I decide to unscrew the floor of the cabinet below the sink and clean there – as we’re pretty sure they were under there. I lift the floor and there is my little buddy – still in the trap and still alive. I’m happy we won’t have a rotting mouse in our RV but it’s no longer 3 a.m. and I’m not as irritable and some of my empathy has returned – not enough however to save this particular rodent, I place him in a plastic bag and pound him with a cinder block.
I’m reading this and I’m a little turned-off by my willingness to beat, stomp and crush these little mammals – but I’m sure happy they’re gone.