Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are in the mouse house and I am not talking about Disney World. We just spent a week parked at Many Glacier campground near Babb, Montana. It is starting to feel like fall here and the mice decided they would like to go to Arizona with us. We trapped five last night. The cat caught two, and we still hear gnawing in the underbelly of our trailer.
I want to use d-Con but my wife hates poison and says it is cruel. That sounds Dopey to me. She thinks a quick broken neck is much more humane. Isn’t dead, dead? How can I convince her that we need to take decisive, defensive action before we are overrun with vermin?I’m not getting much sleep lately. In the middle of the night the cat catches a mouse, my wife catches the cat, and they both run outside until the cat drops the mouse. I think at that point the mouse beats them both back to the trailer.
This is our full-time home. Help me.
--Grumpy and in Babb
As tight as an RV seems to be, mice can wiggle their way in. It is a problem that must be dealt with quickly before wiring is chewed, material is collected for nesting, food stores are cached, and plumbing tubing is damaged. They can do a tremendous amount of damage in a very short time.
I agree with your wife, poison is not your best solution. d-Con is designed to drive the mice out to water after it starts its deadly process. These poison carcasses will move their way up the food chain very quickly as other predators find them, harming things that do not want to travel with you. You will often find the mice have stored it all over the RV and never eaten it.
You need to continue running your trapline and know you have eliminated the last one. At this point you don’t know how “Minnie” Mickeys you have.
You will most likely be able to tell you have solved the problem when the cat stops acting Goofy.
Don’t forget to tie a string to every trap and secure it to something. Even after the trap does it’s deadly deed, the mouse will dance a distance. If it ends up in a place you cannot reach it will decay and begin to smell.
Once you get the situation under control you can try home remedies like peppermint tea bags (they hate the smell). For now I would stick to playing cat and mouse and using cheese and traps. Remember, the pioneers got the arrows and the settlers got the land. Same applies here. The second mouse gets the cheese, so use several traps.
The only positive thing you can take from this experience is the fact that this is the most excitement your cat has had in a long time. Living in a small RV is not easy for a cat, even if it sleeps eighteen hours a day. It has most likely raised your cat’s spirits, given your cat much needed exercise, and made your cat feel like the Lion King.
Seriously, set traps everywhere and deal with this problem immediately, before it gets real expensive.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink