Many of you have been asking about the mice. I wanted to hold off on an update until I had some solid information.
I would muchly prefer to repel the mice,rather than to evict them by lethal means. For one thing (as you know if you have ever had to set out mouse traps),it’s never just one mouse. It is millions of mice,an endless supply,an ocean of mice who creep,one by one,into your house and into your traps. Once you get to the trapping stage,you’ll be setting out traps (and disposing of “used”traps) until the end of time.
However,I have found a lot of anecdotal evidence to the effect that strong smells will repel mice. People have cited peppermint oil,powdered fox urine,cheap cologne,litter box leavings (a.k.a. “almond roca”),mothballs,and dryer sheets as being effective mouse deterrents. The odor has to be quite powerful in order to work,which is why this isn’t a suitable measure for the home.
But for a car –a contained area –particularly a car that’s driven once a week (if that) –strong odors should be a good solution. When I go to drive the car,I can just open the doors and let it air out for a few minutes. Then I can drive away,secure in the knowledge that a mouse will not run up the back of the driver’s seat and over the headrest and drop down the back of my coat. And that I will arrive at my destination minty fresh,and free of hantavirus.
I decided to start with dryer sheets,since I happened to have them on hand.
First I drove to the DIY carwash and vacuumed all the mouse turds out of my trunk,glove box,and under the front seats. Then I nuked the interior with ghastly amounts of Lysol. Does Lysol kill hantavirus? I don’t know,but I do know that it is 99.99% effective on cooties. Says so right there on the can. “Kills cooties dead.”
Next,I installed Bounce Outdoor Fresh dryer sheets in the glove box,under the seats,in the crack of the back seat,and the trunk. Truly,my car was Outdoor Fresh. To test the repellent efficacy of Bounces,I left three little granola flakes on the back seat. This morning I scurried out to the car to see the results.
@#$&! The back seat was empty. Bounce Outdoor Fresh = FAIL.
I decided it was time to get all science fair on this problem’s ass. I went back to the cabin and rummaged around until I found the strongest-smelling substance currently on hand:Pine Sol. I poured this into a little dish,and left it behind the driver’s seat.
I was out of Nature Valley Granola Cereal (Oats ‘N Honey),but I had just been about to throw out half a box of stale Grape Nuts. (Best before:June,2006.)
“Ha!”I thought. “I’d have felt like a fool if I’d thrown THIS away! I can use it to test my car for mice!”
Then I stood for a minute and looked out the window,and wondered how my life had come to this. I still don’t have an answer to that question,actually. I pushed it aside,and went out to put a tablespoon of stale Grape Nuts on the back seat of my car.
I eagerly await tomorrow morning. Will the Grape Nuts still be there,or not? Stay tuned,dear readers!