Mouse Wars: Who Pooped In My Pantry?

lightsaber mouseSeven years ago, we moved from a trailer that was just a few years old to a house that had over a hundred years under its belt.  We had no idea what we were in for-we did not know that we were trading frozen pipes every winter for other problems of a completely different nature.

It started not too long after we moved in with evidence that we might have a couple of mice running around.  This was confirmed by my mother one night as she was watching the children for us. Not that this should have been surprising to either of us.  An old house in front of a cornfield is prime real estate for field mice, especially as the weather gets cold.

The first clue for me that maybe we needed to do something was when a mouse tried to steal a piece of cheese off the end table in the living room.  It wasn’t like it was the middle of the night and I had simply forgotten to put the cheese away.  I was sitting RIGHT THERE (brave little rodent!) The second and last straw was when I reached into a drawer to pull out a dish towel and instead grabbed a mouse.  The resulting jumping, shrieking, and slamming the drawer shut is something that my husband still makes fun of to this day.

Since then we’ve spent a lot of time plugging up holes and making it at least more difficult for the little buggers to get into our house.  Our cat was an expert mouser, for as big as he was and as much as he liked to sleep, he kept those that did get in check.  But last year our beloved mouser died suddently.  We now just have the cat who believes that catching mice is totally beneath her.  How dare we trouble her with those filthy furry things!  Our dog tries to catch mice, and occasionally is even successful!

We've set traps but they haven't really worked as well as we'd like. Maybe this is why...

We’ve set traps but they haven’t really worked as well as we’d like. Maybe this is why…

We honestly hadn’t seen a whole lot of evidence of the mouse population this past year. Then it all started up again this spring.

Our dryer began having problems a few weeks ago.  The display wasn’t real bright.  Then the display quit “displaying” altogether.  I did everything you’re supposed to do, checked the plug-in, cleaned the lint trap, and begged and pleaded for it not to die.  It was only 16 months old, barely a toddler in the appliance world.

When we returned from a trip home to visit parents, I dutifully got right to work doing laundry so that I wouldn’t be behind the next week.  When the washer was done, I immediately put it into the dryer (which is shocking).

THE DRYER WAS DEAD.

Several panic attacks and online searches later, I was charged with the task of calling LG about the problem.  After being cut off twice, I talked to a very nice young man who was very helpful.  But it was obvious that the dryer was dead. He gave me the number of the local LG repairman.  I laughed when the repairman answered the phone and identified himself, because it was the same person who had come out and declared our last two appliances dead.

The owner, a grumpy old man, and his very enthusiastic grandson came out to check out the dead dryer.  They spent a lot of time arguing about the best way to do things.  I was sitting two rooms away, chuckling because it was almost cute.

Not too long after the arguing subsided a bit the grandson came bringing me the control panel from the dryer.  He gleefully showed me the problem: Mice had eaten through the wires!  That made perfect sense with how the whole thing started to go and then stopped working. Thankfully, all they had to do is sauder the wires back together and be done with it.  Boom!  It was fixed.  They had definitely earned their money by the time they had left.  I was poorer but happy to have a method of drying clothing that did not result in towels taking off a layer of my skin every time I used them.

This made the whole scene from a month or so ago make more sense.  A mouse was running around the living room.  It ran up to both pets who DID NOTHING but stare back at it.  There was obviously something wrong with the mouse.  It was almost acting like it was drunk.  Now we know, we think it got a shock from chewing on all those wires!  I guess if I had been wise to this fact I would have looked for his little hairs standing straight up on his head.

Needless to say, we went right out and bought a lot of mousetraps…

Not gonna happen.

Not gonna happen.

Earlier in my blogging career I shared another story of me vs the mice, the whole reason why I won’t eat chocolate sprinkles.  The answer to this mystery can be found by clicking here.