Ol’ Heartless Joel evicts some squatters…

"That's right, we're nesting and we're proud! We're pirating your wi-fi signal, too. Whatcha gonna do about it?

“That’s right, we’re nesting and we’re proud! We’re pirating your wi-fi signal, too. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Okay, so part of prepping for winter is doing something about the mice I happen to know are living in my summer oven. I have plastic and duct tape to hopefully keep them out through the cold months but first I’ve got to evict the ones already there.

In a world absolutely packed with quiet places a mouse can breed and sleep unmolested, I do not understand why they find this little RV oven so attractive…

…but they do, and they have since the first week I brought it to the Lair. That happened too late in the summer to get a lot of use out of it but as a proof of concept (bake bread without also baking the cabin’s inhabitants) it works great. Except for the inevitable mouse nest in the firebox.

I’ve hauled the nest makings out half a dozen times, but they only seem to take it as encouragement. This time I want to evict the mice themselves, clean out the oven and wrap it for winter…

…but how to make sure all the mice are out? There’s a double wall in back, and they’re using that space as a Monster Shelter. I want to lock them out, not in.

I knew there were two mice in there, because I saw two mice. These little guys weren’t even bothering with sneaky. Finally I decided they’d probably object to a bath, so I put the oven on the ground and sprayed the inside with my hose. That worked, except it turns out there were four damp runaways, not two.

They’re getting in and out through that little slot at the rear. If I duct tape over it, maybe they’ll go elsewhere rather than just chewing through the plastic and the tape.

Or (sigh) maybe this whole thing is pointless. They’re such filthy creatures, and I don’t really want my bread flavored with vaporized mouse piss.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Ol’ Heartless Joel evicts some squatters…

  1. Ben says:

    Would it be possible to affix some coarse galvanized “hardware cloth” screening around the various vents and slots to keep the critters out? Or build a rodent-proof cage around the oven? Or do both? Because a having an outdoor “summer kitchen” for your not-air conditioned Lair really does seem like a good idea.

    The critters are probably attracted to that oven because they were living in it for years before you got your hands on it. As for the mouse pee, flush well, fire up the oven for a couple cycles, and you should be good to go.

  2. Joel says:

    Would it be possible to affix some coarse galvanized “hardware cloth” screening around the various vents and slots to keep the critters out?

    I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I have access to hardware cloth. I’ll try that.

  3. Anononymous says:

    When installing the hardware cloth, install two layers of it, with 2nd layer obscuring the grid of 1st. Reason I mention it was first hand view of a mouse going through the single layer 1/4″ grid of the cloth covering the A/C duct we had at ranch. Took about a minute to squeeze through, but it made it.

  4. anon says:

    If they are piggybacking your wifi you’d better make sure they’re not in league with the lesbian squirrels on the adaptive curmudgeon’s page……

  5. Michael says:

    I am told they are repelled by peppermint oil. A few cotton balls with some of that on it should discourage them.

  6. ZtZ says:

    Instead of putting your tarp on from the top down, try doing it from the bottom up and folding the excess over at the top and taping it – like you were putting the oven in a huge plastic bag. A fiberglass reinforced tarp might discourage them from chewing through it. If you do the bag-it thing and don’t include the legs, put the legs of the stand in dishes or large cans of water or oil (any kind) so they have a moat to overcome. The legs can be in moats year ’round. I’ve heard the peppermint oil thing too. And nothing wrong with a dozen or so traps around the oven…So very glad to see you lowering the mouse population – there are thousands more and they breed frequently. Go Joel!!!!

  7. ZtZ says:

    Oh and have you skirted the Lair to keep the rats out from under it? And set traps? With strings on them so you can pull them out? Stiff wire would allow you to push them back in without doing the crawl under the Lair thing.

To the stake with the heretic!