Rodents. I hate rodents.

Okay, so it’s definitely time to light the bedroom heater.


Getting the pilot to light up is the only thing I dislike about this heater, getting the gas to the pilot flame is an endless PITA but otherwise it’s so perfect in every way. Of course after seven or so months of inactivity it does need a good cleanup first…


…and then the first couple of experimental snaps of the clicker exposed a possible … issue. I took off the isinglass sightglass to discover…


Oh, no. No, no, this is very bad.

Seriously, how is this even possible? She must have come in through the external vents, right? But…


…every bit of the nesting material was fabric and Tobie hair, there was no vegetable matter at all. So this mouse has been going back and forth from the firebox to the cabin interior, somehow without leaving telltale excrement or alerting my useless dog. Since the firebox is supposedly sealed to all but the cabin exterior, I have no idea how that’s even physically possible.

What’s more…


…as I hooked the nest bit by bit out of the firebox I saw an adult mouse and two fully-furred babies, none of which showed any willingness to leave the firebox despite all my commotion.

When I was sure I had removed all but the sweepings of the nest I lit the pilot, which as if in compensation for my other troubles went unusually well…


…and I’ll leave it that way for the rest of the day and night, but if they haven’t vacated by tomorrow morning I’m firing up the heater and living with the roasted-mouse smell till it fades.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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14 Responses to Rodents. I hate rodents.

  1. RD says:

    Ahhhh….. the smells of autumn, pumpkin-spice latte and … roasted mouse.

  2. Mike says:

    I know just how well these damn things can get in anywhere.

    Two years ago in the middle of February our furnace gave out an ear splitting scream. I went downstairs,turned it off and called the furnace repair guy who came out. I watched as the repair guy checked the sealed furnace and found the remains of a mouse that had gotten into the blower assemble. We looked for all the ways the mouse could have gotten inside and found none. To this day how that mouse got inside the furnace remains a mystery.

  3. winston smith says:

    I have read that an adult mouse can squeeze thru a 1/4″ crack.

  4. Terrapod says:

    Wanna bet there are some vent holes below the fire box? If the unit draws in outside air, it could be totally sealed but most I have seen also have a few small holes underside. Yeah, you have to get rid of the indoor ones first. And roasted mouse fur stinks almost as bad as a rotting one behind the wall panels. Good luck. No vacuum cleaner handy?

  5. Paul B says:

    Wow. they can squeeze through some small cracks. Tobie does not see them as a threat most likely. I would use a mouse to get him excited about seeing one and go from there. Kind of like training up a bird dog.

  6. Mark Matis says:

    Do you still have those remote control mice???

  7. Joel says:

    Wanna bet there are some vent holes below the fire box?

    There aren’t supposed to be. Supposedly it draws all its cool air and expels all its hot air outdoors. There’s certainly an elaborate system of external vents.

    No vacuum cleaner handy?

    None that will fit through that little hole covered by the sightglass.

  8. Joel says:

    Do you still have those remote control mice???

    I still have what’s left of one. Tobie made short work of it and I had to take it away before he injested it.

  9. Mark Matis says:

    Do you think a new one might work as a training aid???

  10. Joel says:

    They really don’t last long enough to offer much amusement. I move it, he knocks it over and tries to tear it to pieces, game over.

  11. Desert Rat says:

    Could you start wadding up duct tape and shove it in there with a stick or coat hanger until it entangles the mice, and then pull it out?

  12. Vollinger says:

    I’m now convinced the whole point of living for those lil’ fellas is finding some gruesome way to die, with immolation or exploding across difficult-to-clean surface considered the most honorabu.

  13. One of the top items in my rodent arsenal is an older equivalent of this:

    Electronic Rat Trap

    Over about 6 years of life it’s probably got about sixty notches – and 3 battery changes. One thing I like about the newer one is that the top has a lid – easier to empty and keep ‘clean’. I put it in areas that are supposed to be rodent-free – putting it outside would wear it out pretty quickly. That said – the floorboard of the jeep would be a good regular spot for one when it wasn’t doing house duty. The never-fail bait is a bit of peanut butter on a piece of tortilla chip.

    The other top item in the arsenal is the most plain of the conventional mousetraps – baited with peanut butter and a bit of gun oil on the trigger point.

To the stake with the heretic!