Tuesday, April 23, 2013


When we got to the farm, the first thing we did was check the mousetraps.  We put down ten the last time we were there, and eight were still not triggered...but two of them, well, let's just use a visual:

So we immediately checked around and found this:

The couch has been gnawed on!  ARRRGH!  Damn mice.

I looked around further and noticed this box in the bottom of the guest room closet.  It had a tool in it that 2nd Man had given me as a gift last year and I had just put the box in the closet until I could use it this Spring.
On a whim I decided to check it and found this:

A chewed up box...that I opened...and found this:

YUCK!  The lair of the mouse/mice!  This one was pretty large too.  Even the "fluffy stuff" matches the fabric and stuffing taken stolen from the couch.  Perhaps the two killed above belonged to this nest?  Regardless, the whole thing (minus the tool of course) was rapidly disposed of.  I used a stick to check the nest for others/babies and all was clear.

We have some of those sonic machines in the house, and we've used the Irish Spring soap method...but coincidentally, this closet was the furthest away from the noise of the machines, and the one place I hadn't put any of the soap.

So off to the store I went for some fresher Irish Spring soap, the one in the "original scent".  The first time I used it, I just cut them in half or quarters.  This time I decided to just cut each bar into many pieces.  I also bought these clear plastic dessert plates at the grocery store, a package of 20 for $2.00 and used them as plates to put the soap on.  Then I put them in all the cabinets and closets, under beds and furniture.

I don't know what else to do.  I suppose if it's any consolation, 2nd Family said that in all their years there, they hadn't seen it as bad as this year.  Not sure if it's the weather or what.  Whatever it is, we don't like mice.  Period.

The rest of the weekend was good, I mowed, I edged, I planted fruit trees, I cleared some more areas, and I did some things inside...

...oh, and I did manage to do this.  Oops!

I was in the zone on the Big Green Zen Machine, listening to Adele and as I headed into some tall grass, I ran over this shovel.  Yikes.  The blades shut off automatically, so I stopped and checked it out.  The handle was sticking out the back end and the shovel portion was jammed underneath.  I pushed the mower back and forth while pulling on the handle and it came out.  2nd Man was not happy.  He said I need to be more careful.  You try being careful when you're "in the zone", LOL.

I also put up these:

Hurricane Railing Lanterns
They are these really neat candle hurricane lamps that are made to clamp onto porch railing.  We had them in town, but they never really fit onto the abnormally large railing on the back deck there.  I decided to try them on the farm porch.  They are perfect and I can't wait to light them (need to find some candles first) and see how they look.  We have five of them, two on the sides of this set of stairs and two on the other set of stairs.  I can't show you the other picture though because it has a view of the garden fence under construction and that's almost ready for it's unveiling, just not quite yet.


Joani said...

I understand that mint is suppose to work well for these critters. I haven't used it but maybe one could put some of it out to see if it helps. The joys of living in the country!

Laurie said...

I think you need some hungry cats! Good luck with the soap, I like the sound of that one, I'm allergic to cats,

Dani said...

I feel your pain re: the mice

What is Irish Spring soap, and what is it supposed to do?

Mary Ann said...

I LOVE The hurricane lamps... and am going to look for some... what a good idea.

I have run over stuff too, while "in the zone". I hate it when it turns out to be a piece of bailing twine or part of the fence that I got too close to. UGH.
I get the same lectures.

The Happy Hippy said...

How I wish you did your blogs in video!! I know that tears would be streaming down my legs right now! LOL

At least you only have mice, my dogs found a nest of rats recently - a mama and four babies. Whilst I generally operate a 'live and let live' policy, rats nesting in my unfinished lower deck are totally unacceptable. Perhaps you need a couple of tenacious terriers?

I've never heard of the soap deterrent, sounds a good natural solution. I've used peppermint oil to scare away the bat that had taken to peeing in the front porch; it also worked well to keep ants out the kitchen (diluted in water and used in a spray bottle with a little vinegar).

Love the hurricane lamps. They just complete that deck. Would be good to see them lit up (when the fence project is complete). I've had to move the big potted palms on my verandah, (whole other story that I should blog), and now have a huge open area with so many possibilities....

~ Janis said...

So sorry about your shovel......it happens. I ran over 2 rakes with a tractor mower one day. they went flying into the air and almost killed a friend who was standing 50 feet away. Rats and mice are a danger to your electrical wiring and everything else. You need to trap them. Evidently you do not have any ermine, snakes or other rat/mice predators in your area, so you need to take some drastic measures. For every rat you see, there are 200 more that you don't see. I had a similar issue with VERY large mice. Here was the solution:

My chickens are also very good about finding rat and mice nests outside and eating the babies. Get a few hens.

Marcia said...

You're just going to have to move out there permanently to keep those mice in check!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i live in a 150 year old house. i have mice. i put the food out that they take back to the nests and share...no more mice. it is a good thing!

Kelly said...

We're finally seeing green here! The grass kind, not the envy kind. ;)

We had some "mouse traps" at work, but might not want to use them on the farm, since they drown the mouse and you'd have a dead, water logged mouse while you're not there. Might not smell too good. You need a "farm cat" to help with your mouse problem.

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

OH NO!!! How bad is the couch? Can it be repaired? Is the big green zen machine ok? I hate HATE mice! We had a such a problem with them for a few years. every now and then 1 or 2 get in but they don't typically get to leave on their own....mwhahaha

Most of the time I let nature sort itself out but draw the line at my house and garage. And as a side note...you may want to flip the couch over, open up the bottom and check for mice or any presents they may have left behind. I actually had one that burrowed into my (former)favorite chair and it crawled out WHILE I was sitting in it. I am not sure how I didn't shatter all the windows with that scream. A comparable visiual would be The Big Bang Theory season 5, episode 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7JvTtpOjU0

Yeah, I hope it isn't like that for you, haha!!

1st Man said...

Hmm, mint? I'll have to check that out. Thank you! It certainly can't hurt. Ah yes, country living!!

1st Man said...

Definitely on the cats. If I could figure out how to have them out there during the week The soap is supposed to be a good deterrent, another one I figure can't hurt. :-)

1st Man said...

I remember your recent post about a mouse. It's no fun! Irish Spring Soap is an old soap that's been around here in the states for years. It has a strong smell (a smell I like which is good) and supposedly mice don't like it. So I put it around everywhere I could find to put it. The upside is the house smells good. I just figure that it 'wears out' after a while of being in the open so I got fresh soap. We'll see what happens. Fingers crossed!

1st Man said...

Thanks! I can't remember where I got them, have had them for a few years now. I think I ordered them online. I need to see if I can find some somewhere and link to them. I think they were called 'railing lanterns' or something like that.

Speaking of the bailing twine, I saw some of that in some undergrowth and was able to avoid it. Now I just realized I didn't go back and pull it up. Thanks, I'll remember now!

When the lectures are going on, do you just hear the adult voices from "Charlie Brown"? LOL!!!!

1st Man said...

You are so kind, thanks. Rats? Yikes, yeah, never seen a rat out there and 2nd Family that lives at the other end of the property (and has for years) hasn't seen any either. Mice I guess are the biggest issue and for some reason this year they are worse. Peppermint oil is a good idea too. I think I have some peppermint essential oil, I guess that would work? And smell good too.

An open area with many possibilities? Hmmm, sounds familiar, ha.

1st Man said...

Yikes, never thought about the fact that pieces could have flown out and hurt someone or broken a window or something. I will be careful from now on. Ugh, about the 200 we don't see. There are some snakes out there, or at least 'have been', I think they call them 'rat snakes' for that reason. I would be ok with them hanging around (far from the house) and eating till they are full.

Hens are on our semi short list (once we get the barn/shed up.

Thanks for the link, love your blog by the way!

1st Man said...

Ahh, if only. Someday, still more to do out there. We're out there every weekend now and I'm going to be going once or twice during the week. I'll just have to keep my eyes open.

1st Man said...

I would do that but I'm afraid with us not there, our luck they would die 'in' the couch or something and we wouldn't see it for a week. No more mice WOULD be a good thing though, ha.

1st Man said...

Yay for you!! We're having a freak cold snap AGAIN and it's going to be in the low 40's tonight! Go figure.

I'm trying to figure out a way to have a cat out there. Maybe we could feed one on the weekends and it would stay around during the week and eat mice, ha.

1st Man said...

Couch is fine, it's underneath the cushion so no one will be the wiser (unless they read the blog, ha). Outside it's whatever it will be I understand, but inside me too, I draw the line. It's weird when you've spent your entire life in the city and never had a mouse problem at all and then all of a sudden it's something you are battling, it's a strange new (and unwelcome) experience.

Oh and Big Green is good too. It shuts off automatically when something like that happens. I mowed another acre or so after 'the incident' and it was just fine.

OMG, that Big Bang Theory scene is HYSTERICAL! Thanks for sharing. Everyone, go watch the clip on youtube she linked to. It's only a minute or so long and hilarious. I remember that episode. Great sitcom by the way.

Chariot said...

Some shelters have barn cats to adopt. The way it works is you must give it a shelter - like a barn - and feed it daily. And you have a cat.

Kelly said...

That's not a cold snap, that's a heat wave. That's what we're running right now. The days are in the upper 60s!!!

I'm trying to remember if you have a chicken coop type outbuilding. If you have an outbuilding, you could set up an auto feed and water thing while you're gone, and a kitty door on the building to help keep other critters out. Just a thought.

1st Man said...

When we are out there on a more regular basis, I think we'll do that with the adoption thing. And we love cats anyway. Thanks for the tip, that's neat!

Kelly, you and your heat waves, ha. I heard it was still cold up there. Do you know we're possibly going back down into the 30's later this week? It's MAY! In Houston! Go figure.