You probably won’t tolerate a mouse in your house, but may not be too concerned with a stray mouse in the garage. I believe this is a very common attitude. You may have a change of heart after reading this story of our nice car being sold for junk after being invaded by a family of mice. I am writing this article relating our personal experience with the havoc a family of mice created in our garage. Hopefully this will alert people to the dangers of tolerating even a minor infestation of mice in their garage. Mouse damage can reach amazing proportions. Since the garage door is raised often and commonly has ill-fitting gaskets and weatherstripping, combined with the mouse’s ability to squeeze through a very small hole or crack, it is very hard to keep mice out. If you see one mouse you probably have several. After reading this story you may resolve to rid yourself of mice in your garage.
Do You Consider a Stray Mouse in Your Garage a Problem?
If people do find signs of garage mice infestation, they consider using mouse poison and then discard the idea because of the chance of pets eating the poison or eating mice that have eaten the poison and they fear for their safety. Of course there is always the danger of mice eating the poison, crawling into the house and dying and causing a horrible odor for days or weeks. It is not practical to knock holes in the walls to try to find the putrid little ‘critter.’ Neither do they wish to use regular mouse traps because they do not wish to be bothered or are squeamish about killing the cute little creatures.
You may also wish to consider that a stray mouse, if female can increase the population at an astounding rate. Quoting Homestead.org, “A female mouse is mature enough to have babies at the tender age of 8 weeks and can produce up to 40 babies per year. So if you start with one pregnant mouse in your kitchen, and given that 50% of her offspring will be females also, at the end of one year you will have…..ummm……a lot of mice.” For a very humorous insight into the mouse problem, I recommend reading this very entertaining article, “Mice – Scourge of the Homestead.”
The mouse is presented quite appealingly in literature and is a favorite character in cartoons and at Disney theme parks, in the form of Mickey and Minnie, so it is natural that some people have affection for them and even keep them as pets
A Family of Mice Wreaked Total Havoc in Our Garage
Before you decide to totally ignore that cute little mouse in your garage, you may be interested in reading the story of how a family of mice wreaked total havoc in our garage before we even had a sign if trouble.
We had two chow dogs of which we were very fond. We fed them their regular meals and in case they got very hungry in between meals, we let them enter the garage through a small side door and eat a few bites of dry dog food whenever the spirit moved them. That was a big mistake.
In our garage we had the car we used daily and also an older Chrysler sedan with low mileage and in very fine condition. There seems to be nothing that a mouse enjoys more than dry dog food. If fact they seem to enjoy it so much that they can’t stand the thought of the supply running out. They discovered what seemed to them to be the ideal storage spot for their secret cache of dry dog food.
Our old Chrysler hadn’t been started for a while, so one day I decided to start it. For some strange reason it wouldn’t start. After scratching my head for a while, I took the cover off the air cleaner and was amazed to find that the air cleaner housing was level full with dry dog food. Those industrious little mice had very patiently carried hundreds of morsels of dry dog food, one at a time and deposited them in the air cleaner until it was chock full.
Mice Completely Ruined Our Car
After cleaning out the air cleaner the car ran fine, so I dismissed it from my mind for a while. I knew the mice had easy access to the engine compartment but I didn’t think about them getting into the interior of the car. Well, I was wrong. A few days later, I discovered evidence of mice in the trunk. I then checked the interior and detected a telltale odor.
After spraying several cans of deodorizer inside the car, there was no lasting relief from the odor. Next I took the car to the dealership, figuring they might have had experience with ridding cars of obnoxious odors. After paying the $100+ bill, I discovered that the commercial strength deodorizing process was no better than my own.
The odor was so bad that it deprived us of all the pleasure of driving the car so we reluctantly sold the car for junk. Thankfully, the mice caused no problem with the other car. Evidently it did not have a hole large enough for mouse entry to the interior.
I then decided to initiate a mouse eradication program. Rejecting the poison bait approach for the previously listed reasons, I started setting the old reliable spring mouse traps, using the time-tested cheese and peanut butter for bait. We had immediate results, catching two or three daily until we had a grand total of twenty-two. Believe it or not, I caught two mice in one trap, their heads aligned perfectly under the metal spring. Please pardon the gruesome details. I do not enjoy taking any form of life, but this was war. This seemed to control the problem fairly well, so after that I would set traps periodically.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be taken as advice. It is written for informational purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for the results of actions on your part as a result of reading this article. All actions are taken at your own risk. We are just relating our own experiences and opinions.
Sheri Dixon/”Mice – Scourge of the Homestead”/Homestead.org