Mice: The cockroach of the forest

I don’t find roaches in and of themselves terribly disgusting. They’re pretty small. Granted, they scurry in a creepy, buggy manner. But they’re scurrying AWAY from me, so that’s something to be grateful for.

What’s awful about cockroaches is their unstoppableness. I lived in Richmond, Virginia, for the summer. There was NO WAY that the roaches were going away on a permanent basis. NONE. ZERO. The best one could do was beat them back temporarily, like an encroaching tropical rainforest. A few weeks of heat and humidity, and they’d be back with a vengeance.

Sorry, back to mice. Mice live in our attic. Thankfully they’ve never made it inside the living space. (Let’s not talk about the mice in the shed again, okay? Thanks.)

In the same way that cockroaches in Virginia feel inevitable, mice in a Michigan forest feel unstoppable. I threw some mouse poison (sorry) up in the attic a few times. Did absolutely nothing. Maybe some of them died, but I feel like they were quickly replaced by the endless supply living for acres in every direction.

So I thought I’d try plugging up the holes around the foundation in an effort to keep them out. A fine idea in theory. But mice can get through tiny, tiny holes, and there are lots of tiny, tiny holds around the foundation of the tiny, tiny house. But what the heck, why not give it a try. All I have to lose is a bag of steel wool I picked up an estate sale. (Oh, and hours off my life from the stress of worrying about ticks and contracting lyme disease.)

I will say, I’m unduly proud of my cardboard “blanket” idea to keep me off the ground (and the ticks). It was a discarded box from some IKEA patio furniture we assembled over the weekend. Good thinking, me! You can see my line up of tools – the steel wool, a mirror, flashlight, poking things. 

I went all the way around the house and tried to do my best. Took me a few hours. Here’s a shot of the holes, hopefully now blocked by the steel wool. Will it work … ?


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