A small mouse is outside. The background is blurry. Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels

mouse by Alexas Fotos on Pexels

November 24, 2020: We have unfortunately attracted a mouse. It somehow got in our vents, and has been making noises in there at night.

The only vent it can fit through is the one in a bathroom. The vent is decorative and has wide openings. At first, the mouse seemed to think that the bathroom somehow led to “freedom,” and we would hearing it bouncing around in there.

Opening the door caused the mouse to scramble back into the vent. We have placed a small plastic garbage can over the vent so it can’t get out. (Mouse is too small to move it.)

We thought the mouse had gone away, because we weren’t hearing mouse noises anymore.

Today, it came back. My husband is out picking up a catch and release mouse trap from the hardware store. We intend to relocate the mouse in a field that is within walking distance from us that would provide the mouse with a more ideal home.

(This is the short version of the story.)

November 24, 2020: The mouse decided to tap-dance inside a vent in the floor that is somewhat near me. Annoying. So far, I can put an end to his little act by shining a flashlight on the vent.

November 24, 2020: My husband just sent me a text. The hardware store didn’t have a catch and release mousetrap. Seems he ordered it online, and had the option to pick it up at the store. But, the store doesn’t have it anymore.

He thinks we will have the mousetrap tomorrow or Friday.

We are now considering the possibility of asking a neighbor who is a friend of ours – and has cats that are good mousers – to bring one over.

This is probably not gonna work. But we are considering it.

November 24, 2020: I’ve been reading about mice and catch-and-release traps. Learned that mice are stinky.

This explains why there has been a strange smell in the house, and why and why I’ve been experiencing nausea for a while.

Also learned that one of the symptoms that indicates a uterus-haver is entering menopause is nausea from “strong smell.” Lucky me / sarcasm.

This also explains why my allergies have been really bad lately. I’m allergic to cats and dogs (due to their hair and dander.) Likely allergic to mouse as well.

November 24, 2020: There is a much longer story about why we (and our neighbors) have been having a mouse problem.

In short, there was a man who was a hoarder that lived in a very run down mobile home within the mobile home park. He eventually got evicted. From memory, there was a time where the home was required to sit there for a certain amount of time before the park owner (and/or the manager) could have the structure removed.

When that happened, the nearest mobile holes suddenly experienced a lot of mice around — and inside of – their homes.

UPDATE: The internet says that mice HATE the smell of peppermint. We just so happen to have a bottle of peppermint extract that we used in the past to put in baked goods or coffee.

I cut up an old dust rag into strips and dipped it into a measuring cup that I poured the peppermint extract into. Each strip went into a vent, with the end hanging out so I could duct-tape it to the floor.

The reaction was instant. Little mouse feet running away as the peppermint scented strip of cloth was put into each vent. I’m hoping this will encourage the mouse to leave and not come back.

The peppermint will irritate the mouse’s sinuses. Seems fair, since the mouse was irritating my sinuses (allergies).

Mouse went to the farthest vent, trying to evade the peppermint smell. At this moment, it sounds like he is coming back through – and making unhappy tapping noises. Hopefully, he is making his way toward however he got in here and will leave soon.

Oh, and we turned the heat off before doing this. It’s ok. We are in California. It doesn’t really get cold here.

An added bonus: The peppermint in all of the vents is making the house smell really nice. It overpowers the stinky mouse smell. Peppermint is also good for reducing nausea.

Meanwhile, little noise is freaking out in the vents. I’m hearing tons of frantic little tapping feet sounds. I hope it leaves soon.

November 26, 2020: My best guess is that the mouse left on its own accord after we put peppermint into the vents that the mouse insists on running around in.

He was gone for a while.

Yesterday, it came back. Using a chopstick, I pulled up the pieces of cloth that had been soaked with peppermint (of the type that one would use in backed goods or coffee.) I re-pepperminted the vents.

Mouse didn’t like it, and I could hear it going tappety- tappety-tappity around in an effort get away from the smell. Peppermint irritates mice.

Little while ago, I heard tapping noises in the vent nearest me. Shined a flashlight.

Little mouse was looking at me.

“Go back outside,” I told it.

It moved a bit toward a vent opening that might lead to outside.

But, before leaving (I hope it left) it came close to me — while still in the vent. A tiny mouse paw was stuck up between the vent opening. And then it (hopefully) left.

Not sure if the mouse was waving goodbye, or flipping me off.

November 26, 2020: Noticed today that the heat vents in the floor (that the mouse is/was running around in) bleed out animal fur and dander, and little flakey things that the mouse either brought in or ripped apart while in the vents.

It is getting everywhere and my allergies are horrible. Wearing a mask indoors again every time the heat comes on.

Have to cover my tea with a napkin to avoid … unwanted additives.

UPDATE 2: We decided to use a shop vac to remove all the debris that is inside our vents. Pull off vent cover. Use shop vac. Replace vent cover. Move to next one.

Worked really well. Removed and reduced allergens.

Took a shower. When I was done, my husband told me he thought he heard a mouse tapping around in the vents again.

I’m hoping it gets the hint that it cannot make a home in our vents.

November 26, 2020: The mouse definitely returned. The vent nearest me is broken in a way that prevents it from being closed.

I can see directly into it, especially if I use a flashlight. I have seen him dash away at least twice today (since cleaning the vents.)

Mouse appears nervous. We removed all food and whatever else was in the vent. He is running from one vent to another.

I have placed a large plastic garbage can over the vent nearest me. Don’t want the mouse to try and climb out of that vent. There is no way he can remove this really big garbage can.

I hope the most leaves and does not return. We are trying to make him as uncomfortable as possible.

UPDATE 3: We are now playing an eight hour video of cats making various noises in an effort to frighten the mouse away.

It’s been bouncing off the plastic garbage cans and tapping on the closed vents.

I was in the bathroom where the vent is covered by a plastic garbage can. Mouse stuck its tail out of a tiny space between the can and the floor, then reeled it back in when I yelled.

So… now we’re playing cat noises down the vents via my husband’s iPad.

November 27, 2020: Rotten little mouse continue to invade our home. My husband has re-pepperminted the vents the mouse runs through in the floor. This time, the peppermint is from peppermint tea mixed with some dish soap.

We thought the mouse couldn’t get out of the vents anymore. Two of them have been covered with plastic garbage cans, and one of them has been weighted down.

Today we discovered that the mouse absolutely could — and did — get out of one of the vents in the back room. Found plenty of mouse poop in one area on the floor back there.

Meanwhile, my husband and I are both getting sicker from the smell of the mouse.

The catch-and-release trap that was supposed to arrive today… didn’t. None of the stores have any that are appropriate for mice. (Too big.)

My husband is now picking up a kill trap. There is no other option. We are not risking our health for this mouse anymore.

November 27, 2020: My husband is now placing a mouse bait box in the area where the mouse has pooped (as per directions on the box.)

He watched a video on the website of the company that makes the bait box. The bait – which is poison – is already inside, so we don’t have to touch it.

The video said that the mouse will not die inside the bait box. It’s gonna go somewhere else to die. We have blocked off as many areas as possible in order to limit its options.

Hopefully, it won’t go into the vents and die there.

If so, we can call someone to deal with that.

With luck, this will solve the mouse problem.

November 28, 2020: There is an absolutely horrible smell coming from the heat vents. It seems too soon for the mouse to have died from the poison, but might be possible?

I turned off the heat because the smell was making me feel sick.

The room we blocked off in order to catch/kill the mouse is in the room our cockatiels are in. They are in a cage and she from the mouse.

The birds just woke up and are asking for food and water. Politely (for now).

My concern is that if I open up the door to that room, the mouse will somehow escape and end up dying behind the washing machine or dryer.

November 28, 2020: Bad news. A little whole ago, my husband informed me that the mouse had breached the containment zone. Our birds got loud and sounding like one of them was having a fit. He opened the door to tend to the birds and the mouse ran down the hall, into the kitchen, and behind the stove.

November 28, 2020: The mouse escaped while I was sleeping. My husband told me what happened. He closed the door of the bedroom and pushed a rolled dish towel under the gap between the door and the floor. He is now getting a snap trap. Mouse has been mostly favoring the heat vents. There are no vents in the bedroom. He can’t get in there.

November 29, 2020: The snap traps were a failure. Cheap little things that set themselves off right after being placed on the ground.

Except for one. That one, the mouse found — and moved into an old love seat he’s been living in. (We were planning on replacing it / throwing it out before the mouse problem happened.)

Today, my husband went to a different hardware store and brought a tray that electrocutes mice. It is gruesome, but we can’t have it go off and die somewhere in our vents.

The whole situation sucks and I blame the hoarder who use to live here. Several homes here have had mouse problems due to that situation.

December 1, 2020: We are now absolutely certain that the mouse is underneath the stove. I watched it come out from underneath it … multiple times … to investigate the nearby trap.

My husband put some bird kibble in the opening of the trap, and a few extra kibble leading up to it. The bait in the trap is peanut butter, which I’m certain the mouse wants.

(Mouse licked the peanut butter off a snap trap the other day and escaped unharmed. Trap wasn’t set properly.)

The lights are on in this room, and I am surprised the mouse came out to get kibble. He must have figured out that I’m not going to go after him.

He seems curious about the trap. I’m hoping he will go into it soon.

December 2, 2020: Mouse never went into the electronic kill trap to get the peanut butter last night.

Instead, he came out from under our stove to get the bird kibble leading up to it. He also tried to access the peanut butter from the back of the trap, but was unsuccessful.

And then he decided to run across the kitchen counter, and all across the top of the stove.

I gave him the “evil eye” and he stopped doing that.

Today, the store that my husband originally tried to obtain a catch-and-release trap from FINALLY called him to tell him that it arrived at their store.

We have replaced the electronic kill trap with the catch and release trap.

If all goes well, mouse will get a nice peanut butter treat tonight – if he gets into the trap. He will then get a free trip to a field somewhere NOT by our home.

December 6, 2020: After a few days with no discernible mouse activity, we think the mouse has gotten tired of us and gone back outside.

The weather here (in California) has warmed up nicely. Hopefully the mouse decided it was spring again, and went back outside.

Just to be certain, my husband (and a neighbor) removed what was left of an old loveseat that we had been meaning to throw way. The mouse decided it was his new home.

The remains of a loveseat are now sitting in our driveway, awaiting someone from Craigslist to come and take it to the dump. We will pay the person who comes to remove it.

I am overloaded with allergens now. Was worth it to (hopefully) have the mouse gone.

December 16, 2020: I’m sitting at my computer. Something made me decide to turn my head and look at the kitchen. I’m in a mobile home, so the kitchen is part of the main room.

The mouse we thought had left our home ran out from under the stove.

Apparently, he DID NOT go with the remains of the old loveseat to the dump.

My husband re-deployed the catch-and-release trap — after filling it with peanut butter.

I’m not afraid of the mouse. I’m annoyed by the mouse. Mentally and physically – (I am allergic to fuzzy creatures.)

I thought this was done. Nope.

Unwanted Mouse – the sequel, has begun.

December 16, 2020: UPDATE 4: New developments in the mouse situation! My husband and a friend of his moved the stove away from the wall. My husband cleaned the area behind the stove, where the mouse likes to hide.

Neither of them could see any way for the mouse to enter our mobile home from behind the stove. That’s a good sign.

The stove is sitting in an awkward place right now, still hooked up to the gas line (safely) but not plugged in.

The catch-and-release trap is still in place, and we loaded it with peanut butter.

A little while ago, we heard a noice that indicates that — somehow — the mouse is still inside our stove. We can’t start cleaning the inside of the stove until he’s gone.

December 16, 2020: Originally, I was considering making a blog post about all of the mouse related stuff I’ve been writing. But now, with the problem continuing, it’s too much for a blog post.

So, I’m thinking that when all of this is resolved, I’m going to take all the writing and make it into a podcast.

(NOTE: I completely forgot to make it into a podcast.)

January 12, 2021: The mouse we — thought — we had managed to get out of our home … has returned. We have set the catch-and-release trap and baited it with peanut butter.

The weather here lately has been nice and warm during the day. So warm, that the plants think it is spring and are spewing pollen.

But at night, it gets cold. Well, cold for California. So the mouse came back.

January 29, 2021: Yesterday, we heard noises in the back room that sounded like something metal hitting the floor. Long story short, the mouse that has been periodically invading our home is back.

He was hiding in an old entertainment center type piece of furniture, and had knocked a wrench that was on top of it to the ground.

My husband went after the mouse, hoping to be able to grab it and remove it from our home. Mouse decided to hide behind the entertainment center.

It has gotten MUCH bigger than it was before. It might actually be a rat. We might need a bigger trap.

We blocked off all exit points from that room so the rat would not be able to get into the rest of the house. Today, we removed everything from that room that the rat could find a home in, and did what we could to reduce his ability to find food.

The birdcage is in that room. If he climbs it, at least two of our birds will attack him.

I am, quite literally, sick of having this creature in our home.

February 4, 2021: Early this morning, I heard a noise from the bird room. I went to check if the cockatiels were ok. They were sleeping peacefully.

I turned around to go back down the hall, and the mouse (rat?) that has been invading our home ran past me. I yelled at him, and he ran behind the dryer.

I blocked off the bird room by shoving a blanket under the gap in the door, then built a wall of boxes to block access to the rest of the house.

Woke up my husband, and he moved both the washer and the dryer, and we used a broom to poke underneath both. Mouse stayed hidden.

Little while later, I went back to working on my computer, I saw the mouse on top of the dryer. He calmly used one of the boxes to get down … ran down the hallway, into the kitchen and under the stove.

Today, my husband hired an exterminator. Long story short, exterminator thinks the mouse go through a hole near the pipe that leads to the kitchen sink. There are traps in all the pales this awful mouse/rat has been seen. Kill traps this time. There appears to be no other way.

Dunno what it cost to get the exterminator to come here — but husband said it was more than he would have liked

Exterminator will return if/when the mouse (rat?) is caught.

The pollen count today is a horrible 9.4, and I am allergic to the mouse (rat). Today sucks.

February 4, 2021: UPDATE 5: Shortly after posting the previous post, a LOUD noise came from inside the cabinet under the sink. I’ve been told that a kill trap was placed there.

Heart racing, I stood up to see if the kill trap I can see next to the stove caught the mouse (rat).


The noise under the kitchen cabinet increases. A loud clattering is heard. My best guess is that mouse (rat) ran into the kill trap and … struggled to get out? Died?

I am not yet brave enough to investigate, even though the noise has stopped.

February 4, 2021: UPDATE 6: My husband and I opened the door of the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink. There is definitely a dead rat in there — still connected to a kill trap.

Husband says the package we purchased from the exterminator includes him coming back to pick up the dead rat and replace it with whatever traps need replacing. Will do once a week for a month.

We are now hoping that it’s as the ONLY rat we have had run through our home. But, the other traps remain … just in case.

Epilogue: From memory, the exterminator came back to check the mouse/rat traps. We explained to hm that there was a dead rat in the trap beneath the kitchen sink.

The exterminator was wearing hard, plastic knee pads over his suit. He opened the cabinet door and hesitated.

“Feel free to move things around in there,” I advised.

The exterminator pushed bottles of cleaner around, and was able to access the trap. There was a large, very dead, rat in the trap. From memory, the exterminator put the rat and the trap into what looked like a cloth bag, and then knotted the bag — just in case the rat wasn’t dead yet.

After that, he walked back to check the traps he left in the bird room. There was no signs of a rat — or mouse – going anywhere near those traps.

Before leaving, the exterminator put a round, plastic, funnel-like thing around the pipe that led from the sink and under the cabinet. He explained that this was where the rat was getting into our home, and that the shape of this round, plastic, funnel-like contraption prevented the rat from getting inside.

We paid the exterminator. From memory, he returned once again to check the other traps. We haven’t had any mice or rats come inside our mobile home since then.

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