night-time rodent incursions

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by DarenN, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    i've been trolling the backpacking forums and came across this tip for keeping mice out of your shelter at night.

    i recalled Mark S posting about mice holding their night-time olympics on his sleeping bag. in the Brokens.

    so here's the tip:
    cotton balls coated in "Oil of Peppermint". the tip was to carry a 35mm film canister filled with cotton balls treated with the Oil. when you turn in for the night, open the canister and pull up a cotton ball. that's it.

    please note that i have not tried this myself and cannot verify whether or not it works. if you try it please let us know if it works. (anybody got pet mice? :twisted: )

    DarenN........
     
  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    It might get rid of mice, but I can see a potential problem -- bears really like peppermint.

    *****
     
  3. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    do they? i've never heard that before now.
     
  4. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Perhaps, but they're far more cuddly than mice. If a mouse nibbles on your ear while you're asleep, you could get very sick for a long time. If a bear nibbles on your ear while you're asleep, you probably won't have much to worry about. Ever. :eek:
     
  5. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    I've found that closing the zippers on the tent helps somewhat.

    You might try taking some explosives. Mice don't like loud noises.
     
  6. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    And if a mouse whispers sweet nothings in your ear the same applies. :lol:

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  7. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

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    Mouse repellents that I have heard about...but have never had to use...yet.
    - Peppermint Extract
    - Moth Balls (bad smell though)
    - Downy Dryer Sheets (apparently good for repelling ants as well)

    I'd give the dryer sheets a go...

    Good Luck.
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Paddler

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    Fry 'em up in garlic and butter!

    It's a two for one deal. Breakfast and a little pile of bones to leave outside your tent.

    Or maybe put their little heads on tiny pikes?

    Should give their buddies something to think about.

    ;)
     
  9. Chris_Hvid

    Chris_Hvid Paddler

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    Never did like that hantavirus in the mouse droppings. Involuntary lung collapse sucks even compared to cold water immersion shock!

    Bring on the distilled candy-cane juice.
     
  10. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    A Forced Day Off

    July 22, Sunday, Day 9
    High winds with heavy rain in the morning. Clearing in the afternoon with diminishing winds

    I awoke during the night and listened to high winds and heavy rain beat on the cabin and surrounding trees. Snug in the dry shelter I couldn’t help but wonder what sort of night we would have spent at Cree Point or Islet 48. When morning came the worst of the rain was past but the wind remained strong. We knew that we weren’t going anywhere for a while.

    As Greg was preparing his breakfast he noticed that Joey had left a calling card in his oatmeal bowl. Kind of disgusting but pretty funny for Dave and me. We chuckled as Greg scrubbed out the bowl and laughed out loud when he discovered that his plastic coffee cup held another prize. Somehow, Joey had climbed into his cup and left a solitary turd nestled there in the bottom. Dave and I roared with laughter while nervously checking the integrity of our own eating utensils. Greg was ticked and amused at the same time. How did a mouse crawl into a lightweight plastic cup, crap and then back out without knocking it over? Why did he defecate only in Greg’s cup and bowl when there were others to choose from?

    With breakfast dishes cleaned and made “Joey safe” we ventured out into the wind. It was blowing hard and felt really good. Too windy to paddle, but perfect for filling our lungs with fresh air. Dave and I reminisced about our years of sitting on hang gliding launches, waiting for the wind to moderate and here we were, 30 years later, waiting for the same thing. It was clearing up nicely.

    Returning to the cabin Greg began digging through a drybag for a goodie to eat. He pulled out the plastic bag containing his snacks to find that it had been compromised. Putting two and two together he quickly flipped the drybag over to find that Joey had struck again. The Rogue Rodent had chewed through the drybag to get to the Power Bars. Dave and I laughed while quickly surveying our own gear for damage and finding none. So far Dave and I were golden. Greg was dirt.

    Joey just seemed to have a thing for Greg. Maybe it was all coincidence but it had to feel personal and Greg was ready to waste him at his first opportunity. Joey had made a couple of brief appearances as the morning progressed but we didn’t get a good look at him. Just a little brown streak dashing here and there. Greg headed out the door threatening to “take care of Joey” when he got back from the outhouse.

    Wilderness travel offers new and enriching experiences, startling revelations and drastic change to our mundane day-to-day routine. Mostly these changes are good but sometimes they are not-so-good. Take indoor plumbing, for instance. You won’t find that in the wilderness so you make do. When you do find some sort of a commode in the wilderness it can range from a wonderful luxury to a deeply disappointing experience. The outhouse at the Heiltsuk cabin is somewhere in between. It is extremely civilized given it’s location yet it has a certain “funhouse” aspect to it that is disquieting. It sits about 20 yards away from the cabin beneath a large sheltering cedar. For those who seek privacy during their outdoor experience, it has a blue tarp that hangs in front and serves as a door. For those who prefer a view it flips up out of the way. The structure lists oddly to the left as you approach it or to the right if you are, uh, seated. It’s 10 degree tilt imparts a mild bit of vertigo as you anxiously draw near (toilet paper in hand) and escalates once you are ensconced within.

    Questions that come to mind as you try to clear to your head include:
    Why is this thing leaning to one side?
    Is this about to tip over?
    Is this about to tip over with me in it?
    Wait a minute, is this tipping over right now?
    What will happen if it does?

    These are the very questions that Greg, no doubt, was struggling with when Joey or one of his relatives decided that this visit was negatively impacting a favorite family hang-out and burst out from beneath the box, passing like a brown RPG, between Greg’s feet. Reacting to being startled with one’s pants around one’s ankles can’t have a good outcome and didn’t. This was really beginning to feel personal and was the last straw for Greg who came back from the outhouse with a “Joey Must Die” point of view.

    He took up a broom that was leaning against the wall near the corner that Joey had been frequenting and waited. Soon, like a gunslinger called out into the street Joey emerged to face his challenger. Greg took a couple of half-hearted swings at him which Joey easily dodged but he acted a bit odd. I’m no expert on rodent behavior but this mouse seemed “wrong” to me. He could have hidden, but didn’t. He could have run but didn’t. He could have been out of there but wasn’t. Was he counting coup? What’s with this mouse, anyway. Was he possessed? Was he the spirit of a Heiltsuk departed?

    Greg put the broom down as we figured that this mouse had something going on. With one more night to spend in this cabin we decided that we had better just make sure that our gear was safe and do our best not to piss him off any more than we already had. Joey casually climbed the wall and sat up in the corner watching us.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Raimo

    Raimo Paddler

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    Don't stop now Chodups. This is a good story. What happens next?
     
  12. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    This could soon turn into one of those 'who cried when Bambi died' discussions. Perhaps I'm better off not knowing Joey's fate. :cry: Yeah, I've had them run over my sleeping bag and through my hair as I tried to sleep... but I still find them kinda cute.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    I'd suggest suggest setting out a mouse trap.

    The downside of using a mouse trap in a confined space becomes apparent when one is fumbling for a flashlight or ones shoes in the dark.

    My old car attracted mice. The first occurance was in Strathcona Park. A mouse climbed up into the side vents and couldn't crawl back out again.

    On another trip I had one in the car all the way from Bella Coola to Whistler. Worst hitchhiker I ever had. Chewed up toilet paper, tasted food of all sorts. Made noises scuttling around at night whilst I was trying to sleep. Then, to add insult to injury, it defecated on the driver seat. It finally got out at Whistler when I opened the trunk and there it was.

    I favor the use of explosives. The downside is the potential for causing a ten degree list in the local outhouse....

    Last time was whilst camping in Strathcona Park. Got 'im. I felt like the great white hunter after an elephant shoot :wink:

    The car? Well you know. I don't have it anymore...
     
  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    An open kayak hatch makes a very effective mouse trap:

    [​IMG]

    *****
     
  15. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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  16. andreas

    andreas Paddler

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  17. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    Spidermouse; Spidermouse.
    Does whatever a spider does..........

    I'm very sorry about that, but i couldn't help it!
     
  18. waverider

    waverider Paddler

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    Ya know Jurfie I was starting to feel sorry for you having to work late everyday, but now I am starting to see why the boss is telling you to stay late. :roll:
     
  19. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    I awoke to a sound that I couldn’t identify. The pounding rain on the roof registered but this was something else. A flapping noise? Sitting up now the flapping sound was suddenly in my face. A bat had come in through the window and was surprised to find me there. Somehow he never touched me but it really took some effort on his part as he squealed and fought to stay airborne in the close quarters. I shouted some expletive that woke Keith up. The bat returned the sentiment and flew out the door. Keith just laughed and said that he had been visited during the night by what he took to be a mouse.

    Triquet wildlife, I guess.