Slept in on Friday to recover from my late night "shopping" but eventually found my way out of dreamland and into our traditional day after Thanksgiving Christmas decorating spree. The kids and I spent our whole day digging out decorations, hanging lights and decking the halls. The day was great with one major exception.
When we started pulling the Christmas tree box out, shimmying, sliding, and slipping it out from the dark recesses of the farthest corner of the garage, a MOUSE came running out from behind it. I screamed and jumped and danced a bit while the kids laughed and pointed and chased the mouse out the garage door and down the driveway.
"Can we keep it!" Afton and Cora sang out and begged.
"NO" I stamped resolutely, heart racing. I took a deep breath and despaired, where there is one mouse there are always more. I set back to removing the Christmas tree from the corner and pulled it out into the driveway deciding I best inspect the box before bringing it into the house. Sure glad I did that because there was a hole at the bottom of the tree box. Where there are holes and mice there are NESTS. Argh!
Yes, there was a stinky messy MOUSE NEST in my Christmas tree. Scraps of paper, bits of ribbon, and shavings of cardboard littered the interior of the box. The smell was horrendous. How had I not noticed that smell before I opened the box? Say good bye to that tree. Mouse droppings and feces carry disease, dangerous lung attacking disease. That tree went straight into the bed of the truck and Dave took it straight to the dump.
So now the nest was gone but only one mouse escaped. Where were the others? time to pull out the big guns. We set out two big traps with globs of peanut butter on the plate (peanut butter is the best bait as it has a strong scent, is delicious and is sticky and the mice cannot carry it away and must stay to eat it) and set out 4 sticky traps. Within the hour we had 4 MORE MICE, but this time they were dead. Needless to say I was thoroughly disgusted.
I had a hard time going back into the garage for anything over the weekend: irrational fears of mice attacking me as I entered. But this week I will head back in and try to discover the extent of the damage. I will go in armed with closed toe shoes, more traps, poison and a face mask.
I will have to track down their food source. I am worried that they may have been able to chew through the mylar pouched food storage items in which case I will have to throw out food along with the tree. I will also need to go through any papers we had stored that they may have chewed into for nesting material, sweep out the mouse terds and wash off and disinfect anything that they might have used that may eventually end up in the house.
Oh, and I have to buy a new tree. I think I'll store the new one in a plastic bin.