M(H)ouse Of Car(ds)


It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about the mouse-in-car problem that I have in the country. Don’t think for a moment that all has been going swimmingly.  My Miata continues to be an equal housing opportunity® residence for the mice that seem to love roaming through my barn.  But with all that has been going wrongEqualHousingLogoBlue250 in the world the last several years, I’ve been reluctant to continue to whine about what might seem, in the scheme of things, like a pretty small deal.   I’ve been afraid that it would sound too self-indulgent and too…too….how shall I say… too whiney.

But an ad on TV caught my attention last week.  It was for garbage bags that have been scented so that raccoons and rats would be discouraged from foraging through refuse left in trash cans.  The scent, which is kind of minty, is guaranteed to repel all rodents.  So I went on-line to see where I could buy them; needless to say, this led me to some other ads for different products that  would supposedly discourage mice from bypassing the Board of Directors and moving into the Miata coop.

My previous attempts to deal with the mouse problem had left me feeling somewhat ill at ease.  My choices at that time seemed to be to either catch the trespassers or try to kill them.  Since I have no inclination to set up a mouse prisoner of war camp and I’m mostly a pacifist, neither of these options were appealing.  Furthermore, I came to the conclusion that the mouse poison I was using was not killing the mice who just happened to be strolling through my car but was instead luring Mickey and his friends to an unhappy end.  A form of entrapment which made me feel as I may well have been guilty of manslaughter mouseslaughter.  And the truth of the matter is, that  as far as I was concerned, the mice could have the run of the rest of the barn and even the car for that matter….as long as they stopped using the Miata as if it were a public restroom.

So when I came across some ads for devices that would neither catch nor kill but instead repel my nemeses, I was all mouse ears.  I was particularly interested in some of the products that generate ultrasonic sound which would apparently have the same effect on mice that rap music has on me–they’ll want to get as far away as possible.  One of these machines worked off the car’s battery by plugging it into the cigarette lighter.  This didn’t make any sense to me since it would drain the battery unless the car was running.  It occurred to me that maybe that’s what the manufacturer intended, that I should keep the car running 24/7 and let the resultant carbon monoxide take care of the problem.  Obviously, being the environmentalist that I am, this was a non-starter.

But amongst the assorted anti-mouse contraptions was a battery operated ultrasonic sound machine of which I am now the proud owner.  It’s a round plastic device that looks like a smoke detector.  According to the instructions, all I have to do is attach a 9V battery, place it in the car and I’ll be in mouse-free heaven.  Of course, there’s no way to know if the thing actually does anything–I can’t hear anything.  I’m supposed to take it on faith that something is going on.  In the back of my mind, I’m already planning a business of manufacturing things for which there is no accountability.  Kind of like an inanimate TV weather forecaster.   But that’s for another blog.

Next weekend I’m headed upstate with my new machine to put it to the test.  I’ve already bought those scented garbage bags which are now strewn throughout the car (very attractive, by the way).  Adding the little machine will provide a belt and suspenders solution.   And if that doesn’t do the trick, I may just add a small radio that plays non-stop, round the clock rap.


2 Responses to “M(H)ouse Of Car(ds)”

  1. sas Says:

    To be scientifically sound, your experiment will have to use either the garbage bags OR the sound machine, to determine which solves your mouse problem (I’m being very hopeful here!!). Keep us informed, please.

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    In a perfect world (mine isn’t) this would be a controlled experiment. given the seriousness of the problem, science will have to take a back seat to efficacy.

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