Fall in Madison, Wisconsin means Badger football games down the road, trees exploding in bursts of brilliant color, migrating cranes feeding at neighborhood parks, and critters scoping out a winter home. The last of these is my least favorite. Since moving into our home we have had a few little critters sneak into our garage. In the past I ignored it -- that 's life and there are many other things higher on my radar screen. And then this year a field mouse decided the glove compartment of my Honda Civic made for an excellent winter nest. And with that, the mouse crossed the line.
First, the nesting material was removed. And then again -- it is one persistent little critter. Second, the shop vacuum was used to tackle the buffet my children had created on the floor and backseat. Third, a mandate was issued from mom and dad -- no more snacking in the car! Fourth, $225 was spent to have a professional close the gaps between the ground and the garage door (it was smiling....a wooden door that warped upward). Fifth, we purged clutter from the garage to minimize future nesting material (sadly our leaf blower was relocated to the curb after it became the backup nesting location -- the discovery of which is one of the most comedic moments of my nearly 7 year marriage). And sixth, fabric softener was placed in the glove box as well as the front and rear floor of the car. According to the garage door technician (he seemed to have seen this situation many times before), the sheets repel the mice as effectively as moth balls, but without the horrible stink.
Yes, we spent some money. But this was far less expensive than the risk of the mouse gnawing through the wiring of a car. My surprise lesson from this was the use of fabric sheets to encourage mice to winter in another location, hopefully the shed in our backyard!
Did I miss a frugal mouse trick you've used? Please post a comment and share with other frugal folks. Thanks for reading!