One Mom’s Adventure in Mousing

“I locked the cat in the car”. There is a long pause. After which I inform my husband, “It didn’t work. The cat hasn’t moved from the window and is staring at me as though I am crazy.” This was just the first day in what turned into a month-long saga of having a mouse in the car.

The previous day, almost to school, my preschooler informed me quite nonchalantly that a mouse had just run across the car in front of him. When we arrived at school he insisted that we leave the door open so the critter could get out. Well this calm preschooler sometimes makes up some pretty good stories. A mouse in the car is certainly one he could dream up. So I just closed the door with the remote when he couldn’t see it anymore and moved on with my day.

That evening when we pulled into the garage my fourth-grade daughter located a red solo cup in the back seat cup holder with some kind of sponge that she had grown at school. She picked up the pink sponge and said, “Oh there’s my sponge.” I watched as she placed it back in the red solo cup and thought to myself, “I will have to make the kids clean out the car this weekend.”

The next morning when I came out to the car the pink sponge was mostly in itty bitty pieces just under the pedals on the driver’s floorboard, my floorboard. That moment I realized that my son hadn’t created his own story the previous morning. But had a real one to tell. Woah, really! I can only imagine what would have happened the previous morning if my fourth-grader had been in the car when that mouse had run across the floorboard. Screaming, flying kids, who knows?!? Or worse, what if it had scampered across the driver’s floorboard. I am a bit more like my preschooler. Or perhaps he is more like me. We’re not so reactive. But a mouse running around the car? That would have freaked me out. I admit it.

What to do when you have a mouse in the car?

As soon as I realized we had a mouse in the car I locked the cat in there. He just stared at me as though I was crazy. So I opened all the car doors and locked him in the garage with the car. Came back two hours later and he was sitting at the door, again looking at me as though I was crazy. We must be feeding that cat too well. My husband will still swear the cat is a mouser. I am surprised there were any mice left in the neighborhood after all of the ones we found in our yard and neighbor’s yards the past summer. Maybe someone else’s cat was leaving all of us presents. Or, maybe he was just a little thrown off by the location of the car and garage.

Life is busy and between school drop offs and activities the first time I thought I’d have time to get mousetraps was before we left for a week long trip. Alas I did not have time to get traps as the preschooler really didn’t think he should have to leave the house that morning to board an airplane. We barely made the flight after an hour of cajoling. Still I parked my car in an outside lot at the airport in the cold for a week. The car was devoid of food. No sign of the mouse upon our return until the next day. The bugger must have been hanging out in the nice warm garage.

Oh, what to do when there's a mouse in the car?! One mom's adventure in mousing...

Time to get serious about dealing with the mouse in the car!

So he’s a real problem now. I finally purchase an assortment of traps at Walmart. I put out the snap traps both in the car and in the garage. The literature says the scent will attract the mouse. Nothing. I apply peanut butter to said snap traps. At first I think nothing. But upon closer examination while the traps haven’t snapped the peanut butter is gone and there are mouse droppings all around it. I reset and try again. Same result. Finally almost in tears I call my husband begging for his help. “Clearly removing a mouse from the car is not my skill set. I am a failure as a mouse catcher and I need your help. If we can’t catch him this weekend I will have to call the exterminator.” And, yes, I just used “we” as he does when he asks if “we” have done our school volunteer hours or if “we” have prepared things for the kids.

Hubby goes to work. Snap traps with peanut butter eaten off of them. Happy mouse. Not so happy car owners. Another trip to Walmart. Glue traps purchased, plus some crazy box. Glue traps and box set out by hubby. Nothing the first day. It is Sunday night. I’ll be calling the exterminator the next day. Last ditch effort. Cut up cheese and put it on the glue traps. It has become habit to ask hubby to check the traps before I have to leave with the kids. One fat mouse caught, finally. Oh, we feel bad. But I am so happy the damage to the car was just a little chewing of plastic to get to crumbs. I’ve heard horror stories.

We lost many of the battles in the war with the mouse. But we ultimately won the war. It didn’t really feel good. But it sure is nice not to find droppings in my car anymore. Mouse be gone!

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