I saw a mouse ... eek!

giddyupgoJuly 24, 2013

OK, so today I was enjoying a nice afternoon just me and my scrapbooks, and then I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I looked up--and it was a mouse! Eek! By the time I got to the spot where I'd seen it, it was gone. But I'm pretty sure it was brown with a white belly which means deer mouse. :(

So this evening I tore apart my boys' room and thought I might have seen one mouse dropping, though I couldn't tell for sure because my near vision is pretty crappy. Then I went into my girls' room ... mouse droppings all along the wall, beside my daughter's mattress (it's on the floor), behind the dresser ... ew! I know these were not there the last time I vacuumed in there about a week ago. I put on the heavy-duty mask I use when raking out my hay shed and then I sprayed down the droppings with a disinfectant and I scooped them out. Tomorrow I'm washing all bedding etc. in hot water/hot dryer.

So here's my question: I didn't let any of my kids sleep in their rooms tonight. I got worried because I actually vacuumed my boys' room and am scared I might have kicked up some hantavirus when I did it. I didn't vacuum my girls' room but what if I stirred up something when I moved my daughter's mattress?

When is it safe to let them back in their rooms?

I'm going to shampoo carpets and wash everything tomorrow, and might let the kids share the top bunks until the mice have been apprehended.

I haven't even begun to do the rest of the house--it took me a whole evening to do the kids' bedrooms. I put out traps and I'm reasonably sure the mice haven't been in my bedroom, where all six of us are sleeping tonight. Haven't seen any droppings in the kitchen, which seems odd, nor have I found any nests. I'm just a bit concerned I may not have done a good enough job and that disease is now all over my house ...

Any advice or words of comfort would be appreciated!

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Set the traps where no one will get into them and go on with your life. Your overreacting any Hantavirus is rare and I would be fairly certain you have nothing to be concerned about.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:34AM
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You're more likely to be exposed to the Hantavirus in nature, in public buildings, or anywhere BUT your house. You surely clean your house more frequently than the normal places where mice live. Mice live everywhere. Your children are exposed to mouse pee and poop at school, at the playground, in restaurants, and just about everywhere you go.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:57PM
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" Your overreacting "

That's an understatement.

It's a mouse.

Kill it. Clean up the poop. Get on with life.

Get a cat to help prevent them in the future.

Wanna buy a tinfoil hat?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:26PM
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I know how you feel- I had a mouse infestation- a horrible one, when I rented a trailer. This was around the time hantavirus was going around Yosemite. It's rare, and it's even rarer in my part of the country but I was still worried. There were mouse droppings in the AC vents and floor registers- they had even nested (and ruined) in my oven. I think it is ok. You are supposed to bleach the droppings and them scoop them up. It can stay airborn for months from sweeping or vacuuming- and thats just not realistic. If they were going to be exposed they would have been exposed already, so I see no point in keeping them out after you have cleaned. Also, it usually occurs in heavily infested areas. Likely you only had a few mice. Trap em and keep some traps set for a few days until you know there are no more. Put expanding foam in any holes in the house they could be entering- around the pipes under the sink, etc. Deep breath,ok?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Thanks for the words of comfort--and, err, otherwise. :) This little bugger is proving really difficult to catch and I'm starting to wonder if he even lives here or just visits occasionally. Since I first saw him a week ago I cleaned up all the droppings I could find and have only discovered four additional ones in a whole week, which either means he's not living in our house or he's somewhere I haven't checked yet, which is unlikely because I'm pretty sure I've checked *everywhere*.

As far as I can tell he hasn't gone anywhere near my traps, all baited with pieces of a Snickers bar. I can't even begin to guess where he's getting in ... I've checked all the pipes and I've plugged the one hole I know about and can't find anything else. That leaves the swamp cooler, which isn't very well sealed, but there's no droppings around it so I can't imagine he's going in and out through there.

Any suggestions on how to catch a clever mouse?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Try cheese or even a piece of bacon as that will attract him with a more distinct order.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 8:06AM
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Peanut butter sticks well to the trap. I like to smear it to the underside of the trigger. The mouse has to work a little harder to take the bait, and is more likely to trip the trap.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 2:36PM
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