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Warning – do not read if you have an aversion to rodents. LOL.

Back in early June, we had a short camping trip ( mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts) to Barkerville, BC.  What I didn’t mention at the time was that not only did the motor home transport DH and me, plus our two Irish Setters, Bailey and Lyric, to Barkerville and back, but also a family of mice!  They were living in a neat little nest in the engine compartment, and at night they’d sneak out and search for anything edible, both in the motor home and outside.  As you can imagine, we weren’t exactly thrilled to discover the stowaways.  Not only could we not imagine how they actually survived the trip, but their presence was driving the dogs crazy at night.

DH set traps.  And we’d catch a mouse every night, but the next night there’d be more squeaking and scratching and the dogs would be sniffing and snorting.  By the time we got home, we assumed we’d pretty much trapped them all.  But DH needed to do some work on the motor home before we could go off on our next little trip and little mice kept dropping out of the engine compartment onto the ground where DH was working.  It seemed like it was raining mice!  DH dispatched them as quickly as he could.  Finally, there appeared to be no more mice. 

So now it’s August and we’re planning a trip to Vancouver Island to visit my 93 year-old father! We’ve had a really good summer, with lots of sunny days and lots of heat. The shower in the motor home hasn’t worked for years, but we mostly stay at Provincial Parks that have shower houses, so it hasn’t been a problem. But this year, for the first week of our trip, we’re planning on staying at parks that don’t have showers, so it’s time to get it fixed.  DH finally gets the non-functioning shower working, but opening up the drain seems to bring with it the most unpleasant odour.  Doubting his memory, he asks me whether or not we emptied the holding tanks in town before coming home and parking it in June.  “Absolutely” I assured him. “And we flushed it with lots of water to make sure they were well cleaned out”.  But the odour lingered. 

It’s time to start loading the motor home.  What a stink.  “We can’t possibly travel in that thing with that smell – you have to do something about it” I complain.  DH puts holding tank deodorizer into the system.  Still we’ve got the stink.  I’m frantic. I spray Febreeze! It doesn’t help. Then DH has a brain wave, gets down on his hands and knees and reaches under the passenger seat.  “I guess this is the problem” he says, as he pulls out a mouse trap sporting a very dead, very rotten mouse.

Amazingly, the odour is gone. How about that?


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Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on August 22, 2014 at 8:34am
I've had trouble getting into the site for the past week. I don't know if it's a problem with my ISP or my computer. We're on our camping trip right now and I'm using my smart phone to send this along withautocorrect making mistakes for me. ĹOL. I've loved everybody's stories of their takeaways and uninvited guests.
Comment by Peggy Stuart on August 21, 2014 at 9:11pm
We were overrun with mice after our old cat retired and then died. We got some live traps and got rid of them, found where they were coming in and put an end to the entrance. We just came back from vacation to the nibbling sounds in the middle of the night. So far we have caught four additional mice and given them an all-expense-paid move to a new home. DH came home from Farmers' Market with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and zucchini. I suggested "Mouseetui," which sounds like something a mouse would use to put his cigarette in, but is really just a smaller version of ratatouille.
Comment by Carol Vickers/OH on August 20, 2014 at 9:00pm

Yuck - glad you found the culprit.  Have a wonderful, safe, and sweet-smelling trip!

Comment by B J Elder/WA on August 20, 2014 at 6:46am

I am not partial to rodents but was so proud of myself many years ago when I encountered several mice. I was sleeping in a sleeping bag in a loft above the kitchen at a rustic church camp.  During the night I felt little feet on my sleeping bag.  I just scrunched down and held the top opening tightly shut and counted the minutes until morning. LOL

Comment by Joan on August 19, 2014 at 7:33am

 Loving this blog and all the stowaway stories.  We have various residents in our trailer also.  All the usual antics,  this summer a momma squirrel got left behind while DH took a trip to Montana with the babies hiding underneath.  Momma kept running and jumping at the screen door to the kitchen.  Thought I had a rabid squirrel on my hands, I'm home alone, of course because that's when all the fun stuff happens.  

Comment by Carol Wadkins on August 19, 2014 at 5:01am

My turn,no not mice............ We had a trailer that we kept at camp for several years. Always did all the cleaning out, covering up and locking out critters, so we thought. Up to camp we went for a wonderful "quiet weekend", opening up we kept hearing this strange noise and just could not place where it was coming from. We had a little stove and fan above it, when I went to open it up to use...... to my surprise we had a family of baby bats on the other side of the screen, but inside the vent? Oh, yes that was "fun" getting them out of there.......thank goodness my guy was there, as they really feaked me out! He had to take apart the entire fan to remove them. Don't know why Mom felt that was the place to have her young ones, but once in they couldn't seem to find the way out again???

Adventures, don't they keep us laughing, that is telling the story later!!


Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on August 18, 2014 at 8:22pm

I love it Carol Ann!  

Hoping for no rodents on this trip!

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on August 18, 2014 at 8:10pm

My story about inadvertent stowaway mouse from camping trip:

We had been home for two days after camping in the local mountains.  DS, who was about 7 at the time, had a nature class at a center in a nearby city.  On the way up I-5, at 70 MPH, he suddenly says, "Mom, there's a mouse on my foot!"  I glanced over; no mouse in sight.  "Come on, Evan, don't play tricks while I'm driving on the freeway!"  "No, Mom, there really was a mouse, and look!  There he is!"  Mouse was back, this time sitting on the console between the front seats looking at me!  Thank goodness there was no close traffic because in my startle reflex, we suddenly changed lanes!  Mouse dove under the seat.  Spent the next 20 minutes or so of the trip thinking what I was going to do.  When we got to the nature center, I delivered DS to his class, then went outside where I had parked on a dirt lot, opened all of the doors, including the back hatch, of the van, threw everything outside on the ground, and began pounding on the car, yelling "Out!  Out!  Out!" as I circled around. Other mothers, delivering their small children to same class, hurried them inside while watching me suspiciously over their shoulders.

It must have worked; I found it's little nest in the Kleenex box under the front seat, but never saw (or smelled) the mouse again.  DS and I often made up stories about the mouse's adventures having been driven some 200 miles from a forested stream habitat and suddenly found himself in a weedy lot in the city.  This has become a favorite family story.  I'll never forget the looks on the faces of the other mothers watching me behave like a mad-woman!

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on August 18, 2014 at 7:39pm

Good one, Pam!  

Rebecca - wishing you safe and happy rodent-free travels!  

Comment by Pam/NY on August 18, 2014 at 6:51pm

LOL...that smell is very di"stink"tive!!!

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