On Tuesday the 14th of April 2009 the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Voorheesville Diner in Voorheesville. It was windy but still a pleasant day for a ride. Voorheesville is a nice small town, but you have to be going to Voorheesville, it is not on the way to anywhere, but still in all it is a very nice village.

Of mice and men; yes the OF’s spent quite of bit of time talking about the damage mice can do. Mice are not cute, or cuddly. White mice might be…but field mice, urban, or suburban rodents…not on your life. Those critters are dangerous! Outside of the good ole rat the deer mouse is the worst. Those things just chew to chew; eating has nothing to do with it.

Two OF’s had basically the same stories on the destruction that mice did to their trailers over the winter. Not only did the odor they made cause the owners of the trailers to get substantially ill, they trashed the inside worse than tenants that skip out owing rent do to rental property. Both OF’s reported curtains being torn to shreds and the fabric used for nests. The insides of seat cushions were destroyed. The trailers were filled with feces and the yellow stains of urine all over the place.

Both reported on the clean up and how much effort it was but apparently it worked because they still use the trailers. One OF said that the dishes in the cupboards were covered with mouse droppings and he was going to take them and soak them in Clorox. His wife saw the dishes and she boxed them up and threw them out. The OF thought this was a little extravagant because now they would have to by new ones, and he let his wife know this. She replied to the OG, “Why do you care? You didn’t buy them, I did and it was with my own money!” The OF said, “I just stood there because she was right and there was nothing I could do about it.”

Another OF reported how lucky they were that their barn did not burn down. For some reason or other (he didn’t know why) he went to turn on the lights in the barn and something just didn’t look right. He observed the wiring coming into the box that the switch was on, and the wires were chewed bare and the only thing keeping the neutral for the hot wire was the insulation around the ground. The little buggers hadn’t time to get to that before the OF spotted it. The wiring was immediately repaired and traps set, and he eventually caught six deer mice.

It was mentioned that one of the OF’s had a couple of cats but they were more or less useless. They didn’t really catch mice but every now and then they would get one and bat it around just to play with it. We don’t know if the other OG had cats or not.

One owner of the mouse-ruined trailer also reported that he had mice get into the trunk of a vehicle that was stored in his garage. He kept smelling something awful when he took the car out of storage this spring for a little ride. (This was actually just a little while ago.) It took him some time to find these mice and when he did find them he cleaned them out…or so he thought. The odor persisted so the OF started taking everything out of the trunk; he grabbed something over the spare tire and put his hand right into a nest of four baby mice. As stated before these things are pests. This OF said he inspected that trunk from top and bottom even with a high powered light and could not find where or how those mice got in.

One of the OF’s whose pop-up trailer was ruined said his son told him to use dryer sheets throughout the trailer and it would keep the mice out. It may have worked for the son, but the OF’s trailer was loaded with dryer sheets and the mice just used them for nests. The use of moth balls was suggested. For some it works – for others it doesn’t. These mice can get in anywhere and the best deterrent is the old fashioned mouse trap and peanut butter. In one peanut butter test it was found that Skippy worked best. Just for kicks and giggles one OF with a mouse problem decided to set traps. He said he baited seven traps with peanut butter, and again on the giggles part he used what they had in the house. There were three opened jars of peanut butter and one unopened, and none were the same. This may sound odd, but check your own cupboards or refrigerators and the OF’s bet you will find two or three open jars of jam all different or maybe even peanut butter. Anyway, he used different brands and kinds in the traps. The mice preferred Skippy chunky style. The kill rate was higher with that trap.

The other point brought up about these things is the deer ticks and Lyme disease and how it really is the mouse that carries the nasty little insects to places where they can attack us.

If you have hawks, owls, or snakes hanging around your garage or barn or trailers let them be as these critters use the mouse as their primary food source. If they are around these fowl and reptiles should cut your mouse population down. One OF said that his dad kept snakes in the granary in the barn just to get the mice, and it worked. The snake of preference was the black snake because they could suck up larger mice. Feral cats do a good job also, but those things can become nasty. The aroma of tomcat sprays can drive you out of house and home. Snakes are the best, they’re quiet (the OF’s say) and you won’t even know they are around. They’re odorless and can follow the mouse right into his hole.

Those that attended the breakfast at the Voorheesville Diner and who had quite a discussion on mice were: Robie Osterman, Miner Stevens, Carl Slater, Mace Porter, Gary Porter, John Rossmann, Ted Pelkey, Harold Guest, Dennis White, Ted Willsey, Mike Willsey, Harold Grippen, Warren Willsey, and not Jim Rissacher since we were told he currently has better things to do, and the OF’s said they can understand that, and the better things to do makes this definitely of a higher priority than us OF’s, and me.