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Scott Dufour

&#$! Mice

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I didn't take Rocinante (CS17, hull # 110) out at all last year because I was working on the barn in which I'll build the PS26.  So when I took off the tarp this weekend, I discovered all sorts of nasty things.  I had left the lazarette, side hatches, and forepeak hatch open a little for air flow, which provided a delightful home for several families of mice.

 

They chewed up an awful lot of good stuff to make thier nests, and created smells that had me gagging and (nearly) wretching.  Lost two anchor rodes, one sail bag (no damage to sails other than terrible smell), floatation cushons, the boat registration form, a couple of really nice bags I had cooking/camping stuff in. 

 

Mouse droppings and urine everywhere.  I ended up half filling the forepeak up with soapy water, scrubbing with a long brush, siphoning it out with a hose, and repeating 3 times just to be able to get my head in there to inspect for more damage.  Did I mention the smell?

 

But with only 15 hours of cleaning, throwing away, and laundry, and now she's back in her party dress.  She kept looking at me with those mournful eyes saying, "How could you let me get this far gone?  See what you've let them do?"  I'll take her out to Little Naragansette bay this weekend to make it up to her. 

 

Moral of the story:  when you put a boat up for the winter with the hatches open, put a lot more mothballs in there than you think you'll need for just one season.

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Sorry Scott - Somebody's got to say it:

"My name is Inigo Montoya! You ate my sail bag... Prepare to DIE!"

Sorry to hear about the damage but I'm glad it was repairable.  I hope you've got a good sailing summer ahead.  Post pictures when you take Rocinante out!

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Miserable wee beasties, they are.  My daughter called them cute.  I said, "You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."

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So I goes out the other day- hook up the trailer, check the lights, all is well. 

 

On the way home, a State Trooper pulls me over because the left side lights on the trailer are out.  "Hmmm," says I.  

 

I get the trailer home and the left side is working, but running right side lights are out.  Check the right blinker, and both right and left lights flash for a second.  "Oh crap," says I.

 

Pull the wires from the tongue.  You guessed it-  the little rodents ate through a half-dozen places in the insulation causing all sorts of odd shorts and opens.  When I rewire the whole damn thing, I'll need to find a way to close up any access into the trailer tubes.  And maybe just pack it with some poison for good measure.  I'm thinking iocane powder from Australia..

 

$114 ticket, by the way.  

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Holy moley, $114 for what could have been a blown fuse??!!!  

 

Steel wool has been known to work well to plug mouse holes.  On a boat trailer you may need the stainless variety :)

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Sprinkle the rat poison pellets in the boat and you'll never see their dead little bodies, as they run off and hide with a bad case of gas. Of course, if you have cats, you'll have fewer with this technique, so tarp the boat tight, so these pets can't get in.

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   I'm not sure iocane powder is available here but I could send a Tiger Snake - Or would you prefer a Death Adder?  I've wondered about that name since I moved here.  When I lived in Canberra I saw a Children's Python in an exhibit somewhere and there was a note saying the snake was named after a guy named Children (not after the snake's favorite meal).  Now I wonder if the adder out here might have been discovered by Dr Death... But I digress...

   One problem with rat poison is you can't predict where the little <beeps> will go to die.  They'll probably pick the AC ducts in your car.  I would if I were them, but I'm a little antisocial sometimes.  Would it help to run the trailer wires on the outside of the frame?  They might feel nice and secure sitting inside the trailer tubes gnawing on the wires, but if you cable-tie the wires to the underside of the frame it might be more uncomfortable for them to munch the night away.

   Or maybe you can adopt an owl.

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The horse barn I'm converting to a boat barn is apparently infested with mice as well. I just found two dead in's inside a 5 gallon bucket. The fell or jumped in and could not climb out. Not sure why they would be in the barn, as there does not appear to be anything for them to eat. No hay, no feed, etc.  But it also appears the mice have attracted a few black snakes. One of those might go 5 feet. Hopefully the latter will go on an eating binge and thin the herd. OK by me as long as the snakes don't take up residence on some eye level shelf I have to walk past all the time. I'm told my heart if in pretty good shape, but I see no need for a daily stress test to find out otherwise.

 

I once had a bunch of mice build a nest on top of a Ford Ranger engine. I only used it now and then. They too decided to chew through the wires and that shorted out something in the wiring and that fried the computer chip. That was $800 bucks to get running again.

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Mice.... My wife said her car was running poorly, so I started looking around, decided to check the air filter. The entire air box was was full of cat food! Bet there was 1/2 pound of gourmet cat food inside the box! On a Subaru Outback the intake "slit" is about 8 inches x 1/2 inch. Not sure how the little buggers got it in there. Our cat has taken this personally.

Jay

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In the short term a hungry cat would be more dangerous but in the long term the cat would weaken. Maybe Douglas Adams was right about mice and their diabolical experiments.

Or maybe Jay's cat is just smarter than my dog. He eats the pieces of dog food that he likes and leaves the rest on the floor in a ring around the dish. It looks like a tiny model of Saturn. The cat might realize that he'll get more food sooner if there's no evidence of wastage and what better place to hide food than in a car engine? Cats are a bit instcrutable at times.

The magpies seem to be happy with the leftover dog food, though. It's the web of life...

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I am replying to an old post, but here goes. To keep rodents (mice, rats,  etc) out of stored boast, cars, trucks. place some dryer sheets inside the vehicle or boat. I formally used moth balls, but they are a pain to pick up The dryer sheets work just as well and are much easier to pick up. If there is any doubt as what dryer sheets are, ask you wife or girlfriend.

 

Regards, Mick. 

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