I’ve kept you in suspense long enough and it’s time to open the can, so to speak, and let it all out. Our story starts just over a week ago at our boondocking site at Goosenecks State Park. To set the scene just imagine a typical relaxing morning at wheelingit headquarters…a calm breeze, blue, sunny skies, a wide-open space of nothing and a world of calm . Yours truly was lounging in the sofa while hubby was lazily whipping up a morning brew…
“I just saw something” said Paul, sounding rather strange
“Huh?” I mumbled, my usual early-morning plucky self. I turned to see Paul frozen over the kitchen drawer with a haunted look in his eye.
“I just saw something” repeated Paul, apparently zombie-like.
“Erhmmm….What????” I managed, suddenly feeling wide awake ”A UFO? Microraptor Gui? Purple Elephants?” Something about the way he was looking told me I would be happier if said object was not actually real.
“It was brown” he replied “furry…and it might possibly have had a tail”
Within microseconds I was standing ontop of the sofa in karate-chop stance (not that I have any actual karate experience you know, but mentally it was helpful).
“NO, NO, NO….it’s not possible” I reasoned “I mean we have TWO CATS, for fricks sake!” (keeping it PG here)
Don’t bother me…I’m sleeping
I looked over at our furry killers who were both currently lounging in their cat bed by the window. They raised their heads nonchalantly, laid back down to sleep and flicked their tails in indifference. “The puny schemes of mice of men doth not us import”…was the obvious retort.
They could at least have got the quote right, I thought.
“Argh!!!” Paul gurgled, snapping me back to the present and general kitchen area “I just saw it again”
Paul shines a flashlight into the “bowels” of the kitchen
“OH SH*T” (we harmonized on that one), followed by various other very-non-PG swear-words. This was NOT good. I immediately had visions of teeny mice-teeth chewing their way through the entire underbelly of our rig…tasty wires, yummy fuel lines, sumptuous RV connectors. We were no longer “the beast” -> we were a mobile mouse dining-al-fresco restaurant, and the invitation for all-you-can-eat dinner was out. I suddenly envisioned an entire family of mice-happy feet scrambling in our walls and munching on the RV while the cats enjoyed the TV show from the comfort of their afternoon sunning spot.
“Seriously cats” I threw at them “WHERE is your killer instinct???!!”
Flick…flick…still no response.
EVERYTHING out in the RV…including around 100 screws
I tuned to Paul and our brains did a Vulcan mind-lock….or perhaps the bleeding obvious just came to light. Clearly we needed to get rid of this beast and clearly it had to be NOW. We were 100 miles from the nearest purchasable mouse-trap so we needed to do some serious brainstorming. Our engineering training clicked into gear -> debug the problem, contain the issue and eliminate the threat. Or, something to that effect.
We engaged the enemy like mice-marine-killers on the move. First course of action was to take apart ALL accessible areas of the RV and follow the clues. Every drawer, every piece of wood and several hundred screws later we discovered lots of happy mice droppings and a neat little trail to a “nest” underneath the bathroom sink where said invader had been enjoying the fruity delights of Paul’s Peruvian seed-necklace. Found you, you furry menace. Thankfully no chewed wires were apparent.
Peppermint…the secret mouse-repellant?
Seriously, no-one likes this stuff…not even mice
Next we cleaned, scrubbed and disinfected everything and then moved onto plan B. This involved leaving everything open, giving free access to our mice-killer cats (as you can see I am an eternal optimist) and putting in scent deterrents that I had read about on the internet. Apparently mice hate the smell of Irish Spring Soap (as do we, which is naturally why I’d bought a Costco-load worth 2 years ago and stored it for never-use later…duh!), and Peppermint Essential Oil (which I just happened to have in stock for use in my home-made deodorant).
We proceeded to load up everything we could with both items placing fresh bars of soap and containers of cotton-soaked oil in each and every corner. I even toyed with the idea of leaving a cheese-trail to our boondocking neighbors who had blasted outdoor music the entire previous evening (who does such a thing??), but alas my better nature prevailed.
The final result was a complete transformation. I can honestly say that NEVER, in the history of RVing, has a “beastly” rig EVER smelt so minty fresh. We had created a 40-foot Peppermint garden, a minty Eden, a leafy green vision in RV. The odor was so strong it made us dizzy, and gave us an overwhelming urge to chew gum…or drink Mojito’s depending on the hour. It’s possible my application de Mentha had gone a tad overboard, but I was on a mission and there was no way I was dialing back on this baby.
This is NOT a pretty gap-filler job…but it is effective darn it!
We maintained said situation, renewing the scents twice daily for several days, and then crawled around inside and under the RV to plug up each and every hole we could find with gap filler. There were several, surprisingly and it was not a pretty fix, but at this point we didn’t care.
It’s been over a week since “the incident” and so far no more mice-poos and no more furry sightings. I am hopeful the threat has been eliminated. Either that or the darn animal has decided to re-hibernate until better days. Of course since this time we’ve managed several other masterpieces -> our vacuum motor has burnt out and we’ve discovered a major plug in one of our sinks, all events bound to happen when you’re out in the deep boonies (and thus with zero access to hardware stores…universal RV rule #3 I think?). But all of this pales in comparison to the horror of little furry feet and sharp teeth. As long as the mouse is gone, I’m happy to hand-wash outside and live with a bit of dirt. And to think some people think boondocking is just sitting around and relaxing.
Oh and bloody cats too….