Critter Alert

So, here we are, temporarily grounded in Maryland watching it rain ice balls. We’ve been to our Phoenix once already to push more than ten inches of snow and ice off the roof. Belly crawling on the roof in freezing slush was NOT the highlight of our RV life. The really nice snow removal people loaned us a ladder so we could get some of the snow off from the sides but some required a delicate touch, hence the need for Holly to wallow in slurpy type slop on the roof – so wet, so cold… ewww, so dirty. Our baby needs a bath.

After the roof cleaning, we noticed our tires had sunk a couple inches into the mud… and froze there. We may be bringing a shovel and plywood to help us get her out when we go to exercise all the systems. We ran the generator but need to take her out for a battery charging “spin”. That won’t be for another week or so because they piled a huge mound of snow in front of our motor coach. They have to move the snow so we can dig out the coach so we can take it for a ride to keep all the parts happy.

Finding that we are stuck was not the “lowlight” of that day. We spoke to someone else with a vehicle stored there and they told us the place was overrun with mice. Like, inside all the cars and RVs. They said if we peered in the vehicle windows, we’d see torn up paper and stuff where the critters are nesting. GREAT!

This led to some internet searching and then the production of mouse deterrent sachets. At least we hope they are mouse deterrents. Quite a few different people swear by them and we figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. We had most of the necessary supplies and we don’t mind the coach reeking of peppermint so we kicked into production mode. We made another trip back to the Phoenix and tossed sachets in the outside bins and throughout the house. The internet comments said this won’t get rid of mice that have already moved in but should make it stinky enough that new nest hunters move along and find other accommodations. We found no sign of mice so far so we hope we stunk the place up in time. For those wishing to give this a try, the directions follow.

Sachet Materials

Sachet Materials

Ingredients:

– Peppermint essential oil (full strength concentrated oil, NOT extract, can order online or get at health food store)
– Corncob critter litter (from the pet store or Walmart pet section)
– Fabric squares or old socks (I had quilting squares on hand, they made lovely sachets)
– Tacky glue (most craft stores sell it – good for fabric) or you can use a sewing machine

Corn Cob Litter

Corn Cob Litter

Procedure:
– Dump several cups of corn cob litter in a zipper baggie
– Add enough peppermint oil to give it a very strong smell, putting drops of oil right on the litter then mix it around several times
– Close the baggie and let the litter “marinate” in the oil. Mix it periodically if you get the chance. Add more oil if it doesn’t make your eyes water yet.

Scented Corn Cobs

Scented Corn Cobs

– Put glue on three sides of the inside of one fabric square (this side will NOT be seen – the decorative side faces out for both squares) then position a second square over it and press together, smoothing the glue seam (glue will ooze through so do this on waxed paper)

Gluing three sides to make a pouch

Gluing three sides to make a pouch

– Peel the pocket you just made off the now gooey wax paper and set it on a clean piece of waxed paper to dry completely.
– Take dry pockets, fill with scented litter (don’t overfill), then glue the last side shut, smoothing it into a straight line before setting it back on waxed paper to dry

Filling the sachet

Filling the sachet

– Let dry completely, check for any leaks (glue them if needed) then toss them anywhere the mice might be thinking of sneaking in

If you are using old socks, you can probably just fill them and tie them off with string and be done with it. If you have a sewing machine, you can skip the glue and drying time and crank these out in a heartbeat.

Our granddaughter Chloe and I made sachets like these as Christmas gifts several years back (she was 6). She loved picking out the different fabric patterns and scents and then deciding who got which set of “smelly things”. We ordered huge bags of rose petals and lavender blossoms from Amazon and used the corn cob litter with an assortment of essential oils that I had on hand. She couldn’t squeeze the glue bottle very well so I did most of that while she lined up the fabric squares and did everything else. People loved getting them and she loved giving them. We did not make the gift sachets as strong as the peppermint mouse deterrent ones but they were strong enough to scent a drawer.

While I made peppermint sachets, Chloe jumped in to make honeysuckle, lavender, rose and Hawaiian Vacation sachets. She gave her sachets to her mommy and her after school caregiver. She’s such a sweet child and is always thinking of other people and coming up with nice things to do for them. So awesome!

Hooray! Our number just came up on the wait list for the storage place we used previously. It is much closer, has a solid level gravel pad and is more secure. It is more expensive but they treat the area for critters which we’ve just realized is a plus. While I don’t like spraying poison all over the world, I don’t want mice chewing up our house either. We’re leaving the stinky peppermint sachets in place though, just in case.

Now it just has to stop snowing and icing long enough for us to dig our baby out of the mud and get her moved to her new spot.

So if you see a beautiful Phoenix Cruiser rolling down the road with a peppermint cloud wafting along behind it, that’s us. Honk and wave! We’d love to say HI!++++++++++++++++++++++

H

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3 Responses to Critter Alert

  1. Anonymous says:

    I loved making sachets with my grandma Holly for my babysitter and mom but they were not peppermint they were rose,lavender,honysuckle,and hawian vacatoin it was fun and smelled ggggoooooooooodddd!!!!!!!!!

    Chloe, granddaughter of Holly

  2. Anonymous says:

    Holly,
    Good luck and we really hope that you can get your RV moved and keep the critters out. Too bad about the snow, the East Coast is really catching it this year.

    Randy & Nancty Stoll

  3. Dean May says:

    Hi Holly and John,

    The weather sounds nasty in Maryland. If misery loves company, Kentucky is getting 4 to 10 inches of snow tonight. I am in Kansas City for a conference. Cold, but no snow. I did stop in St. Louis to look at some RVs on Tuesday. That was fun.

    I appreciate your anti-critter sachet recipe. It seems like squirrels and mice can be a nuance to RVers. I get a mouse or two in our garage during the winter. If they stick around, I’ll set traps. I have an old ’67 Chevy pickup in the garage that is dusty and dirty enough they would enjoy living in it. Some pepperment sachets in quilting squares would at least look good and smell good in my old truck.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Dean

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