THAT’S IT – I’VE HAD ENOUGH!

Those pesky mice, I am sick to death of them and their meddling ways.  Well they have messed with me one too many times.

I seem to have almost eradicated them from my shed as only one of my bait stations needed refilling today, but they seem to have withdrawn from what was once their safe haven and have retreated to the greenhouse for a fresh attack.  Although it is a fool hardly last stand, as I am on to them.

Where are my onions?

Where are my onions?

I went out to check on my onion seedlings – which still aren’t up yet.  What’s could possibly be keeping them, I’m beginning to get impatient.  It’s not like there is anything to be scared of.  I am offering a perfectly lovely home for them to grow up in … well until I ruthlessly rip them out of the ground and eat them.  But that’s ages away so we won’t dwell on that too much.

Aside from seeing no onion seedlings, I also saw no pea seeds.  And I can completely verify the absence of pea seeds as there were holes in the seed trays where they had been dug up and stolen! The spinach seed tray had had another going over as well and now I am completely certain there were no seeds left at all.  This was the final straw…  I needed to take some immediate action. This situation could not go on or I’ll never get any peas or spinach in my winter garden.

It's just as well I protected my salad seedlings as the chickens seem to be making a mockery of my efforts to fence them in!

It’s just as well I protected my salad seedlings as the chickens seem to be making a mockery of my efforts to fence them in!

I decided to build a mouse proof cover for my seed trays out of things hanging about the place.  I could have gone to the local hardware store, but I decided to make the most of what I had, although in hindsight it would probably have been best to have made that trip.

These stakes held so much promise, but it turned out it was the only thing they were capable of holding up!

These stakes held so much promise, but it turned out it was the only thing they were capable of holding up!

I had all these lovely tomato stakes from the summer that turned out to be the worst stakes ever!  They rotted below the surface of the soil and ceased being supportive and caused me know end of trouble as retrospective staking never works well.  So I took great pleasure in hacking them to bits with a saw.  I had a rough plan in my head and made some rough measurements, but I’m not really one for great precision and well… you can image how straight and uniform all my lengths of wood weren’t.

Then it came time for assembly.  This is where I ran into great problems.  I had loads of nails, but they were either too short and didn’t come out the other side of my wood or too long and they would have poked out a considerable length of both bits of wood they had joined together.  I tried to be resourceful and thought that stapling would work well, but I hunted high and low for the staple gun but just couldn’t find it.

This is not a good idea.

This is not a good idea.

A lovely friend called round to find me trying to attach two pieces of wood together by trying to hammer in the staples.  I wouldn’t recommend this for two reasons:  1. The staples are actually quite weak and will bend under the bang of a hammer and 2. You have to hold the staples between you thumb and finger and there isn’t a lot of surface area left for the hammer head.  I shall end up with purple fingers.  She just laughed at me and suggested using some of the short nails on an angle.  Which kinda worked, but the whole structure was really rickety.  So I reached of an old favourite and the world’s greatest fix it tool – Duct tape.  Wound tightly around all sides and it was much more rigid.  And it cleverly hid all my mangled staples and bent nails and is in a dashing shade of grey.

Not a bad effort all things considered!

Not a bad effort all things considered!

The next stage was to wrap the structure in left over wire mesh that the chicken coop is made of.  After much discussion we decided it wasn’t a lot different from wrapping a gift, and I reached for the wire cutters and deftly trimmed the edges so it all fit snuggly and we folded them in.  It was at this point the staple gun would have come in handy to hold it all in place – but alas no…  Goodness knows where it is.  So my resourceful friend suggested twisty ties and before you know it we had cobbled together an “anti-mouse seed protector device” and I installed it in the greenhouse with all the hopes in the world that my seeds will be safe and peas with reign in my garden once more.

Safe at last!

Safe at last!

Take that mice!  I’m on to you!

Come again soon – I don’t think I can put off doing some actually digging much longer.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

 

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20 Comments on “THAT’S IT – I’VE HAD ENOUGH!

  1. I think the mice may still be able to fit through the fence….those buggers can flatten themselves unbelievably small! Where are your onions, inquiring minds want to know…I don’t think the mice would eat onion seedlings, do you?

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    • Hi Jenn. The onions are just in the greenhouse and the mice don’t seem to have disturbed their soil at all. They are just slow. The size of the grid is about 2cm by 2cm so all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. Urm Sarah? I don’t want to rain on your parade but, urm, well, you know, mice have strong, sharp teeth and, well, I sure hope the chicken wire keeps the mice away from the duct tape because, well, in all honesty if the mice can reach it, well I’m not sure how long it’s going to last but then maybe New Zealand mice aren’t as persistent as UK mice 😉

    Seriously though, I hope you can get the problem sorted soon.

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    • Hi There. This is a product of desperation. The vision I had in my head before I started this project is considerably different from the one I ended up with, and at the end of the day it only needs to last long enough to allow my peas and spinach to germinate. Version 2 is beginning formulate in my head, but this time I may not rush it’s construction.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • “Version 2 is beginning formulate in my head”

        Lol – may I suggest a 6 inch steel frame work with toughened safety glass (or the glass they use in those bio-chemical labs) as suitable building material? Or maybe a cat that ‘loves’ mice 😉 Or both …….

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  3. I really sympathise Sarah. I remember the first summer I had my vege garden up and running and I was so looking forward to harvesting my sweetcorn. You can guess what happened. A troupe of mice stripped the corn over night! I didn’t even get one kernal :0( I have’t grown sweetcorn since I have to admit.

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    • Hi Sarah. Something got at my popcorn this year and based of the amount of damage done I didn’t even consider mice as the possible culprits. But having seen the mess they made of my shed I am now thinking it may have been the little grey bug-gers!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. Another weird thing…I haven’t seen a post here from you in ages (same goes for quarteracrelifestyle who is also from N.Z.) and suddenly I have heaps! I wonder what my RSS Feed Reader is doing! I thought you were still on your book tour! 😉

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  5. Be thankful it’s only mice, my friend (who lives on a very similar swampy flat surface like you do) just discovered that what she thought were mice eating her pansies and stocks were actually freshwater crayfish!

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    • Hi Fran, now that is really bizarre. But at the same time really cool. You could trap them and eat them – although you couldn’t say the same thing for mice!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  6. My husband tells me mice can get through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen diameter. I think I believe him, cos we have some getting in a spot about that big. Amazing. I’ve just discovered your blog after getting your book out of my library, and I’m settled in front of the fire on a very wet afternoon, about to indulge in both. Many thanks :))

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    • Hi Marina. It would seem I have learnt a lot of things about mice that I never knew before!
      I hope you enjoy the book. The best place to be on a wet Sunday afternoon is to be in front of a warm fire.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Lucinda.
      Just the kind of gift you love … NOT!
      It would seem our lovely old cat Toast is only interested in mouse hunting on her terms. Maybe we feed her too well!
      Cheers Sarah.

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      • I used to freak out about the “gifts” but even since last summer when I was here alone for four days at a time, I learned to deal with the dead bodies.

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  7. Have you tried dried mint? I keep dried mint sprinkled in my cabinets to keep mice away..it doesn’t kill them, but they don’t like it so they tend to steer clear. You do have to refresh it when the mint smell gets weak, but its an organic way to keep them away, and you could sprinkle it on top of your planting soil (added mulch!).

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    • Hi Jenn. I haven’t heard of dried mint to keep mice away but I might give it a try. It would make the greenhouse smell lovely – a lot better than a garlic chilli concoction! Although I do want to try that too!
      Thanks for the advice.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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