Of Mice and Men...and...Automobile Vent Fans...

Fairly be warned, was Ye, says I…

I must be painfully blunt here–I’ve never shared the Disney-esque, cutesy world view about mice and other such vermin. I’ve lived in rural areas (where mice exist aplenty) most of my life and as far as I’m concerned, these critters are little more than filthy pests. If they get in your house, you trap them / poison them / Massive Cat Attack them until they’re gone. I’ve always used your basic snap traps, because they’re cheap, effective and don’t leave tiny decaying corpses about the walls and hidden areas of the house. They DO leave tiny, partially decapitated, decaying corpses that I can easily find, though. This is, oddly enough, the preferable option. Speaking of tiny decaying corpses…

I went on a trip last weekend down to Massachusetts to visit family. All went fine until the evening of my first night there, when one of my nephews (he’s about 12) sidled up to me as I sat on the porch enjoying a cold one, and asked–none too quietly–“Uncle Steve? What the heck died in your car??” I thought the dear lad–he’s shifty, that one—was being a wise-acre and had released one of his patented lower-level “disturbances” in my car (which was closed up for the night, on a sweltering summer evening in Merry Olde New England), but no such luck. That would have been immeasurably preferable to the noxious stench that assaulted me as I approached the car—I could smell the reek from several feet away. There was no hint of a problem on my trip down, though I did use the A/C for awhile. In retrospect, this was a bad move. Did you know that your basic 12V battery driven fan motor can quite nicely dice small rodents that had, seemingly overnight, set up camp in the junction box that feeds the vent system of one’s fine automobile? It can. And it did–apparently when I used the A/C on my trip down. I didn’t notice anything at first because Mother Nature’s old friend putrefaction hadn’t set in yet. A day broiling in the humid summer sun of lovely Berkshire County hastened things along quite nicely though, thankyaverymuch. I almost coughed up my brewski when I opened the car door, but innate male ego and practicality took over at an instinctual level. I opened up the windows and doors, and requested a tonic for my irritated nerves. Gin and tonic, that is. The quinine helps prevent the malaria, y’know…and help one forget about small festering corpses in one’s ductwork.

Fast-forward to today, when my faithful local mechanic truly earned that crazy bill-out-by-the-hour number posted on the wall of the shop. Well, one of his boys did anyway. By the time I got home—windows OPEN, people!—the stench had dissipated to a low-level miasma; tolerable, so long as one was not of an unsettled stomach to begin with. I left the car open as much as possible until my appointment this morning. One hour of labor; a disinfectant through the system and a deodorizer used for people with severe allergies took care of the problem in fine fashion. The fellow who worked on the car said it looked like—quote-- “ The whole lot of ‘em got blenderized. Not pretty.”

No doubt.

Also, I was advised to keep the manual setting for air circulation in the cabin area set to Recirc whenever I park the car, as this action physically closes off a little trapdoor in the dashboard that allows access from the external air intake to the interior of the car. Apparently, not all cars have this manual feature (many these days are computer/button controlled, and the default is usually OPEN, as a safety measure, I believe) so check yours out, if you live where mices live.

Which is everywhere.

Fairly be warned, was Ye, says I…

:eek: :smiley:

A less expensive alternative: Two weeks. All windows open. Load the inside of the car with crumpled up newspaper After that, remove the paper and have a couple days with the windows closed and a couple cups, uncovered, of liquid laundry detergent. Let nature decompose them.

Osterized mice. Nummy.

I had one die in the ceiling by the furnace, and the furnace circulated the smell through the house. I used electric heaters for minimal heat for two weeks, so I wouldn’t heave. I never use poison in the house, only traps since then.