Monday, May 27, 2013

"coffee with a canine," mice in the attic, and the seam repair

I was asked to participate in a Q & A by Marshal Zeringue at coffee with a canine, and decided it might be fun.   He asked questions and I supplied the answers and photos, and our Q & A posted today.

I don't usually take or post photos of myself, but his site is set up to start the Q & A with a photo of the dog and owner, so this is the one I sent.  I had taken it last week, so it was fortunate I had a current shot.  The post has a little information about Katie and me that I haven't shared here - please check it out at Barbara Dewell & Katie!  Thanks Marshal for including me and Katie on your site!  :)

Our latest ISSUE is mice in the attic.  Remember when I posted that the Mountain Bluebirds have been waking me up at 5:30 a.m. every morning by running around on the roof?  Well... turns out it wasn't the birds running around outside.

"You blaming ME for all that racket?"

Beautiful male Mountain Bluebird

As beautiful as he is, his family is not the problem.

Yesterday morning I was again awakened around 5:30 a.m. by the sound of feet running around over the ceiling and PEEPING SOUNDS.  It was obvious a nest was there, and the babies had been born.  I didn't know if it was the birds nesting there, since they were around so much, or if we had mice.  I did some on-line research and emailed Andy Baird and Hazel.

I went outside at around 6 a.m. and walked away from the rig a bit and watched.  No birds at all.  I saw a couple of neighboring RVers taking a walk and they stopped and we talked for a while, and I continued to keep watch on the roof.  No birds at all in the area of the rig, but I did see the bluebirds flying in another area away from The Palms.

When I went back inside, the running around was still going on intermittently, and there were still "peeps" coming from the ceiling near where the antenna is located.  That's when I knew it had to be a nest of mice up there between my ceiling and roof.  I've had mice before, and found a nest once, but never overhead and never babies.  NOT A GOOD THING, for sure!

I checked my e-mail and Hazel had sent a message back that it was unlikely the birds were up there, since they already had an established nest.  Andy had also e-mailed back, offering his help and a tip that I might want to get some Fresh Cab.  He had a couple of packets I could use, or if I wanted to go into town, he sent me the location of a store that carried it.  He uses it in his storage compartments, and it would fit in my ceiling space.

This is what it looks like - it's all natural, and it's the odor that keeps the rodents away.  The smell is a cedar/mint combo that is not at all offensive to people.   There are 4 packets to a box and it cost me $17.99 here in town at Big R.  I looked it up on-line, and it's available at for $14.99 if you are interested in checking it out.  I've included a link to the right under "The Blogs I Follow" that you can click to get to the page with the $14.99 price.  I have a bag of traps and sticky pads and poisons, but I'd rather repel them than kill the little critters.

I decided to move to another site, and hopefully, as happened at Rockhound State Park, I would leave the mice behind.  I first went into town and got some Fresh Cab and when I got back to the park, I chose a campsite in another area.  I took off the little round A/C vent on the ceiling nearest to the peeping noises, which were now quiet, and put the Fresh Cab over the ceiling panel, and screwed the vent back on.

I haven't heard any noises at all since then, and this morning was able to sleep in until 8 a.m., as usual.  Either I left the Mom mouse at the old campsite and the newborn mice died from heat and no water above the ceiling, or the odor of the Fresh Cab drove the whole family out of The Palms.  Either way, I think the problem is solved.  I put another packet of Fresh Cab behind the drawer under the stove, which has been a popular place for mice in the past, so hopefully I won't be having any other infestations.  This is the fourth time in two years I've had mice inside The Palms, much more than I've read other people having.

Last, but certainly not least, The Seam Repair.

So...  :)    The other day Andy came over after I had cleaned off all the silicone from the seam split I had fixed last year.

The area was clean, and he took out the screw holding the corner piece in place and replaced it with a wider, longer screw, adding Gorilla Glue to the sides of the screw so it would expand when in place.  Screwing in the longer screw brought the split together part way.

He then brought it as far as it would come using a clamp to pull both sides together.  With the glue he had placed on the screw and in that area, we hoped when the clamp was removed it would stay.

We let it set, and that evening he came back and removed the clamp, and it stayed in place.

Per Andy's instructions, I had cut down the EternaBond to the correct size, and when he came back, he again cleaned the area and placed the EternaBond over the entire corner area.  Waaaa Laaaa!

It worked, looks great, and should be a much better fix than the Silicone that only lasted a year.

Thanks, Andy!  Not only did you DO the fix for me, I learned how to properly repair an outside split and next time I'll be able to do a proper job myself.  :)

A couple of House Finches in the yard this morning:

I hope everyone is having a nice Memorial Day.  I've watched a few shows that brought tears to my eyes this weekend, and want to remember all our fallen heroes for sacrificing their lives for our protection and safety here in The United States of America.

From Me and Katie, have a wonderful Memorial Day, everyone!  :)


  1. We had mice in our attic a couple of winters ago. Not fun. No nest, but lots of scurrying around. Ours apparently chewed through a power cord connecting the bedroom A/C to the control unit. We were not impressed. Glad they seem to be gone!

  2. An excellent picture of you and Katie, plus the interview was fun to read. Katie is the perfect traveling companion for you. So sweet to read.

    Sorry to hear about the mice. We've been on the road 1-1/2 years with nary a mouse. (Could be we have two cats. If there was a mouse we'd know it!)

    Thanks for the blog post.

  3. Never thought about mice having nests ... a mouse nest.. I never ... ew little baby mice looking for their Mothet .., dang

    Nice picture of you and Katie ... You do notice she's rolling her eyes ;) hahaaa

    What a beautiful blue!

  4. Great pic of u both! Love the red finch and pics of the bluebirds flying around. Hope u have a happy and safe holiday. Thanks for sharing the beauty with us!

  5. Thanks for mouse repel tip. Such pretty birds. Andy used a clamp, not a vise or a vise grip. I got all confused what you meant til I saw the pic.

  6. That is a really great picture of both of you. Really nice.
    I sure hope you got rid of those mice. They are such a PITA!!!

  7. Tesaje - thank you - I'll change that in my post - a clamp not a vice, you're right. :)

  8. Never heard of that mouse repellent. Might have to get some as I'm returning to Anahuac this winter. I never have a stay there without tons of mice. :(

    What a great pic of the two of you! I turned down that website request.

  9. It's the mint in the combo that mice hate; likely cheaper if you can come by it would be to use straight peppermint essential oil, a few drops on each of several cotton balls (or smallish wads of paper towel, etc) and placed as near as you can get them to where the mice are will do the trick. Once the original infestation is pushed back, for maintenance, replace oil just often enough that you can just barely smell it. Other mints don't seem to be so hated as peppermint, so go for that over the others. Any time I leave a vehicle unmoved for a few days I leave a few drops of peppermint oil in more chewed wires, nests in the air vents, etc... We even managed to drive out rats from the neighbor's seriously infested house with peppermint oil, after rodenticide/traps/exterminator all failed. For folks in a stick/brick peppermint planted around the foundation is usually enough to keep them away in the first place but that doesn't work so well for those of us on the move...

  10. Hi Unknown - thanks for the comment, and the reminder for readers. I DO have cotton balls all over the place with peppermint oil on them, and this time the mice still came in.

    I'll continue using the peppermint oil/cotton balls, since that is so much cheaper and easy to toss behind drawers, under the couch, etc. If I still have a mouse come in, then I'll get out the remaining packets of Fresh Cab. :)

  11. Hi Judy, I had never heard of Fresh Cab either, then Andy told me about it, and the research I did mentioned it, too.

    I, also, turn down all requests for that kind of thing, but I went over to "coffee with canine" and liked the site, so I decided to say Yes this time. He has been on-line for a number of years and has a good history of some nice responses, I thought. :)

  12. I have some Fresh Cab that I put down under in the engine area. Craig is very sensitive to anything that smaells in any way and when I tried using the Fresh Cab inside he couldn't stand it. I like the smell. But we are a couple, so I have to respect his dislikes.

  13. What a cute picture of you two! So glad you were able to fix both the mice and the seam problems too!

  14. What a great interview! Love the picture of you and Katie. She does look a little perturbed about having her picture taken :) Hope the Fresh Cab keeps the mice away. We haven't had any problems as of yet with the little critters.

  15. I hope the Fresh Cab works. I can't stand the thought of mice anywhere.

    The bluebirds are so pretty.

  16. Loved reading the interview! Tks for the heads up on how to get rid of mice. Beautiful bird photos, too!
    Connie in PA

  17. I hate the thought of mice. Sure hope you got rid of them for good. Love that picture of you and Katie and that was a great interview.

  18. I had that same seam repair done a while back. Same side of the RV as yours. My friend fixed it for me but didn't use glue. It may split again next year and if so I'll be sure to glue it.

  19. I should have had some of that Fresh Cab when we were in central Oregon last year. Mice were not a problem but those danged ground squirrels did over $500 worth of wire damage to our rig.

    Enjoyed reading the interview with you and Katie. She is such a little cutie and I'm so glad you found each other.

  20. Ugh! I've only had a mouse in my RV once, but that was enough. Good luck at finding your "visitors" another home!

  21. Barbara, What a great article and love the pic of you and Katie.

    I'm not even talking about the "M" word - I've had them TWICE !! I used that spray foam stuff that expands and filled every teenie hole I saw !

    Just noticed the 'talking photo' at the bottom of your Blog. Tooooo cute !

  22. Sounds like things are going okay with your RV. Good thing you saw how Andy fixed the seam split. You learned how to do it and can fairly handle the job yourself next time. I bet that's exciting for you. And about the mice issue, you should really address this problem immediately. It's scary just to think that you would be sharing your RV with a family of rats. Take care!
    Liza @ Prairie City RV Center


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