Me vs. The Mice

by Josh on September 10, 2005 · 1 comment

in Projects

My wife is away at a work retreat and my son is upstairs sleeping– it must be time to fix something!

A couple days ago, I had to remove the dishwasher from the kitchen cabinets for an appliance fixit job that is still ongoing. When the dishwasher came out, I found that the space under my kitchen cabinets and dishwasher was is being used as a giant mouse toilet.

I cleaned the area thoroughly on Wednesday, but today I found fresh mouse poop in the dishwasher area. So it’s official: those rodents crossed the line. Now it’s me vs. the mice.

Like any good general going to war, I considered the terrain. I quickly realized that in an old house, there could be dozens of ways those mice could be getting beneath my cabinets. I just don’t have the time or resources to fight a war with a dozen fronts–and I’m not ready to rip out my kitchen cabinets– so I’m opting for a policy of containment.

Here’s what the dishwasher bay looked like before I went to work:

There is open space beneath the plastic dishwasher supply line on the left side of the photo, and some suspicious cracks between the floor and wall at the back of the bay. To keep the mice contained beneath the cabinets and out of the dishwasher bay, I put out some poison then walled off the open space with plywood faced with galvanized flashing to prevent the mice from chewing through. I stuffed steel wool in the cracks and open spaces and sealed the edges with silicone caulk.

Here’s the result:

After Mouseproofing

None of this work will be seen once the dishwasher is re-installed. I’m hopeful the mice and their nastiness won’t be seen either. With no access to any food/smells around the dishwasher maybe they won’t find the cabinets an appealing place to hang out. If they do come back, the poison’s waiting.

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