I was driving to work today and had just driven up my street a bit when out of the corner of my eye, a little gray mouse ran from under the passenger side seat and up under the dashboard. At first, I wasn’t sure what I saw but then it registered. Yes, indeed, I saw a mouse inside my car, while driving.
I pulled over and got out of my car. I called my husband, Joe, and related what had happened. He first said, “Outside the car?” I then repeated, “Uh, no. Inside the car. With me.” He then asked me what the noise was in the background. “That’s me, banging on the hood of the car to scare the mouse…” At that moment, the little mouse ran out from under the car, into a yard and up a wooden light pole.
Joe and I made a plan to look through the car this evening when I got home, to see if we could find a nest or mouse “vacancy” sign flashing. He had just vacuumed the car out this weekend, so the snack drive-thru that was my floorboard was closed. Not sure what there was for him to feast on.
I drove about 10 minutes and turned onto St. Mary’s Road, down the hill from my office building. Again, out of the corner of my eye, a slightly larger gray mouse ran from under the passenger side seat and up under the dashboard. I kept driving until I arrived at work. I then exited the vehicle and banged on the outside of the hood. Nothing. So, either the mouse made a suicide jump from my wheel well while the car was moving or he was awaiting his escape. I didn’t hang around to find out.
In talking with a few friends about this, here were the more promising responses:
“I hope they haven’t built a nest up under your seat.”
“Hope they didn’t build a nest and have babies inside your car somewhere…”
“Hope they haven’t eaten any electrical wires or fuel hoses that could cause your car to burst into flames at a moment’s notice.”
“If they do have a nest with babies, how are you going to rescue them?”
Since one mouse jumped ship down the road from our house and another where I worked, I also now worried that I had somehow orphaned 5-14 baby mice (yes, that’s how many babies they can give birth to, according to the Internet), inside my car, without their displaced parents. I do love most animals and I didn’t wish them any ill-will.
I decided it might be better to tackle this issue in the daylight. I drove home at lunch and Joe vacuumed the car floor and seats again while I wiped down every surface with antiseptic wipes. I then put Bounce dryer sheets everywhere, inside my car, and put batteries in the “Cordless Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller” that I bought last year ($34.95 from Hammacher Schlemmer plus three AA batteries) but never used. It now sits in my cup holder. Other than sprinkling my car with fox or wolf urine (yes, that was suggested on one of the websites that I reviewed), I can’t think of anything else to deter these little rascals from camping in my vehicle.
Note: I think it’s funny that I bought a device that I can’t confirm is working properly. Here are the instructions: “Unlike similar devices that emit only a single frequency, to which only rodents are apt to adjust, this device varies its wail between 25 kHz and 32 kHz, preventing critters from adapting and creating an inhospitable environment for nests.” It’s inaudible by larger animals like dogs, cats and humans. Humph! It does offer an LED power indicator and an audible test button, so there’s that. If I was a more skeptical person, I might think I just got taken for $38 and change. I have ordered other items from this company and they are reputable so I’m trusting that all is well.
Please pray that this is the end of the rodent renters. And, that I haven’t orphaned baby mice, only to die inside my car seat, to smell for all eternity.