I did a lot of maintenancy stuff this weekend.
I have a room that's exterior to the rest of the house. It can only be entered from outside, and doesn't have heating or electricity, even.
When I had insulation done this spring (along with the roofing), they re-insulated the room (so that it doesn't cool the area it's attached to during winter). It had a hole to the outside, a tiny one, but big enough to mean the old insulation was providing a lot of housing for way too many mice. So they took out the insulation, did spray caulk and sealed stuff up, and voila, no mice.
Until yesterday. The wood wall has a lovely round hole, just about mouse size, just under the second story. I noticed it because there was insulation fluff on the ground nearby, and I looked up, and there was the hole. I need to get the handyman out to fix the rotten wood. In the meanwhile, I want to discourage more mice.
So I went to my favorite hardware store. It's one of those old neighborhood hardware stores where the people running it seem happy to chat and answer questions. I described my problem to the guy at the counter, who consulted another guy, and then consulted the old guy who seems to own the place, and the concensus was not to try to caulk or seal it that way, but to stuff the hole with as much steel wool as I could. The theory is that mice hate steel wool, and won't want or be able to use it for nesting material, or want to next in it. I also got some spearmint-smelling stuff that's supposed to discourage mice, too.
I got the ladder out, and then went into the room and banged at the area with a stick to make a lot of noise, but I didn't see any mice, or any sign that there were mice hanging out there. (Before, in spring, you could see the mice behind the vapor barrier. Ugh.) Then I went out, dropped one of the spearmint bag things in the hole, and then stuffed more than half the package of steel wool in.
I hope it keeps the mice out until the handyman can come.
I hate mice in my house unless they're pets.
That and grading, and a really lovely bike ride, some dog sitting, and the weekend is gone.