Mouse house

Mice moved into this vehicle over the winter. While they’ve since been removed, their smell has stayed, and stayed, and stayed.

The mouse that scurried from out the hole by my front porch to underneath the hydrangea plant caught my attention. A second mouse that did the same thing piqued my interest.

The third mouse?

Now I was annoyed.

I went into garage, baited two brand new mouse traps, and then went to the hole by the porch.

Within 10 minutes, I had caught one of the mice. A second mouse ran to the trap the first mouse had been caught in and stood on top of it.

Like Simba in “The Lion King,” this mouse was mocking me.

“Danger?” he looked to be saying. “Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger.”

I’m pretty sure I caught that mouse the next day.

Who is to blame?

In hindsight, the hole by my front porch may have been created by the garter snake I removed at the start of summer.

Had the snake still been there, the mice may have stayed away.

While writing this, I Google searched garter snake. The first entry said garter snake is a common name for the nearly harmless, small- to medium-sized snakes belonging to the genus Thamnophis.

But I didn’t remove the snake because it was “nearly harmless,” I removed the snake because my hunting dog was obsessed with it. She would sit for hours waiting for it to poke its head up from crack that separated the porch from the sidewalk.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a hunting dog interested in snakes. My vet friend, and hunting partner, concurs.

I removed the snake and the mice moved in... until I moved them out.

Last laugh

With my older daughter working and my youngest daughter driving to swim practice, the need for a fourth vehicle outweighed the hassle of having a fourth vehicle.

All last summer, I jockeyed cars in the driveway as if I were a valet driver. If the cars weren’t parked just right, we’d have an accident. Accidents in the driveway are embarrassing, and I’m speaking from experience.

When my older daughter returned to school last fall, I decided to store the truck no one wanted to drive in the driveway at the cabin.

I used it to take the pontoon out of the lake in October and then drove it once in November and once again in December.

When snows socked it in, I forgot about it.

In April, I packed a portable charger and got it running again.

But something wasn’t right. I didn’t remember leaving shreds of paper in the center console; didn’t remember the shredded napkins on the back seat and most certainly didn’t remember the smell.

A different family of mice had been calling my truck home.

I cleaned it the best I could, but couldn’t find the mouse, or mice, or remove the smell.

In June, I was so convinced mice were still living in the vehicle that I set a trap on the back floorboard.

I caught a mouse a couple weeks later. While that’s exactly what I wanted to do, that’s not exactly what I wanted to do.

Besides, who traps mice in their vehicles?

On Monday, I brought the truck to a mechanic to have the rear breaks replaced (I had been hearing a squeaking noise). I warned him about the smell.

When he called with an estimate, I asked about the mouse smell.

“Oh, I smell it,” he said, “but I don’t think it’s alive.”

Used truck for sale?

Sports editor

Dan Huss covers Eden Prairie sports and especially loves reporting on sports features and outdoors-related adventures. He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Marnie, daughters Aili and Britt, and Wilma, a pheasant-finding Deutsch Drahthaar.

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