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Mice and the dish drying rack?

I have an annoying history of mice in my 19th century townhouse. It seems that they were eradicated with a few snap traps and foam around all of the pipes behind the stove. However, since Thanksgiving they have returned. They have usually been in the kitchen, however tonight I arrived home to find a little mouse curled up in a ball on a tshirt on the arm of the couch right near the front door taking a little cat nap (bad joke). I was able to trap him and release outside, but now that I've officially seen them outside of the kitchen they need to go! Most days I wash and dry dishes on the drying rack, and usually only use the dishwasher on the weekends when we tend to cook more and load it up. Of course all the dishes placed on to the drying rack are presumably clean but I imagine the little buggers can smell even a minimal food-related scent. I have yet to see any droppings under the rack, but last time I had to deal with the rodents most of the droppings seemed to accumulate underneath the rack. I have a dishwasher but as there is only two of us I don't and don't really want to run it everyday. I thought perhaps I should get rid of it in case the water run off is helping to attract the critters, but then I would have to hand dry all of the dishes which while we don't usually have enough in a day for a full load of the dishwasher, the number of dishes at a single meal is many more than I'd like to hand dry. Has anyone found that the drying rack was an attractant? If not, I'll stick with my arsenal of traps and see if that gets them.

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  1. When my son was in 4th grade they had to do a diorama about something having to do with native America. So we put together a GREAT one, including little dried anchovies over a phantom fire and it was quite the beautiful diorama. But when we picked it up to take it to school, a mouse or mice had gobbled up all the carefully placed fish over the faux fire. The little buggers had even chewed up the string they hung on. Well, the bag of dried fish had more, but it was weird having to re-hang them. I figured the mice would be equal to some other animal in real life- raccoons? beavers? Foxes? anyway, he got a good grade, but jeez.

    1. Why not let the clean dishes dry in the dishwasher instead?

      1 Reply
      1. re: holypeaches

        Ooh, never thought of that, good idea!

      2. Why wouldn't you call in a pro to both get rid of the critters and find where they might be getting inside????? Chosing between the dish rack and the dishwasher isn't really the issue.

        7 Replies
        1. re: zippypinhead

          Well, I contacted my landlord and I think that they should deal with it and coordinate with an exterminator as I'm renting so technically they should help me out. They have always been very responsive and helpful in the past. If not, I imagine I'll have to get an exterminator myself but would rather avoid the personal cost.

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            I'd say if you get no response from the landlord, call in an exterminator to take care of the rodent situation, and then deduct the cost from your rent. To me this home sounds un-inhabitable and an unhealthy living environment and I would not hesitate to take immediate action if the lardlord doesn't respond.

            Next course of action would be to contact a city health inspector or a city official to get this taken care of. Your landlord won't be making any money on rent if the home is condemned. You have renter's rights and must stand your ground.

            1. re: Novelli

              But if it's a townhouse, the mice may be invading more houses than yours.

              1. re: Novelli

                I have yet to hear from them which is highly unusual so I assume they must be out of town or something but the mice have to go so an exterminator it is.

                1. re: Novelli

                  "To me this home sounds un-inhabitable"

                  Because of mice? I have lived in 10 homes in my life. I am sure that three never had any mice and I'm probably wrong about those three.

                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    Well, this isn't the first time mice have popped up in fldhkbnva's home. Already stated the manager "fixed it" once before.

                    You forgot the rest of the quote.
                    "To me this home sounds un-inhabitable and an unhealthy living environment and I would not hesitate to take immediate action if the lardlord doesn't respond."

                    Not just because of the multiple issues with mice, but also because of a landlord that rather do half-assed, mickey mouse (pun intended) fix ups than actually have it handled by a professional. Who knows what other half-assed repairs have been done. It's an unsanitary situation that continues to be a burden on the renter and has the potential to become a bigger issue for the other tenants in near by homes.

                    But, I guess that's just my opinion on the matter. Personally, I wouldn't tolerate it.

                    1. re: Novelli

                      Yup, still waiting to hear from the landlord though they did cash my most recent rent check so I guess they are still on the planet somewhere close to the mailbox. Exterminator will be called. I know this is not a good situation but hate taking on this expense since I do feel it is their responsibility but oh well

            2. I had a mouse problem a few years ago and found a gadget at the hardware store called the Rat Zapper. You bait it with dry cat food. It's battery operated, the minute the mouse steps on the metal plate inside it's history. Caught about five the first week and haven't seen a sign of one since. (Had cats at the time, not a danger unless you have small kittens who could get through the opening.) Your question is interesting... do you live in a dry climate? I've lived in a NJ farmhouse, apartment over a bakery in Boston's North End, and my current location in Cambridge... all with the occasional mouse, but never any sign of droppings near the drain board.

              6 Replies
              1. re: pasuga

                Ooh, very nice! I am planning a trip to Home Depot this week to see if they have any other options. The last time I visited the lovely salesperson told me "oh, there's nothing you can do." Others have been more helpful so perhaps I'll be lucky enough to run into one of them. The last time the snap traps worked like a charm, now it seems they are walking right past them. Also, last time they seemed to be isolated to either side of the kitchen counter and always seemed to emerge from the stove, but now that they have expanded horizons I am not sure where to place the traps.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  Just googled rat zapper and Home Depot was the first listing that came up. Hope it works for you!

                  1. re: pasuga

                    I can also attest for the electronic ones. They are more expensive, but much more effective and less messy.

                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                    You might to try going to an Ace Hardware or the likes (Orchard Supply if you live on the west coast) instead of Home Depot. I've found the folks at Aces are much more helpful, many of them are retired contractors.

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      Thanks for the tip, my father actually loves Ace Hardware and has had the same experience with them. Luckily, a new store just opened in my neighborhood last monght.

                      1. re: juliejulez

                        I try to do all my hardware shopping at Ace. The level of knowledge at the big box places has dropped considerably. Ace always has someone who knows the answer to my problem.

                        Their housewares department usually has hard to find gaskets and out of season canning supplies too.

                  3. Our household is also just 2. We run the dishwasher every 2 or 3 days.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: KarenDW

                      Yea, the problem is the dishes in the dishwasher for 2 or 3 days will attract the mice.

                      1. re: KarenDW

                        we do the same. I have not seen or suspected mice in our dishwasher, but we generally close the door pretty firmly.

                        1. re: jujuthomas

                          Only a 2-person household, also, but we at least run the "rinse" cycle to get rid of the food particles and food smells. Probably run the full cycle just every 2-3 days.