Pepino Returns

After dealing with several mice in the house, we were finally convinced that we had succeeded in getting rid of them. We hadn’t seen or heard a mouse in weeks.

And then, on Saturday night, I walked into the kitchen to see Pepino scurrying across the floor to disappear under the refrigerator. Damn.

Bob said he’d known there was a hole in the wall near the floor back there, but hadn’t gotten around to sealing it, even when he sealed the larger hole behind the stove. We pulled out the fridge, and sure enough, there was a hole plenty large enough to serve as a mouse doorway.

Bob wasn’t sure he had anything on his workbench suitable for covering the hole, and really didn’t want to get started on a construction job late at night. So at my suggestion, we filled the gap with crumpled aluminum foil. We have not seen or heard a mouse since then, but I’m not ready to believe we’ve solved the problem.

The big question: did we eradicate the mice last month, until a new mouse found a way in when the weather got cold last week? Or was the mouse here all along, but laying low?

Our seemingly mouse-free weeks roughly coincided with a period of warmer weather between cold spells — which gives credence to the first theory, since mice tend to sneak inside when temperatures drop outdoors.

On the other hand, they also coincide with the weeks our son was away at school before coming home for the weekend. Last month, his bedroom was the mouse’s favorite hangout. If the mouse stayed mostly in there while Jon was away, we would be less likely to have seen or heard it, since we’re seldom in there when Jon is away. Maybe his return forced the little guy out into the open.

So now we wait. Is Pepino hiding out in Jon’s room, snacking on whatever crumbs he dropped over the weekend that we missed when we cleaned up after his visit home? Is Pepino trapped inside the wall behind the fridge, after we blocked the entry point? Or did Pepino make his way outside through some Yet-to-be-discovered-by-humans passageway from the Great Outdoors, only to return the next time the temperature drops?

Stay tuned.

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