I moved into my first single dwelling home about 5 years ago. To say it wasn't a journey would be an understatement.
The house was not perfect. It was built in the 1860's and as I found out much of the structure was still in place. The main beam in the basement was a tree. The main beams in the roof were trees. The roof was a series of planks with live edges. The main floor structure was hewn from logs where you could still see the saw marks.
This past year it has undergone a major renovation. The main floor was stripped to the studs, the floor coverings were ripped up and eventually the entire back of the house was removed and replaced. It has been a labour of love.
Along the way we found other residents in the house. The kind that squeak and hide under things. The renovations chased them out of the house. Let's face it, it was warmer at the neighbours than it was here. The house at the best of times was around 60F and was fairly breezy. Taking up residence in other homes in the neighbourhood was much better. More places to hide and no cat that could catch you at a moments notice.
Well that was until the other day. Boudicca, the cat, found a chipmunk, from where I have found out was in the basement. She brought it upstairs to play with. The poor thing then had the cat and the dog chasing it around the house. It did escape 2 days later without becoming dinner.
I thought great chippy is outside nothing to worry about. Then I was downstairs yesterday and Boudicca's tail was flicking, she was crouched and ready to pounce. She leapt up and found a spot between the foundation wall and the ceiling in the basement. I listened and you could hear the chipmunk alarm system going off.
Needless to say I started the process to make this home undesirable. The furnace filter has peppermint oil on it. When the heat comes on it sends the fragrance of peppermint throughout the house. I have swatches of old cloth with peppermint oil where the chipmunk alarm was being sounded. I also placed others throughout the basement. As a second line of defence I plugged in some of those sonic rodent blasters that make it better to live somewhere else. And finally for those that really do not want to leave I placed a live multi-catch mouse trap on the floor with some peanut butter. Boudicca is on patrol to help lend them a hand in leaving.
Some may ask "Why Peppermint Oil?". It is a natural deterrent for rodents, spiders, ants and other crawly things. They do not like the smell of it. It does not kill them it helps them to make a decision not to set up house. If they are already in the house it helps to have a cat.
Little furry residents are sometimes part of the adventure of living in an older house.