Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

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If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.

Mouse in the House?

question.gif - 1.4 K We just returned from some winter traveling and discovered that our house had a lot of activity in it while we were gone. We arrived home to find mouse poop all over our kitchen counter. Do you have a cat I could borrow? Seriously, though, if/when I catch the little guy(s), is it okay to put them outside in such cold weather? (It's highs in the single digits for us this week -- Brrrrrrr!)

answer.gif - 1.3 K Yes, of course you may borrow one of our cats, but I doubt they'll be of much help. When we had a solitary field mouse here years ago, our cats sat in wait for it. However, when the mouse finally crossed their path they didn't even notice -- they were totally clueless! I suppose they're true vegans at heart....

My guess is that you have more than one mouse. Set several humane, box-type traps and check them frequently. We've found that a nice piece of breakfast cereal is less messy than using peanut butter as a lure, and just as effective. Once caught, mice become very frightened and, because of their high metabolism, they can get hungry and thirsty very quickly. When you find one in the trap, release her/him at least 50 to 100 yards from your home, or further. You can always take the mice in the car with you and release them a mile or so away. If you release them too close to your home, they will undoubtedly find their way back. Don't worry about it being too cold for them outside. The outdoors is their natural home, and they will find a place to burrow and stay warm.

Mice need food, water, and shelter, and evidently they found them at your home. Here are some important tips to keep in mind to discourage a future invasion:

  • Make sure all water faucets are turned off and none are dripping. Wipe off the area around sinks and countertops and check to make certain they are dry.
  • Make sure all potential entry holes are plugged or sealed. Most mice that get into homes are very tiny and can fit through astonishingly small openings.
  • Make sure NOTHING is accessible to them. In other words, put ALL your flours, grains, cereals, crackers, cookies, bread, pasta, sugar, and so on, in airtight containers, canisters, or jars. Mice can smell quite keenly and have surprisingly sharp teeth. When we had an invasion, the mice ate through our unopened cereal boxes, bags of rice crackers, and -- incredibly! -- through sealed aseptic packages of nondairy milk!!!!

If your home is free of easy-to-get food and water and the entry holes are closed, the mice won't return. Well, they may come back once or twice (if they can get in) just to check and see how good a job you've done trying to keep them out. If you've done your homework, they'll move on.

The mice who invaded our house (and we had zillions of them!!!) ate particularly well. They devoured everything we had that was organic (they especially enjoyed the organic chocolate rice milk!). We now have everything in metal tins, mason jars, and plastic bins with tight lids. We also purchased an ultrasonic repellant, but I could have sworn I saw the mice down in our pantry dancing to the beat. I'm not sure these ultrasonic machines do any good (although when they are on the audible setting they are particularly annoying to humans!), but it may be worth a try in addition to everything else.




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