Terrible news! The cauliflowers and brussel sprouts that I’ve been growing up for the last two months and just this week planted out into my hugel mounds have come under attack. Mice have wreaked havoc once again and at least a third of my precious brassicas were lost in one night. You can tell it was mice from the very particular way the fresh new leaves have been munched back to the stem but the stem itself is left intact- it’s the rodent version of not eating the crusts on your bread.
Our response to this incursion has to be swift and the counter attack many pronged.
Firstly, our new campo cat Winter is finally deployed. After spending weeks behind bars while we tamed him and bribed him to like us, he is now roaming free. The dogs seem to like him just fine and he hangs about in the mornings and evenings wailing to be fed so I think we did good. He sure looks beautiful and I love how confident he is strutting about the place. May he bring death to mice.
Secondly we bought this horrible gadget that makes a noise that is apparently death to mice. I actually don’t mind it too much, I mostly can’t hear it but every now and again it makes a very efficient little robot noise and it makes me feel like I’ve got a high tech ally in this rodent war.
Thirdly, and the reason for this entire ramble, is my homemade extra savage chilli and mint Good Bye Mouse organic garden spray. Last year something magic happened with the chillis and they just kept coming and kept coming and kept coming until we thought perhaps we won’t have to grow chillis for the next ten years because we have so many. This year I’m using those dried chillis in my chemical warfare against the mice. Here’s how to make your own Good Bye Mouse.
100-300g Fresh or dried chilli
Handful of mint leaves
Peppermint essential oil.
1. Cut, crush, or otherwise break up the chillis and the mint. I used my blender.
2. Add the ingredients to a watering can if using all at once, or to a storage container.
3. Add 35 drops of peppermint essential oil.
4. Give it a good shake.
We have a lot of these awful plastic bottles to take to the recycling bin 45mins away so I’ve gotten quite good at using them as replacements for things we’d otherwise have to buy. In this case I’m making my own little Good Bye Mouse dispenser like this;
1. Get yourself a standard metal BBQ skewer and heat the end on your stove.
2. Make little holes in the lid.
3. Put the lid on, turn upside down, sprinkle!