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Monday, October 20, 2003

Appliance Tip of the Day: Rodent Rage

appliance tip of the day archiveYep, it's gettin' frosty outside and all the little vermin are scrambling to come inside for a warm place to crap. Their beady little eyes are fixed on your house and they're quietly invading at night, while you and your loved ones are sound asleep. A favorite destination: your appliances.

I have repaired many appliances that have been damaged by mouse activity. For example, I recently repaired a fridge that was getting warm because the condenser fan was jammed by a mouse carcass!

The house mouse can live in homes its entire life and reproduce with amazing speed. A female mouse can begin bearing litters of six pups when she is 56 days old. If the offspring begin reproducing at the same time, that means almost 8,000 mice per year can result from one female mouse. That's a lot of rodents running around!

Mice can nest in walls, attics, cabinet space, and appliances, and can accumulate shredded paper and other soft material as bedding. These piles of nest material within the walls or under appliances can pose a fire hazard. Mice gnaw on just about anything; they can even chew through metal, concrete, and wall boards. These pernicious beasts have caused electrical fires by gnawing on wires.

In addition to posing a fire hazard, those cute, furry little critters carry a smorgasbord of diseases that can infect humans. House mice also are a major cause of asthma and allergic rhinitis in susceptible people.

No house is immune. This time of year, I always find evidence of rodent invasions while doing service calls. Most common hangouts: underneath your dishwasher, behind your range and beside your refrigerator's compressor.

Now is the time to take the offensive and terminate the invading hoard with extreme prejudice. Place boxes of Decon in the following key locations around your appliances: behind the refrigerator, underneath the dishwasher (behind the kickplates), behind the range, in the cabinet underneath the sink, and behind the dryer. While you're at it, inspect appliance power cords for damage from chewing.

Personally, I prefer those glue traps with just a dab of peanut butter added. No mouse on the planet can resist peanut butter. I usually only have to leave the trap out overnight and the next day there's a precious little furball-of-love, desperately struggling to get unstuck. But alas, they never quite make it to freedom before meeting their demise at the end of my hammer. The problem with Decon is that you never get to see the fruits of your labor. But using the glue traps, you get a wonderful sense of closure when that hammer falls.

You animal-rights weenies are probably frothing at the mouth about now, sputtering some typically vacuous comments about, "like, hey man, like, they live here, too, y'know?" I want to hear you say that as you're staring in disbelief at the smoldering embers that used to be your house which burned down due to mice chewing on the electrical wires behind the walls.

Awwite, load 'em up, Hoss. We got us some rodents to kill. Yee-haw!

grasshoppers sitting with the master happily munching on freshly caught mice

Samurai Appliance Repair Man cast these pearls at 23:07 ET.  [permalink]
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I just visited this very helpful site today to find out what's wrong with my spare fridge's temperature, after milk began souring way too fast. I found that the condenser/compressor cooling fan was not operating, although he compressor was running. I unplugged the unit and turned the fan blade by hand till it spun freely, then plugged it back in. The fan spun up and ejected a small, dried up mouse which managed to get wedged between the blades and the fan shroud, binding the fan motor. My first thought was that I finally discovered a "better mousetrap", but potentially at a high price. Afterwards, while waiting to see if the fridge would cool down properly, I revisited here to check the next step, in case the problem isn't completely rectified. I was amazed to see the tips about vermin here and now am convinced that the Samurai Folks have experienced it all!

By Anonymous GaryD, at June 29, 2005 6:14 PM  

We're still limping along on my hairbrained repairs to the hoses of a nice Maytag dishwasher that was attacked by RATS that moved in from a nearby creek. Took me nearly a month to get rid of 'em - it took them ONE DAY to go through two hoses to get at the water...flooded our parquet floor and ruined the sub-floor as well. Damn things!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 20, 2005 5:17 PM  

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