Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

someone is moving into my heating vent

mice find sanctuary at the sanctuary too

mice find sanctuary at the sanctuary too

I was going to write a post about the upcoming holidays, and the corresponding increase in hits to my blog by people searching “thanksgiving turkey”, but I can’t concentrate on that right now.

I can hear an animal scurrying in my heating vent. Or maybe it is a duct. It is something that he or she can scurry through, and I can hear the little nails scuffling along the metal of whatever it is that they’re crawling through. At one point I swear it sounded like they were dragging something like a leafy tree branch inside.

I’m in a condo. I can’t even imagine where the little furry is coming from, or how they got inside.

My cat is hugely entertained, of course.

And if I ask anyone here (in my building) for advice, I know I’m not going to like their replies! Oh, they’re all animal lovers, they have assured me many times. But they mean they’re cat and dog lovers. Guinea pigs maybe too. Definitely not all-inclusive.

I’ll ask at the sanctuary too (my guaranteed weekly time with vegans in real life), but for now, anyone have any advice? I have a feeling there is a nest being built. And actually, I’m not sure they’re limited to the heating duct I’d swear they were first in. There seems to be at least two of them, and I’d swear they’re working together.

Pinky and the Brain, maybe, finally escaped from that lab?

Why me?

Oh, right, because I won’t kill them.

Advice please!


5 responses to “someone is moving into my heating vent

  1. Kelvin Kao November 6, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Yeah, seriously I don’t really know what to do in these situations. A mouse would usually run away too, if you spook it, but what about something like ants? I really don’t want to kill them, but if they keep crawling around in the sink and wouldn’t leave, then, well…

  2. kelly g. November 6, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    When I moved into my last rental place, we had a moderate mouse problem. The house had sat vacant for roughly a year while my landlords did some improvements, giving the mice plenty of time to move in from the surrounding fields and farmland.

    Here are a few articles I wrote about humane mouse control last year:
    1 – How to Tell If There’s a Mouse in Your House
    2 – How to Mouse-Proof Your House: A Natural, Humane, and Effective Form of Pest Control
    3 – Spare the Snap-Trap and Have Mercy on the Mice: A Guide to “Catch-and-Release” Mouse Traps

    Assuming it is a mouse or rat, I had really good luck with the semi-transparent green plastic mouse houses – but you need to check them at least once a day. If I remember correctly, they were like $5 or $8 apiece. And of course they have larger live catch traps for larger animals, but those are more expensive (and may not fit where you need them to go, either).

    Of course, you’ll have to figure out how to get in the duct 🙂 “My” mice were mostly in the basement, closets and cabinets so they were easy to see and get to.

  3. haldana November 7, 2008 at 5:01 am

    I had a mouse last year that I refused to kill. I got sort of used to him. He would only come out when I was being quiet, maybe he’s snoop around the kitchen, and then he’d go back into his hole behind the refrigerator. But one day I figure out he was also hanging out in a hallway closet, so I’d wait for him to be in there and try to trap him under an old shoebox so I could set him free. Once, I cornered him in the closet and he darted around while I remained somehow unable to get the shoebox over him. He finally scurried back into the kitchen, and I never saw him after that. Must have scared him away, poor guy.

  4. Deb November 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    @ Kelvin, it seems every year at different points in the summer I have ants that give my kitchen a try. Since they tend to focus on my cat’s food dish area (she is an extremely messy eater, so the area around her dish is a prime spot for crumbs), I have learned to circle the feet of the raised dish with cinnamon. I’ve heard others say that ants aren’t deterred by this, which I find amazing, and doubtful. You have to do more than sprinkle it lightly, of course, but a solid line of cinnamon completely stops ants. I’ve sat and watched them try over and over, and finally give up. That solves only one part of the problem, of course, but for a non-toxic non-lethal ant deterrent, I highly recommend cinnamon!

    @ Kelly, thanks so much for linking in your posts about this! I haven’t heard them tonight, so I am still at step 1. I first thought last night that they were squirrels, but then I decided they didn’t sound large enough. But what do I know? And yes, there is still the problem of finding them!

    @ haldana, that’s cool that you were able to just let him be! They are so fast. There are a bunch of tiny mice at the sanctuary barns, and I swear they are fast enough to completely disappear between when I click the shutter release, and when the shutter actually releases! And this is on a SLR, so there’s no delay! lol. In my situation, though, I’d worry about my cat, the neighbors, and whether I could turn on the heat if someone is living in the heating duct.

  5. Gary November 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve always liked the advice given by the Wildlife Rescue League (, based in northern Virginia. Always humane, respectful, reasonable, and “pro-life” in the vegan sense of the word.

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