I don’t think that the importance of keeping your food stores safe from all sorts of vermin has been discussed here on this forum. I really never thought about it truthfully. I have been gathering long term stores, inventorying them, rotating my stock, refreshing my water every 6 months and fleshing out my medical kits and emergency lighting. I have faithfully vac packed my pasta, my matches and boxes of oatmeal. My grains are in 5 gallon buckets and my flour is in a bin with a lid that closes tightly with a snap and a seal. I have avoided cardboard containers for everything except holding my #10 cans where I have not built or bought shelving yet. BUT, two weeks ago, I found a bag of rice crackers in the room adjacent to my larder/storeroom with a small, thumbnail sized hole at the bottom and some of the contents missing! I checked and in the kitchen and yup, you guessed it a cereal box with the same little round hole…. I started looking harder and found little black turds along the floor at the baseboards between my kitchen and my storeroom. MICE!!!!
Now, let me be quick to say, I live in suburbia, in a nice home, grass kept manicured, school buses run back and forth by the front of my house, etc. Bottom line is……. mice are something that we are used to dealing with in the country. My grandparents’ farm had mousetraps, the barn had barn cats to keep the mice down, we kept horse feed in galvanized trashcans with tight fitting lids…. that was where we had and dealt with MICE, not my home in the ‘burbs!!!!
Long story short, I went by Tractor Supply, got traps and appropriated my husband’s jar of peanut butter and have thus far dispatched two of the little buggers. Thankfully they were small mice and not rats, but IF I can have mice in my storage room, then I am assuming that anyone can. I found where I think they came in…. the dryer vent that is open to the outside and I have since mouse proofed that with 1/4″ hardware cloth screening, but these little buggers can even come in through the garage door, etc.
I think mouse proofing, or critter proofing your hard earned supplies should be a topic that is discussed. Things in Mylar are not safe from gnawing teeth, cardboard is not safe, anything in store containers of plastic is not safe from contamination and theft and let’s face it, mice breed, well, like mice. With an abundant supply of food, thanks to us preppers, their numbers will explode if not found and eradicated early. I think we are more used to thinking about bug infestations and not so used thinking about rodents.
Mouse Proofing might be a good issue to explore both for awareness that mice can “happen” anywhere and secondly, how to deal with them if you even suspect they are in your food stores. It could make for a lively discussion. 🙂
Thanks for your ear.