Petrol, Yum Yum

The day had started calmly enough with Mike deciding to mow the lawn. Except that now there appeared to be a problem. The smell of petrol lay heavy on the air. Mike emerged from his shed and thrust a mangled piece of rubber tubing under my nose.  He didn’t seem best pleased. “NOW look….!!”

Not being familiar with the inner workings of a mower, I wasn’t able to identify precisely from whence it came, but the little teethmarks and resultant hole were unmistakable. It’s a shame really, because the mice have been very quiet of late. I had dared to hope that maybe, at last, they had seen the error of their ways and departed for pastures new. True, there is one still working the patch underneath the bird table. And then there are the alliums. Only two emerging from the 20 or so I planted out last year. But in terms of general scuttling about, activity has significantly reduced. Nevertheless, here we are again, back on the internet, trying to source new parts for yet another piece of garden kit. While daisies and buttercups take over the lawn.

What is it about petrol that mice find so appealing? The nobbled fuel line lies deep within the engine compartment. This time, the top off a Fairy Gel bottle will be of no use at all.


2017-11-13T20:48:51+00:00June 6th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. haggiz June 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Pesky mice! We have had a skip over the last couple of weeks to clear out our garage and shed and I found a beautiful nest on top of our pool table in the garage (buried under a pile of junk!) They had shredded wool, leaves, plastic bags and it was a work of art. Unfortunately they had also chewed a hole in the felt on the pool table which might make play interesting from now on! Julie x

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      They are little blighters Julie.

  2. countrysidetales June 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Oh dear.

    I’ve just seen our grass snake again. If children appear in the autumn I could post you a couple- I hear they are experts at managing mice populations 🙂

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      Yes please! Best not tell Mike though, he detests them..

  3. snowbird June 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Oh no!!! What a pain! We have a similar problem, both movers are now broke and daisies are ruling the roost here too!

    Here’s to getting movers repaired!!!xxxx

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Up to a point I quite like daisies… we will have a lawn au naturel for a while.

  4. Serendipity June 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    It’s amazing what they will destroy isn’t it! I’ve had some good leather gardening gloves chewed to bits and the netting tunnels stored in the shed developed holes last year. Not much use for the strawberries. 🙁 I even found a pile of hazelnut shells and chewed insulation under my car bonnet. Apparently the anti freeze tastes sweet! xx

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      It is amazing what they will eat. Most of the garden machinery now sports Heath Robinson type modifications for mouse protection.. hence the reference to Fairy Gel tops. They must have got through rolls of Duct Tape by now!

  5. lynda kling June 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    The anti freeze is poisonous to dogs and cats..I imagine mice as well…I can cope with the mice but we are in a rat infestation…the cats are trying but I have resorted to the rat poison. It is unfortunately the only thing that worked several years ago…the last straw was when one of the cats brought in 2 baby rats, ate one and the other ran off….
    I hope you manage to get the mice under control. They are getting to be expensive….

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      No, the rats have to go. You can’t be doing with them. Good luck Lynda!

  6. Denise June 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    When life gives you daisies…make daisy chains! And when life gives you buttercups….make, oh no, that wouldn’t work, would it? Pity…I expect butter made from buttercups would be a lot less calories than the real and very delicious thing!

    Bad mice! (Although I do have to say I like the smell of petrol. And fire lighters. P’raps there is a mouse gene in my DNA…dear Lord, they get everywhere, don’t they?!)

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      ! have never seen so many buttercups as here. We have a buttercup meadow. But at least we still have the strimmer. Er…. petrol driven strimmer.

  7. Vera June 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Ooops! Bet your man was none too pleased!

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      Smoke could be seen arising. It became a wine night. Trouble is, every night is becoming a wine night.

  8. Abby June 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Oh, no, poor you – what a bore! We used to have mice in the attic of our old cottage – they were so annoying, chewing half of one shoe, edges of leather-bound books, etc. I’m normally quite kind to animals, but I resorted to traps – they used to go off in the night and wake me up! (then I couldn’t sleep as I felt bad!)

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      The traps saga here is a long and sorry one Abby. I insisted on humane traps… until the mice worked out how to get in and out of the trap, and make off with the bait!

  9. Linda June 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Oh dear – what with slugs and now mice… guess the mowing won’t get done until it’s sorted. Slugs I could cope with, but naughty mice.. no way!

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      A bit like the squirrels, they always seem to be one step ahead of us!! It’s good for Mike’s creative development though, I’m sure he’ll come up with something cunning this time too. I’m just not quite sure what..

  10. frayed at the edge June 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Maybe you could make a paste of garlic and smother the mower in it, when you finish boiling up the brew to keep the slugs off the hostas ……

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      It could work… if nothing else, ours will be so socially unacceptable in mouse world they’ll never find a mate..

  11. Simone June 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Mike the inventor. He has to be. He has no choice!!! I wonder what solution he will come up with for fixing the mower?!!

    • Jessica June 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      I’ve no idea Simone. The worrying thing is, I’m not sure he knows either..

  12. Virginia June 7, 2013 at 2:42 am - Reply

    What about a tin-lined container like the old tea-chests to store equipment in… my father-in-law had a truck he’d brought back from the war that defeated the mice.

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

      They do work – we have some for smaller items. It’s the big equipment that’s still vulnerable and we do need to think about a more (mouse) secure solution. Some farmers over here use recycled shipping containers for storage, but a vintage truck sounds a much prettier option!

  13. Rosie June 7, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Oh, no! Those mice are a pain! I hope a solution to the problem is on the drawing board:)

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 10:47 am - Reply

      They certainly are. A proof of concept is under construction in the shed..

  14. Em June 7, 2013 at 11:07 am - Reply

    24 hours after last year’s service at our local garage, the car went into total meltdown. They told us a mouse had eaten through the fuel line which we were somewhat reluctant to believe given the timing, but perhaps they were right! The car is diesel though, whose smell is much less appealing surely?

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      I don’t understand why they seem to love petrol Em, so diesel wouldn’t surprise me either! All I can say is, I won’t be going near any of our mice with a naked flame. Kaboom.

  15. rachel June 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    It’s an unending battle with Nature, your life of rural bliss, isn’t it? Maybe a nice penthouse apartment in London next time?

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm - Reply


  16. Wendy June 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Mice can be annoying little critters, we had a similar problem here when they munched through the wiring in our trailer. We have less problems with mowing the lawn because our sheep do it! Perhaps just enjoy the daisies and the buttercups?

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      Enjoy the daises and buttercups and maybe borrow some sheep!

  17. starproms June 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear that the mice have been at it again. I would suggest you got one or two more cats to deal with that problem?

    • Jessica June 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Given where we are I think we will always have mice, cat or not. It will be a case of learning to live with them, and finding the best ways of damage limitation!

  18. Jeneane June 8, 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    This sounds very demoralising now. It makes me appreciate my Manx mouser. I’m in Oxford now and am noticing that people are more relaxed about their lawns, letting the daisies grow. I’m surprised and delighted that so many wildflowers are still in full flourish.

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

      There is a move towards less formality in gardens, having a wild area or two, for the benefit of wildlife.
      Welcome back to the UK Jeneane and have a great trip. You should have a good weekend weather wise, I hope!

  19. BadPenny June 8, 2013 at 9:29 am - Reply

    When my mother moved to North Wales, she left quite a few packing cases full of things in her garage. Years later, helping to clear out to move again I found the mice had been having a field day ( ha ! ) using capoc from stuffed toys to make their nests cosy !

    Sadly they’d got into the lovely old dressmaker’s dummy too as had the woodworm. Mum had a huge bonfire with the dummy on top like Guy Fawkes & all the grandchildren loved it.

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Great story Penny! Mice will take any opportunity 🙁

  20. jabblog June 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    It’s infuriating how the day you’ve planned is so often derailed – ‘the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’men gang aft a-gley’ 😉

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

      They do indeed!

  21. Jo June 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    That’s a new one on me, mice attracted to petrol, I didn’t know that. They’re proving to be very expensive mice.

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      They certainly are Jo. They’ve already chewed off the (petrol filled) priming bubbles on the Flymo, chainsaw and leaf blower. All of these bits are now protected, but we hadn’t considered the innermost workings of the mower..

  22. CherryPie June 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Maybe petrol is alcohol to mice?

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Now there is a thought..

  23. elaine June 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Is there anywhere the little divils can’t get to

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      I’m beginning to wonder..

  24. Sarah June 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Maybe it has been so quiet of late because they were planning their next assault!
    Sarah x

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      Oh dear. It has gone quiet again..

  25. Janet/PlantalisciousJ June 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I look forward to reading about what Mike comes up with the protect the mower, though I fear the mice are already plotting their next act of destruction, carefully planned to maximise inconvenience and irritation, whilst minimising opportunity to prevent recurrence. Jerry has a lot to answer for…

    • Jessica June 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      And as I recall Tom rarely, if ever, came out on top..

  26. ournewlifeinthecountry June 9, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

    They’re everywhere at the moment, as Archie our cat has found out, he’s bringing me at least one a day. He deposits them next to the washing machine, his contribution to the larder no doubt and then goes on to eat his Whiskas, obviously the mice aren’t the right flavour 🙂

    • Jessica June 9, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Oh no! The thrill is in the chase..

  27. woolythymes June 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    Had NO idea mice would eat petrol……anitfreeze, sure, but petrol. Surely it’s toxic??? Our mice population has been unnervingly quiet this year….I’m waiting to discover something really really bad. Ignorance is not always bliss.

    • Jessica June 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Just as long as your wool stash is safe.. Happy birthday!

  28. Natalie June 10, 2013 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Sure it wasn’t the dastardly squirrel?

    • Jessica June 10, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Oh lord. Can’t hang the mower from the bottom of the twirler either..

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