Harbor a family of mice over the winter: A four-step program

Nicholas Tillinghast/The Miscellany News.

I am currently housing 12-25 uninvited ladybugs on my ceiling at this time. They showed up sometime during Fall Break, and they have not left. I kinda like them, though. We’re like a friend group, me and the 17 ladybugs on my ceiling. They’re helpful guys that eat a lot of uncool insects, which is surprising because out of all insects I know, ladybugs are the most shaped like a soccer ball and soccer balls don’t eat insects. The bugs mostly just chill on the ceiling, except that one time when one crawled into my empty water pitcher. That wasn’t cool.  

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t want ladybugs in my room—I want mice,” which is a common thought. Luckily, I have a few tricks down my collar to help you out. 

I’m gonna run you through a four-step program for housing mice over the winter that you can remember through the acronym “BLOW,” which you can remember by using the mnemonic, “It would BLOW if I don’t have any mice this winter.”      

Step 1: Bring in the Ants  

A lot of people, when they say to themselves, “I want mice,” forget this initial step. Don’t forget it. You need to have ants in your room to increase the Mouse Affability Score (MAS) of your room. Every room has a MAS based on a number of factors, such as availability of food, mouse-friendly layout and general vibe. Most rooms are actually quite high at around five, which is generally unwelcoming to mice as the MAS is a descending scale with a high of six and a low of negative one. I can help you get down to a negative one.  

When it comes to bringing in ants, it’s a well-known fact that ants love Gatorade Zero, so it’s generally pretty effective to just leave a cap filled with it on the floor, I’ve found. If one ant finds it, the rest of them are sure to retrace that ant’s steps to get to that sweet nectar. Medium ant presence can decrease your MAS by at least half a point. Most people don’t realize that ants and mice actually get along very well. They get along better than those gators with dirty teeth and the birds that clean them, a process which is “similar to flossing” as Northwood Dental of Clearwater, FL explained via Facebook on June 3, 2020 at 9:44 a.m. To put it simply, mice like ants sort of like how humans like Bingo. 

 Step 2: Lure mice 

In my experience, the magic number for an indoor ant population is 226. If you count any more than that, open your window and move the subsidiary ants outside. They will have to find their own way in the world. Now in this second step, you need to continue creating mouse-friendly fixtures. Mice love Sports Illustrated, especially when Tom Brady is in it. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why this is, but many theorize that they like his “winner’s mentality.” 

 Once Sports Illustrated is introduced along with the ants, the MAS will have decreased by at least two points, suggesting a high potential for mouse inclusion. This is when the initial mouse arrives, in which case you should provide them with bolognese sauce and noodles, a mouse treat. When the mouse returns to its family, they will discuss the bolognese sauce. If it’s discussed favorably, four to six mice will soon be active in your room. At this point, you should inform any roommates that four to six mice will be active in your room.    

Step 3: Open up a relationship

This is when you really start to engage with the mice. I recommend obtaining a family of mice because then there’s a better chance that one of them will exhibit “Stuart Little intangibles.” Provide them with little clothes and see if they wear them like people do. Now, you might be saying, “Nick, canonically, Stuart Little is not a mouse but a boy who was born incredibly small and has a significant number of mouse-like features.” What I would say to that is that “Stuart Little” is a book, and this is real life.

Something you can do with your mice friends is watch “Breaking Bad.” The tight writing and dark atmosphere of the show are sure to envelop them for all six seasons over the course of the winter. 

Step 4: Wish them well

Hopefully, the winter was a joyous and fruitful experience for you and your mice compadres. This last step is the hardest. Winter will eventually end. The sun will return, and you will cry when you have to return four mice back into the real world. Mice are weak creatures. Whenever I look at Chuck E. Cheese, I never think, “This mouse has really got it together.” They need people like you to help them out. Tell yourself, “They will remember me.” Chances are you will never see them again as they scurry away, but as they say in show business, a mouse never forgets.   

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