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September 26, 2020

The Adventures of Stink Mouse

One problem with living in a house that is 110 years old is that it isn’t sealed completely from the outside world. Most years around the start of fall we have mice trying to move in. I have caught several in the last couple weeks. For the past couple of days, however, I have been picking up the hints of decaying—I have a dead mouse I cannot find. The smell has been getting stronger so I started looking deep into my setup to find Stink Mouse.

When I build the Wyvern ’s Haunt in 2013 we were renting the house. Unable to make structural changes to the house I designed my setup to be temporary. The black walls are painted canvas and my shelves are supported by 2x4 connected to ceiling joists and existing boards on the walls. I’ve thought about making a more permanent setup but Stink Mouse has pushed this plan into high gear.

My first task was to remove the shelving on the west wall. Once removed I began to examine the wall and the ceiling and rim joists. Fiberglass insulation had been installed against the rim joist. Mice had burrowed and made nests in this and much of the insulation was either mulched or gone and very little was intact. It is clear they quite enjoyed the insulation as a living space and had for some time.

All of this insulation needs to go. The rim joist should not have fiberglass insulation anyway as it can trap moisture against the wood joist and cause rot. So I fired up the my trusty canister vacuum and cleaned the entire section out.

The wall itself had some 2x4 mounted with holes for pegs. There was also an outlet I never used. All of this was removed. The plan is to insulate the rim joist and wall before putting the shelving back. The basement can get pretty cold in the winter, and having some insulation will help my heater run less.