Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Biggest Threat To A Prepper

The biggest threat to a prepper is not the zombies charging down the street to pillage your stash. It is not your so called neighbors and friends while you are away. It is not the government making tougher restrictions on how you live. It is not even a natural disaster. Why, it is because we are prepared for all those sorts of things. The biggest threat and most devastating thing to a prepper is simply a little ole mouse.
    This little creature can ruin just about everything you have worked for before you even realize it.
Food storage's are a mouses Walmart. Once they find it, it's over. They tell all their friends and family and before long you are overrun.  Traps, Cats and Poisons are fine where applicable, but it will not keep them all away all the time. You might even think you are rid of them and then the next time you reach in and grab that fresh loaf of homemade bread, you find a hole eaten all the way through it. 
What's that old saying, "If you build it they will come." Well I say, "If you store it they will come." Now with cooler temperatures, the mice are looking for a warmer environment. They are coming out of the fields to your storage room full of all those goodies.   
There is nothing worse then having to throw away good food because it was not stored correctly. If you find bags or boxes that have been chewed open and some of it's contents are gone, I would not chance it unless I was starving and just throw the whole thing away. I am not going to risk getting sick eating from where a mouse was or happen to peed on.

If you are already going through the effort of storing food, then why not protect your investment with a little more effort. The best way I have found is plastic buckets. You can get them free from the grocery store if you ask, I get mine from the bakery department. They are the small buckets that the icing came in. Leaving the food in the packages, I can put almost six months supply of elbow macaroni in one of those.  This goes the same with everything else that comes in a package. It does make rotation a little harder, but it's worth it. Just label the bucket and your set. They also stack easy so you can have more room for other things.

These little buckets are also great for making up a survival cache. By placing the essentials in it for a weeks worth of meals they are great to take on road trips just in case. Plus if "It" did happen and your friends come knocking, you can give them a bucket of food so you are not taking away from your storage and your family. Just a thought.   

The box foods don't fit too well in a bucket so I use totes. It is more of a pain to do this with the box foods because you can only see the tops of the box, but it's better then throwing them away because of a hungry critter. Date the box tops so with a quick glace you can see what's for dinner that night.
This is the same for all the breads. A tote with small holes drilled into it holds all the bread and keeps it fresh and everything else away.

If you never had a problem like this then that's great. It will happen though and unless you want to waste food, money and time then I suggest taking the extra time to protect your investment. 

22 comments:

  1. There were record breaking ice storms our last winter in Indiana. (one reason it was our LAST winter in Indiana) and the field mice invaded in droves. They did the unthinkable and pilfered my Cheetos. They were prepper mice, because I found stockpiles under furniture and in the cabinets. They even ate our toothpaste and my estrogen cream! At least they had shiny coats and white teeth....and orange paws.

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    1. Thanks for sharing LJ,
      There has to be a joke in there somewhere.

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    2. Keep looking bud. I have faith in your ability to find a laugh, with a post like this!

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  2. MDR,

    Food grade buckets are a blessing. May I also suggest using Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to help with packing food in buckets.
    Great post, thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks Sandy,
      I do not unpackage anything I put in the buckets. I don't use the mylar bags because of the expense. I just throw the rice or whatever still in the package right in the bucket. I have some I have done that with over two years ago and they are still fine, but that only works for small to medium packages. If you buy in bulk, like a 50 pound sack of rice or wheat then yes, you need to store it the way you said.

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  3. The wife is another threat. Mine decided to toss out some packages of pancake mix and biscuit mix. Lucky for me they are sealed in plastic. I popped my cork. They returned to the cupboard. I guess I need to hide them. lol

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    1. I have eaten that stuff as old as three years and still it made a great tasting pancake. Hold her to fire Rob.

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  4. lotta joy, if those mice ate your estrogen cream, you probably helped to fertilize an extra generation of them!!!!
    I just wish it was easier to find square food grade buckets--stuff seems to fit easier in them--but they are hard to find.

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    1. April, That is why I leave the food in the box or package. That way I can use whatever I want to store them in, food grade or not. I think all that is an expense that is not needed unless you buy in huge quantities.
      Thanks for the comment.

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    2. April, thank god there weren't any viagra pills in the house!

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  5. MDR. buddy, this was the funniest prepping post i have read in a while - good job there! as amazing as it sounds - we really don't have any probs with mice - just the voles that our cats bring in as treats to be rewarded for - arghghghgh! but anything that isn't in a bottle or a jar or plastic container - it goes into a bucket! we have a hidey hole that stores about 50 5 gallon buckets and they are stuffed to the gills.

    anyway - really funny and important post. is next august still good for you and C?

    much love to you and yours! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. I needed to talk about something other than chili kymber. I am sure everyone is sick of hearing about it and this was all I could come up with.
      We sure are.

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  6. And always ensure that the lid is on really tight - mice can squeeze through a hole that is only as wide as a standard pencil...!

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    1. That is true Dani, Thanks for the addition.

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  7. Mice will chew through buckets, especially ones that have food not in Mylar. They can smell there is food inside.

    Beware of pantry moths. Food must be in airtight containers used buckets may not have a good seal. Rubbermaid bins sure don't.

    I opened the cabinet to get out Raising Bran that was in a box and had that great, thick liner. The liner bag was full of moths. This was not food storage, just a great deal for my breakfasts.

    Now, I open all food and put in half-gallon jars.

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    1. Thanks for the comment PP.
      In the last 20 years I have never had a mouse eat their way into any of my buckets. Guess I keep them rotated enough I don't know.
      Never had any issues with moths and used buckets either. Maybe I am just lucky.
      I do have a lot of stuff in gallon jars as well.
      I am not saying what everyone else is doing is wrong, I'm just saying the way I do it works for me without all of that extra costs.

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  8. Do you store your chili fixin's in those boxes?

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    1. I store all that stuff in the freezer sista.

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  9. Great post. We've been dealing with rats in the chicken house this year, and consequently have been increasing our cat population! Now, with the weather turning colder, we are beginning to hear mice in the attic once again! Great tip about the totes. I use my freezer for some things as well.

    I was honored to see I'm on your blog list, but hope you'll update it to my new web addy. Blog lists and readers didn't keep up with that!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Leigh, My feed room is overrun with mice. I have tried everything on them but still they just keep coming in. Metal trash cans is all I can do to keep them out of the feed.

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  10. I got several of the sliding plastic drawers they stack also great for the small square boxes and mice haven't gotten in them yet and yes the buckets do work well for me also as do the jars no mouse [unless he is supermouse] can chew through glass or the metal lid

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    1. That's true Anony, glad it's working out for ya.
      Thanks for the comment.

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