I am considering putting up a temporary straw bale shelter for the winter. The shelter will be used to store some outdoor power equipment. I have a design in mind. My reason for wanting to go with straw bales is that I need to buy straw anyway for mulching, and like the idea of going ahead and using it for the temporary structure instead of using some other material which I may not be able to re-use as readily. My one concern, however, is with mice. Will mice find the straw bales, since they will not be plastered, an inviting place to make a home for the winter? If so, and this is my bigger concern, how likely is it that having mice attracted to the shelter will result in them chewing through wiring, gas lines, etc on my equipment? The last thing I want to do is set my equipment up to get damaged my mice in an attempt to protest it from the weather.
Mice will be attracted to any shelter, but if you have nice straw bales around, they will prefer those to holing up in the equipment (as they would be more likely to do if you just threw a tarp over the equipment..)
Sounds like a good way to go to me!
I agree that there is a 100% chance the straw will attract mice, but I also agree that there is slim to none chance that they will mess with your equipment. I've had mice make nests in my lawntractor and they didn't bother the electrical or fuel lines. Do you not have a cat? A cat will love the cozyness of a bale shed with a free snack bar!
We currently only have an inside cat. While she does spend a fair amount of time outside, she mostly stays inside during the winter. We've always planned of getting a couple of barn cats, but the house cat is very territorial and we don't think she would tolerate another cat on the premises. It is an option we are considering, however.
Depending on the location; sun and shade. You could build the straw bale structure
and put some trusses on and cover it with plastic for a winter green house; although
the added humidity might not be the best for your equipment. The equipment would
surely be drier than parking outdoors.
Think of the food you could grow. You might even become the veggie magnet of the
neighborhood. How about fresh home grown veggies in January??
Straw bales shouldn't attract mice but hay bales may. Straw has nothing edible to attract mice but hay has grass seeds that provide good winter provender for mice families. Straw bales stacked for supporting walls and structures have no holes in which mice can tunnel and no spaces in which to build nests, but hay bales stacked in a barn have many. Two different things and two different uses. Get a cat or two for insurance.
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