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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 03:02 PM   #21
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Re: Ah, Mice!

At the cabin I used snap traps and raw bacon. It was harder to get off the bait holder than Peanut butter and lasted longer without drying out. I had a 95% kill rate on the traps and would reuse them unless they were too bloody. The mice seem to stay away from the ones will more than a few small drops of blood on them.

I sealed every place I could find and finally we are mouse free. Find where they are getting in or you will have to keep trapping/baiting them forever. Once we found all the holes they stopped getting in and I have not trapped one in a year.

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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 03:40 PM   #22
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Brewer,
I sense no hesitation on your part to kill these varmints, so go with the traps.

If you are interested in getting rid of tjem but not killing them, then live-catch traps are the thing. Two types are sold:
-- Small plastic model "tip door" trap (made by Victor, biggest maker of snap traps). The mouse goes inside to get the bait at the back, his weight makes the trap rock back slightly on a fulcrum point near the front, which allows a door to come down and lock in place. In my experience, these get tripped often without catching the critter.
-- Small clear plastic model with spring-loaded door. Mouse goes in to get bait, door is activated by a treddle. These work really well, but I can't find them for sale anywhere.

I build my own live-catch traps which work really well. 6" of PVC pipe (1.5" works fine, bigger if you want to catch bigger things). Cover one end with wire hardware cloth. The other end has a wooden "guillotine door" and frame. On top of the pipe I put a snap trap. The door to the "cage" is held up by a pin tied to the "death bale" on the snap trap. I drill a hole through the snap trap directly under the bait pedal and into the PVC pipe. Tie a string to the bait pedal on the snap trap, with the other end inside the PVC tube. Tie a washer to the end of the string in the trap and smear on peanut butter. When Mickey enters the tube and tugs on the bait, the snap-trap is activated, pulling the pin out of the door and securing him inside.

Okay, it is a lot of work just to catch a mouse. But, it was fun to make, it works really well, and it will probably last forever.

After we catch the mice we take them far away to a field and let them go. Sometimes we even give them some food as a parting gift. They probably get eaten within hours.



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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 08:03 PM   #23
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Re: Ah, Mice!

I'd prefer not to off the little buggers, but being how they are in an area where an evil black cat who is a pretty serious hunter roams, I have to say that I am a realist. At least if I trap or poison them the end will be quick. Not like the way the beast that dwells below will play with them and leave them maimed and squeaking...
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-07-2006, 09:04 PM   #24
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I'd prefer not to off the little buggers, but being how they are in an area where an evil black cat who is a pretty serious hunter roams, I have to say that I am a realist. At least if I trap or poison them the end will be quick. Not like the way the beast that dwells below will play with them and leave them maimed and squeaking...
Better to Off them than for them to "off you" from Hanta virus. After seeing what they can do to a house and the piles of crap they leave everywhere you may change your mind especially if one of them is infected with Hanta. This is a bad new virus and you don't need that kind of health risk especially with kids.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-07-2006, 10:26 PM   #25
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Re: Ah, Mice!

In our area there are 'live' traps made of metal with two entry 'gates' and a hinged tight-fitting lid. Once they enter they can't get out. Once could bait it with either peanut butter or the poison described by others depending on your disposal approach.

This system assures that the family pet won't consume a poisoned mouse.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-08-2006, 05:27 AM   #26
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Ed
We used to deal with rats with a similar trap that work quite well. Oil drum with the top cut off. Lay wooden path so that the rats could get up to the top lip of the drum. Place food material (animal fat worked quite well) in the drum itself and on the lip. The rats would climb up, jump in to eat the food, but not be able to get out.

Brewer
Sealing is required to keep the mice out every year. Try to caulk around the pipes, etc. Traps with cheese always worked for us.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-08-2006, 11:22 AM   #27
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Sounds like he needs to fix the foundation, too (or maybe too much work and money..)...we have a lot of older 100 year old farm houses around here that have mice problems also...the old rock foundations and cellars only under part of the house make it pretty easy for them to get in.... :P
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 08:24 AM   #28
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Re: Ah, Mice!

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Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
Sounds like he needs to fix the foundation, too (or maybe too much work and money..)...we have a lot of older 100 year old farm houses around here that have mice problems also...the old rock foundations and cellars only under part of the house make it pretty easy for them to get in.... :P
Our last house had a real mouse problem. We looked and looked for areas in the foundation and the sill area where a mouse could get in. We sealed cracks with expansion foam or wire mesh or both. We still had mice.

When we were selling the house and going through all our stuff in the basement crawl space we encountered one of the little devils whom we startled as he exited his hiding place. We sprang into action and started moving boxes and carpet that was next to the foundation wall. Lo and behold! A hole in the foundation just at the crawl space dirt level. The foundation had a mis-match and a couple of board forms were still in place which created a hole about 4 inches in diameter. As it turns out, this was further excavated by hundreds of mice over a period of years and they had created a tunnel 5 inches in diameter from the foundation wall, under the garage floor and then to an opening in the yard behind a group of bushes. The tunnel system was over 30 feet long and 3-4 feet deep.

We filled the hole in the foundation with wire mesh and concrete after putting three cans of expanding foam into the hole first. The opposte end we filled with small rocks after expanding the opening. We saw no more mice after that.

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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 09:04 AM   #29
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Besides closing off access you need to make sure you keep things they would consider dinner in mouse proof containers. I've given up the battle of keeping them out with an old stone foundation but I've learned to keep every thing in tin or heavy plastic containers. Dog biscuts are a delicacy as well as bird seed and peanuts, we keep all of those and other food stuff in containers now.

The other thing that helps to keep them out or away from your abode is to not have bird feeders near the house to attract them. We keep ours at the edge of the property and it seems to have helped some. We keep a heated bird bath on the back deck in winter to entice the birds come in close and a suet feeder near the deck.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 09:50 AM   #30
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
I've given up the battle of keeping them out with an old stone foundation
If mice can't be kept out of a stone foundation, how the heck do you keep out the groundwater & runoff?

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The other thing that helps to keep them out or away from your abode is to not have bird feeders near the house to attract them.
On this island the preferred rodent diet is dog food... especially when there's a dish of it left around the house or out on the lanai.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #31
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Re: Ah, Mice!

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If mice can't be kept out of a stone foundation, how the heck do you keep out the groundwater & runoff?

It's a stone foundation but the stones are cemented in place. The entry ways are where the foundation has settled and cracked a little or along where the foundation meets the house. It doesn't take a very large opening for a field mouse to get in. Run off is handled by having gutters and a sump pump handles the high ground water in the spring. When I was a kid my dad and granddad cemented the floor and up about 4 feet up the walls, I wish they had gone to the top. (adding that to the RE tasks). This is a very old post and beam building, built in about 1819.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 12:57 PM   #32
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
This is a very old post and beam building, built in about 1819.
Yikes-- time for Richard Trethewy and the This Old House team!
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-09-2006, 01:11 PM   #33
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Actually the structure and foundation are in remarkable condition. We've remodeled the inside, replaced windows, insulated, did the vinyl siding, upgraded electrical, plumbing, heating system and a new roof. This was mostly done by family and friends but the This Old House team would be pleased with the results. I've dealt with bats in the attic, mice, chipmunks and snakes in the cellar and squirrls in the walls. Oh and an eave full of hornets as well as a few nests in the ground. Dealing with them has become second nature, I just wish the neighbors cat would hang out in my yard but the dog keeps her away, it would solve some of my problems
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:02 PM   #34
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Any particular type/brand of poison you recommend?
I am deep into mouse warfare. Using spring traps, sticky traps and Decon poison. Would like recommendations on the poison.

Finally cleaned up our careless storage of bird seed.
Cannot for the life of me find their entrance from the outside. No basement but all craw space accesses look sealed. Checked inside of the furnace duct coming in from the outside (tip from another thread).

Caught a few in the house with spring traps but I know there are more because I can hear them in the walls in the morning. Also, finding their inner lairs (dishwasher space, cupboards) and sealing entrances to them up.

Also, working the garage. Going to build the trap that Ed The Gypsy described.

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Old 10-25-2010, 03:48 PM   #35
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For a second I thought Azanon was back.

My absent cousin is effectively using Ed's Spinning Can in the Bucket method. He includes a little ramp to the top of the drywall bucket. I go to his house and bail out the dead mice. I prefer the snap trap, it is a faster death than death by drowning.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:33 PM   #36
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You're feeding the cat too well. Lessen up the food and he'll work harder for additional calories.

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:00 PM   #37
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My field mouse corpse count is up to 6 as of this AM.
I use spring traps only and PB.

Little buggers are looking for their winter condo location. NOT!
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:02 PM   #38
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You're feeding the cat too well. Lessen up the food and he'll work harder for additional calories.

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Just watch out for setting out poison. Pets could eat the poison or eat dead or dying mice that have been poisoned. Not a good thing.

My Kansas grandfather was a wheat farmer. He spend a good amount of his energy fighing rodents. His favorite solution? Natural predators. Owls, cats, and black snakes. I've heard of people building owl houses on their property to attract them. An owl can eat a mighty number of mice and scare them away from moving in.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:23 PM   #39
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We bought a new garage door and the chipmunks really like it. Apparently one or moree got closed inside the garage and chewed through the bottom vinyl gasket to gain freedom. Since then, they chewed nice semicircular hole on the gasket on one side in order to gain entry again. I see them now regularly in the garage, along with at least two shrews.
We enjoy having the chipmunks in the yard, and I would like to avoid "extreme measures" in dealing with them. The plan now:
- Get the birdseed out of the garage, or put it in a chipmunk-proof bin (.50 cal ammo box?)
- Reinforce the bottom gasket of the garage door with something (hardware cloth?) to make it rodent-proof
- (Don't laugh)--I need some way to allow the little guys to get out of the garage if they get in, but which will be a one-way traffic route. We open the door and they dash in, and things will get stinky if they can't get out. They already chewed a hole through one side of the weatherstripping, I'm thinking of putting something there. Options include a few pieces of springy piano wire that they can push up for egress but can't be lifted from the other side, or maybe a similar setup inside a piece of 2" PVC pipe. Or, maybe I'll just build a little turnstyle and hope they'll not jump it.

"What do ya do all day" indeed.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:30 PM   #40
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I use standard metal garbage cans with tight fitting lids to hold dog food and birdseed. I use these ONLY for this purposes.
I do not want to meet the mouse, squirrel or chipmunk that can get that lid off.
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