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Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 07:02 AM   #1
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Ah, Mice!

Well, it seems that the turn to cold weather has started driving the field mice into warmer spots, so I ended up getting a close-up view of a startled mouse for about a second this morning as I went into the basement. The evil black cat who spends a lot of his time down there gets many of them, but not all. This critter took one look at me and hopped into some exposed insulation in the wall. What is the best way to get rid of these guys? Poison? Traps? Something else? I don't want to poison the cat at one remove (most of the time, anyway).
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Having dealt with many hundreds/thousands of the critters over the last 20 years I am probably the resident mouse "expert".

Best treatment is 1-2 oz poison packs sold by exterminators ... I used to buy them by the case. Beauty of these nuggets is that the poison decays the mouse before they stink. They can lay in the walls as a final resting place and you never know/care. Also because the packets are small they can be placed where the cat can't reach i.e. in the basement rafters.

Second best treatment is the good'ol mechanical mouse trap. Peanut butter can be licked clean off the trap so use cheese. Check it every couple days else the smell will lead you to it.

Finally - and third best - is sticky traps. I enhance the trap by putting peanut butter in the center. Had one mouse escape a sticky trap ... but he left a leg behind. Also can't re-use the trap so they can be an expensive solution.

Good luck!
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 08:00 AM   #3
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Any particular type/brand of poison you recommend?
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 08:11 AM   #4
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Be sure that poison isn't going to kill the cat--if you've ever seen the agony that a poisoned pet goes through (strichnine), you would have nightmares the rest of your life.
My vote: get a second cat! Or patch up those places the mice are gaining access. I have 5 cats and I am sure there is not a mouse for miles around my house! I do like the traps in inaccessible (to the cat) places, the best bait I've ever use: a cheap greasy hot dog chunk!

Sarah
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 08:31 AM   #5
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
a startled mouse
And it appears that a startled brewer assumed the position so charmingly depicted in your avatar?
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Be sure that poison isn't going to kill the cat--if you've ever seen the agony that a poisoned pet goes through (strichnine), you would have nightmares the rest of your life.
My vote: get a second cat! Or patch up those places the mice are gaining access. I have 5 cats and I am sure there is not a mouse for miles around my house! I do like the traps in inaccessible (to the cat) places, the best bait I've ever use: a cheap greasy hot dog chunk!

Sarah
Sounds like you have the mice definitely dealt with. Now what to do about your cat infestation?
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 09:00 AM   #7
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Is there any risk that the cats might eat a poisoned mouse, thereby ingesting poison contained within the mouse?

I have fears of using pesticide to kills bugs around/in my house. What if my cats eat the poison-laden bugs?
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Is there any risk that the cats might eat a poisoned mouse, thereby ingesting poison contained within the mouse?

I have fears of using pesticide to kills bugs around/in my house. What if my cats eat the poison-laden bugs?
The risk is probably pretty low. Those poisons work pretty fast, and most cats wont eat another animal that's obviously sick. Cats would have nothing to do with an outright dead mouse.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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Re: Ah, Mice!

I favor the traps over the poison. Quicker and no risk of poisoning the wrong thing.

When setting traps, set where the mice runways are, like along the wall. Set two nose to nose, the odds of a mouse snatching the bait is reduced. Mice like sweet. Try cotton fluff dipped in vanilla.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: Ah, Mice!

I second the idea of sealing up a better....it doesnt take much for them to get in....Also, I suspect that some people arent careful with what they bring in the house.....papers, etc. dont come back in our house after they have been in the garage, etc.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:07 PM   #11
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
I second the idea of sealing up a better....it doesnt take much for them to get in....Also, I suspect that some people arent careful with what they bring in the house.....papers, etc. dont come back in our house after they have been in the garage, etc.
Impossible. This is a ca. 1950 house with lots of spots where pipes, etc.go through the exterior walls. There is also a closed in porch that has a "foundation" (using that word very loosely) that appears to have been "constructed" (ditto) from leftover bricks, chunks of rock, etc.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:11 PM   #12
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Re: Ah, Mice!

You've gotten good advice.

For sealing up, crawl around the edges of your house and look for any cracks. If you find them, use "Great Stuff" hardening foam to fill them up.

Put the the mechanical traps against the walls at right angles to the wall, and with the bait part closer to the wall. The mice tend to hug the walls as the scurry, and in most cases you don't even need any bait. You can get traps with little plastic paddles that are good for this, and you can leave them in place for years.

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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:14 PM   #13
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Ah, yes, the old house problems--we had a 1932 beach house for 10 years!

One thing that might help is "Great Stuff", a spray sealer/insulation goo that worked great for large raccoon-sized holes we found in our house! Go easy on it to begin with--it expands rapidly!

And more cats, you need more cats--I have some to spare, would you like pictures to aid in your selection process! Shipping is free this week...

Sarah

...Rats, T-Al beat me to the Great Stuff recommendation!
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:18 PM   #14
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Re: Ah, Mice!

cats -- as previously stated, you need more cats. even without the field mouse, you need more cats.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 01:20 PM   #15
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Thanks for the offer, but I think this will be my one and only cat. I'm really a dog person, and the fact that the cat's personality is, um, unique helps confirm me in my dogginess.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 02:05 PM   #16
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Re: Ah, Mice!

The world's best mouse trap--no poisons, but lethal.

* 5 gallon paint bucket. I used a plastic paint bucket.
* Drill holes in the center of the lid and bottom of a small can.
* Put a small but sturdy rod through the holes so the can spins on its axis. I had to make washers out of pennies fixed to the rod with tape to keep the can from sliding to one side or the other.
* Mount the rod across the top of the bucket. I stuck it through the bail holes and taped it down so it couldn't move.
* Put 6 inches of water in the bucket.
* Smear peanut butter on the can.
* Place bucket where mice will find it.
* Lay a yardstick from the floor to the top edge of the bucket.

Mice are crazy about peanut butter. They smell it, run up to the rim of the bucket, walk out on the rod to the can, jump on the can, which rolls over, dumping them in the water where they eventually drown. It doesn't matter how many mice are floating in the water, they just keep coming. WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE ALL DEAD, then throw them out. (I pitched them into the woods before they stopped moving and my farm girl wife laughed at me, said they will come right back. They did. Had to do it all over again, this time with no mercy.)

A colleague of mine got this design from an old farmer. My friend had mice in a shed and had tried many other things first without much success. This worked 100% for him, and for me. (This was the most useful thing I learned at that company, where I worked for over ten years. )

It does not work on rats (I tried it).

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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 02:07 PM   #17
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
It does not work on rats (I tried it).
That takes a bigger bucket...
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 02:08 PM   #18
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
That takes a bigger bucket...
And a flamethrower.
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 02:32 PM   #19
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Bucket #1, #2, or #3?
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Re: Ah, Mice!
Old 10-06-2006, 02:54 PM   #20
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Re: Ah, Mice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
Bucket #1, #2, or #3?
Well, after buckets 1-3 run out, the contents of the mice bucket probably make a nice change from cat food.
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