PDA

View Full Version : How in the heck do I keep mice out of my house?!


marnee
05-06-2009, 08:34 PM
I feel so dumb for asking this, because I should know how (isn't that part of the required reading before buying a home in the country?), but... how?

We've found their points of entry into our house. The cabinents under our sinks have elevated bottoms about 3-4 inches above the actual floor. The space around the pipes was sealed (by previous owners) around this elevated bottom, but not around the actual floor. So, they can get in under both bathroom sinks and the kitchen sink (we don't think there are any other points of entry). We're working on sealing those (Hubby is supposed to remove the false bottoms to actually seal around the pipes).

But, I know mice are persistent and will usually find other ways into a home. We think they only way they are getting under the house is when we open the crawl space, but we aren't sure on that. So, what options do we have to actually keep mice out of our home?

Anon001
05-07-2009, 12:26 AM
How do you get rid of them? *

You don't. ;D ;D

Actually, if you ever find where a snake sheds his skin, place that around the pipes. *Mice won't cross it or go near it. *I was told that long ago and it worked. *However the skin I found was shed in the house! *LOL *I went into the kitchen one morning and found it along the bottom of the cookstove. *I guess he shed it overnight. *I put it around the pipes and no more mice. *The snake left later, too, but the mice didn't return. By the way, it was a big black snake snake so I was able to cut it into several shorter lengths to put in places the mice had come in.

flatwater
05-07-2009, 12:29 AM
Barn cats , find the entrance , hirer a lawyer and have them evicted ;D

marnee
05-07-2009, 03:27 AM
Is it reasonable to believe that our home is built securely enough that they aren't just going to find new ways to get in once we seal up (snake skin up, huh?!) where we know they're getting in now? They aren't going to keep poking and prodding for new ways in after?

I'm debating about whether or not to slide a package/cheese wedge/whatever they are of Decon under the sink, but I'm not too excited to have dead mice in my crawl space, or worse in my walls where I can smell them for a few days... gross (The Decon is fine to use with a small child as long as he can't get to it, right?)

johnny
05-07-2009, 04:26 AM
Not meant to sound wiseass but--ever heard of a cat?

momma_to_seven_chi
05-07-2009, 09:48 AM
We put bar bait in the crawlspace above the second floor and in remote parts of the basement. Don't use the low quality d-con type stuff, we use the rat bait from the feed store. You only have to replace it once every year or two. It does wonders.

We don't have cats either. Neither one of us like them. We just aren't cat people.

marnee
05-07-2009, 01:57 PM
Johnny, I love cats and would have several if we could, but I'm super allergic. Any time I'm even close to them I break out in hives, start having an asthma attack, runny nose... all of that fun stuff. We do have several strays that we feed scraps too and that patrol the house outside. Maybe the fact that we have cats outside caused the mice to seek shelter in the crawl space when we were down there... :D

marnee
05-07-2009, 06:18 PM
Oh, if we actually use poison, are we going to kill "our" cats if they happen to eat one of the poisoned mice?

Anon001
05-08-2009, 03:34 AM
you won't kill the cats if you buy the bait that is in the stores today... if they eat a poisoned mouse. However, if you feed the bait to the cat it can harm them. But, I have never seen a cat eat a sick mouse... They will toy with them but usually they will leave them to die.

Funmommy
05-08-2009, 05:48 PM
I've heard that if you put steel wool in their opening and around the holes the pipes go through that it's like barbed wire to them and they can't get through that way again.

I've also heard those products that use sound to repel insects and mice work well, if it's a good brand. I personally wouldn't use poisons because they CAN kill a cat or dog or cause liver and kidney damage.

I have a lazy cat so I use snap traps. If where I place them is an area that it could be difficult to retrieve it I screw a TINY eye hook to the edge of the trap and tie fishing line to it and secure the other end so I can ALWAYS find it.

My husband made a trap that works pretty well ... you take an empty tin can and put a hole in the center of top and bottom covers. Thread it with a piece of string and glue cover back on.
Attach string & can to the top center of a bucket (the bucket must be deep enough that a mouse can't jump/climb out of.) The can must be able to turn on the string with NO resistance. Wire can be used instead of string. Fill the bottom of the bucket about 6 inches full of water. Smear peanut butter over the center of the outside of the tin can. When the mouse climbs onto the can it spins and throws the mouse into the water where it drowns because it can't get out.

I hope you find something that works.

marnee
05-08-2009, 09:58 PM
I'm nervous about hurting our strays, but the sound/noise thingys aren't going to work for us. We tried them, and even though we couldn't hear them, we had headaches and earaches because our bodies still recognized the noise.

I've thought about the steel wool. Maybe we'll try that to seal their holes instead of the foam stuff. And it would be an (hopefully) easy way to fix their new ways in that we find too.

Gwynyvyr
05-08-2009, 10:15 PM
Get some penny-royal or grow some from seed IN CONTAINERS (darn stuff spreads like crazy).
Put fresh leaves where the mice come in and in the back of your cabinets or where-ever you have seen the fuzzy critters. You can also harvest the plant, dry out leaves and scatter them around the outside of your foundation and in your crawl space.

Penny royal repels both mice and roaches.

Do not let a pregnant woman handle it, it can cause miscarriage.

Anon001
05-08-2009, 10:44 PM
I've also heard those products that use sound to repel insects and mice work well, if it's a good brand. I personally wouldn't use poisons because they CAN kill a cat or dog or cause liver and kidney damage.
I worked with these things in the coops for too many years. The new poisons WILL NOT hurt your pets if they eat a mouse that has ingested it. There is not enough concentration. The ONLY way it will hurt the dog or cat is if they get into the poison and eat the poison direct. You can buy lockable bait stations that keep children and pets out of the bait.

indyguy
05-08-2009, 10:56 PM
I had a BIG mice problem when 1st moved here a few yrs back.

I rounded up 6 cats and fed them just enough to stay around. My mouse problem was under control in a few months.

I never liked to poison them and then have dead mice in the walls.

sm0kin
10-05-2009, 03:55 PM
my mother used to say and i'm not sure if there is anything to it. but she used to say "pet mice would keep field mice from coming in." i guess the nasty smell they put off :cool:

bookwormom
10-05-2009, 05:20 PM
I get blue grains from the feedstore for down at the house. Mice were carrying the barn away, when you opened the feedbins they would scamper. Now we have a few barncats and I see a mouse occasionally. I use no poison at the barn.

momma_to_seven_chi
10-05-2009, 10:43 PM
It's hard to keep cats near the woods. Coons will kill them if they wander too far away from the LGD area. Coyotes and coons don't get too close because of the dogs, but cats will wander out of the dog areas at times and get killed. Kittens are especially hard to keep if you have a lot of coons or coyotes around. I don't know if possums kill them too or not.
We won't keep cats inside because we just are not cat people. I am not particularly fond of them, neither is hubby. But even keeping them out near the henhouse or goat pen seems to be a loosing battle from predators.
I prefer dogs. Nicer animal.

Pokeberry Mary
10-05-2009, 11:06 PM
We did battle with mice when we were in Wisconsin. The only problem with the poison is you don't always find the dead mouse--but the smell can drive you nuts!
I found the best solution when there was a hidden decaying mouse was to use the sort of air fresheners that come in a solid. Airwick is the name I used. The strongest one I used was blue--don't recall the scent. All I know is it was the only thing that could make the smell bearable.

It takes a couple/few days until it stops smelling. During that time use the strongest airwick completely open and try to find that mouse!

The d-con type stuff does kill the mice but in our case they were hiding in walls and ceilings and very hard to find. :eek:

nhlivefreeordie
10-06-2009, 02:17 AM
Not meant to sound wiseass but--ever heard of a cat?

I knew sooner or later we would agree on something....:wink:

NCLee
10-08-2009, 10:37 AM
We did battle with mice when we were in Wisconsin. The only problem with the poison is you don't always find the dead mouse--but the smell can drive you nuts!
I found the best solution when there was a hidden decaying mouse was to use the sort of air fresheners that come in a solid. Airwick is the name I used. The strongest one I used was blue--don't recall the scent. All I know is it was the only thing that could make the smell bearable.

It takes a couple/few days until it stops smelling. During that time use the strongest airwick completely open and try to find that mouse!

The d-con type stuff does kill the mice but in our case they were hiding in walls and ceilings and very hard to find. :eek:

That's why we don't use d-con and such here. Growing up, my folks used d-con and that smell was horrible. No way to get away from it, if the mouse was somewhere in the structure. Plus, I'm sensitive to most of the cover-up odors. Thought I was going to have to leave home when my sis mopped the kitchen floor using Pine-Sol. Can't stay around scented candles and such very long either. (sigh) Like some of the aromas, but just can't stay around them for more than a few minutes at the time.

We're doing battle right now with snap traps all over the house where the dog can't get to them. May have to go to sticky traps as we've got at least one of the tiny ones that's avoiding the snap traps.

Happens every fall. :sad:

Lee

MissouriFree
10-08-2009, 11:12 AM
They are sure hard to get rid of. here is some good info from Illiniois:
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/MOUSE.PDF

__House Mouse Control
Effective control involves three aspects: sanitation, mouse proof construction and population reduction. The
first two are useful as preventive measures. When a mouse infestation already exists, some form of population
reduction is almost always necessary. Reduction techniques include trapping and poisoning.

Sanitation: Because mice can survive in very small areas with limited amounts of food and shelter, it is almost
impossible to eliminate them, particularly on farms. Most buildings in which food is stored, handled, or used
will support house mice if not mouse-proofed, no matter how good the sanitation. Although good sanitation
will seldom eliminate mice, poor sanitation is sure to attract them and will permit them to thrive in greater
abundance. Good sanitation will also reduce food and shelter for existing mice and in turn make the baits and
traps more effective. Pay particular attention to eliminating places where mice can find shelter. If they have
few places to rest, hide, or build nests and rear young, they cannot survive in large numbers.

Mouse-Proof Construction: The most successful and permanent form of house mouse control is to "build them
out" by eliminating all openings through which they can enter a structure. All places where food is stored,
processed, or used should be made mouse-proof. Dried grain and meat products should be stored in glass jars,
metal canisters, re-sealable coffee cans, or other air tight containers.

Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inch to exclude mice. Steel wool mixed with caulking compound makes a
good plug. Patching material needs to be smooth on the surface to prevent mice from pulling out or chewing
through the patching compound. Seal cracks and openings in building foundations and openings for water
pipes, vents and utilities tightly with metal or concrete. Doors, windows, and screens should fit tightly. It may
be necessary to cover the edges with metal to prevent gnawing. Plastic sheeting or screen, wood, rubber, or
other gnawable materials are unsuitable for plugging holes used by mice._______________________

Tod
10-08-2009, 03:50 PM
Copper scrubbies are great for plugging a hole or two, held in place with some polyurethane caulk or similar.

Pokeberry Mary
10-08-2009, 05:44 PM
we tried the snap type traps and the live catch traps too.. the one thing that did get the most mice was the d-con. but-- like I said-- dead mice stink.

We never were able to figure out how the heck they got into the house in the first place. Looked all over to find holes or gaps, plugged every possible spot we found--but to no avail we still kept finding more signs of them.

Never had a problem like it any other house. Weird.

NCLee
10-09-2009, 10:52 AM
Mary, we've never found a way to completely keep new ones from coming in the house. Steel wool finally stopped them from coming up the drain lines under the sinks.

We've caulked, plugged holes, etc around the foundation, but they still get in somewhere. Suspect there are some tunnels they've dug, but just haven't found them. And, there may be some roof / soffit access points that we haven't found either.

Secondly, after you've stopped the outside entry points 100% (if that's possible) all you need is one pregant female inside the house, after you sealed the inside. So, while it may seem that you're still being invaded, they're actually reproducing inside somewhere. And those nests can be where you just can't access them to destroy same.

Just keep up the battle. That's what we do every fall, as I won't put out posion either.

When setting your traps, put them against the walls, against the cabinets under the toe kick in the kitchen, etc. Mice and rats usually hug the walls as they venture out.

Year round, keep an eye out for signs of them. As soon as you spot it, set up freshly baited traps immediately. Get the one or two before they can turn into scores of them. You may also want to set up traps in your crawlspace. Put them next to the foundation, where they are easier for you to get to for checking and disposal before the stink starts.

Wish I could be more encouraging, but they've been a battle here for untold years. With all the woods and grain crops grown around us, they're just one of the unpleasant aspects of living in the country.

Lee

Cat Lover
10-24-2009, 01:38 PM
An alternative to "Critter Abatement Technology" (aka:Cat) is also available.

Known as "Feline Replacement Rodent Elimination Technology," The FERRET will go after the critters with a passion.

Where neither can be used, if the area is heated, the glue traps work well. I'm referring to the little pans with a thick layer of glue, not the sticky cardboard. Suppliment the bait with a piece of chocolate of a peanut.

If the area is not heated, you're limited to spring-type mouse traps. I am not fond of poisons (ever have a critter crawl inside your wall an die there?) and am not entirely convinced that the ultra-sonic things work.

Aliceone
01-03-2010, 10:17 PM
I am against killing anything, but was convinced to fight the mousie invaders because of the potential for damage and disease. We are a pet-free household (Cats on the kitchen counter? I'd almost rather have mice) and live in an old house, so first I went through and plugged up every hole I could find. They seem to come in around pipes and somehow got into the ductwork, so steel wool has been my best friend. I worked it in even the smallest of holes and spaces (because these things can squeeze through where you wouldn't imagine). It is cheap, malleable and a quick, but lasting fix.

Bait-killed mice don't have an odor. Maybe it is the Dcon, but the versions I use never leave a dead smell. They have a black cat on the label. I use several, though, as I get whatever is cheapest.

Watch for droppings. If you clean often, they can clue you in to a new problem and show you where to watch or place bait.

Then I baited the basement and attic like crazy. I buy in bulk, poke some holes into baggies, shake the stuff in, smear on a little peanut butter, then throw them in. That pretty much did it.

If you have outdoor pets you feed outside, trash that sits around, recycling or a compost pile, you can attract rats and mice. Move the trash or piles away from the house, cover them and do your best not to leave food sit out. We got rats because of the neighbor and one tried to gnaw its way in from under our crawlspace.

I only bait indoors, but it is possible some will make it outside. Most of the time, pets won't mess with it and rain will melt the pellets.

Mice encounter snakes all the time in the wild. I think it just coincidence if the snakeskin had any lasting effect. Out here, the mice and chipmunks hang around in the same places I find the snakes.

They can eat the foam or pick away at it. Foam is great for sealing in air, but not keeping out pests.

As much as I hate rodents, glue traps seem horribly inhumane. And every place I've worked that used them, they ended up stuck to the wall, something important or a person who was cleaning around one.

nhlivefreeordie
01-04-2010, 11:32 AM
As much as I hate rodents, glue traps seem horribly inhumane.

Just thought I would point out that rodents aren't human, any way to eliminate them is good. A cat is the best way, and they are cleaner than a rodent, cats on the counter aren't my first choice, but better that than mice.

cubcadet
01-11-2010, 04:04 AM
The Victor company sells peppermint oil wasp killer in spray cans (kind of expensive) that really really works to drive mice out. Smells good. I used it in the toolshed one winter. Had a blinkin` infestation of mice. Big cherrytree next to it. Mice would pick up the single pits from the rotten cherries that fell out of the tree (prolly thousands of em) and stashed them everywhere- toolboxes, work gloves etc... I just sprayed the Victor`s on the inner walls of the shed and the mice fled and went and lived in the woodpile all the rest of the winter. I`d say it worked good to keep them from coming back too.