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Old 03-19-2017, 04:32 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Default "Spring" Mouse Invasion

It seems every spring and fall there is a flurry of mouse activity before settling into a some what normal pattern. Lately mouse activity in the 3 rabbit barns and chicken barn has peaked. I have been averaging about one a day between the 4 locations. I toss the catches into the chicken barn and the girls seem to really go for that treat.

Funny.... I use common Victor brand mouse traps. The wood platform kind with the big plastic bait paddle. They are the most reliable catch and kill I have found. I tie a short length of brick layers string to the trap and a stick about a foot long tied in the middle of the stick.

One rabbit barn is a room off the wood shed.. One of my traps was taken under the door out of the rabbit area, into the wood shed and the trap was at the end of the string pulled back into a crevasse in the stacked wood about a foot off the floor. The trap was empty except for a small tuft of fur.

There must be a small weasel of one kind or another living in my wood shed. In my time here I have never seen evidence of a rat, or other undesirable animal like that. A number of types and sizes of weasel are here, all considered as fur bearing animals.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:01 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Our cats keep the normal mouse population under control, but I usually have traps set all the time to catch the ones that evade the predators. Sometimes the chickens catch a few running across the yard. In those years of infestation, I reluctantly resort to poison as nothing else will work--they even kill the fruit trees by girdling the trunks.

You probably have an ermine in your wood shed. They love to live in wood piles and are sooo cute--white in winter. The weasel that hat pestered me over the past year I believe to be an ermine, but no trap set so far has captured it. I can't set "open" traps outside as I fear the cats will get into it, but my box trap and traps in the chicken coop have failed to catch the bugger.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:06 PM
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Knock on wood.... Like you say Don, no problems yet with an animal bothering either rabbits or chickens. Yet the key word.

As you say, I do suspect a snow white ermine (fur bearer here) I suspect a bit bigger than a chipmunk, almost the size of a red squirrel. As long as it is content to scavange traps and catch live mice on its own, I'm content to leave it alone.

However, I have looked ahead that if I do need a "trap in a box" I have researched how to set a board base rat trap in a box baited for carnivores. The thing that makes it chicken house safe is to set the entrance hole inset from the end of the trap about 6" so the chickens can't reach anything. That is 1x6 box trap about 18" long, hinge and secure the top so it can't be accidentally knocked open. Set it on a couple bricks in the shavings bedding of the hen house and a couple bricks on top to make it knock over resistant. Works well..
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:28 PM
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A couple of days ago I was in the shop and saw something scurry across the floor.
I didn't get a good look buy I thought it was a rat.
I set my game camera on the floor that night and got pictures of a mouse.
My wife thought it was funny I used a game cam to film such a small creature.
Told her I needed to know how big a trap I needed.
We get an occasional mouse but the cats usually make short work of them.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:48 PM
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In years past we most often encountered mice in the fall, but the last few years it seems we now encounter mice more in the spring.

When evidence is observed mice are around I set out the various traps & glue boards. I do not like poison and rarely ever use it.

Mice, like roaches, is just another pest civilization will never be rid of!
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:08 PM
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Default Help With the Mice.

I had already noticed some evidence of mice and placed the traps & glue boards in typical locations before replying to this thread. Only one mouse caught and two traps tripped in the garage since setting the traps out, which is highly unusually to not have some traps tripped.

I discovered why Saturday afternoon. I was in the garage moving some tools when I disturbed a dark green serpent. Since he not venomous, he can stay as long as he wishes. I just have to remember he is visiting.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:20 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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The battle goes on...
It seems a flurry of activity has gone on of late. Animals seem more active that some of the snow is receding. Add to that I have done some stall cleaning in 2 barns, so that has been a major disturbance to the critters living there. It will take a bit, but once I'm done barn cleaning I suspect rodent activity patterns will change again.

Have averaged 2-3 mice trapped a day in the 4 barns. Makes me wonder how many are still running around.

The animal in the wood shed that was dragging off my traps and eating the mice in them seems to have left as no more issues with that. Off to better places I suspect.

Good hunting.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:57 PM
hunter88 hunter88 is online now
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Quote:
You probably have an ermine in your wood shed. They love to live in wood piles and are sooo cute--white in winter. The weasel that hat pestered me over the past year I believe to be an ermine, but no trap set so far has captured it. I can't set "open" traps outside as I fear the cats will get into it, but my box trap and traps in the chicken coop have failed to catch the bugger.
How about a box, with no bottom, made out of wood, about 5" square by 2' long. On the ends of the box the wood cover has a 1" hole in the center. Maybe 1 1/2" would be better. About 8" in from each end a slit is cut into one side about 3/4 the way up.

You set two 110 Conibear traps on the ground with bait in the middle. Set the box on top with the Conibear handles going in the slits. Put something heavy on top. That should get a weasel but avoid the cats.

Same box may work with big wooden rat traps instead of Conibears. Holes at both ends should allow enough light in he's more willing to go in.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:08 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter88 View Post
How about a box, with no bottom, made out of wood, about 5" square by 2' long. On the ends of the box the wood cover has a 1" hole in the center. Maybe 1 1/2" would be better. About 8" in from each end a slit is cut into one side about 3/4 the way up.

You set two 110 Conibear traps on the ground with bait in the middle. Set the box on top with the Conibear handles going in the slits. Put something heavy on top. That should get a weasel but avoid the cats.

Same box may work with big wooden rat traps instead of Conibears. Holes at both ends should allow enough light in he's more willing to go in.
That is similar to what I have set with a standard rat trap inside. It does not have a hole in the closed end, however, as I was told that light would allow the critter to see the trap. It hasn't worked closed, so I will drill a hole in the opposite end and try it. Thanks for the tip! I haven't lost any eggs since they started laying in the nest boxes again, but I want to learn how to catch these critters before they become a problem again.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:10 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is online now
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They may be right about the light. But I always liked whatever I was trying to lure inside of something to be able to see out the other end. I use larger boxes with 220 Conibears for raccoons, and in those I put chicken wire on the back. The wire forced them to enter from the front, but by being able to see out, I always thought it gave them a sense they could escape that way if needed, so they'd more readily enter the box.
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