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How do we get rid of field mice in the house?


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#1 SW in IL

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 04:58 PM

I admit it... I hate killing pretty much any living thing. I feel like they're just doing what they're supposed to do. But the problem is getting out of hand. We have mice that are getting into everything, including packaged food (i.e. cereal and nuts).

We put out regular mousetraps every so often and always get at least one or two mice in them. It doesn't seem to help but that could be because we don't put out the traps regularly. We've also tried a no-kill trap (where the trap tips backwards and the door slides closed) but those traps don't seem to work well and it's hard to clean them out once the food in there gets a bit ripe. We have a couple of those no-kill traps out but haven't caught anything in them in months.

Some of the proposed suggestions have been to get a cat (not possible atm) and to try one of those electronic repellers (Riddex?). I've heard mixed reviews of the repellers... One friend used them fine in one place but when they moved to a split-level house (similar to ours), it didn't work very well. Another friend's cat could apparently hear the ultrasonic sounds the trap made. And several people have said that the repellers would then be a permanent fixture in the house which I don't like because we usually have hamsters... We just happen to be critter-less right now.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,
Sue

#2 Kris

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:05 PM

Two years ago we had such a problem with mice in the house, they acted like it was *their* house! They would walk right past us! Fact is, it's not their house, so while they are doing what they're supposed to do, they're supposed to do it somewhere else. They've got fifteen acres out there -- they don't need to set up housekeeping in here. :lol:

Traps didn't work -- catching one or two a day was never going to get control of this problem. The cat slept while they skittered right past her nose. I caught a few in the live traps, but I think they just came back -- a couple of 'em looked pretty familiar! The electronic things didn't even phase them. So, I put out poison. *Not* my preference, but the problem was solved almost immediately. I still have some in out of the way spots (that the pets can't get to, of course), and they've remained untouched. I guess the guys outside got the word and decided to stay there.

#3 King Alfred Academy

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:07 PM

The only thing that worked for us was placing steel wool in the hole they were come in from. Of course, that means you will have to know where they are coming in...do you?

Oh, and the glue traps never worked for us, so I wouldn't bother with them. We found the poor little guy stuck in the hole still connected to the trap! He was just trying to get back out...didn't make it.

#4 Kate in Arabia

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:08 PM

I was going to say cat until you said it wasn't possible now. Can you tell at all how/where they are coming in the house?

Our problem right now is an infestation of local fire ants (samsum). I can't figure out where they're coming from, they don't march in a nice straight line so I can track them back to their entrance point.. but boy does it hurt when they bite (sting?)!

We had mice when we were living in Chicago 100 years ago, we used a poison, these little blue pellets, that the landlord gave us. But we only had one child then and no pets, so I wasn't worried about accidental ingestion. It worked for us.

Oh, and about the cereal/nuts thing, I've started putting all our cereal into a rubbermaid-type sealing container, and nuts and other dried goods I keep in a second fridge we have. In my case it's to try and stave off the ants :(

#5 Mekanamom

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:57 PM

The steel wool in the hole works great to prevent them from coming in!

For the ones already inside, I have found the Rat Zapper to be the best solution.

The sticky traps worked great for us, but then I had to drown the poor scared things, and I felt really bad doing it. The Rat Zapper kills them quickly and cleanly, and the last thing they see is a yummy looking meal.

If you ever need to get rid of actual rats, get the Rat Zapper Ultra. Those things can even zap ground squirrels... more voltage and a bigger entrance.

#6 lovelearnandlive

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 06:12 PM

We tried some of those sticky traps until our dog found them and got one stuck on her snout. And the leather couch. :001_huh:

Then we hired a pest control company. They went through our house and completely sealed up all holes. It's amazing how small of a hole those little guys can squeeze through. It took almost a year of them coming out once a week (we really got our money's worth out of that contract) before we were rat and mouse free. It's been 2 years since then and no other problems so far.

:grouphug: Hope you find something that works

#7 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 06:37 PM

We had to call in the professionals. We had the no-kill traps. What a joke. The bait was always gone in the morning, but no mice in the traps. We tried other traps. After 2 - 3 mice per day and no abatement after 2 weeks and then finding babies, we knew it was bigger than us. The pest control guy put out bait that had an anti-coagulant in it. The mice would eat it and then go outside where they came in. They would die within 72 hours. I didn't like this approach, but all other methods did not work. The pest control guy came back 2 weeks later and plugged up all the holes. We had a big clean up because we had mouse poop in plenty of places in our lower level.

Good luck to you!.

#8 SW in IL

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:46 AM

... although we have found (and repeatedly sealed) one hole near the dishwasher. I'm sure there are other holes that we're yet to find.

I've found the glue traps to be cruel, especially since I don't have the heart or stomach to finish 'em off.

Seems like some kind of poison might be the way to go or maybe that Rat Zapper thing. I just took a look at the web site and it says it kills both mice and rats.

Thanks for all the help,
Sue

#9 brasilmom

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 06:58 AM

We had that last year... in our basement. We put traps and caught one every time. The things were kind going out of control. We put ultrasonic plug-ins, and also cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil. We have not had anymore ever since. During the Spring we worked on sealing holes outside the house and I hope that this year we will not have any inside. I am about to spray peppermint oil mixed with alcohol all around the house to help keep them at bay. The one thing that does not help us much is the bird feeder the neighbor has. There are always lots of seeds on the ground, so they are all too close to our house. Remember that they will do they necessities everywhere and mice urine and feces are very dangerous. If they get in a package of food the only thing to do is to toss it in the trash. It can became very expensive too.

Best luck. Be well

Miriam

#10 54879525

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 07:03 AM

When you bait the humane traps you can use chocolate or peanut butter (or both). That can sit in there forever and not really go bad.

I just try to make sure there isn't any food source for them and use traps. Otherwise I haven't found that anything really works long term. They seem to come in certain times of year and then we don't see them for awhile. And we live on the 3rd floor!

I once had a landlord who gave us poison pellets, but um no that does not seem like a good idea with 2 young kids.

#11 Heather in the Kootenays

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 07:19 AM

I use poison, the stuff that dries them out. I put it in places where small children and my other animals can't get to but clearly the mice are. Generally in a few weeks, there's no sign of mice.

#12 *anj*

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:06 AM

Poison did the trick for us. These things are smart, they are able to get around just about everything else. Dh's former bil was an exterminator and he told us that those sound wave things don't work for long because they either get used to the sound or if other food sources are scarce they will decide to come in anyway if that's the only way to get food.

We have had quarterly exterminator service for a few years now. We also had them go around and plug up holes, but this is an old house and there is no way to plug every single hole. The poison is kept in little black boxes that are locked with a special key. You have to be as small as a mouse to get inside that thing. The black boxes are stuck in out of the way places in our basement and garage, and one outside behind a bush. I would never leave poison out in an open spot where children or pets might go. Fortunately the places where mice are most likely to hang around is under/behind the refrigerator/dishwasher and under the kitchen sink. I think that if you can put poison just in those places you'll see a decrease in your population. If you have a basement, put the poison down there.

I would not waste my time with traps again, I think that poison is the only way to go for serious pest control. I have no mercy on those things because they are uninvited guests and should be treated like any other stranger who sees fit to just come walking into my house. :glare:

#13 Michele B

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:26 AM

My parents struggled for years with squirrels. I kept offering to send my cat over. Instead they tried every trap, poison, and electronic device as the critters ate through the house, had babies, and pattered around all day driving my parents nuts. They finally called in professionals. Oh, and I forgot to mention the lovely wire mesh on the front of the house placed over the places the critters chewed up!

Posted Image

My parents hate cats, and many in my family have allergies so it was not an option for them either. I would call in the pros before I spent years dealing with the problem. Nobody wants to see mouse poop in the silverware drawer. Posted Image

Good luck! (borrow a cat)

#14 Kris

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:59 AM

My parents struggled for years with squirrels. I kept offering to send my cat over. Instead they tried every trap, poison, and electronic device as the critters ate through the house, had babies, and pattered around all day driving my parents nuts. They finally called in professionals. Oh, and I forgot to mention the lovely wire mesh on the front of the house placed over the places the critters chewed up!

Posted Image


The ones here stayed outside, so I thought they were cute until last winter when they chewed through not one but *two* sets of spark plug wires -- priced those lately? -- making a nest in the engine compartment of my car. Yes, yes, yes -- I need to get out more, but that's not the point. ;)

Hint: They don't like moth balls. My car smelled like my old Granny's closet! But *that* I could afford!

I understand now what they really are -- rats with bushy tails.

#15 Rich with Kids

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 11:00 AM

Little Bunny Foo Foo would bop them on the head....:D

#16 akmommy

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 12:32 PM

Little Bunny Foo Foo would bop them on the head....:D


When we first movied into our house we had shrews living in the basement. One evening DD spotted one running accross the floor so we started rounding up the cats (we have three so the shrew problem was dealt with fairly quickly) to take care of him, well one of the cats chased him out from under the chair and DS says " I'll get him" as its running towards him. Ds had his remote for his RC car in his hand and swung it by the antenna toward the floor hitting the shrew right on the top of its head. The poor little thing never saw it coming and rolled over died instantly. :lol:


#17 Lisa

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 01:06 PM

Mice traps with peanut butter. Thats what works with us. Once we had a family of them in our basement. It took a few days, but got them all with peanut butter in a mouse trap.

#18 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:31 AM

I didn't know where the mice were coming into my house. But the pest-control guy found them. He was worth it. The bait was put into child resistant containers (not childproof). We have not had mouse problems since.

#19 Guest_janainaz_*

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:35 AM

Just call up Little Bunny Foo-Foo - he'll get rid of em'

#20 Samson Smith

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:36 AM

I admit it... I hate killing pretty much any living thing. I feel like they're just doing what they're supposed to do. But the problem is getting out of hand. We have mice that are getting into everything, including packaged food (i.e. cereal and nuts).

We put out regular mousetraps every so often and always get at least one or two mice in them. It doesn't seem to help but that could be because we don't put out the traps regularly. We've also tried a no-kill trap (where the trap tips backwards and the door slides closed) but those traps don't seem to work well and it's hard to clean them out once the food in there gets a bit ripe. We have a couple of those no-kill traps out but haven't caught anything in them in months.

Some of the proposed suggestions have been to get a cat (not possible atm) and to try one of those electronic repellers (Riddex?). I've heard mixed reviews of the repellers... One friend used them fine in one place but when they moved to a split-level house (similar to ours), it didn't work very well. Another friend's cat could apparently hear the ultrasonic sounds the trap made. And several people have said that the repellers would then be a permanent fixture in the house which I don't like because we usually have hamsters... We just happen to be critter-less right now.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,
Sue

[FONT="]A snap trap is the best way to get rid of rats. So, you use a little peanut butter spread over a cotton ball as bail it attracts better than a piece of cheese. Rats are quick and also have the ability to grab the bait and get away before the trap snaps. The best place to put the trap is where you found holes or rat droppings.[/FONT]

#21 Laura Corin

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:59 AM

We tried the no-kill traps and the repellers. The no-kills didn't catch much. The repellers didn't work well - the mice were getting into attic spaces to nest and the repeller didn't seem to reach there. We only have this problem in winter - when the weather gets cold, the mice move in. I'm afraid we put down bait: the poison dehydrates the mice, so they go outside looking for water and die there. Supposedly their corpses are not dangerous to predators.......

Laura

#22 2squared

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:44 AM

We live in a 150yo farmhouse in the middle of corn and bean fields. The mice were here before we moved in 2 years ago.

The most effective trap once they are in the house is a snap trap bated with peanut butter waaaaay back down in the spring.

The most effective way to stop them from coming in is barn cats. We haven't had any mice since acquiring 3 adult barn cats.

#23 gardenmom5

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 11:41 AM

have you found where they are getting in? you will never get rid of them if new ones replace the ones you catch. you need to go around the outside of your hosue and find every crack - even if it seems too small, and seal it with caulk. do you have a crawl space or a basement? we had them in our garage, found the hole and sealed it, put out traps (i've had up to three mice on a glue trap, but snap traps usually work better, no more mice in the garage. you can put a rubber gasket along the bottom of a garage door to keep them getting in that way. remember they can jump pretty high, so if there is a ledge, check along that too.

my sil lived on a livestock farm for many years. she had a sign at her vet's office that she would take any cats the owners didn't want. (she got some pretty pampered cats. crystal cat dishes?) she gave them their shots, provided food, they lived out side - but they were working cats. their entire purpose was to control the mice. she didn't have any in her house.

Edited by gardenmom5, 06 August 2011 - 11:44 AM.


#24 RahRah

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:03 PM

Mice traps with peanut butter. Thats what works with us. Once we had a family of them in our basement. It took a few days, but got them all with peanut butter in a mouse trap.


Any kind of nut butter does the trick with ours....they seem to particularly like unsalted almond butter around here, but will definitely get nailed with peanut butter too!

#25 Parker Martin

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:08 PM

We used peanut butter on regular traps and kept putting them out. It worked.

I read somewhere that no kill traps are not any more humane than snap traps because house mice released into the wild are easy pickings for predators. Getting bitten or pecked to death is much less pleasant than the quick snap of the mouse trap.

#26 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:20 PM

We tried the no-kill traps, only caught one. I won't do the sticky things or snap traps, can't bear to see it or think about it. I'm allergic to cats, so that was no good. It was getting desperate at one point-I had even found a dead mouse in the storage closet in my kids room, and we couldn't figure out where they had come in from, so we put out the poison pellets. I hated to do it, but it did work.

#27 Firefly

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:20 PM

When we bought our big ol' late 1600s farmhouse, it had been empty for over a year and was overrun with field mice. In fact the real estate agent had affectionately dubbed it "Field Mouse Farm." It was so bad that one time I opened the bread door and there was a mouse scurrying around in there! I admit I gave a girly scream. Full on. And I'm not prone to screaming or most things girly. Anyway, besides the cats, what has worked for us is what someone else mentioned up thread: blocking up points of entry. But you have to find every one of them... even tiny ones you think they can't get in. Our foundation is old fieldstone and it was practically Swiss cheese. DH used a special caulking for that, but otherwise the steel wool works like a charm. Hope you find something that works!

#28 VeteranMom

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 01:19 PM

We've killed 28 mice this summer. The mice are in our greenhouse. I have a very, very small yard in a well established city neighborhood. We had the pest control people put out bait boxes and the bait killed 2 mice. The rest have been killed by traps put out nightly. Mice are known to carry Hantavirus. Also, I know winter is coming and that the creatures will be looking to come inside when the weather changes. I've found the traps to be effective when put out consistently.

#29 tmulcahy

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:02 PM

Little Bunny Foo Foo would bop them on the head....:D


That is the first thing that I thought of too!!!:lol:

#30 Samson Smith

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 05:29 AM

I admit it... I hate killing pretty much any living thing. I feel like they're just doing what they're supposed to do. But the problem is getting out of hand. We have mice that are getting into everything, including packaged food (i.e. cereal and nuts).

We put out regular mousetraps every so often and always get at least one or two mice in them. It doesn't seem to help but that could be because we don't put out the traps regularly. We've also tried a no-kill trap (where the trap tips backwards and the door slides closed) but those traps don't seem to work well and it's hard to clean them out once the food in there gets a bit ripe. We have a couple of those no-kill traps out but haven't caught anything in them in months.

Some of the proposed suggestions have been to get a cat (not possible atm) and to try one of those electronic repellers (Riddex?). I've heard mixed reviews of the repellers... One friend used them fine in one place but when they moved to a split-level house (similar to ours), it didn't work very well. Another friend's cat could apparently hear the ultrasonic sounds the trap made. And several people have said that the repellers would then be a permanent fixture in the house which I don't like because we usually have hamsters... We just happen to be critter-less right now.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks,
Sue


[FONT="]If you have mice inside or outside the home, then follow these tips to get rid of mice. First you need to mow the yard as short as possible and clean up any extra sticks or leaves to make it difficult for the mice to have a place to live and seek out shelter. In Outdoors, you have options than you do indoors because you don't have the fear of mice dying inside your walls. Only use these techniques; Usa bait station, these work well at killing mice, but be aware because it is a poisonous process. For the most part these will help to control the population. The second is Clean up the house and seal up all food products completely. [/FONT]


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