Does anyone have an idea on how to stop mice from entering an older house? We put steel wool around the places where the pipes come in. They are also in the attic and can hear them gnawing away at night.
Marilyn from Ashcroft, B.C.
If you have a hard time setting a trap, there are those humane traps that traps them live and you can relocate them elsewhere away from your home.
You may try calling your local SPCA and they may have ones that you can rent. Most have the cat and dog traps and you are not always required to turn the animal in to the pound. If not, they may have suggestions for you. (05/24/2004)
Try getting a plug-in device like "Pest Offense" if you do not have pets smaller than a gerbil, and all critters will find a way out of your walls and home, including ants and roaches, etc. (05/25/2004)
Get a large bucket, like they have pickles in at fast food restaurants. Ask for one, they might charge a buck. Put a piece of bread with peanut butter in the bucket, and set it next to your counter. You might have to put some game boards on the sides with just a 1 inch opening in the center, I had to do it that way once with a large mouse. A normal sized mouse won't be able to jump out.
When you catch the mouse, just carry it well away from the house and let it loose. I've done this many times.
Mice do not like the smell of peppermint. Put some on cottonballs and pitch in the drawers, basement, or anywhere you think or see mouse evidence.
You can bet if you have seen one there are a lot more hidden in the walls/roof space. You have 3 choices, a deterrent, like the peppermint already mentioned. I don't know about that one as I haven't used it, but I do know the "electronic" devices didn't work for me. Second, trap and kill, any sort of device that snaps down and kills the mouse. What I use to find worrying about mice is the fact that they "scuttle" about so fast. Once they are in the trap, i.e. dead, you will find they are not as alarming. Then you can move them outside with thick gloves and drop the bodies out somewhere in the garden away from the house or wrap them well and put in the garbage. The more you do it the less scary it will be. Third is the humane trap mentioned above. The mice are still pretty scary running around in one of those, but you may be able to prevail on a neighbour to empty the trap for you.
Mice can carry hanta virus, which is very dangerous to humans. Any place you've seen droppings should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. I had a mouse in my kitchen drawers, where I kept towels and odds and ends. I found a half-mice eaten granola bar and some wine corks that he had munched on. I emptied and cleaned all the drawers, and set traps with peanut butter. Next morning I opened the drawer and found 1 dead little mouse, and I let out a scream. I don't know why I was so surprised to find a mouse, after all I had set a trap. I pulled the whole drawer out, dumped it into the trash, and again disinfected the drawer. No more mice. I washed all my towels that were in the drawer with bleach, too. (05/25/2004)
Mice can get in through the tiniest openings, like under your sink, where the pipe goes through to the outside. They can also chew through just about anything except steel wool. So take steel wool (Brillo pads work fine, with or without soap, whatever is cheapest) and tear pieces to fit, then stuff them into these openings. The mice will no loner be able to invade your home. (06/02/2004)
By Becki in IN
Here in the desert, we have all kinds of mice, not just your basic gray house mouse. A few years back, we found a bag of Hershey's kisses that had been eaten into in our pantry, those little critters ate the Kisses wrapper into a million little pieces. They love chocolate as well as they do peanut butter. So we've started baiting our mouse traps with Reese's peanut butter cups. I am having great success.
Also, if you don't like the other mouse traps, you're probably not going to like this next suggestion, but if you don't like killing the mice, use glue mousetraps. You can find them at your local Ace Hardware, as well as some grocers and at Wal-Mart. The only thing about them is my hubby usually gets to take them outside. I can stand a mouse, dead or alive, but dead is the best. One thing about mousetraps, always remember where you put them and to check them frequently. There's nothing like a dead mouse stinking up your house. (06/05/2004)
Also, you might want to invest in some glass, ceramic, or Tupperware containers with lids for all your foods that are in plastic bags, etc. (06/05/2004)
Walmart sells a humane mouse trap, it is a tube with a door that will swing in, but not out. The mouse goes in to eat the food, but can not get out. If you want to you can take the mouse somewhere else and let it go, but I like the plain old fashion mouse trap and I bait it with peanut butter. (09/24/2004)
Why don't you set out mouse poison? We had a problem when we moved to our acreage 10 years ago with mice in one of the walls in the house. My husband went into the attic and placed empty tuna tins with mouse poison in them and no more mice. Every fall he replenishes the tins. The mouse poison has oatmeal as a base, and mice love oatmeal. This poison is a "repeat" poison, meaning that the poison thins their blood gradually each time they eat, and they eventually die.
In Canada, in the farm supply stores I found an even better poison (one feeding kills them), this one is called Bromone (active ingredient is bromadiolone 0.005%) made by C-I-L and it comes in a block. I place some of the oatmeal-based poison with one or two blocks on a pie plate in my garage. The pie plate is at the entrance of the garage under the welder where the mice seem to come into the garage. Then if I put it under the welder, the dogs and cats can not "accidentally" eat it.
If you like the trap idea instead, tie a string to your trap and attach to something heavier than a mouse because I have had mice "walk" away with mine. I have had to go hunting for the trap the next morning. (10/29/2004)
I recently found a trap that is just a plastic rectangular tube with a door on a hinge. It is designed that once that mouse puts it's weight toward the middle or end of the trap the door falls down and shuts it in. They sell these at Home Depot for two in a package for like $2.
I haven't found any mice in mine yet, but I think my kittens have helped scare the mice off as they caught a few already. (12/02/2004)
Don't use the sticky traps. It's very sad seeing those little guys trying to unstick themselves. Our maintenance man put one of those down, and five hours later I walked in on that pitiful sight. I tried running water over the glue to see if it loosened and the little guy could go free, but it was too strong. I ended up setting it in the street facing away from oncoming traffic and it was put out of its misery by the first car to come. Sticky traps are the most inhumane thing you can do to get rid of mice. Also, poison is a terrible idea. Sometimes it works out, but there are those times when the mice will die in your walls and smell up your whole house. (12/30/2004)
Yeah, sticky traps for rodents suck.
To free a mouse from a sticky trap, pour cooking oil on the trap. The mouse will soon break free and run away, slipping and sliding and smelling like a donut.
But that's cool.
Your local animal shelter likely has a lovely kitten that would appreciate a home. I have lived in rural and city areas both of which had mice. The only time I had a mouse problem was when I was without a cat. The best defense is a good mouser. (11/08/2005)
The plug in thing works for us. I bought one at Home Hardware and as far as I'm concerned, it's worth its weight in gold. Living in the country surrounded by fields means we're looked upon as the Mouse Pan Pacific hotel. The plug in thing keeps them out. Don't know how it works, don't care how it works, just glad it works. (11/08/2005)
I read somewhere on the net they don't like Bounce fabric sheets odor. I put them under my sink, and even one in the car. I had a family of mice last year in my trunk. We live in the woods more or less. Anyway so far no more mice.
You have to caulk or block up around all the pipes and little holes you can find, but the field mice will come in even under a door. They squeeze themselves flat. I think I'm going to start putting out traps or bait in the late summer before they start coming inside the house. That way I hope to nip it in the bud. Good luck. (11/09/2005)
By Carol in PA
For years, my DH puts the little yellow triangle boxes of d-Con Mouse-Prufe 11 in the attics and garage. You can put them in other places you have a mouse problem just make sure pets and children can't get to them.
It has worked well for us.
I've trapped mice by accident, when I had a large (coffee can size) can of peanut butter in my cupboard which was almost empty. I'd gone to use it and noticed a hole scratched in the center of the plastic lid. With a sinking feeling (I live out in the country so am no stranger to mice, unfortunately) I opened the can and there was a dead mouse in the bottom. He had dug his way in, fell into the almost empty can, and couldn't get out. So, this is a great way to recycle your cans and create free traps as well. (12/10/2007)
Try bacon on snap traps, that works the best for us. Good luck. (08/13/2008)
I used one of those electronic mice traps and they work great. You put some peanut butter as bait and when the mice come to eat, they get zapped. I think this is a humane way to get rid of them. When it is caught, a light blinks indicating a mice has been caught. You simply empty the trap and set it again. One smart mouse gave me lot of trouble. I tried the glue things and the humane traps and they didn't work. In the end the electronic mouse trap caught it. You can pick one up at Home Depot. (11/10/2008)
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