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Getting Rid of an Intelligent Mouse

Category Mice

I just inherited a house and to our disgust and surprise I have noticed that we have a mouse (or mice). We see droppings, they ate the bread out of the bread box, and even ate the trash out of our garbage can in the kitchen, leaving behind urine and droppings.

We set traps with peanut butter, bread, and cheese. We have used two different kind of traps with no luck! They eat the bait but don't set off the trap.

I have removed all the food from our cabinets and have placed it in Rubbermaid bins or in the refrigerator, so they cannot contaminate our food. I feel as though I am being chased out of my kitchen and am having a battle of wills with these critters.

I keep a very clean house, and do a lot of cooking. I cannot use poison because of our dog, and cannot bring in our cats because my boyfriend is allergic. I cannot afford an exterminator, but also cannot live with these creatures having a party in my kitchen every night when we go to bed. Please help.

By Vanessa

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September 18, 20110 found this helpful

We had a mouse like this. Tried every single trap, bait, and overpriced electronic device on the market and never managed to catch the little bugger. The only thing to do is figure out how they're getting in and seal them out. Mice can fit through a hole the size of a pencil, so go through your house with a fine tooth comb and seal up any cracks in the baseboards, gaps between pipes and the walls, etc.

What really helped us was using this fluorescent powder, like something from a spy movie it lets you follow the mice tracks all over the house to figure out where they're coming from. We got ours online from a pest control supplier. Good luck!

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September 18, 20110 found this helpful

I detest mice/rats with a passion. Sometime ago here on TF several recommended using peppermint oil extract on cotton balls throughout the house. I bought that foam insulation spray in a can and sealed around all my under sink pipes also around the dryer vent. They may seem to stick in the kitchen but will come in any tiny place.

When putting peanut butter on the traps; put a tiny bit under instead of on top of the metal part of the trap. This way they're more likely to get caught. As for the poison pellets; put them in several cupboards against the back walls as that's where they run and it's out of the way of pets and kids.

This has worked for me. Hope it does for you as well.

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September 18, 20110 found this helpful

Our dumb mice are limited to the garage (they better be -- we have three cats in the house!). Snap traps have worked for us. But your mice sound more clever. Have you tried sticky traps? The powder Tapestry Lady mentioned sounds like an excellent idea, too. Good luck!

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful

Rub peanut butter on a piece of gauze and tie it to the snap trap.

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful


We had mice last year, and they bred! We ended up with many a sleepless night hearing them scampering about. We used spring traps, but we used Parmesan (yes, I know it doesn't sound thrifty, but you can get a tiny piece from the cheese counter) the trick is to put a really tiny piece (as small as you can manage) on so that they have to get on the trap to get it.

Parmesan is quite strong smelling which I think really attracted them. Also we found after we had caught a few adults and there were only young ones left, they couldn't set the traps off because they were too small - be patient the cheese will feed them up and make them big enough to catch!

I sincerely wish you good luck, it will end eventually.

A pre-emptive strike - if you live near fields/open grass areas, put traps down in the Autumn in case they get in. That's when they are most likely to move in! Hope this helps!

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful

Just a thought, Are you sure it is a mouse and not something larger? You might have a different kind of pest and you would need poison to kill it or them.

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September 20, 20110 found this helpful

My husband, the health inspector, helped our friends years back with a mouse problem in their house. He's not here right now for me to consult, bu I do remember our friends were placing the traps incorrectly. They have to be parallel to and up against the baseboard and not jutting out from the baseboard (forming a T). It has to do with the fact that the miserable creatures stay right up against the wall as they scurry around looking for food and are way more likely to end up caught in the trap.

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September 21, 20110 found this helpful

Please do not use the poison pellets. I had a friend who bought a house with a mouse problem. Before she moved in, she placed the pellets around the house. Seeing that the pellets were gone, she thought her problem was solved, so she moved in. She was wrong. While maybe some of the pellets were eaten, some were hidden around the house. She had to board her dogs for a few days until she went through the house to find more hidden poison.

I have read but never had the opportunity to try this tip. Put bait in the spring traps for a few days, but do not set them. Then set them with the same bait in the same area and hopefully, you will catch the mice.

My husband had owned his own business in an old building and used rat poison for his mouse problem. He accidently bought the wrong poison. Instead of small pellets, it was a block of poison; too big for the mice to move. The mice could not take the poison and hide it, but they did nibble on it and eventually they were gone. But they died within the walls and the decaying smell was horrible. I do not advise to use poison in your home.

My husband was told later that if he left a half-bucket of water available so that the poisoned mice could drink, that they would drown. The idea was to have the mice stretch out to reach the water and fall in and drown. When the mice eat poison, they become very thirsty and seek water.

Along with some of the other hints suggested, except for the poison, your mice problem should be solved. Good luck.

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September 22, 20110 found this helpful

They are probably babies that are able to eat the bait but don't apply enough pressure to set off the trap. It may sound cruel but you may have to use sticky traps.

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October 19, 20110 found this helpful

Mice hate the smell of mint, buy some mint oil (around $15 an ounce at the pharmacy) put a few drops on a few cotton balls and stash the cotton balls where you know the mouse has been. They will avoid the area, and move out quickly! This also will leave your house smelling minty fresh, like a candy cane factory! We used to live next to a wheat field, and this is the only thing that worked at keeping mice out of our house.

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