The house next door to us was empty for about 3 years, while the bank that foreclosed on it and renovated it back to habitability. There must have been about 20 people living there at one point. Thankfully, a lovely young couple with two small children, bought the house. The bank, also must have hired an exterminator, prior to putting the home up for sale, and the mice that must have been living in an empty quiet house, have decided to move into "our" house.
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I'd agree with the suggestion to add some cats to your family if you didn't already have the dogs-who depending on breed might be rather good mousers.
If any pet succeeds at catching the mice, though, you might be looking at a vet bill to clear the fleas and internal parasites mice carry and pass on to pets. I moved into a house that had been empty for several years and my cats duly presented me first with their catches (which they then ate before I could catch the cat that had caught the mouse!) and then the vet bill to deal with fleas and parasites. Oh ick!
The most important thing is to make your home as unappealing to the mice as you can-no crumbs, no left out food including fruit in a bowl, no dog bowls (right, your dogs will love that-not-but mice are pretty bold and will eat and drink from pet dishes), plugged entry holes including gaps around pipes under all sinks. It isn't easy and it isn't a one time effort-you have to make it part of your regular routine for the rest of your life.
Excellent advice regarding mouse control specific to your area is available on your local Extension office web pages. Create a search term on your preferred search engine using: your town or county name plus university and the name of your state plus the words extension office. For example: Houston County University Alabama extension office
Once the search results come up, click through to the site map for your county office and browse the available (and printable-free!) info pages. There should be several pages about controlling not only mice but rats, squirrels, bats, snakes, insects, etc, that like to think of your home as a motel-fast food take away-potential permanent new home.
Also lots of great info at the County Extension site on gardening and other home helps-all free, and all on the web.
County Extension offices are nationwide in cooperation with all fifty states university systems to provide residents with free or low-cost information resources specific to each county in the system. All of the printable information online is absolutely free. Some services provided by extension office agents do have a low cost fee-water and soil sampling for homeowners, for example.
I copied this from thrifty fun about two years ago and have been doing this ever since at my house and Knock on Wood we haven't had a mouse in the house since. I just refresh the Ex-Lax yearly and I put some under our deck outside so the dog couldn't get in and in inconspicuous places in the house that I know he cannot get too. Honestly this has worked.
We owned and operated a seasonal fishing camp/resort out in the bush. Our cabins, lodge and washroom facilities were basic & simple. It was a summer business. In the fall we closed down, and in came the mice, although we lived year round on site with 5 cats! I tried everything to protect the cabins, house, etc. from the mice! Now you cannot mouse proof over 11 acres of resort out in the bush, can you? Thanks to a old timer bush man we did.
You may laugh out loud at his wisdom on getting rid of mice or other rodents, when you think about how his bush man solution works out in the boonies, with seasonal cabins, a lodge, workshop, garage and our house.
Here it is, and it worked like a charm for us. It is to feed them Exlax... super strength if you can. Rodents love Exlax! We placed it outside & inside. If we thought a cat or dog could get at it, we covered it so that only a rodent could get in and eat it.
The old bush man told us. Rodents are smaller, their digestive systems are smaller. A little Exlax goes a long way! Rodents live in communities or families. If one gets sick in "home space". They learn fast and leave for a safer environment.
A mouse/ any rodent loves the chocolate wax like bar of Exlax! Add peanut butter to the bars if you like. It is "Dairy Queen Deluxe" for rodents. Once the word is out among fellow rodents about the "after effects" of the food supplied, they leave the area for healthier food, as well as, communicate and smell the
"Gastric Distress and Results" of the afflicted Exlax filled rodent to the community!
We thought it was crazy until it worked. The mice were gone and we were trouble free for over 5 years! Easy and inexpensive! Yes, some rodents had diarrhea as they packed up and left, but we never smelled it. Anyway this worked for us up until we sold the resort and moved!
PS - As it looks and tastes like chocolate, DO NOT put where kids, adults or pets may eat it! You know what will happen with Exlax! Good luck and happy rodent free spaces!
Get a couple of cats. Be sure they are good mousers; some cats are much better hunters than others.
Make sure they are not coming in from an open area in your basement such as a hole in the floor or some such.You can put powder down and follow the tracks if you clean up all damp or wet areas suspect an area. Put garbage in metal cans with strong lids. Those noise repellers do not work-do not waste money. 2 good mousers (cats that chase mice) should do the trick.
Make sure the cats are on flea protection-get a script from vet and then fill online at Pet Meds or other where it is much cheaper.
You can use peppermint extract oil. Available in health food stores, or online. Apply small amounts to cotton balls and put around the house. Works great! The mice leave, the house smells good and your dogs are safe. Will have to re-do about once a month (make sure its the real extract, not a substitute).
I read somewhere that mice hate the smell of Bounce dryer sheets. I heard a little mouse inside our walls. I stuffed every opening I could find with Bounce sheets. To this day, I never heard from the little critter. Be sure to spread Bounce sheets in your pantry. Makes it smell great when you open the door.
Do you know anyone with cats? If so get some of their litterbox; litter that has urine smell and put it around the outside areas.
Go to Lehmans.com You can either order a catalog or buy on-line. For $17.95 they have a "Tin Cat Mouse Trap" it holds up to 20 live mice. You can then take them to the country far away from your house to release. For the same price they have "Fresh Cab Natural Rodent Repellant. It has the oder of Balsam fir and mice can't stand the smell and leave. It is not harmful to children or pets.
Check site for Riddex, it is something you plug in and somehow its electronic rays repel the mice. I don't remember the cost but it was cheaper than an exterminator and safe for my pets and children. I have one upstairs and one downstairs and, knock wood.
They don't work have had three over the years guess what I found in my new apt. Tiny baby mice I saw them one caugt by hand too small to trap then saw another that night stayed up all night in the dark to catch them and caught another that morning. Think they were coming in thru the hole around plug behind stove. Too small to use traps they are too lite to trip any trap. They are extremely fast.fill up holes under sinks alsoand any where else. PS babies as young as 4 weeks of age can get pregnant and have a gestational period of 18-21 days. Good luck everyone.
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