We have recently seen a couple field mice near the back door of our house. We have seen them escape into a hole in the ground that is butted up right next to the foundation.
We have put 3 traps in the garage where we've seen one on one occasion and 3 or four in the basement, where we've never seen any. How likely is it that they are in the foundation or in the home? The house is approximately 4 years old. We've lived here since it was built. This is the first year we have even seen mice.
By Stacey from Troy, MO
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I can't tell you if they are in your foundation but I will give you a piece of advise in case you didn't know. Peanut butter is an excelent bait for mouse traps. It works best with the little traps that have a trigger that looks like a piece of cheese. The peanut butter gets into the little holes and the critter has to step on it to get an angle to lick.
Another tip is to take steel wool and anyplace where you have openings into your basement should be stuffed with the steel wool - under the sink around pipes, places where wires come up, etc
Mice won't dig through steel wool, so if they are in your basement, they won't come into your upstairs.
Mice are a very common problem especially if you live in a rural or semi rural area. You need to keep in mind that if you see one mouse there are probably a hundred or more that you don't see. A mouse can fit through any hole the size of a dime and a rat the size of a nickel. You need to keep anything that mice find attractive stored properly so that you are not offering them an easy food source. Dog food, bird seed, and/or firewood are all things that mice find attractive.
Firewood should be stacked away from your home. Dog, cat, and birdseed should be in a metal trashcan with lids. If you have pets or small children I would advise going with the trap method if you don't have either use ropax ( we purchase ours at a local feed store) it will cause the mice to leave your home in search of a water source and they will die outside your home with no odor to deal with in your house. Ro-pax will seem a little pricey but it is well worth money.
My husband raised game birds and we had rats burrowing in killing and eating full grown birds. We used the poison and with in days the bait was gone and with in a week so were the rats. We then used it every so often as maintenance. You will be able to tell if it is getting eaten simply by looking at the bait and seeing if it has been gnawed upon. If you do not see where it has been fed upon move it to a new place. You can also call a pest control service and set up a clean out and monthly follow up service and you won't have to deal with any of the mess or the putting out of bait.
You do not want to flush them down the toilet. Remember our water supply for drinking is connected to everything that goes down the drain or in the toilet. Less flushed down is better. Wrap them up in newspaper and bury them or put in trash.
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I am fighting mice problems in my house, but can't put poisons out because I have two birds. I have caught the mice in their cage.
By Melodyse from PA
My vacation mobile home was totally infested, I tried everything, The only thing that works is to get a cat. Make sure its a good mouser. (of course, he might also go after your birds too if you let them out of the cage while he's inside your home)
*Besides that, there's always the spring-traps. But your birds could get caught in them, so you'll have to buy those expensive mouse "hotels" where they go in but can't get out. (07/21/2009)
Nothing works. I am 60 years old and never had a mouse problem until I moved here 4 years ago. My cat kept everything under control until I lost her one year ago. I would wake up some mornings and find one or two dead mice on the corner of my bed. Freaky.
Last October without Miss Kitty I found myself overrun by them. I made it to the store to buy traps and killed over 50 in just 2 weeks. I put a dozen cotton balls with peppermint oil all behind the head of my bed plus sprayed my entire bedroom with it when I spotted them scurrying across the bed. I also dumped half a box of mothballs back there. Didn't stop them. I killed 18 in my bedroom in a week and watched them run behind the head of my bed and over to the other side to the trap each night.
When I moved my couch to clean behind it I found a softball sized hole chewed into the wall and holes chewed into several other walls and windowsills. They even chewed holes in the ceiling and dropped down from above. My yard became overrun with them in the spring. Every time I moved a flowerpot I would find a nest of 30 or 40 underneath. I have been unable to drive for a year and both vehicles are basically ruined.
I spent $20 on fox/bobcat urine and sprinkled it all over the yard and in the vehicles - nothing. Didn't even slow them down. My friend in town suggested some of those electronic goodies, because she was having success with them, but that only lasted about two months before she was getting them again.
I am finally getting the house under control by vigilantly putting out 10 to 20 traps every night, but the best thing has been my new friend. I had noticed the past few weeks that I was seeing less mouse activity in the yard and not seeing mouse poo in the outside dog dishes as often. Well I was sitting outside a few days ago when a movement caught my eye, a 5 - 6 foot black snake was slithering across to one of their favorite hiding places. I saw one mouse scurry out, but no others. I would say he is enjoying his meals and as long as he stays outside he is very welcome. (08/14/2009)
I just moved into my brand new home and saw a mouse running across the floor. On the advice of family members, I bought a few mouse baits. One is the "stick on" type and the other is filled with rat poison. I even sprinkled bay leaves around (I know this works for weevils, but someone told me it works for mice too). I am looking for a long term solution for mice control, without buying a cat. I am terrified of mice, so any help would be appreciated. By the way, I will be planting peppermint around my house this spring.
Brandi from IN
Sorry but there is no long term control solution to keeping mice out of your home. Mice are looking for food and shelter. Especially when the weather changes. Do check around the house foundation and plug any small openings you find. There are traps that catch mice where you don't see the mouse. You dispose of the whole mess in the trash.
Cats only catch mice if they were taught to by their mother.
Purchase those electric thingys. Can't think of what they are called. Think you can get them at Wal-mart and/or Home Depot. We live in a campground and many of the folks that are only here part of the year say they have helped a lot, not only for the mice and rats, but for squirrels and spiders too.
The best thing I've found to be rid of mice and rats is to go to a farm supply store and buy some Ramek bars. It's a poison that dehydrates the rodents so you don't smell them when they die, unlike Decon. Our house was infested with mice when we bought it, and I just spread little pieces of these Ramek bars inside the cabinets where I found the mouse pellets, and within 2 weeks, I had no more problems. When the weather starts getting cold, I put some more around the basement and crawl space so I don't have them coming in for the winter. (11/17/2004)
Even if you have to take other measures (like making sure every hole is plugged up, etc.), the one thing that will definitely help tremendously, is to not have any food of any kind available to them, which means nothing in bags, baggies, paper sacks, etc. Everything has to be in jars with tight lids, or store it in the frig or freezer. They eat through nearly every container they find to get to the food inside so you have to make it impossible for them to get to the food by using glass jars with lids. I learned this years ago with a mouse problem I had. It definitely helps the situation. This also means no bread or cake, cookies, etc. out anywhere. If food, flour, snacks, etc. is not in glass, then it goes in the frig or freezer. Good luck.(11/17/2004)
The main area a mouse gets into the house is through the dryer vent holes, gas line holes, and any other piping/vent holes. Placing screens around the vents and plugging the other holes will help reduce the mouse problems.
I know 100% that mice are attracted to peanut butter, if you have an elusive mouse set a spring trap with peanut butter and it will be caught within a couple of hours. The smell is strong enough for them to "smell the food" and if you only put a little on the trap it will spring right away.
We just had 3 mice in our house all at different times. And each and every time, it was gone within a couple of hours.
Being married to a longtime mouse/ratter I know all the tricks. Before we moved into our "definately not new" 1976 single wide the first thing done was to place it on a slab. Second was a secure solid wood skirting. I was often put on guard to make sure no critters entered whenever it was opened. Third every Fall we never leave the door propped open. One Fall I did and we immediately got "mouse sign" inside. A regular mouse trap with peanut butter caught the critter and he went to garbage can heaven.
No matter where you are there are always mice and rats outside. Diligence and sealing up holes keeps them there. Did you move into a new house? If it were me, I would be in touch with the contractor, because they didn't finish the job.
Peppermint essential oil placed on cotton balls and spread around your house including attic and basement will definitely keep them away. I had a bad problem one year when a neighbor moved and the mice moved in with us. Had a professional exterminator putting pellets around, but that was just a snack for them and then read about the peppermint and haven't had a problem since. I read that mice are allergic to peppermint and will stay away (11/22/2004)
I read that a person who didn't have a cat took some used cat litter and placed it around her place. The smell made the mice think there was a cat and they vacated her premises. (03/15/2005)
Honestly my mice didn't think the sticky traps were worth bothering with. The electronic devices don't really help all that much. The poison unfortunately is the only thing I have found that works to get rid of them. My cats don't catch the mice inside the house, only the ones that come into to the garage for some reason. I keep the cats out of the house when I have mice so I can poison the mice.
It usually only takes a few days to get rid of them. Sounds awful I know, but it keeps the cats safer than if they ingest the poison. I also use Coyote or Bobcat urine, spray it outside on the foundation and anywhere outside they might be around. It smells awful for a few minutes, but then goes away to our noses. These predators are a mouse's mortal enemy so they will stay away a bit. I am going to try the peppermint oil this year for indoors, sounds like it will smell better than the urine. You can buy the Coyote urine at a hunting store, hunters use it to take away their own smell when hunting predators. (07/27/2005)
By Utah girl
There is no one solution, but here is the combination that I found works best.
One trap is to take a toilet paper or paper towel tube, and tape a couple of quarters on the outside of it near the center, but off center a bit. Then you flatten out the bottom a bit so it will sit well on a flat counter. Put a good blob of peanut butter on the short end of the quarters end and just a sniff of peanut butter on the other end. Put it on a counter where you have noticed mouse activity, and slide it out so that it almost falls off with the big blob and the quarters past the edge of the counter.
The idea is the mouse crawls through the toilet paper tube to get to the peanut butter and its weight tips the balance of the tube which will then fall off the counter. The peanut butter on the other end is used to get him sniffing to go into the tube. You put a tall trash can under it to catch the tube and mouse when it falls. Beware those little suckers can jump very high. Just leave the critters in the trash can for a bit because their mouse like commotion of them trying to jump out of the trashcan can draw other mice to the scene to meet the same fate after you reset the tube trap.
Another one is to take a glass, put a blob of peanut butter in the bottom of it, and prop the glass upside down on the edge of a nickel. The mouse will go after the peanut butter, and the glass will tip off the edge of the nickel, catching the mouse. I caught three mice in one day using the two methods. The tube trap did it's job within 10 minutes after we left the kitchen and let it quiet down.
Disposal can either be done humanely at a good distance from your home, or you can flush em down the toilet if you are less worried about their health. (12/11/2007)
Blue Death and cats (01/01/2008)
If you use the "sticky" trap you will have to manually kill the mice. A better solution is to use an electronic mouse trap that electrocutes the mouse. They are about $20, but they work. Quick and easy. No mice caught by their tails, no sprung traps. Just open and dump the dead mouse. This worked on a mouse that had foiled every other trap we had. He took great delight in tripping the traps and taking the food. We knew him because he's sprung a trap and got a bit of tail cut off. (06/26/2008)
The best thing I have found are the electronic plug-ins. I keep them going all year, but have to be careful nothing is placed in front of them. Supposedly they emit a sound that rodents can hear and keeps them away. They are not that expensive, and work better than anything, but nothing is 100%. (11/01/2008)