Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I have recently moved into a historic home on a couple of acres in the country. The previous tenants were less than sanitary and I have been steadily cleaning up everything from them, their dogs and the mice they attracted. I have caught 2 adults and 1 baby mouse in the past week. 2 standard mice and what I think was a deer mouse. It had white spots near his belly.
So, how do we control these things? I have used glue board and snap traps, but want to speed up the eradication/control process. I can live with a few or some during the winter months, but an extra 10 house pets is not my want.
We have a battery powered unit (can buy off amazon or ebay) which seems to work pretty well. It's basically a tunnel, set like a trap and when they go in/through they step on a charged pad get an immediate electric shock and BAM. We had our's outside for rat control near our chicken house (protected from rain); unfortunately rats were too clever but we took out no end of mice. Personally I'm not a fan of the glue strips, snap traps or of poison.
BEST SOLUTION IS OUTDOOR CATS. I live in rural Maine. We had mice in the walls of our house, mice drowning in the animals water buckets in the barn and chipmunks taking up residence in the garage. We tried electronic devices, glue traps, mouse poison, etc. with various degrees of success that were only temporary and I didn't want to use poison (the most effective solution) in the barn. I got three barn cats mainly to keep mice from drowning in my animal water buckets in the barn but the happy result was that in addition to ridding the barn of mice, there are no more mice dancing in the walls of my house or my business which is 350 yards away, and the squirrels and chipmunks stay out of the garage. I have watched my cats hunt as they roam our property and find evidence of their "kills" around the yard. So if you don't want to feed the rats or mice, feed the cats. My cats were adopted strays that had been fixed and were not very friendly then. I kept them enclosed in the barn a week or so and fed them at the same time morning and night to establish routine and then let them out. They are now very friendly and know my routine and have no desire to come in the house. My cats are the best investment I have ever made. The cost of feeding them for a year is way less than I used to spend on other methods. They don't bother my chicks or poults. The one downside to this method was losing one of my cats to a predator.
We use a combination of cats, traps, and in areas where none of the non rodent animals can get poison bait sticks, if the squirrels and chipmunks get too destructive my son gets out the pellet gun and target practices. One thing I would never use is the glue traps, those take too long for the rodent to die.
Thanks for the replies! I am going to try the ole beer can spinning on top of the 5 gallon bucket of water trick this weekend to see if I get one or two. I found one large mouse had a field day in my potato chips for lunch tomorrow. So now I have little regard for them!
I have a door mouse that's been driving me nuts. Actually, I think the door mouse that was here when we moved in was taken care of, but we're like a mouse bed and breakfast. I've been offered some barn cats (they're still kittens now). I'm thinking of taking up the offer. My concern is whether my dogs (or the coyotes or foxes that are out here) will consider them as bite size snacks.
I do have another suggestion, though. When I was a teenager, we lived right by some hay fields. When they cut the hay, the mice would move...into our house. Thus, we discovered GreatStuff. It's that foam that expands and hardens. We used it to plug up the little holes around the outside of the house, like where the plumbing comes in. And, of course, we did have outside cats.
We have great stuffed the great stuff. The home owners I bought from had done the lion share of this. Funny you should mention hay. I also have a 1/2 hay and 1/2 alfalfa field on the east side of my property and the hay was cut last week. The battle continues!
I really appreciate all the creative ideas and the avoidance of poisons. You just never know how long the poison will stay around - my dog is currently recovering from poison set around a house for sale nearby. They appear to have covered the fields with gopher and rat poisons after they moved out.
Sealing up helped us greatly as we also had a steady stream coming through when we first got here. We also keep snap-traps set around 24/7, so if one somehow gets in it is caught immediately. Since sealing up though, we have only had one mouse and he ran in through an open door.