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Having a major mouse infestation...:(

7313 Views 56 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  My craftsman 917.27308
Seems I have a colony of deer mice living in my house somewhere,or they are entering somewhere..

Been hearing noises a few times over the past few months that sounds like something running across the suspended ceiling tiles in my room down in the lower level of the house..thought it was the house settling,it does make a very similar noise,if it was warm during the day,then cools off rapidly at night..
It didn't sound like a small critter like a mouse-but evidently it was,probably..

The other day I was going thru the pantry and the lazy susan under the counter in the kitchen--there was some bags of flour,"quick oats" and some other stuff that had been there a long time,I never use that stuff,evidently my sister had left them here after she visited-all the flour bags and oats and other stuff like rice had been chewed open,and mouse feces were all over the shelves in the pantry and lazy susan,and they chewed into a new bag of chocolates I had just bought and sampled one of the foil wrapped "nuggets"...:eck16:...

So I did a mass "purge" and cleaned out everything in both areas that was either ruined,or past the "best if used by" dates,and I filled a large trash bag with about 40 lbs of tainted foods..found some cans of pineapple and pears that had been overlooked when I cleaned the house out after my mom passed too--one can of pears had leaked and when I opened it to dump them out,it was extremely gross--they looked like bear scat,covered with "hair"..probably some bio-hazard stuff that could kill half the population,so it all went way out on the woods and covered with dirt & leaves..

I vacuumed up all the feces and wiped the area down with some bleach,in hopes of killing any diseases they may have cat has ear mites now,she never did before,and ticks or fleas can hitch-hike on a mouse and get in the house..I have gotten some nasty "bites" on my ankles recently,and figure its probably fleas or ticks,but I haven't found any on me so far..

I have even found evidence they were on my BED too!..:tango_face_surprise
I keep my room very clean too,as far as any food--and if I bring any snacks down to my room,I store them in cookie tins or a big glass jar with a screw top lid..
It's not like I leave food or crumbs all over the place or the bed !..

My cat is 17 years old,pretty much deaf,and has arthritis pretty bad,so she's not up to catching any mice..she has seen only one live mouse in the past,and all she did was bat it around and let it escape..she's been an indoor cat since day one,so her hunting skills never were awoken I guess..

I bought four snap traps at the dollar store last Friday, and put one in the laundry room next to my room,where I found a drowned mouse in a small plastic pail I had hung under a copper pipe that weeps slightly and needs to be emptied every 4-5 days,that was about 2 months ago was a gray mouse,not the brown deer mice I've been catching the past 5 days..

I have caught SIX deer mice so far,and the latest one was just minutes ago,in the kitchen..caught four of the six in the laundry room,all in the past 5 days.:tango_face_surprise..all appear to be adult sized and well fed..:maddd:

Weird thing is I spent 98% of my time IN the house,and never really heard any gnawing,squeaking,or SAW any mice at all,even in the rooms I placed the traps in..two rooms that are full of personal belongings of my parents are closed up and un-used,they may be hiding there,but I do not smell any mouse nests anywhere in the house,plus my cat stays upstairs and they likely wouldn't dare try getting past her--so far only the kitchen has been the only room upstairs they have infested,for food & water most likely..

I now must go snooping around and see if I can find out where they are getting in the house--the garage built in under the house is the most likely spot,the walk in door has gaps under it ,years ago the bottom of the metal covered door got rusted and the aluminum threshold under it came loose from the cement foundation.

(the door was added after they poured the foundation,builder screwed up!--did a crappy job of making a opening for the door & jamb,and just "mortared" it in place,ditto for the threshold...

I removed the threshold,and poured cement under the door and troweled it smooth,leaving very little gap,but it dragged on the door bottom after the first frost and I had to plane down the bottom of the door so it'd close easily--I also made a slot beside the door trim so I can run an extension cord out to my truck,and still close the door--there may be enough room there for a mouse to squeeze thru there.)

And the overhead garage door probably can be snuck under too..but once inside the garage,the two doors inside the garage that lead into my bedroom and the furnace room are weatherstripped tightly with that aluminum trim & rubber flap stuff and no sign of it being chewed,and the garage has all the walls sealed up 100% with sheet rock and plaster to meet fire code,so it would not be easy for a mouse to chew thru that stuff,nor do I see any evidence of holes they made anywhere..

I'm sure the house has plenty of openings now,being 41 years old,and mice may have enlarged some to over the years..

We never had any rodent issues in this house until 2012,my elderly mom started leaving food out or didn't clean up well enough and it attracted them--I caught 5 mice that year,then haven't noticed any since,until recently..
We used to have about a dozen feral "outdoor cats" which probably accounted for no mice all those years previous,but most of them have died of old age or simply vanished--I suspect coyotes got them,after they got old and "slow"..:(

I HATE mice,they are so destructive and disgusting,and can lead to you getting very ill,even die,if you get one of the many viruses they carry,like plague !...they have ruined several of my small engines in my shed in the past,and vehicles I didn't drive daily got infested,they filled the heater box up with nests and feces,pee,and shelled nuts,making it risky to drive them and exposing you to all the germs..needless to say I am not sleeping well,knowing the house has several mice now intruding--not that I get much good "sleep" period due to back pain and other ailments..every time I hear the baseboard heat pipes expand & contract I think its a mouse...

Getting sick of re-loading traps and hauling mouse corpses out to the woods to dispose of I have nothing else to do..:Disgus:..not to mention I had to toss about $50 worth of food away..
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I'm also dealing with mice in my house, got most of them with traps, but recently they seem less likely to go for traps with cheese, and not at all with peanut butter.

The last couple I got, with a trap in a box of dog treats, they had to drop into the box to get the treats, and I put the trap where they had to land...

One mouse startled me twice, I was lying in bed, and it ran over my chest on two nights. got him with a trap and changed the bed linens...
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I let it get out of hand,with baby squrriels in my shop /shed.I yell at them,they don't care.Its hard for me to kill them, like a rat.
I feel your pain. Our old house had a major problem, primarily in the basement, but they were also in the walls and ceiling when we first moved in. The old stone foundation was like Swiss cheese, no way to ever find and fill all of the holes.

Spent lots of time and money on traps, eventually knocked the population down to the point that we didn't hear them in the walls and ceiling anymore, and were down to catching about one per week (vs multiples each day when we first moved in). Only had one in the kitchen once, fortunately.

At this house, I've never heard or seen them in the house or basement. However, we had a pretty bad invasion of the garage a few years ago, made a mess of everything. They've also been into the RV, seem to have that under control for the moment.

You're right though, you need to eliminate their access and protect your food. Access control is probably the most important, so they don't come in for a warm place to sleep between looking for food elsewhere.

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The old part of my house is over 100 years old, stone basement walls. That part is the furnace/utilities room. Mice sneak in through the stone wall somewhere. There is a concrete ledge around the basement where it was underpinned. That's where I set my traps. I find peanut butter is the best bait. Catch 1 or 2 a week this time of year.
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The best trap -
just throw the dead ones in the garbage. (outside)

I think country houses come with them as standard equipment. I used to hear some in the walls and ceiling. I've seen a few scurry across the floors. Have found their presents indicating their presence.

Took to tossing blue/green presents for them behind and under things out of sight (no regular critters here to be concerned about). Last time I moved something, I found one of those formerly blue/green blocks, untouched but now grey and dust covered.

Does that mean Mickey and company moved on?

Nope. Saw one scurry out from under one of the mowers in the shed today. Guess I need to toss some blocks in there too.
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Haven't had much luck with the poisons. They nibble, but are still there. Best method is the snap traps, I find.

I am not sure about dropping them in a pail and drowning. Guess I am a wuss, but I would rather go quick, getting squished than drowning....Maybe if it was beer in the
Our first mouse invasion came when the little buggers started crawling straight up the side of our Cape and in through the gable vents. They had chewed a hole in the flimsy plastic insect screening and moved in. I had some 1/4 inch galvanized netting and put that at both ends of the space, and trapped out critters.

The second wave came when I had the roof reshingled. They did a ridge vent, and that became a mouse highway! I ended up buying more galvanized metal mesh and stapling it all along the inside of the attic, between the rafters. I also found an exterior hole at my foundation line where the wood had rotted and the mice came in.

Luckily peanut butter worked well in the Havahart traps for us: choosey mice choose Jif!
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The problem with spring traps is they need to be reset.
The drop in a bucket resets automatically.

They are vermin, just so they end up dead.
Haven't had much luck with the poisons. They nibble, but are still there. Best method is the snap traps, I find.

I am not sure about dropping them in a pail and drowning. Guess I am a wuss, but I would rather go quick, getting squished than drowning....Maybe if it was beer in the
In 2014 they passed a law here in Canada banning the "one bite kills" type baits. Most everything they sell now says they must be eaten daily for at least 6 or 7 days to get the job done.

I use snap traps but success is short lived as after the second catch, the rest get smart and won't touch the trap, reardless of how enticing the bait may be.

The coke cans on a wire, over a bucket of water, never worked for me. Our rats aren't dumb like you see on utube. Even putting Vasaline around the lip of the bucket, they still manage to hang on and clean the peanut butter off the cans.. I have set up the trailcam on video to watch them at night.

The old farmer's trick is cement powder mixed into peanut butter. Rats can't resist peanut butter and then apparently can't pass the cement afterwards.

So far, it's a toss up as to who is winning.:tango_face_devil:

Question: Has anyone on here actually tried the "walk the plank" traps for rats? Or are they just good for smaller mice?
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The problem with the old style good baits that worked, like De-Con, was that too many people put them outside to purposely kill off the neighbors dogs and cats. Outside, unprotected, they got way too many non target animals. So all the baits had to change their formulas.

Read a bit about it when mikeinri was having problems last year with mice in the RV. Conversation turned to how the baits did not work as well as they use to. As far as I was concerned they still worked well. So I researched a little bit. Before that I had not realized that De-Con had changed so much.
I had been slowly going through 2 or 3 ten packs I had of the old stuff, so I had not noticed the change.
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Yes, in our first house, I went through countless boxes of D-Con, never killed anything with that (that I'm aware of). The traps definitely give you instant justice, and you can tell that the population is being minimized when the kill rate drops.

Another problem with poisons it non target animals eating the poisoned animal and being killed itself... A lot of hawks, owls, etc. died that way.
I battled these devils for years in my garage until I fixed the entry--corners of the garage door seal. I superglued up blocks of rubber from a horse stall mat to fit the corners and screwed them in place. Caught all the vermin and haven't had a problem since.

My wellhouse has a bucket trap that's easier than the one shown. Mine just has a straightened coat hangar thru a lengthwise soda can across the opening. Can is zip tied near one side of the bucket. Peanut butter on the can with a ramp leading up to it. Mouse steps on the can and it rolls, mouse in bucket.
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I know two people who used poison on a mouse infestation and the house smelled for months of rotting, dead mice. It was horrible. They don't eat and leave. They eat and go to their nest in the house and die there.

I read that cutting the grass around the house short at the end of the season helps keep mice away from the house. We are all ood at that.
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Another problem with poisons it non target animals eating the poisoned animal and being killed itself... A lot of hawks, owls, etc. died that way.

I had forgotten about that part of the problem. I read where many of the different state's Dept. of Natural Resources had gotten involved and found many birds and animals you would not think of had been dying off from eating the bodies of the animals that had died from the poison.
Thanks for the reminder.
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I wont use poison on them,for the above reasons..too much risk of killing anything else that might eat the mice ,or find the poison..and I certainly don't want rotting dead mice in my walls stinking up the house..

My friend says the best way to get rid of mice is to take anything you value out of the house and burn it to ground!..I'm not that desperate ,but I can see his point--it IS a losing battle it seems..

I had a mouse run across my chest in bed before too,back in 2012,that is a very disturbing thing,you never sleep well after that happens..

I think the mice I've been trapping are either "deer mice" or "White Footed Mice",and both are noted for spreading lyme disease and several deadly viruses,some of which have no cure! I want them GONE..I'm ill enough without that stuff..

I got two more yesterday,bringing the total to six so far since last Friday..didn't see any in the traps this morning and the peanut butter hadn't gone missing (they have managed to get it off without setting the trap off before,don't ask me how)...

I'm hoping there isn't any more lurking around ,but this morning at 6 am I heard something in the wall between my room and the garage--could have just been the heating pipes expanding or contracting,but it sounded more like something running around..I wouldn't doubt they are in the attic,living in the fiberglass insulation..could be a whole colony up there for all I know..

When I have my roof repaired,I'm NOT getting a ridge vent put in--the roof already has five "ugly" metal vents installed (and may well be an entry point for the mice for all I know)..I don't believe in ridge vents,I think they cause more trouble than they prevent..

My cat is looking pretty ill today,and I fear she's not long for this world...praying she pulls thru,she's put me thru an emotional roller coaster so many times the past 4 years--looks like she's dying one day,then bounces back again.

The last time I took her to a vet in April 2017 they told me she has "end stage kidney disease" just by looking at her--they wanted to put her down,I refused,said to give her the fluid injection and antibiotics like the year before,so they did--for $204 ! :eek:--they charged $120 the previous year..--and she was doing quite well the past 18 months..

I hope she will pass peacefully at home instead of having to traumatize her taking her to the vets again..she freaks out every time I put her in the carrier and my truck,the fright will finish her off I think before I even get there,if she has to be put down..
She was so ill 4 years ago,I dug a grave for her and covered it up with plywood,so if she passes during the winter I can still put her in it--last cat I had died in 2014 on Dec.14th,5 years ago,and I had to use a pickaxe to chop the frozen dirt up so I could bury him in a snowstorm..barely was able to get the hole deep enough to fit him in it..:(

I don't really want any more pets--not fair to them if you cant afford vet bills to care for them properly..
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Ive been looking at bucket traps on amazon,for ideas.Im thinking,115 volt plank over water.Everything is cool till one paw steps on neutral and other paw steps on hot,in the middle of plank.
Hmm,like a bug zapper,but for mice ?..sounds too dangerous to leave in the house,especially if you have kids or pets..but it sounds like it'd work..ZZZOT!..

No new victims so far in the 4 traps since Wednesday...bait is still intact too..
Hoping 6 was all there was in the house,but I doubt it..

Yesterday afternoon I found the aluminum threshold for the walk in garage door on the house I removed several years ago when it came loose from the opening in the foundation,which had been made after the foundation was poured,the builder screwed up and had to chop out the opening after it was poured,and evidently just plopped the threshold in the wet mortar,and they also just troweled mortar around the door jamb frame,a shoddy job,and after 20 years the threshold was loose and flopping around,so I just removed it,and put more cement under the door to fill the gap left there..

Then the door ,a metal covered foam cored exterior door,rotted the metal out at the bottom many years ago,I bolted a 2x6 plank to the outside of the door to eliminate the gaps at the bottom and beef it up,but over the years some of the cement has been crumbled due to ice,and I had to shave the board down after frost heaved the foundation and wouldn't let the door swing open or close without scraping --and I also cut away a small portion of the door jamb moulding to allow a extension cord to fit beside the door,which powers my garage and also has enough room for a second cord to use on my trucks block heater and a battery charger..

I noticed yesterday that area where the cord is was large enough for a mouse to walk thru without even touching-!-so that had to be changed..the foam core in the bottom of the door was missing quite a bit of foam,there is no metal bottom on the door any more,just the 2x6 wood I bolted to it was all that abuts the cement foundation under it now,and I could see a gap all the way across under the door at least 1/4" wide..

So that is most likely where the mice were sneaking in..
The overhead door on the garage has the rubber flap on the bottom and seems to seal up OK all around,and there is a lot of dead wet leaves piled against the outside of it,so if mice were getting in there it would not be as easy,and I see no evidence of any using that as an entrance..

I took the old threshold and cut a little off one end,and placed it against the inside bottom of the door,and fit it tight as possible to the cement under the door ,without it dragging on it,and screwed it to the door,now there is very little gap along the bottom and the the future I'll have to cut off about a foot of the exterior door jamb and moulding,and replace it with pressure treated or metal--they have rotted inside,leaving what may amount to a "tunnel" mice might be able to climb up inside the exterior wall framing and get in that way..for now I am going to stuff some copper scouring pads up inside them to discourage mice from trying to use that as an entrance..

It's 60+ degrees here right now,but raining and winds are expected to gust up to 60 mph today--I'd like to be able to fix that door jamb today,but it's not an ideal day to be outside despite the warm temps..
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