What did I miss? Rodents and terrified (long)

black-thumbJanuary 15, 2007

Hi let me preface that I am terrified of rodents and the problem I had last year ran me out of my apartment for over two weeks. I didn't sleep for two days straight before I finally left the premises. I mean did not sleep! Not a nap nothing. I sat up with the covers pulled up to my chin and just listened and watched to make sure it didn't jump up in my bed. If it was in the livingroom I baracaded myself in the bedroom. I finally gave it the apartment and went to my mothers where I slept for a hole day.

Ok over a year ago after living 10 years in my apartment I saw a mouse/rat. I called maintenance and they came out to rodent proof the house. They stuck steel wool and covered that with this foam stuff that swells after it sets in all the holes for the heating and ac vents moved the dishwasher (which is where the hole was) and filled it with steel wool and the foam stuff. Under the kitchen cabinets they filled that will the wool and foam (at the kick space). There was no space around the piping in the bathroom. They laid down poison and some sticky traps. So with everything sealed I felt much better. Turns out they sealed the blasted thing in the house! Not only that but the bugger was pregnant! No wonder it was so big! I finally ordered a rat zapper from ebay. Its a box with a metal plate and it electricutes them when they step inside. I loved this idea since that blasted thing pregnant and all ran over the glue traps and left nothing behind but fur and refused to eat the poision. I didn't want to see the thing so snap traps are out of the question especially if they are still moving.

Long story short after two weeks it finally walked in and bingo dead rat. Of course she already had her litter, this I found out a week later. I killed a total of seven included the mother. It has been over a year and now all of a sudden I see two small mice! Where did they come from. I have checked all the vents to see if they maybe made thier way thru the steel wool and foam. They are all still in tact. I checked behind the refrigerator and nothing. Behind the stove nothing. Under the kitchen cabinets nothing the steel wool and foam still in place. Under the kitchen sink nothing steel wool and foam still in tact. No new holes in the bathroom I have literally checked every room around the entire baseboard and see nothing. NO small crack no hole nothing! I have one last closet to check but given my intense fear of these small creatures that I firmly believe will attack and are out to get me, I am waiting till I get the second mouse for fear that it might be in there. None of the closets have an opening and I have checked them thoroughly including the ceiling for a hole. I haven't spotted any droppings and my plant leaves haven't been bitten. There is nothing for them to eat since I don't really cook (frozen pizza and moz sticks) and the garbage is never on the floor (hangs in a bag from the closet door knob. I haven't found any chewed paper or boxes. (I have one in one closet)

I keep a stopper in the bath tub and the toilet lid closed since I hear that could be a point of entry for them. I have done everything I know how to keep them out of the house. I can't think of anything I missed. I don't want to move out again until they are caught! I hate them and don't mind killing them one bit. Serves them right for trying to live under the roof that they don't pay rent for. I'm not sharing! I really hate the facyt that they are walking aroun MY house like they were invited! There is no food for it to eat ( that just terrifies me more because I think they will attack me) I've moved the nightstands away from the bed and even though my bed sits up really high I still have lifted the bedskirt (It never touched the ground anyway but hey they might jump!)

So what can I do. I have a way of killing them but I don't want them in period. I was good for over a year and yet they have found a way inside. HOW? I'm truly freaking out because I can't find the entry point which means I cannot keep them out! What do I do? Need serious help and not just mental for fearing them the way I do LOL.


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Please don't say get a cat I lived in a private house before that had rats! BIG ones that ate the soap! I got two cats and it accomplished nothing. I moved out! Turns out there was a hole leading from the basement outside and the basement was full of stray cats! Yet still the gigantic rats lived! I don't think that always works on every rat/mouse and every cat isn't a mouser! I don't believe in those sonic things. I thought about constantly cleaining with amonia and pouring some out in corners. Would they be as offended by it as I am? I know their sense of smell is much more sensative than mine. Will that keep them out of the house? Of course I don't want to end up sick from the constant smell. Help!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 2:44AM
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you will have to trap and kill the ones you currently have, and then seal ALL holes. a hole the size of a dime is all a mouse needs to enter. check the weatherstripping around the door. if it is missing in a section, they very well could come in under the door.

get some of your old socks and fill them about 1/3 full of mothballs. place these in the closets and cabinets. the smell may be bad for a few weeks, but it will run them off if they are in there.

and not to scare you, but rodents are climbers and good jumpers. if they want on your bed they will get up there. the can climb the legs and come up the sides that way. moving furniture away from the bed and raising the skirt serves no purpose.

if they bother you as bad as it seems, hire a real exterminator, NOT the maintenance guy. the mg is a general repair guy, while an exterminator is a specialist in your problem.

when we rented an apartment we had a bad roach and mouse problem that came up after being there 3 years pest free. turns out the tenant above us were very messy and the critters were coming down inside the walls and out anywhere they could . caught one mouse as he came out around a light fixture. i smooshed him with a hammer, then got maintenance in to see for themselves. they finally evicted the upper tenants and had to spend mucho money to clean the place up.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:03AM
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I agree about the "real" exterminator, who can do the job far better than your handyman.
Keep in mind that some of the remedies, such as mothballs and other poisons, do far more damage to you than mice ever could, especially if you only have a few of the critters. (Rats are another matter, though :)

Mice won't come up through the toilet or drains, but they might use the space where the pipe comes into the room (i.e. the space between the pipe and the wall, under a sink). This is where the steel wool comes in handy. In older houses, especially, it would be nearly impossible to close up any tiny crack and crevace that they can get into.

The best way I found to deal with them are the sort of trap that you bait with peanut butter and that snaps shut over their neck. One winter I got a mouse per day for nearly two weeks before the whole litter of them were gone. There are plastic ones that you can use without ever having to touch the animal.

Sounds like you've had some bad experiences with rodents. You might also want to look into some phobia discussion groups or other help that will let you deal with this better (I feel about spiders the way you feel about mice - imagine trying to keep THOSE out of your house!).
Even if a mouse were to run across your bed it would probably be on its way somewhere else, and not to chew on you for food. Mice are, for the most part, vegetarian. It would only take a few crumbs to keep them happy and, believe me, they are getting into the garbage you keep on the door knob. In the complete absence of food they would move out - they would NOT bite a living creature except for self defense. They could be living in your apartment but going to the neighbor to eat. They don't know from leases :)

If you do have rats, not mice, it's a far more serious issue and you definitely need to get an exerminator in there to deal with this. Considering your phobia, it would be money well spent for peace of mind.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 1:19PM
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I had a pet rat.Inherited it.
White one with pink eyes. Well actually it only had one eye.. dont know what happened to the other. Made it a little black patch.. looked cool.

Was a very nice friendly rat. All my buddies liked it. Girls were somehow attracted to it too. It liked to play on my pool table, all those holes 'you know. Lady at the highway diner kicked us out for sharing food with it one night. Guess we shouldnt have let it on the booth top. It was a cold night that night, had to keep that poor rodent warm in my pocket. Drank lots of warm chicken soup from the spur station machines.

Walking around the yard one day I found it all chewed up. Apparently it must have tried to follow me somewhere and I guess a cat, well you know.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:44PM
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A dime huh? Now is that a dime round wise or flat. I have baseboards around all the rooms and inside the closets. I'll have to recheck everything again. I haven't seen the little bugger in two days now. Hopefully he went back to wherever he came from. I still have yet to find any droppings so I'm hoping that's a sign that those two, now one since the other got electricuted by my nice box, where just passing thru on their way to never come back! If moth balls would help keep them at bay what about that ammonia. I imagine that smell would be much worse.

I'm glad my be is up high if it weren't you would have me scared to death! Please no more talk like that! LOL It sits a full 38 inches off the ground and the legs are large so not easy to wrap around to climb. The wood side board is a full 15 inches from the ground. Anyway did laundry today and just removed the bedskirt and won't put it back on until I've had three months of no sitings.

The men that came out to rodent proof the house are exterminators. My building is in like a little community type thing with shopping etc. They have regular maintenance that clean and such and then other departments for pluming, cabinetry, painting, exterminators. I actually had to wait over the weekend because the exterminators don't work weekends.

Anyway thanks for all the great advice and I will be doing another check and visiting Home Depot for some steel wool and that foam stuff. Just in case I find anything. I've seen them do it so I can take care of it myself instead of waiting for them to come out.

I actually got my phobia later in life( recently actually) My job had the biggest RATS I have ever seen except in the subway. I stepped on one coming out of the office once and well it was a scene for Americas Funniest home Videos. I was running in a circle trying to get away and it was runnign in a circle I ended up running into a pole because I was looking behind me to make sure it wasn't going my way. The thing that got me was they were around the office and didn't seem to mind us seeing them. Why come out when there are so many people around. Made me think they are not scared of us. Didn't help that a coworker then told me a story how a place were he worked a big RAT was on its hind legs screeching at them. She was protecting her babies. Yup since then I've got the big time fear!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:57PM
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mice have very sharp claws. they can and often do climb straight up walls, so your bed posts are not stopping them. only slick glass or shiny smooth steel will. even then they could go up a wall and jump to the bed.

i am not trying to scare you, but i think you should be aware of this.

as to the dime, any opening that is as big as a dime is tall, not thick, will let an adult mouse enter. babies can get in thru even smaller opening. mice have very flexible bones, even their skulls will compress a little to let them squeeze thru an opening. if his head makes it thru, the rest of him will. so think of the smallest profile of his head and see if a hole is that big.

mothballs do work, and you do not really smell them. i keep them in our storage room, and the only time i smell them is if i disturb the boxes. we put them out at tower sites to keep rodents out of million dollar equipment. and it works. but it may be too strong for your tastes, so it is up to you to try it or not. nice thing about putting them in old socks is if they bother you, simply throw them away.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 12:06PM
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So long as the mouse's head isn't contorting enough to get through my mouse trap, I am fine. :)

I've killed three mice in my attic since the beginning of winter. I actually cooked one in a pot on top of my (wood) stove. I feel bad but I didn't want to step on him and I wasn't going to let him go either.

I was going to post the same thing that davidandkasie posted, mice don't need to wrap their legs around poles/posts to climb them, they have small little claws that dig well into wood and drywall. I know they can climb right up drywall cause that is how they can climb from the basement to the attic if there is a gap in your floorboards.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 2:38PM
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Thanks for all the advice, especially the moth balls. I will purchase some. The smell of those don't bother me. I'll also keep some around my front door since there is a small space at the bottom. I think they got in that way. I still haven't seen that critter again so hopefully he went out the way he came in. We will see. If not his or her elctricution is forthcoming.

(((I'm glad my be is up high if it weren't you would have me scared to death! Please no more talk like that!)))

Geez guys. What are you trying to do? I explaind just how terrified I am of these things and you go into detail about how they can climb walls and beds? They have very sharp claws? Did I really need to know all that? What good would it do to have me terrified? Let me live in ignorance and peace of mind. If I can't do anything about it then that information serves no purpose other than to terrify me. :(

I really do appreciate the advice on keeping them out of the house.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 12:48AM
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"Geez guys. What are you trying to do? I explaind just how terrified I am of these things and you go into detail about how they can climb walls and beds? They have very sharp claws? Did I really need to know all that? What good would it do to have me terrified? Let me live in ignorance and peace of mind. If I can't do anything about it then that information serves no purpose other than to terrify me. :("

I think they were right to let you know you have a false sense of security about your high bed.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 9:01AM
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Not to make light of a phobia (considering what I freak I am about spiders) but, really, what's the worst that could happen about your bed?
If a mouse (for some bizarre reason) got it into its tiny head to bite you on the nose while you're sleeping, you'd probably say "ouch" or "hey" or "get off my bed!" It's not going to take off with your leg or anything. Their claws don't do any damage, either.

I would be far more concerned about mice getting into food bins or bags, or piddling on the kitchen counter where I can't see it. Certainly, they leave droppings all over the place (of course, droppings left repeatedly in the same place will give you an idea of where to place your traps).

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 12:02PM
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