Mouse Infestation. Species? [PICS]

mlepageMarch 28, 2002

I have a wall-cupboard in a wall suitable for storing cans. My wife put about a dozen packs of oriental flat rice noodles in there. (Yeah, I know, but she doesn't listen.)

When showing the house to relatives, we discovered mouse infestation. Little craps everywhere, and 2-3 bags devoured. Strong urine smell. The last time she looked in that cupboard was about 2 weeks previous, when it was fine. She said she did hear rustling in the evening while reading in that room, but thought it was leaves outside. (Yeah, I know, let's not investigate or anything.)

At night they come into that cupboard. I can open it and they are there, staring back at me, they don't run away until I make like I am going to stomp them. They are cheeky bastards.

I borrowed a clam-shell trap and that first night set it without bait, and caught the first within minutes. I emptied it and reset it. Doing this for two hours, I caught four mice in total. They all seemed pretty similar in appearance.

You can see a photo of the first caught mouse in the cupboard here:

Is four the entire litter? I found the clam-shell trap sprung in the morning, but without a mouse.

The cupboard is in a wall that used to be an outside wall, but now is an inside wall because of an addition. That is, it is right at the meeting of the old part and the new part. The bottom of the cupboard is set down, and there is a little space leading into the basement that I hadn't noticed.

Immediately below the cupboard is a beam (that used to be an outside beam). There are little bits of debris on that beam, that look like shavings etc. Are these "urine pillars"? That explains why I found one on the floor directly below, it must have fallen. I had found it a while ago but not realized its significance.

That was two days ago. Yesterday I got a bunch more traps and set four on the beam below the cupboard, and some around the basement floor near the walls. I searched the basement for droppings and found only a few, at the other end of the basement (old part), near a sewer opening. I don't know how long they've been there. I don't know if they came in from there (sewer? elsewhere?) and moved to the cupboard, or went searching the basement when I removed the noodles.

I also set the clam-shell and two flat glue traps in the cupboard. All traps I baited with bacon fat.

This morning I found that the two traps directly under the cupboard on the beam caught mice, falling to the basement floor. No other traps were sprung. Nothing caught in the cupboard.

Here's a photo of the two caught mice, as found, on the basement floor:

So now my main questions are, did I catch all the mice? I suppose I'll find out. I'm getting more traps today to put more on the beam and around the basement walls.

I've learned a lot about mice infestations in the last two days. But I still haven't learned which species of mouse I have. Is it a house mouse, a deer mouse, or a white-footed mouse, or other? And, my particular concern, is that the mice I caught last night on the beam seem different than the mice I caught in the cupboard the night before. Are they the same species? The same litter? How many more can I expect?

I still don't know where they came (or are coming) in. This weekend I'm going to stop every hole I find with steel wool. But I want to trap them all indoors also. I don't want to disturb them into other parts of the house (e.g. bedroom or kitchen).

I'd like to get a UV light to see where they've been via urine stain fluorescence. Does this work? Can I just get a blacklight from any party supply store? Ideally, I'd like a little Mag-lite UV flashlight for these occasions. Does such a thing exist?

Finally, is hantavirus a concern in Ontario (Thousand Island region, north shore of Lake Ontario)? I vacuumed the cupboard that first day with a wet-dry vac (dry though) before reading that that is a bad idea. Actually, my pregnant wife did the vacuuming while I watched our 2-year-old niece nearby. (Yeah, I know, but she wanted it cleaned up.)

Any advice is appreciated, my wife hates this.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One (or two) more things:

I haven't found the nest. There are plenty of holes under the cupboard where the mice could go. They could go left or right on the beam. Forward (following vents and holes where wires go) or back (along another center beam). The bathroom is right near there as well, so there are big holes for pipes.

Is there a nest? Maybe these came in from outside. Should I expect to find a nest? Is it likely that they are actually living in the house, or just coming in and out? I don't know.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2002 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I call those deer mice, but I am not a pest expert.

I have posted your link as a clickable.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2002 at 6:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

here is another link to help identify them.

Univ of Cal Pest id

    Bookmark   March 28, 2002 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I tried using a 75 watt black light (UV) to look for fluorescing urine stains, but I didn't see any. Does that trick really work, or am I not looking hard enough?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2002 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Go to to learn more about mouse control.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2002 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK I must have killed many of the adults because the babies are coming out.

I was setting traps in the basement this evening. More on the beam runway, and more on the basement floor.

While setting them, a baby ran out on the basement floor. I tried to direct it into first a plastic clothespin snap trap (which it didn't trigger), then a paper box glue trap (it didn't go in). After some manipulation with my shoe it stopped moving, so I had Doctor Marten euthanize it.

Checking the wall cupboard above, I discovered three more babies (same as first) in the two flat plastic glue traps. I guess that's where glue traps come in handy, with extremely young mice who otherwise might not be caught in a snap trap. I folded the two glue traps together and crushed them.

A snap in the basement revealed an adult from one of the beam snap traps.

I'm speculating now that I have three generations
[WARNING gross photos]:

The original (grand) parents here:

Their 5 children as here:

Their 4 grandchildren as here:

Possibly another generation which cannot leave the nest at all yet?

I'd expect more young ones. Maybe they cannibalize them? Maybe there's only one female in the middle generation? Maybe I've misinterpreting everything?

Time will tell. We'll see what tomorrow's catch is.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 12:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I foolishly looked at the first picture you posted and had a dream about the mouse in the trap so I sure am not going to look at your second pictures. I can't kill anything (except for some bugs, and all ants).

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 8:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok, I know I shouldn't be but I am laughing hard....we live in the country and have for years. We get mice in the spring and the fall. I have never worried about babies and grandparents!!!!!
I hope you get all the little buggers cause they do make a mess. Just keep those traps set for a while.
Karen L

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm just trying to reason about their numbers and behaviour. There is no random number generator deciding each night whether to create a new mouse and unleash it in the dark. If it's there, it's there either because it came in or because there was a litter. If there was a litter, then there must be parents. And so on.

Of course I will keep trapping until they are gone. I believe in the advice to keep the trapping period short and decisive. I have about 20 traps in service now, 30 more tonight. I'm trapping in pairs, alternating bait with bacon fat and peanut butter. If that stops working, I'll try pecans.

As for killing these things, I did some reading on Hantavirus. It's one of those diseases on the CDC watch list, like anthrax and (bubonic) plague. Deer mice are primary carriers. Mice have tested positive for the virus in Ontario. There have been cases here in Ontario. I vacuumed up a cupboard full of feces before I read that this is a definite no-no (airborne particles transmit the pulmonary disease). After flu-like symptoms, your lungs fill with liquid and you die. There's no treatment except to have a machine breath for you for a few days in an intensive care unit, and even then half the people die. Of course the chances of catching the disease are slim, but the severity is devastating so it is a real concern. Myself, my pregnant wife, and my 2 yr old niece have potentially been exposed, and I hate Murphy's Law.

So I don't feel bad about killing them at all. :-)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Killing them is ok. It is just the posting of pictures of the bodies I don't get. You seem to really enjoy what you are doing, and are very descriptive. I know they are undesirable pests much joy in their death?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought it was clear in my first post and title... I am trying to determine the species of these mice. Also their age (to determine litters). A picture is worth a thousand words, no?

Joy? No. "Not feeling bad" is not the same as "enjoying".

I'm very descriptive because that's my nature. There's no point in being vague. Details are important.

Does this help?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2002 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't help you much with the species and # of litters of your little pests, but I can say that you're on the right track for getting rid of the darn things.

We moved into a new house and had a pretty bad field mouse infestation, as they were coming into the garage via a gap under the mandoor. DH filled the gap with a door sill, and we laid out maybe 10 spring traps along with several glue traps.

We caught 5 adult mice in the first two days and then 6 or 7 babies. The glue traps worked best for the babies...they were too small to get caught in the snap traps.

The only way to know if you've got them all is to leave out the traps. If you've destroyed their exit/entry point you should know pretty soon how many there were. We left our traps out for 6 weeks after the last mouse catch "just in case". DH then took up most of the traps but left a few here and there. It's been about 8 months since we've caught anything, thank goodness.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2002 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I haven't caught any for the past three days, but the few days before that I caught 16. 2 adults, about 6 younger, and then the rest babies (which came out only after the others were gone).

Yes the glue worked great on the babies. Also they would come out in early evening on the basement floor while I was checking/setting traps. I got a couple with a length of 2x4. I know at least some fell from the ceiling because they were stunned/injured, and I saw one fall while I was down there.

I believe now that they came in by the electrical panel, nested near there, and made their way along the basement ceiling beams to the wall cupboard I mentioned. When the adults died, the babies tried to follow that trail, some with success (into glue traps), some most of the way (to the snap traps below), and some falling.

Looking outside around the electrical panel, I do see a nice round drilled hole leading in, that doesn't look plugged. Maybe it was for an older electrical service. I'll have to plug it, I'm just busy at work these days. I've stuck steel wool in for the time being. That's likely where they came in.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2002 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With these little terrorists, it`s kill or be killed!! Keep the traps set..The joy comes when you`re rid of them..not in the killing...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2002 at 1:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

YOU CAN REUSE GLUE TRAPS. Do not "pull" the mouse off. Just hold the glue trap upside down, and let gravity slowly pull the mouse down and off. Hold the glue trap over the toilet, so the mouse, if alive, will not escape. You can suspend the traps on coathangers across the toilet seat if you don't want to spend all day holding the trap.
A very effective and cheap repeating trap is a "5-gallon" paint bucket. (not safe around small children and pets.)
Dry method: Optionaly, put some bait in the bottom, and leave it next to a thing that mice can climb into it from. They fall in and are trapped.
Wet method:
If outside, bury it in the ground. Poke a series of small holes in the wall of the bucket one third of the way from the bottom to let extra water that will collect (condensation) seep out. Put a few inches of water in it. If you want a permanent mouse and mole trap, bury the "5-gallon" bucket upright in the ground, with the rim two or three inches below ground level, place a strong board over the top, suspended about an inch over the rim (not closing the bucket, so mice and moles can crawl under the board an into the pail) and leave it. Bait is not necessary. (Do not put it where you will step, or where you will not want to see or smell it). You can camoflague this trap by covering it with mouse-attracting brush, compost, storage. Over the years, this trap will fill up with dozens of dead mice and moles- and keep on working. It may smell. (Throw some lime into it)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2002 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have those same mice in my crawlspace, have had them for over a year now. Last spring, I punched a hole in the drywall in my garage, which leads to the crawlspace (due to trying to fix my spicket myself, still hasn't been fixed, I have no time), and I am guessing the critters are coming in that way.

The first mouse I saw just stared at me and ran, so I started setting the traps. Was completely grossed out. I use the same snap-traps you do (Victor). It is horrid, how it crushes them, but at least it is a quick death.

I have killed over 25 mice since last year, some big, some small, etc. but all the same brown/grey mouse.

There isn't even food in my crawlspace; just paint cans! I did have cat litter in there, which is still technically in there, but it is now in a large, sealed plastic bin.

I have three cats, and they let me know when there is a mouse in the crawlspace (cats aren't allowed in there; I'm guessing the mice smell the cats because they could squeeze under the door if they wanted to!). My male cat practically shoves his big 'ol nose under the door and whines ... usually that means there is a critter getting ready to be snapped.

I'm going to fix the spicket hopefully this weekend and seal up the wall, seal up every single hole I have in there, set a few more traps, and hopefully none of them will go off again. I tried using the plug-in-the-wall thing which is supposed to scare mice & spiders from the house, but it was basically a $40 nightlight. Useless.

Now, I await the annual Parade of Ants. I am armed, as usual, with the little ant-death hotels. I don't get any joy of it, no... I just really dislike ants in my house and mouse poop all over the crawlspace.

(I live 10 feet away from a strip of woods.)

- darkeyedgirl

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 1:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Duh... I meant 'cat food' in there... not litter.

- darkeyedgirl

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you just move in this house, or have you always lived there? The reason I ask this is because my parents have not lived in there home for over a year now, we moved in and have been haveing problems with these nasty little scum creatures also. They leave thier droppings every where, I trap em, Stomp em, squish em, It don't matter to me they got to GO!! If you have clothes boxed up or anything like that, they will make nest in stuff like that, Get Rid of anything like that.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2002 at 7:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mlepage: was that in fact an actual Victor Rat Trap you were using? Your original complaint was about mice.

What part of the country do you live in?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2002 at 1:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No they are Victor mouse traps, same but smaller.

I have some of the "cheese" ones with the big trigger, those you see in a photo. I also added cardboard to all the metal hook ones to make the trigger bigger.

I don't live in the USA, I live in Ontario, Canada. Thousand Island region, north shore of Lake Ontario, just above New York State.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2002 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

well, they look like deer mice, but white-footed mice look pretty similar, and in some cases these are called by either name interchangeably....

as for hanta, your risk isn't that great, although yes, do refrain from vacuuming DRY (i did that once myself, before i knew)....but if you checked the cdc website, you also know that this virus is easily killed with common cleaners such as lysol or soaps....i would advise especially small kids requires vigilant hygeine/handwashing, and frequent sanitizing countertops, etc where these critters may have walked, and urinated (i think they tend to widdle pretty much anywhere they go)...

i've got rid of mice with live trapping and relocating sev'l miles away to forest areas, but however you decide to do it, you need to get rid of them, obviously....

one other thing, you can get mice off glue traps with vegetable oil, i've heard (i've never tried it, since i won't use that kind of trap....eeeew!)....yeah, i can't kill anything either, plus i have pet mice (which wild mice will either kill or mate with, given a chance, either way a big problem, so i don't want/like wild mice around!)....if one gets killed in the trapping process, or ok, this was awful, i was sitting down in between cooking lunch, and a mouse ran up my chair...i stood on the chair (screaming, i might add!), mouse (i thought) ran away, but instead when i went from standing on the seat of this upholstered chair to sitting again, it got it's head squished under the edge where the arm of the chair wasn't gory at all, i felt terrible (so much for lunch!), but i didn't ask them in, they don't pay rent, casualties of war, what can you do....i didn't mean to kill them, but i resolved that if it happened it's too bad, but really not my fault....

    Bookmark   May 15, 2002 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just got back to my summer house after being away for 6 months and freaked out when we encountered a humungous mouse infestation. In almost 30 years, I never saw a single mouse or evidence of one in the house, but now, it seems like they made up for all those years. The feces are the kitchen cabinets, in the drawers, in my linen, shoe and clothes closets. Just everywhere. I foolishly left unopened bags of flour, other baking items which they got into and ate, and made an awful mess. I didn't know that you are not supposed to vacuum, and we did until I read some of the posts. How else are you supposed to get rid of the feces and other debris from the mess that they made? The feces are in my silverwear drawer, on my clothes, just about everywhere. I can't throw EVERYTHING away. Any advice is desparately needed and quickly. Would really appreciate any input. I stopped vacumming, hoping to hear from someone very soon. Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First I'd distance myself from this house. Then I'd call an extermination company and then I'd see if there is a disaster clean-up company in this area.

This job is too big for amateurs.
You need to clean everything, clothes, silverware, dishes, etc.

Our daughter had a small infestation she thought was limited to the laundry room, but wasn't sure. She bought an ultraviolet light that detects urine and was relieved to see she was right. Besides seeing the actual evidence you may want to see what hidden spots they visited.

You have my sympathy.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


When you are cleaning up, spray first with a 10% bleach solution, and wipe up with paper towels. Wear a mask and open the place up for ventilation. Wash everything that you can in the bleach solution. What you can't, throw away. hanta is much more prevalent in certain areas, namely, warm and dry.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Let me give you a small tip on traps. When using the small wooden spring traps tie a piece of string in a small knot where you put your bait. They tug at it and you catch the mouse. works every time...

    Bookmark   May 18, 2007 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My father had a problem with mice in his toolshop (I didn't dare look at the pics, so I don't know if it is the same type of mouse). He was trapping them over and over, but they kept coming. He bought this electronic thing that plugs in that keeps them away. It really works. I'd try that. Or get a cat.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Raisins work really well in mousetraps. The mice have to tug to get it all, they can't just gently nibble away like cheese or peanut butter.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2007 at 6:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, i was lay in bed about a week ago and heard a rustling underneath me, having a small dog that likes to roam the house at night i thought nothing of it. When i heard the rustling again and the dog was downstairs i panicked,(scared to death of creepy I called for my husband who was watching television downstairs and we stood and listened for more rustling and there it was again. So my husband armed with the kitchen sweeping brush lifted the bed and a frantically ducked my head underneath and saw a small mouse scurry under the skirting board. So after sleeping on the sofa (lol) the next morning i went and bought some poison and poured it through the hole under the carpet (huge hole, cant believe ive never noticed it)and obviously blocked up the hole. Since then i have noticed dropping in my kitchen near the backdoor, i saw a mouse scurry from behind my fireplace in the living room and can still hear the rustling under the bed but everytime we try and inspect the mouse dissapears. I have phoned my local council (pest control) and they have arranged for someone to come out on monday afternoon. I'm such a puff and am frightened to stay in my home (My husband is worse than me) but we also have a 2 year old daughter and it is hard to stay with friendsand family but i cannot sleep knowing there their.
Any idea how long it will take for all the mice to be gone with a exterminator coming in? in the mean time i have put poison down but am restricted to where i can put it due to having a child and a dog.

HELP!?!?! im so frustrated by it all.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok i got the littlesucker from underneath my bed, but obviously im not lucky enough for there just to be the one. I'm noticing droppings everywhere now and every little rustle and sound i hear i panic so i decided to completely de-clutter the house and stay with my mother until pest control manage to get things under control. But i am having nightmares.......It's driving me mad thinking how long has the lil suckers been in my home, is there any way you can determin how long they have been there, droppings? etc. I think i will 100% be moving because i know i will be constantly opening a cupboard jumping back and inspecting. I just hope it gets under control soon so i can go home...oh and i also threw out my matress incase they were in there lol. You never know with them SOB's lol.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ok I am completely freaked out.a few weeks ago we saw a mouse in the kitchen so hubby went out and bought those bait traps. I have parrots so no chemicals.. Well after about 2 weeks there wasn't anything in the traps hubby said that it probably went back outside as it was getting warmer. Well one night he is sitting on the couch watching tv and he see's out of the corner of his eye something moving I'll be darned if the mouse wasn't sitting on the couch next to him watching tv LOL so he jumped up and went and got a live trap.. We caught 4 adult mice in about 5 days.. now its about 3 weeks since we saw the first mouse and he has had the trap set up ever since just to be sure they were gone. Tonight the trap was closed and there was a smaller mouse in it. He says that it is a baby mouse but why did it take so long to come out after we caught the adults and more importantly how many are there. I can't even put my feet on the floor I am totally freaked out...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I moved into my house 2 months ago. They had had a cat and I had seen no mouse droppopings at all so I was shocked when I went into my laundry room this morning and there in the middle of the floor was a tiny little baby mouse. It could hardly walk which I assume is because it is quite new (its eyes were still closed)or it may have fallen from somewhere and injured itself. I am devistated...I know nothing about how to get rid of mice. Any advice on where to start looking for a nest and on how to catch the little buggers? I'm a single mom with 3 little boys and don't look forward to tackling this problem on my own...mice freak me out!! Would it be better to just call pest control? Does anyone know what I would be looking at spending??

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Get a cat.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or two or three. Don't over feed the cats or they won't need to hunt. (Before you send letters, I didn't say starve, just don't have food available 24/7.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way kerryla, I called pest control when I first had this problem and they threw glue traps under the house, under the kitchen and bathroom sinks and hvac closet. (I coulda done that for a lot less $$.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 7:36PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Bleach stains on bathtub
My son just moved into an apt., and the tub area was...
Help my grout turned blue in spots from Comet
Hi Unfortunately I was trying to clean my new Bathroom...
Bad Contractor
My wife and I are nearing the end of a bad experience...
Bleach product discolored my kitchen countertop!
I used Clorox Cleanup in my kitchen to clean and disinfect....
Is the snow causing roof damage or any plumbing issue?
My first floor bathroom today have water leaking from...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™