overrun by mice

julie_vaSeptember 21, 2008

I am not sure which forum to post this so I am posting it to a couple. Please forgive me if you see it elsewhere. I am just in tears now.

We need help. We had some work done during the summer and think a pregnant mouse may have gotten in then. In the past 3 weeks, as of this morning, we have caught 34. They are very small. The first group were babies, but this past couple weeks are much smaller, so I am thinking the babies had babies. We have torn the place apart looking for them and see no sign of nests. Hubby has closed up holes over the years to keep them from coming in and has made another hunt around the outside of the house looking for any other tiny holes that may need closing up. We have looked under refrigerator, washer and dryer, etc. There is no sign in the finished basement nor the upstairs, just the first floor.

We thought of calling an exterminator, but I think they only use poison. We don't want to use poison because we do have pets, and also if they can't get back outside, I don't want them dying in the walls and stinking.

One of my main concerns is them chewing on wires in the walls and causing fires, which I read can happen.

Can anyone help, please???? Thank you.

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We have been there too. You have to look where the work was done and see if there are any little cracks where they can come in.
Just keep setting the traps till the mice are gone. Also we used the sticky traps which helped us get the little baby mice.
It did help some when we got a cat...but she is gone now and I do not want another one.
I did not want to but we also put d-con in areas of our unfinished basement.
I wish you luck...I hate the little buggers myself!
Karen L

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 11:32AM
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I would use those blocks of decon, or what ever it is called so they can't carry it to other areas where your pets might get to it. I had some mice in my garage but my cats (indoor) like to hang out in the garage sometimes. I put a block inside a box with a small hole so mice could get to it but cats could not get near it. It seemed to work. I guess my only fear was a cat getting a poisned mouse, but cats would probably only play with it, I doubt they would even think of it as a food. I still tried to keep cats out of garage for a few weeks just in case.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:31AM
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Julie, try pure peppermint oil, the kind that can be purchased at a health food store, or ordered on line. Soak cotton balls with it and put everywhere. You have to replace the cotton balls probably every 2 to 3 weeks. If you want to find out more, google "does peppermint keep mice away".

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 7:48AM
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We had a similair problem and to make it worse they avoided traps and decon, would not touch it. An eviromental health inspector suggested putting moth balls around the house. this worked, apparantly they hate the odor. You can get moth balls at most dollar stores and if you can stand the smell a day or so the mice will leave.Good luck Iggie

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 1:57AM
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julie_va. a mouse only needs a dime size hole to get in. You are in VA, not winter yet, the worst is yet to come.

Because they are just on the first floor, my guess is there is a food source that allows them to live and reproduce. Clean up the food source and they will starve or move out.

It might only take picking up your dog/cat food when the pet isn't eating for awhile. Or it might take emptying your pantry floor so they cant jump to the lowest shelf.

We live in the middle of farm fields. Mice happen, mice also starve. Take away their food source and they will move or starve. Our first winter in our just built house (2003) we had an army of mice in one wall. Plenty of them died falling the 9 feet to the basment floor. But I am sure there are plenty of dead ones in the wall, they have never smelled. We found their entry point and closed it.

Only one mouse ever made it to the kitchen. He was so cute, he found a dorito and was happily munching away behind the fridge. Pulled out the fridge and he kept munching. If we knew he was disease free we would have kept him as a pet. Instead we caught him and let him go in the snow.

Snap Traps, if the mouse doesnt die immediatly. Have yourself a can of auto starting fluid. Put the trap in a bag, hold your breath or be in a very well ventilated area. Spray a little bit of starting fluid in the bag and close the bag. The mouse will die in 15-20 seconds.

Sounds bad I know, but it is kinder than sticky traps or letting the mouse suffer. For the record I love pet rodents

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 6:07PM
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I live in Northern VA - just moved into a new home and have been at war with mice for the past few weeks. And I am winning (at least that is what I keep telling myslef). I have 3 dogs too and have learned what works and doesn't against a variety of varment. I am aslo battling sqirrels right now too - but let's stick to the mice.

The old snap traps don't work well for little mice. Our first critter (Herman) was a tiny little field mouse that my wife saw in the basement while she was working out. I got the frantic call to get the mouse! I tried snap traps because where I grew up in NJ, the mice were huge and those traps worked well. I set 5 of them - put peanut butter and bacon on there - yummy! Next day - all 5 traps were licked clean with no mouse! So I reset them - this time tying on a cherio with dental floss (I should have been a surgeon) - then coated the cherio with peanut butter and topped with a small piece of bacon. Next day - all 5 traps clean and still no mouse! So meanwhile this mouse is eating a crapping in my basement and I am getting mad. So I get the little mouse houses with poison and got him after a week. The green posion cubes they sell in those D'Con traps takes 4 to 11 days to work - so we had a lot of green mouse poop that I had to clean up and I did no like that at all. So I found a posion that they sell at Home Depot - small green cubes that look like the D'Con but wotk much faster. Usuually kills the mice in 24 to 48 hours - and more importantly - they stop eating after 1 feeding.

We go away on vacation and the dogs went to the kennel so I felt safe putting down the new posion blocks. I put a few in each garage and the next morning just before we leave for the airport I check - the poison blocks were gone!! So now I am worried during my trip - how big are these mice? Turns out that a mouse can lift quite a bit. So we come back from vacation - arrived at 12am - and I found a dead mouse in my closet which I had to clean up. But the posion was in the garage - so how did he get in? Turns out that there was an emergency drain pipe installed in a drain pan under our steam shower generator that dumped into the garage - a nice wide open tube for the mice to enter the house. So I plugged that tube up and stopped them cold.

They were getting into the house first through the garage right at the corner where the garage door rubber seal meets the side trim. Every garage door (we have 4) had a small hole because you have 2 seals coming together and they don't make a tight fit. So I used steel wool to plug up those areas since mice do not like to scratch it. Every morning I would check the steel wool and sure enough - there was one area where the wool was pulled back but not entirely out. So I knew another mouse was trying to get in. I put a sticky trap outside - right at that spot - the next day I caught the sucker.

So you have to use a multi-layered approach to get these buggers. I look for mouse poop which looks like dark rice prior to being cooked. They always run along the walls and like to hide in corners - so check around. That is the spot where you want to put the sticky traps. If you can't find signs of them inside, then my guess is that they might be in the attic or walls.

I like the sticky traps for the inside of the house - use lots of them. I won't use the poison inside the house for fear that my pets will get at it. They make little containers with holes so pets can't get at the poison - but if the mice poop out poison and the pets eat it - then they could get sick or die. So use sticky traps inside.

If your pets don't access the garage, you can use the poison bait there. Look for large spaces in the garage - like where the drywall meets the floor. Any holes or gaps need to be sealed - especially at the garage doors. If you have a lot of junk in the garage you need to get it off the floor so you take away their hiding paces.

In the attic you can use poison bate too. Just make sure you get the stuff that will make them stop eating after 1 dose. I would check all penetrations into the attic space from the outside - any pipes or cables the run through. Make sure you seal all penetrations - they only need a tiny space to sqeeze through.

I check the house and my bait traps daily to look for signs of the critters. I am taking the offensive - any sign of them I bring out more sticky traps and go after them.

I found it odd that the mice we had in the house never made it into the pantry but were still pooping everywhere. I think that they were eating outside when it was warm, but then coming into the house when it got cold. Very soon it will be cold all day and night so they will be trying to get inside for both food and shelter.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 2:42PM
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My experience..........

Mice in garage (detached). Poop everywhere and damage to items. Put moth balls everywhere. The whole garage stunk. No change in mouse visits. Set out both kind of snap traps. Never caught a mouse. Set out poison. Not even touched. Stuffed steel wool into cracks, crevices and holes. All of it was PULLED OUT. I thought they hated the feel of steel wool? Bought a can of Great Stuff and filled cracks and holes. As soon as it was dry they chewed through it. Set out sticky traps. Kept catching them but still find mouse poop and damage in same amount as before. Open hood of car to put in fluid. Find cute little nest made from orange yarn and dried grass sitting on engine block. Now worry that they may get into dashboard or seats (happened with a neighbor). Open plastic storage container that held grass seed. Now find pounds of grass seed replaced with mouse poop. Find seven pairs gardening gloves, that had gone missing one pair at a time, all stashed in a corner under a long counter, arranged in a artistic swirl, wet and stinking. Mouse bed? Birthing center? Lots of "cute" mouse housekeeping and decorating finds, every so often...... like turning on the electric lawn mower and having it shoot out dozens of cotton balls and Q-tips harvested from the trash even thought the lid is on it all the time. Creative leaf arrangements in mounds and shreded plastic grocery bags brought in. I'm not winning the battle.

Now a new panic..............Went to attic for Halloween decorations. Found bag shreaded and decorations pulled apart. I am expecting one of those scary phone calls with a little mouse voice saying "We are in your house. Click."

I can deal with the never ending battle of the garage but NOT IN THE HOUSE. So far none in any living areas...........yet.

Attic mouse traps are sprung but no mice. Poison untouched. Arrrrgh.

I'm thinking of putting down those big sticky boards for catching attic squirrils and hoping the larger surface area will give a greater chance of catching them since there is no wall/floor that meets so I can't just run the little traps along it. Does anyone know where to buy them. I know they exist but I can't find them for sale.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 11:03PM
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julie- I feel for ya! I hate, hate, hate the things! I am not a rodent fan!

I live in the country, and do not have a cat now. A cat really does a decent job of controlly them- not all, but most of the mice are caught by the cat.

You need to listen very quietly at nite, when they are more active- listen to the walls in your rooms. Late at nite, I will read, without tv or any other noise. Sometimes I will hear them scratching in the walls- groos- then it is time for re-enforcements! Listen at nite for sounds coming from the dog's dish, if you have one- the little creeps will hop into the bowl and help themselves.
Call your county extention office- they may have traps/poison/whatever for sale at cost. At the very least, they may have ideas we are not aware of.
Do you have any old drains that are not used? An old drain by the clothes washer? One in the garage? Try Snap-E traps- put peanut butter with a drop of flour in the hole. Use a Q-tip. Put a box of poison in the garage if it is safe from pets/kids. As someone else said, put a box within a box. Somewhere where it is impossible for the dogs to go.
Cats WILL eat mice- even well fed cats, so if you have a cat, you need to do the non-poison way.

I wish I had something great to offer, but I am always trying to keep the damn things away also.

Good luck- if you find new ways to rid them, pass the idea my way!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:46PM
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I use the old snap trap and the mouse cube. Place two snap traps at an angle; use peanut butter. Put sunflower seeds in the mouse cube, you can set them free in the woods. Don't block up their entrance until they are all gone. They will die in the wall. If you poison them, they will also die in the wall. I've caught as many as 100 in a year. Yes, they are cute, but when they damage your house, they aren't so cute anymore.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:35PM
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We had a lot of mice this fall. This thread on the GW Kitchen Table was a real eye-opener for me this morning. Our feeders are only several feet away from the house. Can't move them until the snow melts :-( Can't stop feeding this winter as they depend on it now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mice/rats -bird food

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:33AM
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I saw a mouse in our garage go under the car, but when we looked under the car, it wasn't there. A couple of weeks later, my DH turned the AC on in the car, and it made a loud sound. I drove the car to our friend's car repair shop, and he looked into the fan, and found chopped mouse. He removed it, I drove away, and 5 minutes later, the sound was back. I went back, and he found mouse #2 in the fan. Unfortunately, that one ruined the fan, and we needed to replace it. We put many snap traps in garage with peanut butter, and caught 17 mice. We also took bird seed out of the garage, and have not seen another mouse since.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Truly Truly come and borrow my cat. He will eliminate all creatures from your home.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 2:34AM
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I have some wonderful indoor only cats. We are in very small new mobile home on our land, temporarily, while we build our house out in the country. Love it here. Being in a mobile home allows all sorts of creatures in despite keeping it spotless. They are not exactly energy efficient or devoid of ways for nature to find itself inside.

With our first cold snap last December, one of my boy kitties presented me with a dead mouse "treasure", that he caught especially for me. He was very proud and I gracefully accepted his "gift".

Two nights later, his brother caught another mouse. He wanted it for himself and was not happy when I "stole" it from him to dispose of.

We haven't had a mouse or a bug in here since, and I use absolutely NO poisons inside or out.

We figured mouse #1 was the "scout". When mouse #2 didn't come back, that the tribe gave up.

If you like cats, go to a shelter and give a nice kitty a home. Poisons usually result in stinky walls for weeks. Been there, done that, in a different home. They either go in there to die, or their babies die when the parent is dead.

Cats are wonderful animals, and mine have become companions that I cherish.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Hi Sandy, Thank you for posting here. I thought I would give an update since I started this post.

I did try the peppermint oil. I am not sure if it worked, but we may have had more had we not used it. Our house smelled wonderfully.

Someone told me (I think it was on the other thathomesite that I posted to) to keep putting traps down and we would eventually get them all, and we did. I was really concerned with any chemicals at the time because my dog had cancer and I didn't want to have anything around to irritate him, plus I also wanted to keep things as calm around the house as possible. I thought maybe their squeeks might bother him. I also am not a fan of the sticky traps bacause, even though I am not a fan of mice, I am a fan of life and don't want them to suffer. I have since learned that if they are captured you can pour oil on the trap and it is supposed to loosen their little feet and set them free. Either that or kill them immediately.

So, we got traps and set 8 out every night. Over about 6 weeks we ended up catching 45. They were all ages and sizes and really cute. We learned that our neighbor was also having the same problem and using the garage traps like we were. So every morning we put them in a box and took turns driving about 10 miles away to nice woods and let them go. Maybe they lived and maybe they didn't, but they had a better chance out there than they did in our house.

Thank you everyone for all your information. I hope we don't ever have this problem again, but if we do, at least we won't be in such a panic again, and I know where to come to reread help and the best hints. Julie

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 3:42PM
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I don't know why people think having a cat will keep mice away. My cats catch mice, bring them inside (alive), drop them in the house, and when the mouse or vole runs under the furniture the stupid cats lose interest and go somewhere else. That happened a couple of days ago and the mouse is still loose. I put a peanut butter baited trap near the cats' food dishes but so far haven't caught it. If it weren't for the cats I wouldn't have mice inside!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:24AM
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Get a rat zapper, its a large blue box (battert operated) that mice crawl into and get zapped by electricity. Works great. In addition to steel wool you have to cover the wool with that foam stuff that swells after you spray it on. I covered every hole, crack and opening thier was in the house, including under the kitchen kickstand and have been mouse free for years now. :)

Now if I could just find something to get rid of these super tiny ants!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:10AM
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1. use glue traps. they catch all sized mice (and everything else that touches them, such as centipedes) and are very effective.

2. as someone said, hiding the food source helps, but besides catching them all, you have to plug up the holes or there will be more shortly, even without food. they like the warmth of the house and will go out to eat. also, if there are holes in the cupboards where food is stored, those need to be plugged too.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 8:56PM
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Best thing I have ever found has been the electric things you plug into the wall and they set off a frequency that rodents can't stand.

When I moved to town I had a huge bat problem since putting these electric things in No more bats. The package said bats and mice and not to use if you have rodent pets. I bought mine on clearance at Menards. Best money I ever spent!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 9:57PM
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Oh man I hear you, we had mice coming out of everywhere in our house and its a newer home. we started with traps but then needed to seal up the home and each week we'd find a new small opening that we didn't know to identify previously. one of the big things we had to do was caulk under the rook overhang where the soffit meets the brick, that was tiring work. The mice would walk right up the wall. We found some gaps where the utilities entered the house and sealed those up and then we put a device called rid-o-mice in the air spaces of our brick. I wanted to fill them with mortar but a neighbor told me that would be bad for the house... i thought so are the flipping mice... so we got these stainless steel grill things and put them in and since then no more mice. The caulking you can get at the hardware store you need about 1 tube every 2 feet of soffit and the brick devices we found at http://ridofmice.net Almost forgot we used a youtube home made bucket trap to catch the majority of the mice after we sealed the house. Good luck with your infestation we all need it.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 10:11PM
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