dawnaJanuary 10, 2006

I am having a major mouse infestation this year in my house. Could anyone give me their best humane remedy to get rid of them? Do the frequency devices work well?

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Frequency devices don't work at all. Use old-fashioned spring traps baited with raisins.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 7:23AM
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We used mice poison before we moved into this house four years ago because we saw mouse droppings. Once we moved in with our four cats we never saw a mouse, though we didn't use the poison because we didn't want the cats to get into it.

If you are willing - try a cat! Make sure you get one that was taught to mouse by mother cat. A farm cat would be best to ensure that talent. I noticed our first house that only the cat born on the farm was able to catch and kill mice efficently - it was a female who was brought to us as a tiny kitten but she had the instinct and the skill where the houseborn cats just watched or played with a mouse she chased out. We also used traps at that time, but the cat really finished them off and kept them from coming back.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 8:08AM
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I agree. "Humane" in the case of mice is "killing without undue suffering." You can't trap them; if you really have an infestation, there are many many mice in your walls, and more all the time, because they are prolific breeders. One female mouse can have 5 litters a year, with an average of 6 to 8 pups in each. So, say last year you started with 5 female mice in your walls, you may have up to 200 within a year, just from those original 5. But of course the pups mature fast (a wild house mouse lives 1 or 2 years), so those 200 baby mice are also breeding and contributing to the population. And so are their pups. Within a year you can have thousands of mice, assuming that there is adequate food in the environment.

I have only had to deal with mice once, but we had a real invasion; you could hear them in the walls at night. I called a professional pest company, and they poisoned them. I did not have any problems with dead mice in the walls; in fact, the poison drives them to look for water, and they tend to leave the building to die. (No, the back yard wasn't full of dead mice, either!)

If you only have a couple, snap traps will do the trick. But for a real infestation, a pro might be the way to go.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 8:13AM
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I actually do have cats and they have taken care of a couple. And I didn't see any for a while but then I saw a couple (2) last night. The cats tried to get them but the mice kept hiding behind things the cats couldn't get to. Because I have cats and dogs I don't want to have traps lying around or poison. That's why I need some sort of alternative that will not hurt my pets but will drive the mice away.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 9:50AM
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traps with peanut butter placed in places your cat can not get into.
I tried to get pests out of my house humanely for like 2 months. We had chipmunks in our walls and squirrels in our stupid attic. Finally after getting fed up we bought traps.
They worked perfectly. i gave them a chance and they wouldn't even go in the stupid have-a-heart traps! I had visions of them chewing my insulation and wiring and they needed to go!!!
With mice you need to get them asap, you will kick yourself once they start multiplying!!!
best of luck!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 11:52AM
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We have chickens,ducks, rabbits outside with some parrots inside. This is all an invite for mice. The cats take care of any that make their way inside the house. In the bird room, we have had good luck with a "rat zapper". It uses 4 aa batteries and costs about 30 bucks.Here's a link to their website.

Here is a link that might be useful: that home site

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 11:59AM
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Hi Dawna,
As the man said, I feel your pain! A few years ago, during a major renovation project, we unknowingly opened up what became a highway for what seemed like every mouse in town, into our basement. We live in a very old house, and occasionally before this, would see a mouse or two, usually in the fall. Traps with peanut butter got rid of the problem. NOT THIS TIME!!! We caught dozens, but it hardly made a dent. We talked about poison, but were afraid of ending up with dead and rotting (oh-yaaaack!!) mice in the walls. That all changed one night as I got up to use the bathroom, and one ran over my bare foot! A dead elephant in the living room would have been acceptable at that point if it meant the end of the problem! The next day two dozen bait stations were scattered throughout the house. They are designed so only the mice can get in to eat the poison, and then leave.
We noticed a difference almost right away, and after about 10 days the problem was gone! Only one mouse died inside the house. After a thorough cleaning, the house felt livable again, and we have not had even one mouse since then! The professional exterminators can do this for you, or you, or you can do it yourself. We decided we couldn't wait, so we bought the stuff at Home Depot and set it up ourselves. It is not difficult. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 12:20PM
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We had an infestation two years ago and used the sticky traps (they kept stealing the peanut butter from the spring traps without springing them, tricky buggers). We placed them EVERYWHERE, but especially under the cabinet edges, stove and refrigerator. We caught 10 and haven't seen a mouse since.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 3:10PM
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If by humane you mean letting them live or releasing outside the house, you will never get rid of them. We currently do have a professional set traps outside because we no longer have outside cats. Well fed housecats do tend to use them as toys and not kill quite as efficiently as ouside barn type cats. You need to also try to close up as many places you can find within the house and walls. Any, even minute, openings around baseboards, cupboards, closets and especially pipes or anything else going into/out of the walls etc. Mice are not benign (contrary to some cute cartoons) and there are different types--house, field etc. Usually we have had house type mice, but the occasional field mouse does find its way into the basement at times. Just don't wait on the meeces good will--they won't leave on their own:)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 2:14AM
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I have to say I agree with CATS as a solution.....Our old house was full of mice, but as soon as I moved my 5 cats in, it did not take long for the mice to go.....I have not seen a mouse in almost 2 years.....skw

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 2:39AM
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I thnk outside cats are the best long term solution to mice. We have an old farmhouse and a huge old barn with grain and other inviting food. Farm fields, hay fields and woods on all sides. The house has many places that mice could get it in. After we moved in, and got rid of the initial mice population we have not had a one in house or barn because of our barn cats. If you go outside at midnight and shine a bright light around the yard you will see cats out doing their hunting thing. They have run out of mice on our property and now have to go to the fields to find their prey. I know this isn't an option for a lot of people though.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 3:15PM
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We have to use rat and mice traps as some critters are too big and walk away with mouse traps and some too small and get the rat bait without setting off the trap. Glue traps work great also. There is a type of poison that does not harm pets, it has worked well for us.Peanut butter is my favorite bait.It's ludacris to think about trapping and releasing mice.It is esential to close off all entry points, repair the foundation vent screens ect...As for cats, better keep them hungry or they may lose all interest in mice

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 12:03AM
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Our old (1910) house was really a mess when we bought it. Mice had completely over run the kitchen, nesting in the drawers, etc. But the necessary termite tenting took care of that. Years later we were adopted by a Maine Coon cat who just showed up on the porch. (We had several other cats, too.) About a week later, we returned home in the evening to find him on our bed, a dead baby rat between his paws. It was the one and only mouse/rat to ever get into the house. Now we have 4 cats and a mouse would maybe last 2 minutes!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 12:25AM
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We have 2 cats, including a Maine coon cross. The old one no longer hunts, the coon cross is a great mouser. But he can't get to the mice in the walls. We trap, we poison, we fill holes in the foundation and we live with some mice that we don't see.

The only solution would be to seal up all the cracks in the outside walls, so the mice couldn't get in. But this is an old stone farmhouse with a stone foundation. It sits in the middle of fields. It would cost over $35K to repoint what is above ground, without even going below the soil.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 6:39AM
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You might try closing off a couple of rooms to the cats, and setting traps in there. That's what I've done with unused bedrooms. I caught a bunch of mice that way last year, and none after that. The cats have the run of the rest of the house and take care of the mice, leaving their kills reverently on the dog's bed.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 8:47AM
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I like setting on the couch with a bb gun and scope! set a little corn bread on the floor, and POW! 'course, then you gotta clean up the splatter... but is satisfying when you get bothered constantly by the blood curdling scream of the wife from the "saftey" of the coffee table or dining room chair once too often.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 1:48PM
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Sounds like fun, can I bring my AR-15 over ?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 6:09PM
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At least you don't have rats!
We did. Some as big as 10 inches not including the tail.
I put out traps with cheese and caught them one after another after another.
We also have 2 cats, but one is declawed and the other is a wuss.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:40AM
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Had a bad infestation last year too. These mice were smart! They dug a hole through the ceiling drywall to get access to the back of a kitchen cabinet where the cereals and grains are stored. I can't believe it was just 'dumb luck' on their part; 600 sq. feet of ceiling surface and they were right on target with the only hole drilled!

I used havahart-type traps out of respect for their level of intelligence and caught and relocated most of them that way. I did have to use a few snap traps to get the last few.

The new neighbor cultivated a few outside cats and there has been no mouse problem since.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:42AM
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Well....I just closed on my 100+ year old farmhouse and mice were my biggest fear! Someone told me to buy peppermint OIL...not eztract and soak cotton balls w/ the oil and put them all over the house and you will never see a mouse! I told my Contractor and he never heard of it....(he's lived in the Country all his life)..guess what...Thank you God...I have not seen a mouse and he tried it in his house and he hasn't seen 1 either!!! It's heck on your nails if you have nail polish on but SO FAR!!!! WHEEEE!!! So good!:) Annie

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 7:34PM
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We have house cats that just play with them, and then let them go. We tried traps and the mice were obviously too smart as we didn't catch a one. d-Con did it for us. We pulled up a few floor boards (barn board floors upstairs) in the areas we heard lots of chewing at night and added a few packages of it between the floor and ceiling downstairs. This allowed maximum access by mice and no access by kids or cats. It worked ! no more munching sounds at night...ah sweet rest.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 11:11PM
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And they didn't die in the wall-usually near water pipes? Everytime we use d-con we have the 'stink' until they decompose! Except for the times (before finding their little opening into the laundry room) that they were in my toilet! Congratulations, especially if they didn't die where you can smell them!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 8:55PM
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wow, this topic sure brought a lot of responses.
Old houses = mice......pocket doors have been eliminated because of mice......plaster peppered with bird shot because of mice....live snakes thrown in crawlspaces because of.....mice.
Mouse infestation is a major problem, especially this time of year. Peanut butter or soft cheese both make a good bait on spring traps. Set some where you know your mice will trip over them, then get a cat and fill any visible entrance holes with steel wool.
IMHO ~ Ruth

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 3:42PM
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We've only lived owned the house for a year (lived here since May), and I haven't seen a mouse....but....when my nephew and I took out the cabinets in the kitchen, there was steel wool everywhere! And mouse turds....IMO, the steel wool did nothing.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 7:44PM
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You need a jack russell.Shed take care of them in a hurry

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 11:15AM
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SOme say moth balls will get rid of them. They hate the smell and leave the house.

Check the pest management forum.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 9:26PM
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We have been catless since last November and now there is a small mouse in the dining room. The border collies try to get it, but they aren't anywhere near as efficient as a cat. However, since we no longer have a cat, we now have more geckos and less mosquitoes, so I guess there is a trade off for a mouse. We do have a cage type mouse trap and that works pretty good except then we end up with a live mouse in a trap and then usually it gets put in a bucket of water then it becomes a dead mouse in a trap. Argh! That doesn't seem like an improvement. The feed store in Hilo actually sells mice, I'm not exactly sure why since we don't have any snakes in our state and I can't think of any other pet that would eat them, but maybe they sell the mice as pets. I'll ask them if they want the mouse if I trap it. It is definately time to get a new cat before the mongooses start getting in the house as well as that mouse!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2006 at 10:14PM
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Well, this is an interesting bunch of ideas!
If only I knew what kind of beast the PO's were trying to kill. I just moved in and have found a few old De-con poison trays which I got rid of (3 cats and a dog). Until I am sure all poison is gone, I have no plans of allowing the 4 legged family members down there. I haven't seen any beast but found some oddly large skat in the basement...not fresh but obviously loose and drippy when it was. The water system installer thought it might be rat skat but rat droppings never looked like that in Brooklyn! Maybe country rats poo with more gusto! There's also a large field behind my tiny yard with lots of large burrows belonging to wood chucks and the like!
My pal in PA said to heave mothballs around as well as clumps of cat and dog hair collected after a grooming. I did heave a box+ mothballs which permeated the whole house with a "burn your eyes and make you cry" mothball smell. Hopefully, that awful strong smell will deter whatever left it's calling card. I guess cat hair will be next if I see any more signs of an intruder!
Any ideas what my intruder may be?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Just happened on this message thread. I have seven adopted cats; six are house cats. I think people who don't take good care of their cats, dogs, and other domesticated pets should be punished. Mice are not in that category. I wish I could kill them all. So far, so good at our old house. In addition to the cats, the exterminator puts rat bait under the house (five foot high "crawl space") several times each year.

Steel wool is good for plugging tiny holes around pipes, etc. That worked in the brick house I lived in for 20 years. The first autumn, one mouse got in. There were no really obvious entry ways, but we stuffed steel wool in every tiny crack around pipes, etc. Did not have another mouse the whole time we lived there. Haven't had any in old house so far (2 1/2 years). Knock on wood! Thinking about putting moth balls in attic. Exterminator said mice hate them. Although the attic is huge, we don't store anything up there. I'll get hubby to put moth balls up there soon!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:36AM
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Mothballs are toxic. The smell will float down into the rest of the house and can cause major health problems not just for you but for your cats.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 6:40PM
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The original poster has either been eaten by mice or solved their problem already, but I thought I'd share my experience.

My friends and I have used tip-traps that catch mice live very successfully.

They're plastic boxes a little smaller than the size a pair of light bulbs come in. Bait them with PB. Mouse walks in, tips the trap, door swings shut. Release mouse down the road, away from other people's houses. I believe one is made by D-con.

This would obviously not work with a large infestation, but if you just have "A mouse" (which means you have several, at least) then it's worth a shot.

My friends and I who have tried this don't believe in killing animals if we can avoid it, but we're not stupid. All of us, over the years, said we'd give this a shot, hope for the best and then go on from there. But in each case it worked so successfully that we have not needed to resort to a Plan B.
(I do have other friends who have just gone for the scorched earth option immediately. And I still love them!)

After setting out the traps for a couple of weeks, and checking each of them every morning (so the trapped animal does not suffer), we have not had further problems. (Although one family who lives on a farm has to do it every couple of years, and puts out the traps occasionally just to check.)

If you have a huge number, you may need to consult a professional. Tell him your concerns, and he may have some ideas for you. You can tell him you're concerned about having the poison around longer than it needs to be there to get the job done, and ask about when and how you can safely dispose of it.

Then fix holes, use expandable caulk etc. and discourage re-entry, and maybe consider the live traps to manage any smaller outbreaks in future.

The mice have not "just come back".

It is not hopeless. It just depends on how many you have, how much damage they are doing, if you are in an area where hantavirus is a real danger, and how many people are screaming at you "Just call the fffffff exterminator or I'm going to burn the house down!"

I have known people (yes, plural) who have had dogs poisoned by accidentally getting into this stuff, in one case by someone who "cleverly" mixed poison with peanut butter and forgot it was there.

So I believe the non-fatal option is worth a try. Or at least use the other options intelligently.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:35PM
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