Mice in sofa! yecchhh

newhomeowner-2009July 23, 2010

So I wasn't sure where to post this (there is no "pests" forum) but I get this comes closest, as we have an old house.

We have a country house in the mountains, which we occupy mainly in the summer. We occasionally have mice in the winter, nothing serious. A few nights ago, as I'm about to turn in, I see a mouse ducking into the cushion of my sofa! It's a new sofa, just a couple of years old.

Well, I couldn't investigate as we had to get up early in the morning to go back to the city. We have a cat, and he seemed to have been busy that night, but no evidence of any results.

So I've been looking up possible solutions on the web. One suggests taking off the cushions and placing snap traps on the sofa before you turn in at night. But we have a cat, so that's out.

The only thing I can think of is to examine the sofa thoroughly, patch any holes or whatever, and then place traps down in the basement to deal with any general mouse problem that we have. (The cat stays out of the basement.) My question is, is this going to be enough? Or do I have to put traps in the living room and keep the cat out of there? What a friggin mess. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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You can use glue or live traps and save your useless cat a sore paw. Then try to find and plug the holes Mickey's using.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 8:50PM
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Glue traps are powerful. They will stick to a cat's paw and the cat will not be able to get free from the glue.


If the home is only used seasonally I would call an exterminator to deal with the problem. You may have a bigger problem than you see. Do you find mouse dropping in other areas of the house?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 9:18AM
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No, we're not seeing mouse droppings anywhere. When we had a mouse problem in the winter we sometimes saw droppings in the kitchen, but no longer.

I've some experience with mice in the city, and have always been able to address the problem by plugging up holes. I've done that here, but they still come in, Lord knows from where.

What I'm mainly wondering is whether a full-court press against the mice in the basement (where the cat never goes) will address mice in the living room/sofa. Otherwise I've got to restrict my cat to an upstairs bedroom while I set the traps in the living room. This is a situation where having a cat actually works against mouse control!

This article here http://pestcontrolinfo.blogspot.com/2008/01/getting-rid-of-mice-in-sofas-beds-and.html gives a common-sense solution: put traps on the sofa. But not with pussy prowling around at night.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 9:35AM
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We have a lakehouse upstate NY which is only open from April thru October and we do have mice. We use the sticky traps when we are not there for a few days, and we do have traps in the basement (we have dogs). It works until the mice realize the house is closed up for the cold seasons. We don not leave any food out. Things go in the microwave overnight. The kids have a footlocker that remains closed, and locked when we are not there (don't ask). Once, my father-in-law stored some stuff in the oven and turned it on w/o looking in. Luckily, we smelled it in time!
Anyway, those darn mice are pretty smart. Leave no crumbs, and leave sticky traps when you are not there. And, keep on the lookout for droppings....they sometimes turn up in the strangest places!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 7:17AM
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Here's an update: we got some covered traps, recommended by the fellow at the website I mentioned earlier, and we'll be putting them in place over the next few days. Here's a link: http://www.kness.com/snap-e-cover.html Anyone familiar with those?

But here's what I'd really like to know: is there any problem with flushing the dead mice down the toilet? I did that once with a mouse my cat caught, but then I read that it's not a good idea if you have a septic system, as we do. There's no problem with the mice clogging the toilet, as we have pretty good water pressure.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 3:42PM
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You should try to avoid using glue traps if possible. They are quite inhumane and subjects the mouse to significant suffering.

I'm surprised your cat doesn't eat the mice!

We had a mouse problem - our house was in the middle of a field so no matter what we did, they came in. And we didn't have a cat at the time.

We set a whole bunch of traps in the basement and that worked fairly well. We then put them in a ziploc bag and buried them. You want to get their bodies asap so maggots and the like don't get to them (Gross, I know).

You may want to contact an exterminator if you continue to have a mice problem.

We just put the traps in, it would control them for a while, and in the fall they'd come back again, and we put more traps in. It's never ending. It comes and goes in waves based on the weather and available food.

It may be that your cat is actually taking care of some of the mice without you knowing it and you saw one of the survivors.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Yeah, we're near a big field of tall grass too, AND a wood pile. Just out of curiosity, why don't you flush 'em? That is my current dilemma.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:28PM
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I don't know...it just didn't seem right to flush them. LOL. We had a septic system so I was always afraid it would mess something up. I mean if they tell you not to flush too much toilet paper down the toilet all at once, I can't imagine a carcass would be good for it. So I'm not really sure if it would hurt anything but I always played it safe.

I mean really there's all kinds of creative ways to dispose of a mouse carcass that I won't go into but it's really up to you. To sum it up, I don't know if it would harm a septic system.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 8:53PM
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There are tin cats and electronic mouse traps, both of which I have used. Both of these are totally safe around cats. The electronic mouse trap is actually pretty humane. The mouse is electrocuted. Problem is, one mouse in there setting it off usually grounds it so that it has to be emptied before you can catch the new one. The tin cats are good. It holds gobs of mice, but it is a live trap and then you have the job of 'knocking off' a bunch of mice at once.

Mice and country homes are like coffee and cream. They go together.

Disopose of a mouse? In the country, just flipping it out in a field and it'll be gone directly. Bury it. Burn it. Put it in a baggy in the trash. No, I wouldn't flush one. It should go down the pipes just fine, but if you have any kind of narrowing, it's an incident waiting to happen. A plumbers friend might break up human waste, but it won't a corpse.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:45PM
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Calliope, I was going to say to flip it out in the field but didn't want to seem harsh and gross! We would do that or bury it in a ziploc bag, depending on how lazy we are and how hot it was (don't want a mouse carcass out in the field if it's 95 out).

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:08PM
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You know, I hate to admit it but "flip out in the field" was my very first way of dealing with the mouse invasion we had last winter. Only after flipping a couple of them did I think of flushing. I see your point about narrowing of the pipes, but these mice are very small.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:02PM
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