Dang mice!!

joyfulguyMarch 15, 2013

The other day, while doing some "organizing" in the living room, I found a Christmas stocking, of the deep red, with white fluffy top, variety, lying in a pile of things.

With a nice hole dug into it ... and nothing apparent inside to attract a mouse.

A few days ago I was going to be carrying on a shortish day, at home, so went to put on a pair of heavy gray wool socks, that had been lying on some books in a bookcase, near where I'd been darning some socks a while ago, but the wool ones were intact, with the tops pulled up over the feet, ready to slip the feet into, then pull up the top ... or so I'd thought. There as a hole chewed into the top of the top sock ... with some chewings lying beside it.

The well water tested as polluted (too close to the former barnyard) when the farm was sold eight years ago, and still smells when hot, so I bring water from the city in jugs for drinking and most cooking.

Some of the mostly formerly cider jugs take to leaking when they get old, or damaged - some seniors can attest to similar circumstances - and I'd repaired one with duct tape a while ago. When I looked at it, sitting on the counter the other day, the duct tape looked unusual ... and a mouse had chewed a corner of it off (but it still held water O.K.).

They chewed one of those pillar-style dispensers that one finds for catsup or mustard in restaurants, a while ago, right down to the level of the catsup inside.

And chewed a hole in a bottle of pancake syrup in the same cupboard ... which I didn't notice till some of the syrup dripped onto the floor.

Last night, having bought a 1.5 quart coated cardboard carton of apple juice yesterday, and not having room for it in the fridge, I placed it on a table in the back porch ... with some trepidation, for mice had chewed stuff there, earlier.

This afternoon, when I came out, there was liquid on the table ... the mouse had chewed some places on the corners of the carton and some of the liquid had come out. The carton is now reclining, quietly, upside down, in the sink. I'd set it on the carpeted stair, at first ... but thought better of that idea ... just in case!

I've caught some in traps ... but the traps sit there quietly, unused, a good bit of the time.

With regard to just yesterday: Mouse/mice ...1 ... Joyful ...0.

ole joyfuelled ... in spite of it all

P.S. One nice thing about it - no family fuss going on in my family food factory.

I get my own way in my kitchen - apart from the (silent) mice, that is.
o j

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redcurls

>>>>

Could never get used to that!!!! Mice.....uh....NO!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 5:08PM
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workoutlady

Sounds like you have a lot of the little buggers. Maybe you need an exterminator? I feel your pain. I remember one year when I was growing up,we were overrun by the things. (we lived in the country on a farm). Turns out that a neighborhood farmer burned down an old barn and everyone within about 3 miles were overrun with mice and rats. I don't remember having rats in the house but I do remember having rats in the out buildings. I don't know how my parents ever managed to get rid of them but I remember a year later, it wasn't a problem anymore. Anyway, did someone in your neighborhood burn down an older abandoned building?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:15PM
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kayjones

Ed, there is an ultrasonic mouse/rat trap, which you can order online or I believe Lowe's sells them. Take a look at this site and it tells how they work:

http://www.victorpest.com/advice/all-about/victor-repellents

Here is a link that might be useful: Ultrasonic rodent traps

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:33PM
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maxmom96

Had mice in my kitchen last year and NOTHING worked except the poison that I got and dropped behind the stove, as I was fairly certain that's where they were hanging out. After a few days a couple staggered out and I was able to dispatch them with no problem. Trying other methods took almost a month and the expense of the various treatments. I should have gone for the poison first thing.

By the way, I did call an exterminator who told me that what they could do would be exactly the same thing I could do.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:24PM
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jemdandy

Sure fire bait for a mouse trap:

Chew a little white or whole-wheat bread in your mouth. Stop when the stuff gets moistened. Pinch off a small ball and apply to the bait treadle on the trap. Load several traps with the mouth moistened bread.

As the bread dries, it will adhere to the trap making it impossible to remove without triggering the trap. Mice really go for this bait. A theory states that the saliva of your mouth begins to convert the starch to sugars and this attracts the mice.

Thoroughly cleanse a trap after it has caught a mouse. The odor of blood deteres a mouse. Other strong odor cleaners may also deflect mice.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:01PM
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drewsmaga

My Mom had a problem for years with field mice showing up every spring in the undersink kitchen cupboard. And then my brother got a German Shepard. Problem solved.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:00AM
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marilyn_sue

I find that having cats outside solved my problem, have not had any mice in years.

Sue

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 2:16AM
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workoutlady

Forgot about the cats. Last year my daughter had a few mice and this year she hasn't had a one. The reason, there's stray/ferral cats running around outside this year and there were none last year. She used to complain about the cats but when I pointed out that she didn't have mice this year, she quit complaining.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:09AM
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ivamae

Better watch your underwear, Ed. - especially the elastic.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:45AM
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adellabedella_usa

LOL @ Ivamae.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:57AM
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susie53_gw

We keep mouse bait under the house and in the garage at all times. Once in a blue mon we will get one in the house. Out come the traps and mouse quickly disappears..I "hate" mice!!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:42PM
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sjerin

Good one, Ivamae!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 12:42PM
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yayagal

Try using peanut butter in the traps, we use it in the garage in Maine and it works perfect.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 1:24PM
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susan_on

I hate mice. We kept getting one in the back of the house, we'd kill it and get another one. Thankfully they came nowhere near the kitchen. Anyway, I started spraying the outside of the house with a homemade concoction that repels mice, and they don't come in anymore. I can't seem to figure out exactly where they're coming in, but I have a general idea, and that's the area I spray.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:07PM
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petaloid

If it looks like we have mice, I take out our metal humane trap (from the hardware store). I bait it with some peanut butter. Once a mouse goes in, a lever closes and it can't get out.

Nearly every day I drive near a wetlands area, so if there's one in the trap that day I take the trap with me, open it and deliver the mouse to the marsh.

Whether it starts a new life or becomes a snack for a hawk, it's out of our kitchen.

I haven't had to use the trap for quite a while, so I guess it has done its job.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:33PM
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joyfulguy

I've been using the peanut butter - worked for a long time, but not lately. Maybe I'd better splash the trap with Javex-laden water.

Will try the chewed well-bread whole grain - I have some.

Iva mae ... your story had me pant-ing!

Actually, I noticed the other day that I still have a couple of new pair of the under-mentionables from son, with the plastic tape binding them.

The original narrow elastic girdle that I made is pretty well retired now ... having lost most of its snap-back.

It was making noises about going on pension ... but I said that it had never contributed.

I forgot another major story about the mice.

Son gave me a cordless phone, with an extra set, when he upgraded two or three years or so ago.

A while ago the phone quit working, so I rather figured that it likely had expired from old age.

I'd thought to check out the line from the jack on the wall to the connector, but hadn't ... until about the time that I found the chewed Christmas stocking ...

... and I found the wire leading from the jack on the wall was O.K. ... but when I moved it ... found that it ended abruptly a couple of feet down the line, about where it went behind the filing cabinet.

Mouse had chewed not only the insulation ... but the wires, as well, I guess.

Looks like farm mice are tough.

I looked for the bag where I keep phone-related stuff, but couldn't find it.

As it is, I have a phone on the wall in the kitchen, which is a bit hard to get to and another in the living room, that isn't hooked to a wall jack, so declines to offer service of any kind.

I found a patch phone cord the other day, strung it from wall jack to connector - and the phone by the computer works!

The barn cat, that likes to have me feed her (have two pans of water - bring one into the house daily to thaw the resident water that overnight has got hard for a cat to deal with) and loves to have me pet her and won't let me hold her, hasn't been allowed in the house. She's good at catching mice, though - outside.

In fact, last fall, when she'd caught several on her own, declined to eat the ones that I'd caught in one of the traps.

She's getting a bit large in girth - probably the aftermath of some of the visitors that stayed around for a few days or a week, a couple of months ago.

So much for the goings on at ole joyful's place!

o j

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 3:51PM
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joyfulguy

Phone's still workin' ...

... don't tell the mice, O.K.?

o j

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 6:37PM
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littlebit_gw

I had one in my kitchen today. The entire time Lexi (my cat) was sitting there looking at me like "What do you expect me to do about it?"

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:25PM
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jel48

Susan_on, would you be able to share the recipe for the homemade concoction you spray with? We have problems with mice at our camp every fall/winter. Currently, I put moth balls in the campers and cabins when we close camp in the fall, but then we are left with the smell of the moth balls to air out in the spring. Would love to hear a good alternative!

Jemdandy, the heck with thoroughly cleansing! I hate the filthy little buggers so much, that if I catch one in a trap (which happens a few times a year at the camp), I handle it the same way that I do dog droppings! I put my hand in a plastic bag, pick up the trap, pull the bag down around it, tie it shut, and straight to the garbage! Yep, I know I spend more on mouse traps that way, but I just don't want to rehandle them after they've caught a dirty disease spreading mouse! I know, I'm extreme, but I sure don't like 'em! Never have!

I found a dead mouse in the spare bedroom the other day, right out in the middle of the floor. That was sure a puzzle. We live in an old, turn of the century (1900) house with an unfinished basement. We've been here five years. We do get mice in the basement, and other 'livestock' (a chipmonk once or twice) too, but have never seen a sign of one on the main floor or upstairs! All I can figure out is that maybe he came into the house in a box of something??? But even so, how did he end up dead on the floor?

We once lived in a house for a number of years without any real mouse problems. Then, one winter they got really bad. Some came into the house, but the worst part was the ones that were in the walls. We could hear them there all the time. They actually chewed a few small holes in the ceiling panels! Poison, and lots of it, was the only way we made a dent on the populations. I wonder if someone burned down a barn in that neighborhood!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:30AM
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ont_gal

Ed-get a 5 gal pail and a tuna can-drill a hole each side at the top to accomodate a piece of baling wire-attach the tuna can to the wire,1/2 way across the top of the pail.Put whatever in the tuna can for the mice-and about 4" of water in the bottom of the pail.Mice cross wire to get to tuna can,can flips over,mice fall into water,drown-end of them.This is guaranteed to work.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Cynic

Sounds like the mice might might have an elastic stretching party.

Better put the new bloomers out with the cat. S/he will appreciate the soft bed, you aren't using them and the cat deserves them before the mice get to eat them!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:00PM
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joyfulguy

Well, one useful result comes this - even if in another thread - we found a recipe for what appears to be a good deterrent!

And for some flying nuisances, as well.

Trouble is ... where do "my" mice get in? It seems wisest to spray in that vicinity. Preferable to inundating the whole house.

o j

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 6:42PM
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joyfulguy

Update.

Phone quit working.

Checked the ends at the close end - nothing: still no signal.

Checked at the jack by the wall ...

... mice had chewed this wire off, right by the file cabinet, as before!

Dang mice! ... over again!

So - I used the wire with the endless end ... as in "useless" end ... to loop around the replacement cord ... and lift it up, to straight up the wall ... sticking the two ends of the dead cord under some books on top of the file cabinet.

Don't tell the mice that it goes back to the floor again, under the throw rug, in front of the file cabinet ...

... or can you visualise o j hopping over a cord a couple of feet off of the floor, several times a day ... even in the dark??

How come mice have gotten so smart?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 7:42PM
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joyfulguy

Cordless phone, and regular one by computer, both quit, again, Tuesday.

Mouse found the place where the line returns to floor, prior to running under a rug on a pathway en route to the computer.

Looks like another use for duct tape!

ole joyful :^(

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 7:03PM
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jemdandy

Poison is not a good solution if you have outdoor cats and dogs. When a mouse gets sickened with poison, he leaves his home to travel away to die. That's when a cat may catch and eat it and now the cat is poisoned.

That's how we lost some cats. Our neighbor's house and barn was 1/4 mile away. They had no barn cats and resorted to poison to kill off rodent infestations. Sick rodents would travel down the road toward our house and if one off our cats ate one, it would sicken and most often died. A distance of a quarter mile was not enough separation to protect our catgs.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:11AM
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Cynic

So, break down and bring in an indoor cat or dog. Will help keep you warmer and will help for the mouse problems too.

You must have a lot of mouse-friendly landscaping around your place OJ. There's where you need to start. As long as you have mouses outside, and they're getting in now, they're going to continue to come in until you make the area less mouse-friendly. An exterminator won't do much good for long. Traps will be an ongoing battle although theyre needed inside to help. I like the windup traps. Put them against the wall and they'll get a couple dozen each.

The 5 gal pails work well but you don't need to get fancy. Just place it against the wall with boards running up each side and hanging over. They will run off the end of the board and fall in and eventually drown with enough water in it. I always put 6"-8" of water in it. You can put some powder on the boards to see if they're just coming from one side or using both sides. Fasten the boards to it so they don't fall off. Remember you need to have it against the wall. Mice seldom run across the middle of the room. They use the wall to guide them.

Another thing is to simply get some cat fur and/or dog hair and spread around. They are repelled by the smell. Go to a pet groomer and ask them to save some and if you know cat owners who brush their cats ask them to save some for you. It made a big difference at the cabin.

The ultrasonic repellers worked quite well for me too. They're not that expensive but there's varying quality of units. Some work better than others.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 5:33AM
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joyfulguy

"Victor" are an old-line maker of mouse traps.

Son lent me one, made by them, named, "Tin Cat" on the lid ...

... that is a box that has a couple of small entry ramps, that fall when the mouse runs over one ... to lift a door and hold it, that can only be reopened when the top end of the ramp goes up to the roof!

Tried it.

With cheese.

Peanut butter.

Banana.

Chewed bread, as was recommended here.

Nada.

Too dang smart mice, around my place!

Friend says to get a sticky piece, that the mouse can run on to ... then not lift his/her foot!

ole joyfuelled ... with assistance from unused cheese, banana, bread, peanut butter

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:58PM
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