mice in silverware drawer - help me please...

mcfromctFebruary 18, 2008

You read it correctly. Can you think of a worse place to find mouse poop? The worst part is that when we put a trap in the drawer we almost always catch the critter within a day or 2. But a week or two might pass and another one comes for a visit. I'm horrified. We no longer keep our silverware in there - it sits in the bin on top of the counter. We had Orkin come and they set traps and guess what? They caught one. Duh! I thought I was hiring them to fix the problem but all they can do is tell me 'yep - you have mice'. The sink & dishwasher are located to the left of the silverware drawer and the stove to the right. How do I figure out where they're coming from without ripping out the cabinets??? I seriously don't don't what to do. I mean is that something a handyman can help me fix? They could be coming from anywhere inside the walls. Is this a fixable problem???? I hope someone can help - it's really bothering me tremendously!

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It would help if you find where they are coming in. This is more for the time you get rid of them, because they multiply like, well, mice.
Restrict their access to food, eliminate their point of entrance and they should be gone in a few years.
Just kidding.
My neighbor used an electronic trap of some sort. They would catch a few a night. Eventually they were gone.
Cat's are also a good deterrent.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:28PM
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But if they're coming in from the outside somewhere this could go on forever couldn't it? How do I find out exactly where they're coming in without taking out the cabinets?? And fortunately I don't think they're running around the kitchen - they are just able to get in the drawer through somewhere behind the cabinets. So unless a cat could get behind there I'm not so sure that would help. I heard another one in my basement the other day - behind the drywall. It sounded like he was wrapping a present...I wonder whose birthday it was...
Seriously I have to joke & laugh or I'll cry. What have others done to get rid of these critters???

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 8:26PM
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You go outside, look around for possibly entryways (it's not easy.. but life isn't always meant to be :-) and block them up. Or you call another company and tell them you need to do that job - you may have just been stuck with a quack first time around.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 5:55AM
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They say that mice can squish themselves down to fit thru a 1/2" gap. When the weather warms up, you need to take a GOOD look around the entire outside and caulk or foam gaps and crevices. Check basement windows too.

But if you have an attached garage, this is also a good entry point for them. From there, it's easy to get into the house if you don't have a tight door threshold, or even to enter the attic. The best defense there is to have D-con packets set around the garage. I have several places in the garage where I have constant trays of the stuff set out for them. They find it with ease when they are getting ready to find a warm place to spend the winter. It's not unusual to go out to the garage and see one laying dead in the middle of the floor. The whole idea is to get rid of them out there before they find their way into the house.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:01AM
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Ditto what green-zeus says. We had mice when we moved in, caught 4 and put a bowl of poisoned bait in the garage behind some stuff and no more mice, been two+ yrs.

We removed a wall and found out where they were getting in, from the attic they followed all the electric wires 'cause the electricians drilled one inch holes for single wire and left a lot of room for them to get through. Every stud bay that had wires had mice droppings, bays without were clean as a whistle.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 1:36PM
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Thanks for all of the great advice. You are right about the attached garage issue b/c we have one and, as a city girl, I left a bag of birdseed in the garage last year. Well, we did a major cleaning of the garage this past fall and I can't tell you how much birdseed I found all over the garage behind everything. Since then I had a handyman put these things on the bottom of every door in the breezeway that drag on the floor so nothing could make it into the house that way.
I will explore the outide in the spring as we have snow still at this time.
The basement is definitely where we have also found them - in the electrical closet and behind a piece of drywall that doesn't go all the way up to the ceiling. I have also seen mouse droppings behind the piano in the basement.
BTW, I have also seen signs of them in the bottom drawer of our last stove that has since been replaced when we changed out our appliances in the kitchen.
In the meantime I need to keep them out of the silverware drawer and I read somewhere else that a Downy dryer sheet and/or peppermint oil (from GNC) both work really well. I'm just going to try it until I can look outside for the holes in the spring.
Thank you all again. I will let you know if the dryer sheets work in the meantime....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 1:55PM
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" I had a handyman put these things on the bottom of every door in the breezeway that drag on the floor so nothing could make it into the house that way. "

Don't bet on it. Put some bait and/or traps in the garage and get the little buggers before they get in the house.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Check under your sink where the plumbing is. Is there a gap around the piping? That is where mice were getting into our house. yuck.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Hmmm, I have an 1887 house in MA and there is no WAY I could block all the possible access points that a mouse could find to enter my house.

We contacted a local company and got an annual contract. They put baits in places behind cabinets and in other fairly inaccessible places (we have kids and pets). The baits are enclosed in "childproof" plastic containers that take 2 hands and considerable force/coordination to open.

The poison in the baits is not fast acting - it's designed to make the mice really, really thirsty, so they go running out of the house to find water - and die there. We've found a couple on the lawn, but (knock wood) so far none in the walls.

I think the annual contract is around $175 or so, and they come quarterly or, if I call, they will come do a check sooner. The baits are always bitten, but thankfully no more tracks in drawers/cabinets.

Good luck, and try to keep your silverware covered!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Mary - I was afraid to do the yearly contract with Orkin b/c my opinion was that I will probably always have mice even if it's just one every couple of months because I don't know if it's possible to patch every crack/point of entry. Orkin was setting those small round black traps that have a hole that the mouse enters but can't get out. The guy told me that mice always have to be moving or else they will die of hypothermia?? So when the small trap closes they can't move inside it and die. But how is that going to deter other mice from coming into my home? If Orkin was going to attempt to find the point(s) of entry and give me suggestions on plugging it up then I would have gotten the contract. But I felt I would be on the contract forver if they were just going to set traps (the exact ones I bought at Home Depot myself). I thought they were going to 'exterminate' them somehow. I mean I can catch them myself when they appear to be around using the same traps. I am very hesitant to sign contracts that are difficult to get out of. I've been down that road with a gym membership, cellphone company and My Gym classes with my kids. You can't get out of them! So I was just afraid to do that.
You mentioned that the poison in the traps makes mice thirsty and they run out looking for water. What would happen if a pet God forbid ate the dead mouse? I probably wouldn't do that b/c of my dog and kids playing in the yard. I think I would be mortified if my kids or their little playmates came across a dead mouse in the yard.
But I also agree that trying to 'patch' every entryway/hole/crack in the house seems daunting and nearly impossible. I am still going to try to do so in the fall.
Patches123 mentioned that mice were getting into their house through the plumbing under the sink. I'm almost positive that this is one point of entry in our house too. I'm going have my hubby patch that to start...then we'll work on the rest in the spring.
Thank you all once again. It's helpful to hear how other people have managed this...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Quite a previous thread on one of the forums here on mice. A few points that were mentioned.

Mice don't go looking for water and die outside, they can die in the walls.

Animals that eat dead and poisoned rodents don't die, not enough poison. Poison affects by body weight so see how big a cat is compared to a mouse.

While you're checking under the sink also check under the stove, could be too large a hole for the gas or electric line both of which are fairly large to begin with.
Old houses that we've had also had the stove and sinks moved a few times so you should look for additional holes where previous plumbing and wiring were.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:10AM
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we used to get overrun by mice every fall. i sealed up every hole i could find with spray foam. all plumbing that did not have an escutchion got foamed. they would find a way in the attic and then go down inthe walls where wires and vents penetrated the top plates of the walls. then they come out at the bottom.

the advice above about any hole 1/2" is wrong, it is 1/4" for mice and less than 1/2" for rats. if they can get their head thru the hole, then CAN get the body thru. i recommend spending a little time inthe attic before it gets too hot and sealing all plumbing and wire holes with foam. then do the same thing at each and every wall penetration. look over your siding, if there is any gaps anywhere, seal them. mice are excellent climbers and they will find a way in. also make sur ethat all attic ventilation has wire mesh over it with holes of less than 1/4".

i also put out a couple boxes of mothballs each fall in my attic. this does work, but you have to use a lot of mothballs. i learned this trick working at tower sites, we would put out a box and within an hour see mice vacating the site. some people say it does not work, but that is because they are not using enough.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:54AM
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If you haven't had the mousies in the past, it might be from recent work you've done on the house, at my siser's house they got in from new hole for central air, in my house was remodeled door to attached garage. of course might be I hadn't seen or heard them before, but I do have three cats and have found two passed away mice in the basement in the last couple of weeks, I also have fixed the thresh hold on the new door,, good luck, ps, with my animals, I'm not using poison either

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:51PM
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To find their traffic pattern, sprinkle flour or white powder along the baseboards and countertop before you go to bed. You'll see footprints and may be able to follow them to the entry point.

And finding them in the silverware drawer is not as gross as finding a live one inside the locked dishwasher.

This happened to my daughter. We used the flour method and found they had chewed their way through the wall behind her washing machiune in the laundry room. Her home was a 1910 home located next to an empty lot and when the temps dropped they looked for warmth and food.

She sealed up the hole and then used traps to rid the house of those still trapped inside.

I thought she was going to lose her mind! Come to think of it, I'm sure she did. That happened right after a mouse ran across the kitchen counter in the middle of a dinner party for friends!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 9:18PM
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I had mice in a garden shed. I spread moth balls all over the shelving in the shed, and since then they did not return.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2008 at 1:52PM
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Some members in the Garden Forums suggested a bucket and stick method that sounds very clever and a device called the tin cat. There are several threads dealing with mouse control over there. I have included a link to one of them.
Best of luck. Sincerely, Connie Cola

Here is a link that might be useful: buckets and tin cats

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Thank you Connie & everyone else. I hate the thought of having mice in my house. We did finally catch one in the silverware drawer using one of those round plastic traps that the mouse goes inside and dies (I don't know how they die) but you just throw the whole thing out so you don't have to see anything. I'll be cuious to read other things people do to deal with them.
BTW- the downy sheets don't work at all. The mouse probably did a load of laundry with the one I left in the silverware drawer...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:42PM
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We had mice in the attic and used traps but they kept coming in. Then we bought a gadget at HD that you plug in to an outlet and it emits a 'beeping' that is annoying to mice, rats, squirrels and other rodents but is friendly to dogs and cats. We plugged this in to the attic and have it running 24/7 for over 2 years now. No critters int he attic!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 3:51PM
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