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morganpony86
May. 3, 2011, 09:07 AM
I have finally found the chink in my fabulous new barn's armor: mice EVERYWHERE. They ate through my $200 sheepskin fleece pad in <48 hours. :( It was just sitting on top of my saddle on the rack in the tack room, not even stuffed in some cool dark place next to the treat bag.

What do I do with my stuff? Each boarder has an "area" of the tack room that includes a saddle rack, hooks above it for bridles/what have you, and the area underneath for a trunk. I've just laid my (sweaty) pads over my saddle, but now I'm even wondering if I want to leave my saddle out! Recently (spring is here) there has been mouse poop ALL OVER my stuff. I've mentioned it to the BO; she's putting out traps. Will that be enough? I've never had this much of a problem at a barn before. Is there anything I can do (e.g. my own traps?)?

On a related note: I'm now in the market for a tack trunk. I've only used rubbermaid bins in the past because I hate the thought of being "burdened" by a 50lb trunk with 100lbs of stuff in it. But I'm worried those sneaky little snots can fit under the lid if properly motivated. So can anyone recommend a good lightweight trunk? Just to fit stuff for one horse (daily wear stuff like wraps/boots, tack, treats, and a cooler or something in the winter).

GoForAGallop
May. 3, 2011, 09:40 AM
On a related note: I'm now in the market for a tack trunk. I've only used rubbermaid bins in the past because I hate the thought of being "burdened" by a 50lb trunk with 100lbs of stuff in it. But I'm worried those sneaky little snots can fit under the lid if properly motivated. So can anyone recommend a good lightweight trunk? Just to fit stuff for one horse (daily wear stuff like wraps/boots, tack, treats, and a cooler or something in the winter).

Get one of those fabulous $80 Stanley tool trunks. Lots of room, very heavy duty, and they close tightly with a little twist-type latch....plus you can even put a padlock on there if necessary.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=202300294&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=202300294&ci_src=14110944&cm_mmc=shopping-_-googlebase-_-D25X-_-202300294&locStoreNum=2619

Here is one from Home Depot. It's a little different than the one that I have....mine might be a smidge bigger, and it closes differently. But if you go to Walmart/Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware/etc you can find one similar. In my local Walmart, they're over near the truck boxes/other big tool boxes.

Nes
May. 3, 2011, 10:32 AM
Your BO needs to get on that problem! That's not acceptable! (cats are an easy an inexpensive solution!!)

Mice HATE scented fabric softener/anti-static sheets.
Pile them into your tack box and they won't come in :S.

morganpony86
May. 3, 2011, 01:41 PM
GFAG- thanks for the trunk suggestion! I'll make a beeline to Home Depot (or whatever neon orange hardware superstore that is) on the way to the barn.


Your BO needs to get on that problem! That's not acceptable! (cats are an easy an inexpensive solution!!)

Mice HATE scented fabric softener/anti-static sheets.
Pile them into your tack box and they won't come in :S.

She's now aware of the problem, and is "getting on it", but will traps do the job? I'm tempted to set up traps or (gasp!) poison around my tack.
There are at least 6 barn cats, and they are WORTHLESS. They sleep in the heated lounge all day long. We had this problem at my old barn, where all the boarders "feel sorry" and sneak food to them all the time so that they never hunt. The BO at my other (non-infested) barn eventually told everyone that the next time she caught someone feeding the cats, she was collecting every mouse she could and was putting it in their locker. Unfortunately I don't think the current BO is that much of a bitch. ;)

Thanks for the dryer sheet tip; that will also be a stop on the way tonight.

PNWjumper
May. 3, 2011, 03:47 PM
they are WORTHLESS. They sleep in the heated lounge all day long. We had this problem at my old barn, where all the boarders "feel sorry" and sneak food to them all the time so that they never hunt. The BO at my other (non-infested) barn eventually told everyone that the next time she caught someone feeding the cats, she was collecting every mouse she could and was putting it in their locker. Unfortunately I don't think the current BO is that much of a bitch. ;)

I've heard that cats hunt better when they're well fed. The idea being that they'll go hunt the "easy to get" mice in the fields if they're hungry, but they'll hunt the barn mice for the sport of it if they're kept well-fed.

I keep food in front of my barn cats 24/7 and they do a fabulous job of keeping the place mouse-free (and rat-free, and, sadly, bat-free, and less-barn-swallow-ed). May have more to do with the fact that they're great hunters than the fact that they're well-fed, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

norcalammie
May. 3, 2011, 04:03 PM
If the mice are that much of a problem, be careful with your saddle too. A lady I know had mice get to her saddle and they gnawed a hole in the pommel as well as underside to get to the flocking.

Nes
May. 3, 2011, 06:48 PM
...
There are at least 6 barn cats, and they are WORTHLESS. They sleep in the heated lounge all day long. ...


Bahahaha :lol: our "great mouser" will only eat shrews and won't touch a house (deer) mouse, so I can understand that :D. (They apparently aren't enough sport for the mighty huntress)

It seems good mousers are becoming a little more rare as the cats becomes more and more domesticated. If you can find one for your barn that comes from good mousing stock you're in good company.

Our newest kitty is a little slow on the uptake but she came form a dairy barn so has already caught a couple mice and we expect her to do better as she hones her skills ;).


I remembered mice also apparently HATE un-roasted coffee beans, but I haven't tried that one out yet.

indygirl2560
May. 4, 2011, 01:45 AM
I had that problem at my barn. The mice were having a field day in my locker. Luckily they were content on chewing on sponges but the poop everywhere and the thought that they'd destroy something valuable made me want to get rid of them asap. The BO and I tried traps. When that didn't work, we put poison in the bottom, back of my locker and that solved the problem. Good luck!

Peggy
May. 4, 2011, 03:18 AM
Our barn cat leaves his food to go on inspections and hunting expeditions. He's an awesome hunter who pretty much eliminated the mouse problem within a few weeks. He's still working on the tactics for catching gophers (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=32022511&l=351049d510&id=1052681066). He, unfortunately also goes after lizards (of which he's caught many) and birds (of which he's caught one, but someone rescued it and took it home to rehab. I'm pretty sure that my trunk (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31871990&l=98d4ab21b3&id=1052681066) is mouse free.

And he's friendly (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=32138576&l=848dfbfdaf&id=1052681066) too. And good with kids (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=31932596&l=1fc89bc34c&id=1052681066).

ChocoMare
May. 4, 2011, 08:25 AM
Please don't use Rodenticide :( It has a much farther-afield affect on raptors, etc., as well as local cats.

Article - Why NOT to use rodenticides http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/ratpoison_tcm6-16130.pdf

I, too, would never leave my saddle out where rodents abound. I've seen the damage their wee incisors can inflict on one :(

SanJacMonument
May. 4, 2011, 11:33 PM
Home depot and Lowes have heavy duty tack lockers for $60-80.

I didnt read the entire thread but...Is your barn against rat poison or rat traps. They are not so expensive and at the same store. In most of the south, we fight mice/rats all through the year so it is always managed by the BO.

morganpony86
May. 9, 2011, 09:45 AM
Thanks all; yes, I have been worried about my saddle and have stopped leaving it there. I also just bought a brand new custom saddle that won't live there until the mouse population is under control.

I located a heavy tack trunk at Home Depot that will be perfect, but have yet to get it bc I'm worried it won't fit in my little daily driver. I think I'll need to bring the truck to take it home. :)

I also have put dryer sheets all over the place. I can understand why they wouldn't want to nest in them- what a powerful smell!