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Mice.

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    Mice.

    I have a mouse problem on my property. Pretty much everywhere.

    Recently I have noticed that mice are burrowing under my barn (2 stall shedrow with overhang/tack room). Basically they are digging under the stall mats through the crushed stone. If I fill in their holes, the dig new ones. I only store hay and blankets in the tack room and the overhang is used as a 3rd stall.

    Mice are also nesting in my larger hay storage. This is always been an issue but a larger one this year. And now I've noticed more mice in my house. Why, in July mice are in my house? I don't know. They're not into food or anything, but they are there. My grain storage is in my basement (walk out) and I can see evidence of mice on top of the containers. That said, everything is sealed and rodent-proof and no one is getting in any container. We have traps, but they're not catching anything.

    We also have 2 indoor cats who occasionally catch something (or catch and don't finish the job like today).

    Any advice? I worry about bait with cats (my neighbor has 2 outdoor cats who spend time on my property)...

    #2
    You need a couple of BARN cats. Many shelters have feral/unsocialized cats for adoption as barn cats, since they aren't good pet candidates. They are usually neutered and have had their vaccinations. Get females, they are usually better mousers. IDK why.

    A nice big rat snake or pine snake will also do the job and can get down into the burrows. I had a nice pine snake in the barn a couple of years ago. Because I am a bad person, I named him "Chris".

    Jack Russells LOVE to catch mice (no worries about catch and release with terriers!) but they will dig things up. Oh, and they want to sleep in your bed. Even with mouse breath.
    Last edited by Hej; Jul. 21, 2020, 12:01 PM. Reason: Another thought.

    Comment


      #3
      We've had some success with these traps in areas where our cats are locked out: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      You can bait with any tempting treats and your neighbor's cats will remain safe.
      "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

      Comment


        #4
        I love the dcon corner fit bait stations for my house and in the barn. Have to check and refill the bait often at first but they really work and safe with pets around.

        Comment


          #5
          a product like RatX is safe to use

          RatX is a non-toxic rat bait that kills rodents without harming any other species. Rat-X is made from 100% natural ingredients, it can even be used inside food handling facilities. The mice and rats will eat the bait like a food source and Rat-X will cause dehydration. Mice and rats have stomach sensors that tells them when they are thirsty. When they eat this bait, it turns off their stomach sensors and it can no longer tell their brain to drink water. They have no desire for drinking water, so they will just go back to their burrow and begin the cycle - dehydration, failing kidneys, coma and then death. This DIY pest control is great to use around animals and children because it is safe and non-toxic
          https://www.homedepot.com/p/RatX-1-l...20dehydration.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for the advice so far! I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, a barn cat (or 2) is out. I truly don't have any space. My barn is a shedrow barn with 2 stalls and an overhang and storage closet/room. No aisle. The Storage area is as deep as a pallet and 2/3s of it has hay while the rest has blankets, fly spray, and grooming stuff. A barn cat would need a space outside of the barn (considering the storage room is closed or my mini will help himself to the hay) and creating a new place for a cat just isn't happening. I'm short on land!

            But, I'll look into the other products mentioned. I'm happy to hear that there are other pet safe items out there. I don't want anything that will hurt my indoor kitties.

            Comment


              #7
              Mice are generally pretty easy. Get a box of snap traps and pre bait them for a few days with peanut butter. Then set them all. You'll catch most/all.

              Then work on exclusion to prevent them from moving back in.

              Comment


                #8
                Homemade bucket mice and rat trap.

                Take a five gallon bucket, run a wire from side to side on the top, with a can of soda pop threaded lengthwise along it, so it rolls easily, smear peanut butter in the middle of the can, add a small limb or board from the side to the top and add some 4" or 5" of water on the bottom:



                Comment


                  #9
                  Victor Tin Cat traps--bait with dry cat or dog food. The traps will each hold about a dozen mice (one runs in and starts "tap dancing" trying to get out, and all it's buddies run in to see what's going on). Take trap, place in 10 gallon muck bucket, and dispatch with 2 buckets of water (otherwise they will get cannibalistic and start eating each other--welcome to the Thunderdome!.) I was finding mouse turds in my barn cat's empty food bowl every morning. Baited 3 of these traps, caught 10 overnight, and no more mouse turds. When traps get stinky gross, just hose them out and let them dry in the sun, and rebait. To fill places in stalls where mice have dug little tunnels between walls and stall mats, I back fill with plain unscented non clumping kitty litter--fills the holes and packs down nice. I like this method--no poison involved, you can toss the bodies outside and the hawks come down and grab them for dinner.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    After forty years - - we found that mice are 'almost' good, compared to rats. Seems the rats canibalise the baby mice in their nests so we found that when we had rats, the mice were not there. Our house is old, wood frame and a haven. Now we use rat poison against walls,in rat boxes, and consider it the better of all evils. At least they are gone
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah, didn't want to say it, but "tunneling" that you can see is way more likely rats than mice. In my area folks call them "slab rats" because they love to get under concrete slabs. And cats can fit anywhere there is a corner of a stall or a small place to curl up. But they won't help with rats. At my last barn, when rat tunnel opening would appear, I'd put "TomCat" poison down the tunnel, fill in the top of the tunnel with dirt, and no more rats (or rat bodies).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Please don't use anti coagulant rat bait, and especially PLEASE don't use it outside of a bait box. Not only is that in violation of federal law, it kills just a boatload of wildlife through secondary poisoning (and strong possibility of primary poisoning of non target species when you're not securing the bait.)

                        Terad3 has zero report of secondary poisoning in research or practice in the literature. Put it in a locked bait box and use that if you need to poison your mice/rats.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Barn cats don't need a lot of space. We have 3 that are getting quite old and actually enjoy snuggling in your lap while you watch your kid's lesson. They sleep amongst the hay bales. They have a sneak entrance into the back side of the indoor arena which morphs into a 16,000 sf litter box in the winter. They dine on Barn Cat dry food from the local Blue Seal store. One of the instructors insists on giving them wet food in the winter and they fatten up. Every once in a blue moon they wander in with a mouthful of prey. We don't have rodents, though. Now that i think about it they live a very cushy life for barn cats. But they still don't need a lot of space or fancy dining arrangements.

                          I'm on my fourth generation of Oriental Shorthair cats, 3 pairs of boys and the current pair of girls. They seem to be equally qualified but the girls are a lot quieter. I actually spent money several years ago having some local company put baited traps outside. They actually worked.
                          "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks walktrot

                            I really love the idea of barn cats, but they just don't work with my setup without buying an actually new place for them as there is no shelter beyond the hay storage room in my barn and the only out in through the door. If I leave the door open, then my mini has access to an all you can eat buffet. If I leave the door closed, I need to remove all the hay to make room for the cat and food and litter box, at least in the beginning. If we ever move and have more than a shedrow type barn, I will definitely consider this! I may reach out to one of the local companies as well as chat with my local farm store and see what they recommend. We made some changes in the house and that is definitely helping. Just need to figure out everwhere else!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by pompeiii View Post
                              Thanks walktrot
                              I may reach out to one of the local companies as well as chat with my local farm store and see what they recommend. We made some changes in the house and that is definitely helping. Just need to figure out everwhere else!
                              Do keep in mind that your local farm store wants to sell their own products, that they stock. I've never seen Terad3 on shelves--just stuff like TomCat...which is an anticoagulant bait with a high risk of secondary poisoning. Even the pest people we contract with here first suggested that sort of bait when I had them out to discuss RATS (gawd, so much worse than mice ) and only started talking about Terad when I told them I would not consider anticoagulant poisons due to the vast amount of at risk wildlife on the farm here.

                              You can get Terad3 and locking bait boxes here, if you're looking for that sort of control. You can also buy boxes of snap traps, which might be a better place to start.

                              Terad3

                              Bait boxes

                              Mouse snap traps

                              Better mouse snap traps

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Simkie I probably wasn't clear. I have snap traps out all over the place. They are ignored. I have caught 3 mice with them in the last 9 months (I actually have both that you listed). I have however caught my fingers several times resetting them.

                                The one thing about my farm store is that they will recommend other local businesses all the time. They also have lists of contractors and have provided me with recommendations even when it means I won't buy their products. It's not to say they don't try to sell, but I can go there for advice vs tractor supply.

                                I will be doing research before I purchase products (many at the farm store know this because I'll ask for advice and preface that I'll need to research any recommendations). It just helps to have actual names of products. My hay guy recommended a product, and while I think I'd be OK using it, it poses too much risk to my neighbor's outdoor cats and wildlife so I eliminated that one from consideration.

                                I will look into Terad3 as well.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by pompeiii View Post
                                  Thanks walktrot

                                  I really love the idea of barn cats, but they just don't work with my setup without buying an actually new place for them as there is no shelter beyond the hay storage room in my barn and the only out in through the door. If I leave the door open, then my mini has access to an all you can eat buffet. If I leave the door closed, I need to remove all the hay to make room for the cat and food and litter box, at least in the beginning. If we ever move and have more than a shedrow type barn, I will definitely consider this! I may reach out to one of the local companies as well as chat with my local farm store and see what they recommend. We made some changes in the house and that is definitely helping. Just need to figure out everwhere else!
                                  Put a cat flap in the door.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by pompeiii View Post
                                    Thanks walktrot

                                    I really love the idea of barn cats, but they just don't work with my setup without buying an actually new place for them as there is no shelter beyond the hay storage room in my barn and the only out in through the door. If I leave the door open, then my mini has access to an all you can eat buffet. If I leave the door closed, I need to remove all the hay to make room for the cat and food and litter box, at least in the beginning. If we ever move and have more than a shedrow type barn, I will definitely consider this! I may reach out to one of the local companies as well as chat with my local farm store and see what they recommend. We made some changes in the house and that is definitely helping. Just need to figure out everwhere else!
                                    You can make a teeny cat door that even a mini can’t fir through...

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by pompeiii View Post
                                      Simkie I probably wasn't clear. I have snap traps out all over the place. They are ignored. I have caught 3 mice with them in the last 9 months (I actually have both that you listed). I have however caught my fingers several times resetting them.
                                      If the mice are wary of your traps, then prebait. Bait them all without setting (always wear gloves while handling traps), continue to bait them as the bait disappears, then set them all for capture in one night. You should not have to pre bait for more than a few days once bait is being eaten.

                                      Then work on exclusion. A skirt of 1/4" hardware cloth attached to the building will go a long way toward preventing reinfestation.

                                      Mice are generally easy to trap without pre baiting, so that does raise the concern that you are actually dealing with rats. They're smarter, but can usually be trapped by prebaiting in the same way (with bigger traps.). They like slimjims.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by pompeiii View Post
                                        Thanks walktrot

                                        I really love the idea of barn cats, but they just don't work with my setup without buying an actually new place for them as there is no shelter beyond the hay storage room in my barn and the only out in through the door. If I leave the door open, then my mini has access to an all you can eat buffet. If I leave the door closed, I need to remove all the hay to make room for the cat and food and litter box, at least in the beginning. If we ever move and have more than a shedrow type barn, I will definitely consider this! I may reach out to one of the local companies as well as chat with my local farm store and see what they recommend. We made some changes in the house and that is definitely helping. Just need to figure out everwhere else!
                                        My barn cats (two of them) take up less space than a bale of hay, even with a heated house and a heated water bowl in the winter so I am confused why you are insisting there is no room unless you remove half of the hay. (Dry food always, wet food twice per day at my place.)

                                        I personally have not had the same experience with male versus female barn cats as mentioned above. I have had two amazing hunters that are both neutered males. My female barn cats are great but not the killing machine the two males have been.

                                        I have to agree with Simkie above. Rats are smart. If you are not catching anything and your bait is good (what are you using?) then you are likely dealing with rats.

                                        Comment

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