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Keeping mice out of supplements

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    Keeping mice out of supplements

    Our boarding barn has been overrun with mice for awhile now and I'm trying to figure out a way to at least keep them out of my supplement bags.

    The BM has tried bringing in a number of feral cats but none of them have stuck around. The dogs on property seem to run after every small animal but mice. It's gotten to the point where they're not even afraid of humans anymore--I usually have a couple hanging out on the stall door watching and giving pointers while I'm tacking up.

    All the boarders' supplements are kept in plastic Container Store type pull out drawers in the feed room. At one point I was able to keep our bags in a lidded container on the counter but the BM needed to clear up space so asked us to use the pull outs. These are not fully sealed so the mice can easily wriggle in and chew through all my bags. I'm wondering if there's something I can use to try to deter them from the drawers.

    Some sites recommend home remedies like peppermint oil but then others say those don't work at all. At our vacation home I've tried using plug-in ultrasonic repellers which seemed to work for a little bit until one time we came back and found a nest egg of acorns on the bed right next to one of the plug ins.

    Has anyone tried anything that's been proven to work?

    #2
    Mice can ( and will) easily chew through even heavy plastic. Just keep them in a wood or metal box. You might suggest that the BO move up to the extermination route or set out traps and clean up the feed room and how grain is stored and handled. Cats can/ will only do so much when you are over run. Once you get the numbers down they should keep up.

    Comment


      #3
      Gross. When the population is so dense that they're that bold, they won't be deterred by a little peppermint--they're all HUNGRY. It sounds like the barn owner isn't very concerned about this?

      A metal box that shuts securely will work. A money box might be the right size to fit into a slide out plastic drawer...just make sure whoever feeds CLOSES it.

      In any other fall, you could maybe swap out your baggies for something like canning jars, but finding those will be tough right now!

      Comment


        #4
        We use an old heavy filing cabinet in the feed room.

        Works great. No more giant rats with glossy coats and beautiful movement.

        There is another one in the tack room for meds, cottons, wraps, etc.

        Comment


          #5
          I had two different species of hawks nesting nearby; I have not seen a mouse all summer!

          If you have a friend with a Jack Russell terrier or other varmint dog, see if you can bring it over when bales of hay are being moved or feed room is being swept. A friend had a JRT that would nab and kill one mouse after another.

          Comment


            #6
            would NOT be ok for me to have that heavy of a mouse infestation at a facility I'm paying for especially! Is there a place for a dead small freezer? everyone could put their containers or bags in. BEST solution hands down.
            ayrabz
            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
            --Jimmy Buffett

            Comment


              #7
              Tractor Supply or Lowe’s or Home Depot or Walmart

              6 gallon
              or
              ten gallon

              galvanized trash can .... just like the 20 gallon kind

              * will keep the mice out when plastic trash cans will simply delay their entry & damage •

              GOOD LUCK ~
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

              Comment


                #8
                This sounds like an exterminator-grade situation. If the barn is near woods, then there might not be much hope, as the mice might be living out there.
                Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  I like the filing cabinet idea. Or even something like an old library catalog cabinet but that might be harder to find these days. The boarders usually all chip in for a barn gift during the holidays. Last year someone suggested replacing the plastic bins with something else but we ended up getting a new fridge instead.

                  Unfortunately with the quantity of supplements we're giving, daily plastic/glass containers would take up too much space. I'll try to see if I can find a metal box as some have suggested or some other enclosed container that could slide into the frame. The mice aren't chewing through the plastic drawers--just the bags I use--but the drawers aren't always closed all the way and sometimes there are gaps between the pull out and the frame so it's easy for them to get inside.

                  I agree they probably need to bring in an exterminator at this point. But the property is in a rural/farming area with a lot of ways for rodents to come in so I'm not sure how long they'd be able to keep them out without some kind of predator around to catch/deter them. I wish at least ONE of the cats they brought in stuck around. I think they tried a total of 6 or 7.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As long as there is a cafeteria there, the mice are going to continue to be a problem. I keep everything edible in metal cans. Trash style cans come in all sizes and they are cheap. Spilled feed needs to be swept up as well.

                    A big non-working chest freezer would be a way to store a bunch of bags without having to dump them out into bins.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Will the BO allow you to help in reducing numbers? Or are they too proud to ask for help? My BO and I always team up on this stuff and it gets squashed in hurry.

                      Cats will stick around if they feel safe. If the barn dog is chasing the cats and they feel pressured, they leave. They will also leave if they don't know where "home" is... are they introduced properly - locked in a stall for a couple weeks to orient themselves?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Brown Derby View Post
                        We use an old heavy filing cabinet in the feed room.

                        Works great. No more giant rats with glossy coats and beautiful movement.

                        There is another one in the tack room for meds, cottons, wraps, etc.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          A metal lab cabinet with doors. Can accommodate the smart pack type sliding drawers and is easy to access.

                          Must however come to the staff to ...

                          keep all food sources secured at all times
                          keep waste and spillage promptly cleaned up
                          boarders must not store treats supplements or other food items in their lockers unless contained within metal or glass

                          if barn rodent problem is as bad as this they need a lethal attack with snap traps. Please to not encourage glue trap , drowning traps or poisons

                          this is not something that is one and done, this is an ongoing war and you cannot let up

                          it started with proper ground maintenance and a thorough cleaning up
                          _\\]
                          -- * > hoopoe
                          Procrastinate NOW
                          Introverted Since 1957

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Mice can get into old filing cabinets through the openings in the bottom. Use either the galvanized garbage cans, or an old chest freezer. Mice will chew through plastic, wood, fiberglass...anything but glass and metal. The reason there is such an infestation is because they are well fed!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As a barn manager, this is something staff should be handling, and taking a heck of a lot more seriously than what you're letting on. No barn should EVER have mice running amok like that. The barns in my area that have this problem all have a bad rep for it for a reason. The barn staff and owners do nothing to correct the problem. Bringing in a few stray cats is not enough. I would be worried about my horses and the boarders eating contaminated feed/supplements. A mouse problem should light a huge fire under any sane and smart BO/BM's butt.

                              A couple things need to happen here:
                              1. Wherever they are stored (IE grain room) everything needs to be pulled out, the floors need to be swept (even dirt floors), and disinfected with a bleach solution.
                              2. Ditch the pull out drawers. We use sealing storage totes for all my boarders with great luck.
                              3. Talk to the BO and BM about chickens/guinea hens. They eat everything! Even mice. Even if they are kept in a coop for the most part, they will help decrease the mice population.
                              4. Live traps. Seriously. They work.
                              5. Keep the cleaning to a schedule. 3 times a week, sweep out those storage areas. Make sure feeders in stalls, water buckets are kept clean and dumped when the horses are not in.
                              6. No food (horse or human) should be stored in tack lockers. The boarders can take their precious treats home until the problem is resolved.
                              7. All trash picked up and taken out daily.
                              8. We also sweep all rubber mats and rake our dirt aisles every day to clear out organic debris.


                              Bottom line is the food sources are too good for the mice to move on. Remove that food source, and chances are most of them move out. Those who don't you can use the live traps for.

                              I DO NOT encourage using poison, glue traps or lethal traps unless you have ZERO chance of a child, cat, dog or other animal getting at it. And even then, especially no to poison. It doesn't kill them right away, and if the mouse gets out of the barn and eaten by a stray cat, owl or other bird, that's guaranteed secondary poisoning.
                              Last edited by WildGooseChase; Sep. 17, 2020, 08:54 AM.
                              I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.

                              BaileyAnn Neal

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by WildGooseChase View Post
                                As a barn manager, this is something staff should be handling, and taking a heck of a lot more seriously than what you're letting on. No barn should EVER have mice running amok like that. The barns in my area that have this problem all have a bad rep for it for a reason. The barn staff and owners do nothing to correct the problem. Bringing in a few stray cats is not enough. I would be worried about my horses and the boarders eating contaminated feed/supplements. A mouse problem should like a huge fire under any sane and smart BO/BM's butt.

                                A couple things need to happen here:
                                1. Wherever they are stored (IE grain room) everything needs to be pulled out, the floors need to be swept (even dirt floors), and disinfected with a bleach solution.
                                2. Ditch the pull out drawers. We use sealing storage totes for all my boarders with great luck.
                                3. Talk to the BO and BM about chickens/guinea hens. They eat everything! Even mice. Even if they are kept in a coop for the most part, they will help decrease the mice population.
                                4. Live traps. Seriously. They work.
                                5. Keep the cleaning to a schedule. 3 times a week, sweep out those storage areas. Make sure feeders in stalls, water buckets are kept clean and dumped when the horses are not in.
                                6. No food (horse or human) should be stored in tack lockers. The boarders can take their precious treats home until the problem is resolved.
                                7. All trash picked up and taken out daily.
                                8. We also sweep all rubber mats and rake our dirt aisles every day to clear out organic debris.


                                Bottom line is the food sources are too good for the mice to move on. Remove that food source, and chances are most of them move out. Those who don't you can use the live traps for.

                                I DO NOT encourage using poison, glue traps or lethal traps unless you have ZERO chance of a child, cat, dog or other animal getting at it. And even then, especially no to poison. It doesn't kill them right away, and if the mouse gets out of the barn and eaten by a stray cat, owl or other bird, that's guaranteed secondary poisoning.
                                Thank you for this. I think all the boarders acknowledge there's an issue as we joke about it with each other, but I don't know if anyone has seriously taken it up with the BM. I did see a stack of Tom Cat mouse killer in the feed room the other day. I didn't look closely to see what product it is but I'm guessing likely poison...

                                Can you share a link to an example of the storage totes your boarders are using?

                                The barn grain is kept in galvanized trash containers with lids so that's at least a plus. But I think the supplements keep them coming. They also run into our feed buckets as soon as I turn my back. Yesterday there were a few bites of grain left in the bucket before I rode and it was empty when I got back.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by jcc813 View Post

                                  Thank you for this. I think all the boarders acknowledge there's an issue as we joke about it with each other, but I don't know if anyone has seriously taken it up with the BM. I did see a stack of Tom Cat mouse killer in the feed room the other day. I didn't look closely to see what product it is but I'm guessing likely poison...

                                  Can you share a link to an example of the storage totes your boarders are using?

                                  The barn grain is kept in galvanized trash containers with lids so that's at least a plus. But I think the supplements keep them coming. They also run into our feed buckets as soon as I turn my back. Yesterday there were a few bites of grain left in the bucket before I rode and it was empty when I got back.
                                  Oh, yuck

                                  If they're THAT bold/hungry, a bucket trap would likely work GREAT, though. Like this:

                                  https://www.homeandgardeningideas.co...ng-mouse-trap/

                                  TomCat contains bromethalin. It's one of the non anti-coagulants, so doesn't carry the typical risk of widespread secondary poisoning (yay) but it's also really terrible from a primary accidental poisoning front. If used, it should 100% be in locked bait boxes.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    If they are that hungry, store all supplements in that nice refrigerator until the place is cleaned up. What you have is a health hazard, and I imagine it will worsen as winter approaches.

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post

                                      Oh, yuck

                                      If they're THAT bold/hungry, a bucket trap would likely work GREAT, though. Like this:

                                      https://www.homeandgardeningideas.co...ng-mouse-trap/
                                      Ooh...I think I might try this. At least for the side barn where our horses are stalled which is separate from the main barn. I'm too much of a softy to drown them, though, so may just have to get my husband to take them off property for release. I just don't know how quickly new mice will set up house as soon as we remove the current residents...at least it might give us temporary relief.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by jcc813 View Post

                                        Ooh...I think I might try this. At least for the side barn where our horses are stalled which is separate from the main barn. I'm too much of a softy to drown them, though, so may just have to get my husband to take them off property for release. I just don't know how quickly new mice will set up house as soon as we remove the current residents...at least it might give us temporary relief.
                                        Take them far, far, far away. Or they'll be back.

                                        (Relocating wildlife is usually illegal, too.)

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