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Renting old caretaker's cottage on great horse property, however MICE!!!

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  • #21
    well my little weasels lived at liberty in the house with us and were very social and docile. i moved them into the tack room and they eliminated the mice within a short time. eventually they got bored though and weren't as vigilant. could have been that it was winter and they were well fed and sleepier.

    in the house they loved to bother the cats and dogs, and would gang up on them too. they are extremely brave and will stand up to animals much larger then they. the dogs and cats mostly treated them as a nuisance i think.
    of course a jrt is the wrong kind of dog to have around ferrets, but we had labs and weims raised from pups who knew the ferrets were untouchable, as the hens were.
    i don't know if any of mine ever tangled with a rat, though, but my guys were smaller than many i've seen.

    there's a ton of info on line if you want more specific ferret care and feeding and training advice. and they are like chips, hard to have just one!
    think rowdy kittens who play hard and sleep soundly for eighteen hours a day.


    • #22
      As for the bucket method, the mice do not seem to notice that there are 8 of their brethren floating below, so don't worry if you can't empty the buckets too regularly. I use a nice flat board and plenty of peanut butter for the schmear. Best of luck and hopefully there will be none of that scrabbling around. That makes me crazy.

      eta: I love the ferret idea - pictures please????


      • #23
        I was also going to recommend the plastic snap traps. Agree with glue - that's UNBELIEVABLY brutal. I've seen the poor little things gnaw their legs off. Inexcusable. So anyway - the plastic snaps have HUGE teeth and do a serious job. THey're at Lowe's/HD. We use peanut butter as bait, also.

        Good luck.
        Equine Photography in the Northeast


        • #24
          agree that Fall is move-in time. yes we hear the occasional skitter in the walls, but nothing like what you describe (and our house is 1890s so not exactly buttoned up tight, surrounded by farm fields, etc)
          Your house sounds like a major and possibly unhealthy infestation and I would start putting things in writing to your landlord to demand a fix. Get the board of public health involved if you have to.
          The plastic snap traps work well. The glue traps are good at catching them but they don't kill the mouse. So, what, you're supposed to just leave them until they die of thirst? I didn't really think that through before setting one out, and then had a terrified mouse stuck in the tray. I took the poor thing outside, put a newspaper over him and took care of it with a hammer. I know, incredibly gross but I wasn't about to let him just suffer for days.


          • #25
            Just a heads up that you probably don't want to hear ... if you have mice, you'll have snakes seeking out the mice. One sort of takes care of the other, though, so at least that's good.


            • #26
              Thought about this sort of thing?



              • #27
                Originally posted by ccoronios View Post
                I was also going to recommend the plastic snap traps. Agree with glue - that's UNBELIEVABLY brutal. I've seen the poor little things gnaw their legs off. Inexcusable. So anyway - the plastic snaps have HUGE teeth and do a serious job. THey're at Lowe's/HD. We use peanut butter as bait, also.

                Good luck.
                True to a point. They are not my favorite either, but - especially the rat size ones work like a charm.
                If finishing them off with a hammer is too gross for you, you can put them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer. Killing stuff humanely that refuses to just have it's neck snapped is really not easy.

                Wasn't there also something about feeding plaster of paris mixed with oatmeal or something?

                I accidentally poisoned my mice one time. I had bought poison bait and had second thoughts about putting it out. I just stuck it in the cabinet under the sink. Next thing I know, the boxes are torn open and the bait chewed up!

                I did feel very bad for the mouse family caught on the traps I had put out.
                But a quick glance at the destruction they have caused and the mess they had left behind, that feeling did not last very long: I cannot use my oven in the kitchen. After they made it their home, every time I turn it on it smells like mouse urine, so bad it runs you out of the house! And the construction of the appliance does not allow for cleaning without a full tool box.

                Now I have the cats, who surprised me with taking care of the young.
                Queen Cat just brought herself back to my attention by dragging her latest kill through the kitchen: a squirrel almost as big as she.....
                (last night I had to crawl through my closet to find where she disposed of the last one while I was gone...just follow the smell, when your eyes water you have arrived...)


                • #28
                  I would worry about the Hanta virus too, especially an acquaintance of my mom's in France died this summer after spending her honeymoon at Yosemite. Such an infestation would worry me anywhere!


                  • #29
                    To seal places like under siding at bottom of outside walls, around pipe entry points under all sinks, and for drains use the bright/darker orange fire rated foam insulation spray. It's sold next to the other foam, but once it cures it's like cement and I don't think they can get through. Also, under roof edges at the top of the outside walls is supposed to be open for air, but should have some wire to stop mice, and most older houses don't. If there is a triangular roof vent at the attic wall outside under the roof edge make sure the wire there is strong and attached. Check that dryer vents have good closure and are foamed around the pipe edge where it enters the house. I like snap traps with peanut butter, but the chocolate chip idea sounds good. Wash off all sealed containers before opening or using, because a woman I worked with said two words that changed my life. I asked why she was washing her coke can off before opening, and she said "Rat Pee"-I always wash stuff off before opening ever since.

                    Sit traps where you see evidence of the little vermin nesting. Check under kitchen and bath cabinets, and see if the 90 degree corners have holes above the floor and kick plate, under the cabinets. If so I think they sell blocking material that you staple to the kick plate, and they sell it at big box stores, or kitchen stores. They make two kinds of rat poison pellets, the traditional doesn't dry them out, but the new stuff (green Dcon box) does dry them out from the inside, and I understand there's some blue pellets that do that too-put them under the cabinet base (if there are holes) and seal them, so the mouse can't escape and poison your animal.

                    Check your shoes or slippers before putting on. I found a huge cricket the other day, and almost had a heart attack because I thought it was a mouse in there.
                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                    • #30
                      We use a 5 gallon bucket filled about 1/4 with RV antifreeze. We smear peanut butter on the handle, and put a small board leading up to the rim of the bucket, like a ramp so the mice walk up the ramp, attempt to use the wire to get to the peanut butter and -plop- into the antifreeze where they die quickly and are preserved until we can scoop them out (we're only there 2 weekends a month at present) We then dispose of them in our burn barrel, because I don't want any woodland creature dying because they eat an antifreeze soaked dead mouse.
                      We have used a similar method, except for the bucket is filled with water, for any sheds that we use to store stuff.

                      Bucket, wire hanger (or other metal that will go from one side of the bucket to the other), and a 20 oz drink bottle. Drill holes on either side of your bucket (directly opposite of the handle works best). Drill a hole in the center of the bottom of the drink bottle. Run the wire through one hole in the bucket, through the bottle and through the other hole on the bucket. Fill bucket 1/2 full with water, smear peanut butter on the bottle, and use a board as a ramp for the furry little monsters.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by suz View Post
                        ferrets may solve the problem for you. i've had pet ferrets who did a good job in my barn, and i know stables of long ago kept them as mouse predators back in the day.
                        i'll tell you how to use them if you want to add them to your family. they make great pets overall.
                        I know I should be donning my flame suit for this, but what the hell.

                        First off, the very idea of treating pet ferrets, which are thoroughly domesticated & definitely NOT the same ferrets used in Europe for varmint-hunting, is absolutely horrid.

                        Secondly, domesticated ferrets at liberty outdoors is, I believe, illegal. And frankly, it's that issue alone that has made keeping ferrets as pets at all is still illegal in many states.

                        Third, I hope your poor ferrets are up on ALL their vaccinations, since you're exposing them to everything & anything that's running rampant in your barn. And that mostly includes stuff that there aren't even vaccinations for.

                        Fourth, suggesting ferrets as a home mouse problem has to be one of the most unconscionable things I've ever heard of.

                        "Thumbs Down" me to death guys - LOL!!!!


                        • #32
                          why yes, my 'poor' ferrets were utd on all vaccines and they lived at liberty quite happily in my large grain room for several years.
                          they also lived indoor in the house at liberty and switched back and forth easily. they had a ton of attention, raisins and cheerios when not sleeping soundly,lol, and were quite happy little critters until they passed way of old age.


                          • #33
                            I've always thought that ferrets would have been a good alternative to poison, but, can you have cats and dogs around them? How do you teach the dogs/cats to leave them alone--other than what you do to teach the dogs to leave the cats alone??


                            • #34
                              my ferrets were never intimidated by my dogs or cats. then again i never had jrts or any terrier types who would see them as prey. the ferrets used to gang up on the dogs when they tried to eat. i had to put them in a closed room so the dogs cold eat without having their ankles chewed on.

                              we had labs and weims and they growled when the ferrets tried to eat them, otherwise they were fine.
                              really the most important thing is the breed of dog, a dog who is inclined to kill small critters is not a good match obviously.


                              • #35
                                One word of caution. If you know you've been exposed to mice or other vermin, and you get sick, don't forget to tell the doctor, in case it's a mice transmitted illness like Hantavirus. Diseases like hantavirus are very treateable, but it's better if the diagnosis and treatment are started early.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                • #36
                                  I second the no ferrets, unless you want a ferret on it's own merit <- rhymes
                                  I'd say the same if you were deciding to get any animal on the basis of one single characteristic that may or may not show up in the individual animal you get.
                                  Find someone, maybe through your vet, and visit / talk with them to see what you are getting into and what that species needs to be happy.


                                  • #37
                                    Mint &amp; Buckeye chickens

                                    Mint. Mice do not like mint. Neither do snakes. I would be heading over to herbalcom, or what ever bulk seller is giving good service now days, as herbalcom sure has been dropping the ball big time for a while, & buy mint. Peppermint & spearmint. Very liberally sprinkle it around outside of house, & inside too. I keep sachets of it in all the farm trucks, so mice are not so prone to getting into the wiring. (Famous last words, but I have never had a mouse in the wiring problem. Nor a snake in a truck either.)

                                    When I moved "into town" a couple of years ago, this house was loaded with mice, & snakes. The freshly shed 3' (unstretched) snake skin inside the house was the final straw for me! *shudder* Besides getting a couple of cats, I used mint. I now have mint planted all around the base of the house. Fair warning, mint is invasive. Likes to take over the ground. Fine with me. Smells wonderful when it gets mowed. I sometimes even pick it for tea for myself, & the horses too. The invasive growth aspect has never been an actual problem for me. Being trodden upon by humans multiple times daily as we go about our daily routines has kept it in check.

                                    Also, the rare breed Buckeye chicken is known to be a great mouser & snaker too. Is snaker a word? If not I just invented a new CoTH farm word. You can Google & find Buckeye chickens. I love my Buckeye's! Got mine from a former CoTH'er.

                                    I absolutely disapprove of the use of poisons. Cats, weasels, hawks, owls, even a pet dog etc.; can all eat the slowly dying poisoned mice! That means they too are then poisoned!!! Also, since I have chickens, no way am I using poison. Most chickens will catch a mouse if they can. Buckeye's are just known to be diligent & great mousers!
                                    "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


                                    • #38
                                      OP - I dont know where you live, but I would sure try and find a different/better exterminator. I had a mouse problem back in Ohio- they were running around the attic. The guy we used spent about an hour going around the outside of my house with a flashlight and mirror, looking for openings. He identified 18 of the! Marked w/ little flags, came back the next day, sealed them all and thenwent in attic and set out bait traps. Took a week or two ( he made several return trips to clear out traps). I was good for maybe a year and 1/2 or two; it was worth it!
                                      We referred him to a friend in same area, another old house. She had 33 openings that he found!!!
                                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                                      • #39
                                        People who are recommending the plastic snap traps, can you say what sort you use? I am finding two different kinds, ones that look like regular traps with the plain metal bar, and then something nasty-looking that has "teeth." If you could post a brand and model that would be great. I have recently discovered I have mice in my kitchen, and my fat, lazy cat is not doing his job.
                                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                                        • #40
                                          What about fox or other predator urine. ANyone tried it? I've seen mixed reviews/