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Mice overrunning tack closet - Update - Post 42 - fewer mice!

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  • Mice overrunning tack closet - Update - Post 42 - fewer mice!

    I have a mouse problem where I board now. I keep my gear in a sort of tack closet. It has a couple saddle racks, bridle racks, and two very tightly sealed plastic cabinet type enclosures. There is nothing edible in there. Nothing. I briefly had some horse treats in there, but they were in a sealed plastic container that the mice didn't get into. Sometimes my smartpak box goes in there for a few days, but the mice don't get into it.


    The mice love this cabinet. It is disgustingly littered with beaucoup mouse poop. I have all my saddle pads wrapped in sealable plastic bags, but my saddles just have fabric covers that are getting polluted. (ewwww) I'm going to have to completely empty the cabinet and clean it out and I am totally grossed out.

    Barn isn't huge -- 20 stalls? A bit grubby. But a serious mouse problem. The barn owners have 3 dogs and I kinda doubt most cats would be happy in this (intensively yappy) dog environment, particularly the semi-civilized JRT. I don't think that the dogs do much to curb the mouse problem except the occasional recreational hunting.

    What can I / we do to get the mouse thing under control? I really don't want poison, cuz the poisoned mice will be eaten by the JRT (has happened before). Is there any way I can make my tack closet less appealing to them? At this point I am ready to empty it, clean it out, and fill it with traps. Ugh.
    Last edited by Lori B; Jun. 5, 2010, 04:14 PM.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

  • #2

    I did read somewhere that they hate peppermint oil. If you can stand all your stuff smelling like peppermint you could try putting some in the corners/edges of the locker to see if that helps.

    Or go catch a black snake and lock it in there for a few days... heh.
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


    • #3
      I also suggest traps- I've found some cool ones that have it kind of covered so you don't see the real damage, so to speak .



      • #4

        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


        • #5
          Gross as it may seem...see if you can find a black snake or something like that. I don't know if it would stick around with all of the dogs, but it may be content to stay in a room like that for a while if there is plenty to eat, and then move along once the food is gone.
          The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


          • #6
            I put peppermint oil on those little round disposable face pads you can buy at the drugstore and put them in front of where the mice would get in. It did seem to cut down on the traffic.

            I also read that they don't like dryer sheets -- probably the smellier the better.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you for the non-toxic ideas!

              Will definitely try the peppermint oil, and traps.

              I like the snake idea, but I think my BM would pee herself if she heard that I was intentionally bringing a snake to the barn. :-) That, and don't want the dogs to eat the snake.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


              • #8
                They used mothballs on the floor of the tack room where i used to board. Somewhat effective, but had to use A LOT of mothballs. Made everything in there stink though... I'd try the peppermint oil first.
                Otherwise, traps.


                • #9
                  you know, mice can chew through electrical wire and cause barn fires that way.

                  I think they are cute, but they are cuter when dead...

                  trap, kill, snake, what have you...mice are too expensive to tread lightly around!


                  • #10
                    I took a three prong approach to this problem when I realized the mice were having babies in my unused saddle pads (yuck!!!!!).

                    Initial hit was with well placed snap traps. Killed 9 in three days. I also set decon packets (little self contained triangle shaped boxes) and that I presume got the rest. I now keep a Rat Zapper:


                    armed at all times in the tackroom and occassionally get a casualty out of that. So far, no babies! The rat zapper was so worth the money! Could probably fit well in a tack cabinet.
                    Gone gaited....


                    • #11
                      We have mice in the grain shed...and my useless cats are too busy chasing moths to go after mice

                      It seems obvious, but see if you can get the BO to put all grain in sealed tubs, and add "sweep feed area" to the list of twice-a-day chores. Make a serious hard-and-fast rule about not keeping treats in lockers (lots of people do, our barn has "raids" and you get a talking to!)

                      The snap traps work as well/better than any of the other kinds!

                      I'm definitely going to try the peppermint oil too!

                      A good, old, vicious tomcat from the shelter probably would have little issue with most dogs...and no one ever adopts them. Find one with frozen ear tips and pieces of ear missing, if you can. Even once neutered we've found that the mice stay away! 'Course, then the neutered tom cat will pee on things. 6 of one...
                      Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


                      • #12
                        My b/o has 5 dogs and they seem to ignore the cats, except when a new bulldog puppy arrived who thinks they are there to be chased. Someone just brought 5 new barn cats to augment the other three. We don't seem to have much of a problem with rodents anymore.


                        • #13
                          the most humane solution: Plain old $1 mouse traps. lots of them.

                          not as humane: Every hates the glue traps but that does avoid the poison problem. A bucket of water to drown those you find alive solves that suffering problem. Hideous? You bet. But hey, it's your investment you are protecting. Game on.

                          Potentially poisonous to the JRTs: Poison

                          It's not always messy feeding habits of the people. Horses are messy, I watched a field mouse break down a poop ball in a stall, getting the oats out of it. Darn horse, he's supposed to flush Or when I propped open the well house lid and found 4 little ones curled up in a snoozy little ball. A good mile from any horse feed containers. They are just 'there'.


                          • #14
                            I had a pack of mouse bait, I never could figure out where to place it..next thing I know, the mice had found it and decimated it!

                            I still have some, but I now got a very effective little mouser...she brought me a chipmonk the other day...Chip is now a solo act...


                            • Original Poster

                              Yeah, I don't think it's a feed management problem. We sweep regularly and the feed is kept in a big metal trunk like thing. BM even keeps this ginormous rock on the lid. It's hard for humans to get into.

                              I just think that barn = mice, unless you have a serious predator situation.

                              Will be buying peppermint oil & snap traps. And also investigating if there is a way to seal up my cabinet better.
                              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                              • #16
                                If you find cracks in the cabinet, stuff the cracks with steel wool (tip from an exterminator). I personally like the d-con round traps for mice (the snap traps and glue traps give me the heebie geebies). It really is amazing at how a mouse can sqeeze through the smallest space that you would think impossible (I found a dead one in a stall fan once, no clue as to how the bugger got in there).

                                I'm surprised that peppermint oil works, since the mice I have encountered both here in FL and in CT actually ate the red and white peppermints I had in a kitchen drawer. They ate Hall's Metholyptus cough drops too.
                                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                • #17
                                  If you choose to bait traps mice really like peanut butter. I've caught 9 this past week!


                                  • #18
                                    We live in the country and are dealing with a mouse problem under our kitchen sink, talk about GROSS!! For what it is worth, I have that very same D Con "round trap" out and it has yet to capture a mouse during the time that glue traps have captured two. And the mice haven't set foot on the spring trap that is set, go figure. If you go with glue traps I can tell you do NOT use the Enforcer brand "Mouse Max", it is not capturing mice. They get on it, struggle and then get away. The brand that is working is from a Arkansas company, can't recall the name but the glue is on white plastic.

                                    We have the best success using a kibble of cat food for the mouse bait.

                                    And yes, when mice get into my territory- the tackroom or house- it's "game on" to kill them. Good luck with your mouse problem!


                                    • #19
                                      Where can one buy peppermint oil?


                                      • #20
                                        Adding that (knock on wood) I'm not dealing with mice at the moment, but would like to be prepared.

                                        Also from past experience I don't think dryer sheets work.