Mice in basement

Hi, I found mice nests in my basement insulation as well as mice droppings on the basement floor. My basement is unfinished. Are mice attracted to dark, unfinished areas? Would it help solve the mice problem if I finish my basement.
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On 10/17/2016 09:14 AM, JohnDoe wrote:

You need to go around the entire perimeter of the house and seal off all possible holes or cracks. They can get in through very small holes.
You will have to set traps and keep setting them until you are sure all mice are dead.
Happened to me once and fortunately the hole was pretty obvious.
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No. They will be perfectly happy living in the walls. Mandatory step 1 is to block how they are getting in. Vents need to be screened, cracks need to be caulked. Don't be fooled by the size of the crack - the mice are quite a bit smaller than Disney would lead you to believe.
Step 2 is to bait and trap the ones that are in the house already. They avoid human scent, so wear gloves when setting traps/bait stations.
Step 3 is to set bait stations outside around the perimeter of the house. Reduce the population outside and you reduce the chances ones will get in.
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I've baited and caught a lot of mice over the years. Gloves aren't necessary.

Step 3 is not necessary and may be illegal. Not to mention the danger to those cute little chipmunks, birds, children's fingers.
--
Dan Espen

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This will be news to the major commercial pest control companies. I take it you haven't seen what they are using these days? They are quite legal. The bait station boxes are specifically designed to allow access to rodents, but not to the other animals you cited. They are locked to prevent child access.
https://www.amazon.com/Protecta-LP-Rat-Bait-Station/dp/B003OS18HE
Reducing the population pressure outside is the preferred strategy for dealing with rodent infestations.
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One review says it killed squirrels. Another points out that the mice eat the bait and go somewhere else to die. Any animal eating that dead mouse is likely to die too. So, it can potentially kill cats, hawks, snakes.
Killing outside mice is pointless if you've sealed all their entrances. Your likely to poison an outside mouse, have it crawl into your house and then have it die in the walls.
--
Dan Espen

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wrote:

I had a bad infestation once in my brick 2-flat. They were breeding in the walls. Killed about 10 mice with my .177 air rifle. Killed 5 or 6 with mousetraps. I went after them hard, staying up late for the hunt. Quiet of night. Patched everywhere, and used a cement plaster (Durabond?) under the sinks where the pipes enter the walls. Cleaned up the house immaculately and instructed my wife and kids to keep it that way until I got rid of the mice. There was one trouble spot at the floor behind the living room radiator. Had to use a skinny stick to pack it with steel wool. The mice would remove the steel wool strand by strand. I could hear them doing it. Went to coarse steel wool and that worked. The only place I didn't fix was the mantle place over the old gas fireplace in the living room. It had separated about an inch from the wall. I saw the last mouse running on the mantle place. Came home from work a couple days later, and noticed what I took to be chopped crayon on the entryway tiles, and mentioned it to my wife. Then I playfully grabbed our baby and ran with her out the front apartment door into the hallway, my wife chasing me. From the corner of my eye I saw the mouse duck under the carpet of the stairs. I handed the baby to my wife and told her to get the broom. She did and I killed the mouse with it. I then examined the "chopped crayon" on the floor, and found it to be pieces of the new weather stripping I had installed on the front entryway door. That mouse was trying to escape my house into -5 F outside weather. Whole deal took about 10 days. Never had a mouse again. Word got around in mouse circles.
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On 10/19/2016 12:22 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

We have several stray cats that live around our neighborhood, and ever since they moved in, we haven't had problems with mice. Now, if we could get rid of the tree rats, as my husband calls them, we might actually get more of a harvest from the garden.
--
Maggie

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On Monday, October 17, 2016 at 10:14:05 AM UTC-4, JohnDoe wrote:

Yeah, that'll do it. Mice hate nice rooms. ;-)
The issue is not finished or unfinished, the issue is access.
The critters have found a way into your basement and unless you seal up those access points, it won't matter what you do to the interior space. Maybe they'll avoid the finished spaces due to noise and light, but that won't stop them from nesting inside the walls.
A quick story re: finished spaces and mice...
A friend moved into his grandma's house when she passed away. It was brick farmhouse built in the late 1800's. I was helping him gut the kitchen and when we removed the interior walls we found the stud bays loaded with all sorts of mice related debris. Shells from acorns and other nuts, nests, droppings, carcasses, etc. Each bay was filled at least 2 feet from the floor. He was expecting the worse and had already bought a large supply of heavy duty dust masks. We probably should have been wearing respirators, but it's 20 years later and (tic) I'm (tic) OK (tic) I'm (tic) OK. (tic) I'm (tic) OK. (tic)
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On 10/17/16 10:14 AM, JohnDoe wrote:

Cat.
--
With all this “gun control” talk, I haven’t heard one politician say how
they plan to take guns away from criminals and terrorists— just from law
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JohnDoe wrote:

no, find the cracks and seal them up, use thick wire mesh and foam to seal any cracks. they will make cracks bigger if they think there's a good nesting spot behind it. sealing the cracks with foam means they won't get any ideas about what's behind there...
songbird
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On 10/17/2016 10:14 AM, JohnDoe wrote:

This time of year mice are looking for a warm place to live. You have to be rid of them before you think about finishing. Set traps both inside and out and seal up every crack and hole so they can t come back.
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On 10/17/2016 10:14 AM, JohnDoe wrote:

You have to find where they are entering. My 1st mouse problem was 7 years ago. I had a dehumidifier with the condensate hose going out a window. I did have wood sealing the window, but I forgot about the overlap of the 2 panes. Steel wool fixed that one. The 2nd mouse problems was more difficult to find. They were entering a small area near the bottom of the garage door trim, crawling up to the finished garage ceiling, across the ceiling where it was an easy entrance into the basement (same level as the garage). I found this because one of the fluorescent fixtures in the garage had marks on the inside of the plastic diffuser. Once I realized it was mouse poop/pee, it was easy to find the entryway. Again, I stuffed steel wool in the bottom of each trim. No more mice. It's amazing, that the house is 7 years old and this never happened before this year. But, once they learned how to get in and get warm, it was like a superhighway. BTW, having a cat really didn't help much. He did catch 2 of them; even tried eating one and got sick. One he brought up into the house to play with.
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On 10/17/2016 10:14 AM, JohnDoe wrote:

Read others comments, most good, some bad.
Problem will continue until you seal possible entry points and kill all the mice you currently have. Snap traps and poisoned bait worked for me. Even though I have not had mice for a couple of years, I still keep traps around. Mice will go even for very old bait. I use peanut butter.
Trying to kill all the mice around your house is useless and new mice can be born from those already in the house so you need to get rid of them. Cats will go after mice but can't get those in walls and ceilings or rooms they do not have access to.
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In alt.home.repair, on Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:14:01 +0000, JohnDoe

It depends on whether the majority of them are introverts or extroverts. If the latter, they'll want to have parties after you go to be in the finished basement. For the introverts, it won't make any difference.
I've had mice. It might mean one has a lot when you start seeing them but I'm not sure.
I was eating dinner and felt something on my ankle. Just by reflex I lifted my foot and plonked it down. Killed a mouse. I didn't think it was that easy.
Another one was on a box and the only weapon close at hand was a salad dressing bottle. I grabbed it by the neck and hit where the mouse was. I was sure he'd get away while I did that, but I killed him. I didn't think it was that easy.
I've also used poison. The new dispenser holds the poison "cube" in place with a pin up the middle, but has a clear plastic window so you can see how much has been eaten. Maybe one should keep that covered but when I was using it, the mice ate some and then stopped. Because the "cubes" are sort of X-shaped, it's easier to tell how much has been eaten.
No one here yet gave dire warnings about them dying where you can't see them and smelling bad for a while. I'm sure that happens, but years go I found two dead, dried-up mice and I never smelled at all. I'm in favor of poison if they'll eat it. That's why the clear plastic window is better than the previous model.
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