Mice...should we start keeping score?

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snipped-for-privacy@doodle.com says...

Any dime sized opening will let an adult mouse in and can climb well so be sure to be inspecting above your head, but would guess around the garage door if you have an attached garage. They have a small living space requirement so if you are catching them inside they may be established there rather than a new one finding their way in every couple of nights. Keep the grass cut low and nothing against the home if possible to help keep a population build up away from the structure.
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Lar wrote:

Stuff cracks with steel wool.
Mice can't handle it.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

I wouldn't suggest the still wool on exterior openings unless you will cap it with caulk. You will have a rust stain running down the side of the structure when it oxidises.
Lar
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If you want an easy-to-stuff, steel-wool equivalent that won't rust, try "Chore Boy" pads. Same thing, but made of copper. I've used those to sucessfully block rodent access around water pipes. Stuff 'em in there good, though -- it doesn't take much of a gap to make a mouse superhighway.
Jo Ann
Lar wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@doodle.com wrote:

Yes...start keeping score and buy a LOT of traps or plan on re-using them.
One winter we caught 19 (one at a time) with the same trap. This wa a semi open lab / shop & now way to seal it up.
MIc gave up on the place when the rats moved in. Caught four rats one night...wiped out that group. The problem kinda went away for some reason.
cheers Bob
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Got you beat. In the 8 years I've lived in this house, I've caught 293 mice in my basement. (I really do keep track!) October is the busiest month, with a total of 62 caught during this month. November is a close second. April & May tie for least busy at 8 mice each.
For the life of me, I cant find where they're coming in, and I've really really tried. My latest invention is a tv camera, recording to a computer so I can watch from which direction the mice apporach the trap from. Then I can keep backtracking until I see where they get in. Nothing to report yet.
dickm

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"Without a doubt, the most famous ... is Towser. Born on April 21 1963, Towser lived at Glenturret Distillery for almost 24 years and caught a total of 28,899 mice (pity the person who kept score!) plus an uncounted number of rats, rabbits and pheasants in her life. Her tally of mice earned her a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the World Mouse-catching Champion. "
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I keep track too. so far since september, 32 inside the house. Not counting the 3 the cat caught. We get mice, voles, short tale shrews, regular shrews and I believe I had a muskrat once( it was big, brown, hairless triangular tail and it did a number on the basement door trying to gnaw thru it.).
I believe mine to be coming in under the doors. The door stops just don't do that good of a job. Get somebody to go outside and shine a high power flashlight under the door. IF you see any light in the house......
My weapon of choice is the Intruder best ever mouse trap. Sold at walgreens and online. Out does any other trap 10 to 1. To prove that they come under the door, I put one on either side of the door, and pushed them up flat to the casing. As the mouse comes in they turn right or left and get caught. No bait needed.
ITs been a good year for mice. I threw out grass seed on Labor day and not one seed sprouted. A check with a magnifying glass showed each and every seed eaten thru. The grass seed in the garage has been fairly well eaten also. They also made a bag of potting soil fairly worthless by burying the grass seed in it.
Also check dryer vents. Every once in awhile I will find a dessicated mouse in it.
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|> I've got 2 already. They sure like peanut butter. :-) |> |> I've been all around the perimeter of the house and can't for the life |> of me figure out where they are getting in. No gaps around pipes, no |> holes in siding (that I can find). Grrr.
As others have said, they can climb up anything, even foundation walls.
So check various vents on the exterior wall, like dryer and bathroom vents. They can make nests in your bathroom fan. Check to see there aren't any gaps at the bottom of the siding where it meets the foundation.
Make sure there are no gaps under your garage door.
Make sure there are no gaps between steps/sidewalk and the house.
You can try a metal box trap with the trap doors on either end that let the mice in but not out. Put that along the foundation at various places to see where they are running outside. That led me to seal up the gap between the steps and the house.
Robert
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you almost certainly won't be able to seal up a house well enough to keep them out.
Here's whats probably going on:
in the fall, when it starts getting cold, a species of field mouse decides that it wants to stay warm, and starts looking for warm places to move (there is another species of field mouse that toughs out the winter). during the transition time, the mice will explore a wide area (up to 3 mile radius in some studies) looking for their winter home. During this time, if you are setting traps, you should get a fairly constant capture rate (this is assuming kill traps. If you're using "humane" catch and release traps, you're wasting time). typically one or two a day in a suburban area.
you have a couple of options: 1) keep emptying and rebaiting the traps. in about 2-3 weeks, the rate should taper off.
2) just wait until it gets cold (first snow is usually about right), then set out the traps, and clean out the tennants. Its unlikely more will move in, and they've already found homes... When you first set the traps, you should get a fairly high catch rate, but it should drop off fairly quickly. The advantage to #2 is that you don't run the risk (or at least there is a lower risk) of having a mouse that doesn't like your bait move in....
Bait: peanut butter is the bait of choice. cheese is a myth, and only smells bad and attracts other vermin.
some people advocate mixing somce mortar into the peanut butter, on the theory that if the mouse doesn't trip the trap, the mortar will kill it. It *will* kill it, but do you want a little dead mouse rotting inside your walls somewhere? smells bad, at the least...
Traps: the plain old snap traps are best. Set them on the floor in corners where a mouse would have a sheltered wplace to move around. Under baseboard heaters is good. Alos, if you get on the floor and look around, you will be able to find mouse "roads" by looking for droppings.... these are also good places to put traps....
good luck -JD

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