My wife noticed mouse droppings in our basement today (we live in
Cincinnati). I am a little bit puzzled because we don't take food
down to the basement, and we don't have mice on the upper floors of
our 2-story house. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the
mice are attracted to water -- sometimes we leave open containers
while washing clothes. I have never had to deal with this type of
problem before, and I am hoping that I can get good suggestions here
as to how to get rid of the mice.. Thanks,
They could be nesting *anywhere* in the house.
Garage, attic, wall stud spaces, crawl space...
And it can be very difficult to find all the tiny
openings they can use to get in/out.
A cat (2 are better) is one help.
Well, make sure they are mice droppings. The large outdoor roaches, aka
water bugs, palmetto bugs, tree roach, will have droppings that can be
larger than mouse. They may not be looking for food or water, mice are
one of the few animals that can live their life without actually taking
a drink of water. It/they may just be exploring about the basement
with the food source being something they have stored up themselves.
Mice see poorly and mostly will run along with their whiskers touching
something, like a base board, placing traps along such area or where you
are seeing the dropping should get them easy enough. For bait for the
traps, take your pick on what to use or nothing at all. For mice I don't
use any baits on the traps, though many exterminators I know swear by
wrapping the trigger a couple of times with yarn then two drops of
either vanilla extract or Hershey's chocolate syrup.
How do you know that? Do you think they will have a parade? For the
most part, I've found that mice don't like sweets, but when I left a
plastic shopping bag with a bag of Hershey's miniatures on the floor
in the dining room a week before Halloween, 2 days before Halloweeen
all the little candies were gone. I thought maybe I had eaten them
and not remembered it. In the following year, I foudn about 5 of the
wrappings in corners of the basement. Still haven't found most of
OPen containers of water! I fill my washer from a pipe. :)
During my slob period, I noticed that mice ate through the bottom of
used microwave popcorn bags. So sometimes I put those blue-green
mouse poison blocks in them and leave them where I think the mouse
might be. I use popcorn with theatre butter. Of course now there is
only one theatre in Baltimore that uses real butter. The rest use
"golden liquid" or some such name.
A lot of people here think poison leaves dead mice within walls that
smell. Not a problem for me. My house is dry, and I've found a dead
mouse or two not in a wall that is completely dried up with never a
OTOH, in college a cat died in the basement of the place I lived, and
the basement was so crowded with other people's stuff that no one ever
found the cat afaik. It smelled bad down there for weeks.
Rodents go where they can find food.
You don't think those droppings are made with just water, do you?
Oh, c'mon, do you really believe they are staying in the basement?
Get a blacklight bulb, look around in the basement. You'll be able
to follow their trails.
Right up the wall.
On Feb 16, 6:12 pm, " firstname.lastname@example.org" <DaileyJohn.
I use Victor Tin Cats, about fifteen bucks each. They are a simple trap
that catches the mice live. It has no springs to set. It is about as big
as a cigar box. Available at any hardware store. They work good, just
check and empty them every couple of days. Smear some peanut butter around
in them, and once there's one mouse in there, the others come to join the
party. It has a simple one way door. Easy to clean, never wear out,
nothing to set.
You'd be surprised what they'll consider food. In my current
home we've seen one mouse. It found a (sealed) pack of chewing
gum, in a backpack, stored in an understairs cupboard.
To erradicate, you basically have a choice of:
* A cat.
* Traps of various kinds.
* Poisons of various kinds.
Blocking every conceivable entrance will work in theory
(but probably not in the real world).
If you have small children (living there or visiting) you'll
probably want to pass on the poisons and use a child-safe
design of trap. Said kids might heartily approve of the
feline solution too!
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
I haven't had any real personal experience with the feline part, but my
understanding is not every cat is a good mouser. I've heard it said they
have to be taught the process by their mother (she catches something, brings
it to the kittens to play with while still alive, etc.) . I did date a
woman who had mice for a time, her cat couldn't care less. On the other
hand, I had a few in a garage that was attached to the main house via a
breezeway, occasionally one would get in there. An English Setter I had at
the time would go after them with a vengeance. Certain terriers might be
even more keen ;-)
I have found a combination of traps & bait can work, though again from what
I understand mice have built up a good immunity to the general over the
counter anticoagulant baits, requiring multiple ingestions to croak. May
want to see if there's an exterminator's supply place that will sell you
something stronger, assuming as has been said this is not a threat to any
kids or pets.
Then there's the part where they eat the poison, then crawl into some
inaccessible place & die, creating a stink. Probably not too much of an
issue if you only have a few.
Yup, that's an issue too.
I used traps in the house and also placed some poison in the
crawlspace (which appeared to be the entry point). Since
there should be no kids/pets in there I wasn't too concerned
about a safety hazzard. And since it's also very well
ventilated, a smelly corpse wouldn't be a real issue.
Nevertheless, I removed the poison a few months later.
Traps are often the best option. You may need to experiment
with different baits. As has been reported here several
times, raisins work for some folks while others have more
success with peanut butter. I think there's broad agreement
on dispensing with the cheese as an effective bait.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
You just can't believe anything you see on cartoons regarding cat & mouse
behavior. My then-girlfriend now-wife had 2 cats while we were dating.
Cats aren't relly my "thing", but I tried to make nice, & I had learned from
COUNTLESS Tom & Jerry episodes that cats LOVE SARDINES! So I took a can
over. Bloody creatures wouldn't touch the damned things!
Yeah, cats really aren't my thing...
Most of the newer generation of anticoagulants are made to be for
multiple feeding before death. Not so much for mice, but rats are known
to of eaten baits, but not enough for a lethal dose to occur and the
sick rat can learn what food made it sick. If it takes several days for
the effect, it is unable to associate what made it sick, along with more
of a probability that it has taken in a lethal dose of the product.
Buying from a pest supply house is not going to give you stronger toxin,
but the baits they sale are going to be made more for the rodents taste.
The rodents have to eat it if a bait is going to kill it.
Cats are good, if the cats feel like chasing mice. I once had one that
I had sitting on my lap about three feet from its food bowl and watched the
mouse run down the counter hop into the bowl and take out a chow and run off
with it. It followed the mouse by turning his head, but did not budge.
That mouse ended up in a glue trap and then in a fish tank as my daughter's
pet. She is now a zoo keeper. Other cats I have had have been much better.
If you can put out poison, that is a good way. The glue traps worked
for me fairly well, but the poison has worked best.
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