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.
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.
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.
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.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Reducing the population pressure outside is the preferred strategy for dealing
with rodent infestations.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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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