Damn Mice Keep Coming Back! - Pest Control - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 07-31-2012, 08:21 AM   #1
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Damn Mice Keep Coming Back!

Had a mouse issue over the winter, thought I had plugged up the foundation pretty good. A few days ago I was outside and found an area they had pulled the "Stuff-It" down from (stuff-it is like a copper brillo pad, they are supposed to hate the feel of it in their teeth). So I put it back up and checked all around the foundation again.

Last night, I see another mouse in the house! Of course they are so fast, I can't catch them. I have got three in the last two weeks, always near the pellet stove, but it does seem like there is no way out of the pellet stove, if they were lucky enough to get in from the outside.

I notice I have a loose screen on the 3rd floor...any chance they are crawling up the house and then coming in through this screen? None in my basement or attic (at least no tripped traps). No signs of droppings anywhere...but this is getting frustrating!!

Any more ideas, I'd be happy to listen to them...have had an exterminator over, but they don't do a whole lot more than I do....


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Old 07-31-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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Snap traps baited with peanut butter near where you SEE them, not on another floor.
They'll die soon enough.



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Old 07-31-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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If you like snakes, now would be a good time to buy one. sorry, couldn't help myself. The sticky paper works pretty good also. The Co-op sells pouches of little green pellets that work really well and they don't stink up the house when it kills them.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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If you consider it an infestation I would call an exterminator. They will keep coming back until the problem is resolved to your satisfaction. I know this is a DIY site but exterminators---not necessarily the national chains---have access to more stuff than you do and in my experience end up costing much less than approaches you can buy on your own if peanut butter on snap traps, glue traps, etc. just are not doing it.

If they are field mice they may be looking for shelter and warmth as much as food.

When I lived in N California development was allowed to happen so fast that natural habitats and entire ecosystems were destroyed almost overnight. Field mice had nowhere to go. Snakes, birds of prey, and other predators had no place to live either so left or went extinct in a couple cases. We were overrun with mice and nobody knew a piper! The County finally gave us all bait to bring the population under control.

Of course continue to be diligent about their ingress and egress but remember they are fast and can squeeze through really tiny openings.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
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Is the wood stove on the same floor as the kitchen? When I bought the house there were skeletons under the dishwasher, then I caught a live one in the bathroom, then a dead one (STINKY!) in my fridge drip pan. Turns out they were coming in at two places: I actually saw one run right up the garage wall and into a tiny space around the tub drain! I mean, realy small, like a bowling ball finger hole size. Then I found droppings under the kitchen sink. They were running up the basement wall into the kitchen via the hole under the sink where the pipe goes through the floor...from there, they'd go through the hole around the water line under the dishwasher and, voila, into the house. This is apparently a very common way for them to get into a main floor. My 'fix' was to use "Great Stuff" expanding foam (the flexible kind for windows/doors) to fill every hole under the sink (lots of it dripped into the basement, so make sure there's nothing underneath). Then, went around the garage and basement and filled every single hole that my thumb could fit in on the walls and ceilings. It's ugly stuff, and as it dries it hangs down a bit, but after a few weeks I was able to scrape off the hanging part and paint it. I put the green pelet poision in the basement and garage and watched to see if it was disappearing. It did a little at first, but I put out new packs every month or so and now the pelets go untouched and I have not seen a single mouse since. My friend uses Bounce Fabric softner when he stores his motorcycle for winter - it seems mice hate the smell of it. You could put a few sheets of that here and there, too.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! Does anyone think they are coming in through the screen on the 3rd floor window, or are mice like most critters, LAZY, and will instead come in at the foundation area?

I saw one last night poke his head up near the pellet stove. Right out back of the pellet stove is the FHW baseboard, and the pipe hole is huge for the little 3/4 in pipe. He stuck his head right up there and my cat chased him back done. I filled it with steel wool, but now he's prob caught between the floor and the downstairs ceiling. I may have to deal with the smell of him dying!

I did put some traps out, but no takers yet! We'll see how it goes....
I guess you have to be VIGILANT. I had that section where the house sits on the foundation, and i had packed it with Stuff-it. About a week ago I noticed they had pulled it down...so that's more than likely where they got in. I may cut some boards and plug it up that way.

I see the box stores sell some stuff you shake out like pepper around your foundation, supposed to keep the mice away. Anyone have any experience with that?

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Things to do to keep the mice out:

-remove all brush and shrubs from around your entire house, foundation, etc.
-Dont use bark for landscaping, use stone instead. Leave no area where the mice can hide around the exterior of the house.
-go around the entire house and fill in all small holes, access points, no matter how tiny. Use expandable foam with steel wool, nails, metal to prevent them from chewing through the foam.
-if an attached garage, seal all openings from the garage into your house.
-put poison up in your attic where no pets or humans would go.
-put snap traps in your normal living areas at angles and perpendicular to the wall.
-take some flour and sprinkle it around different corners and openings. Look for feet prints, tail drags to indicate where they are coming from to determine the point of entry. Fill the entry point.
-take dog hair, cat hair, and human hair and spread it around the outside of your foundation. The mice wont like the smell.
-remove all bird feeders, bird baths from around your house. Dont give them a reason to come to your house for food or water.
-Clean your house regularly, putting all food away, and cleaning up all crumbs, scraps, etc. Dont leave any pet food out overnight.
-put your pet food inside a steel trash can, outside your house and into your garage.
-seal all human food inside metal or plastic containers to prevent mice from eating through boxes or sacks of food.
-forget traps that leave the mice alive. Use snap traps, sticky sheets, things that will allow you to kill the mice. Relocating them to somewhere else on your property or neighborhood will not solve the problem, theyll just come back.
-put screening across your exterior hvac piping to prevent them from coming in.
-put screening across your downspouts to prevent them from scaling up onto your roof. Mice will climb up wiring, downspouts to get to the room and then into your attic, down inside your walls, and then into your interior.
-seal all attic openings, and if you have attic insulation thats the old newspapers, shredded stuff, get rid of it and put in borate cellulose, stuff that they dont like to keep them out of your attic.

... thats plenty to keep you busy... Sorry, but fighting mice is a year round effort if you live in the country or area where theyre thriving. Sooner or later though you'll get ahead of the game and see less and less till theres nothing. But each year theyll reappear when the weather changes and they seek shelter, food, water.

Good luck!!
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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And when one mouse finds a pathway inside, his buddies follow his scent trail. It's like they hang out a sign "Free food and lodging this way".
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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This guy would discourage them and probably anything else short of a grizzle bear
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:35 PM   #10
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Keeping mice out

I had a problems and found out that the builder had used fiberglass to seal an area above a basement window. It was easy for the mice to find but not so easy for me. The mice made a nice tunnel through it. Once I closed this area off and filled the gap with steel wool that really helped.

The other thing that helped was catching them outside before they came in. They like to start moving inside once the first fall chill hits. I used live traps for that baited with peanut butter and crackers, nuts, seeds, etc. I put them outside where I suspected they were moving in and out. This kept a lot of mice from moving inside in the first place. Once winter hits they aren't too active outside and you can concentrate on killing the ones inside. Lots of traps and keep using them until you just don't catch any more.

Live traps are not fun. Mice urinate and defecate constantly and their waste can carry dangerous germs. Also, you have to transport them miles from your home. A pro can probably set up poison traps outside that are tamper proof.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:47 AM   #11
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Mouse traps and not live ones are old fashioned but the work. You need to place them on the mosque trails, tops of foundation walls, near entry points etc. seal an holes you can. A mouse can squeeze through really tight spaces
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:07 PM   #12
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BTW, "Great Stuff" now has a variety called pest-block:


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Old 07-15-2015, 09:00 AM   #13
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We had a mouse problem but don't like killing them. So we bought a catch live trap, caught it and I let it go in the back of the property. About a week later it was back. I did this a second time and the mouse returned. All the while I didn't know if it was the same mouse, of course.

Third time we caught it we drove to the forest preserve about a mile away and let it go there. It's been years since then and no mouse.


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