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Old 11-01-2010, 11:18 PM   #1
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


I am kicking myself searching for the hole / crack, but can't find it.

We have had the wettest year on record here and the forest critters are looking at my house as an ark. We've been in the house 8 years, and get field mice in the garage each fall / early winter. But with all the rain this year we have had some inside the house, and 2 garter snakes. So far, our big tom cat has caught them all. 3 field mice in the last 2 weeks, and two garter snakes in the early summer (one of the snakes was almost 3 feet long and the cat was carrying it through the kitchen).

I have been searching like crazy for the holes. I know the mice can fit in really tight spots, but the hole is big enough for a snake. What is the best way to find and fill the holes? If snakes can get in also, the hole must be near or just below ground level right? It has me a little flustered. I have done the bucket trap in the garage but never in the house, I'd rather keep them out!

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:40 AM   #2
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


what kind of siding do you have?

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Old 11-02-2010, 08:24 AM   #3
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


I have gone over our house various times with various materials; we get less mice, but it still happens. Some ideas:

1) If a basement, carefully check the top of foundation wall, between each floor joist. A cold , windy day is good as a draft is a giveaway. The snakes stopped when I patched these.

2) Especially check under sidewalks, as subsidence gives rodents/snakes a great place to live, and especially where walk meets the house.

3) Nap is on the right track. Check for loose siding, especially check the corners, sometimes they are left open.

4) Check attached garage where it meets the house.

As our houses age, they settle, expand/contract, and things change. You mentioned a lot of rainwater. Under slab subsidence may have occurred.

Don't hesitate to use rodent bait in garage, under walks/slabs (if accessible), in firewood piles, etc. When I am lax in baiting I find mice start moving in, probably because of exterior overpopulation. Create a buffer zone around your house.

When it gets too cold for snakes, I am going to crawl under our deck and re-check/seal where siding meets foundation wall.

Materials: Spray in-foams in aero's; rope caulking; "Stuff-it" copper; steel wool; stainless steel wool is better than plain, can be bought at craft supply stores.

Don't hesitate to set many mouse traps in areas that cat can't get to and keep bait fresh. Look at "tin cats" on-line. They are multiple catch live traps that can be used int/ext. If used outdoors secure them so that raccoons, etc can't get them. Don't get the wind-up kind; they are notorious for breaking. The passive trap which simply has a lid to lift works fine. You can give them a long bath in a deep sink.

You don't have to catch every mouse that is outside, just enough to create that buffer zone and prevent overpopulation near the house.

Google: "Tin-Cats"; "Stuff-it copper"
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PAbugman View Post
1) If a basement, carefully check the top of foundation wall, between each floor joist. A cold , windy day is good as a draft is a giveaway. The snakes stopped when I patched these.

3) Nap is on the right track. Check for loose siding, especially check the corners, sometimes they are left open.

Don't hesitate to use rodent bait in garage, under walks/slabs (if accessible), in firewood piles, etc. When I am lax in baiting I find mice start moving in, probably because of exterior overpopulation. Create a buffer zone around your house.

When it gets too cold for snakes, I am going to crawl under our deck and re-check/seal where siding meets foundation wall.

Materials: Spray in-foams in aero's; rope caulking; "Stuff-it" copper; steel wool; stainless steel wool is better than plain, can be bought at craft supply stores.

Don't hesitate to set many mouse traps in areas that cat can't get to and keep bait fresh. Look at "tin cats" on-line. They are multiple catch live traps that can be used int/ext. If used outdoors secure them so that raccoons, etc can't get them. Don't get the wind-up kind; they are notorious for breaking. The passive trap which simply has a lid to lift works fine. You can give them a long bath in a deep sink.
Thank you PAbugman!

There are some great tips in here, and I am going to start on them this morning. I'll start with the basement joists then work out toward the garage.

I know the SW corner of the office has some siding issues at the corner. Vinyl siding by the way. A chipmunk hid in the gutter and my German Shepard thought it was behind the siding corner piece. Good advice all around, LOVE THIS FORUM!
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #5
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


i feel your pain. I recently had two mice in my attic and can't figure how the F they got there.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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Deer Mice, Where do you come from?


With vinyl siding you have a real challenge because it cannot be installed tight. They can get in at any junction of vinyl with other materials or at corners. I have even heard of them getting into a dryer vent and chewing the cheap flexible duct to get into the rest of the house.

I heard a mouse in our house in the chase around some duct work. I put out some Decon granules in neat little piles so I could see if they were touched. There disturbed and some was eaten. After 3 nights there was no more sign. I still leave out a small amount in that area to see if the is any activity.

I also had mice in my attached garage (probably from a poor seal at the door/slab). I put out a few piles to determine where the activity trails were and found out they were coming in near the bottom corners of the door. I then put out some blocks of poison immediately near the small gap. The first night it was gnawed on. The second night it was gone. It was also gone the next night. I also found a trail area outside and put out a block and it was gnawed on. That was 2 weeks ago and there was been no activity even with a fresh pile of Decon, but I am monitoring to see if the next generation shows up. I have cats (they think mice are toys or they are afraid of them), so I place the blocks behind something so the cats have no access.

I am in a quad home (2 story rectangle with each unit occupying a corner) that has a tuck under garage. Because of this, I have to be aware they could just be chased to one other unit, but we have concrete block party walls to the roof, so they have to be determined.

It is now warmer again (60F today), so there might be a second mouse attack when it finally gets cold enough for some decent snow.

Dick

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