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Old 04-09-2017, 11:27 AM   #1
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How to know when mice are gone...


A few weeks ago I walked into my kitchen and was very surprised to see a little mouse on top of the stove. We both looked at each other for a good second, then I screamed and, to my horror, Mr. Mousington ran into my stove via the opening under the range. We lifted up the top of the range and discovered that it had what seemed like a little cozy nest right in the insulation on top of the oven, inside the stove. So, after being completely grossed out, we made a game plan. We threw the stove away and began to search for evidence of mice, since we had seen none before then. For about two weeks we tore through the kitchen pulling out appliances, bleaching everything, stuffing every crack and crevice with steelwool, and sealing them up. We found where we think they were coming in under the sink. There was a gaping, at least 4" wide, hole in the dry wall under the sink that some genius decided to cover with duct tape and there was more droppings there than anywhere else. We shoved steel wool in the hole and covered it with a metal plate and sealed the edges. I think they may have been coming up from under the back porch/crawl space?

Since then, over a week ago, I have seen zero poop, spotted zero mice (the running total was 3), and have heard zero noises in the kitchen. We have had 5 trap and hold traps in the kitchen baited with peanut butter and an almond or Tom Kat "bait" for 3 weeks and have caught nothing. I put a pile of trail mix (peanuts, sunflower seeds, m&m's, and raisins) in the food cabinet where we had found a few droppings before and it hasn't been touched in the 3 days it's been there. I also sprinkled flour around the edges of the cabinet so that I could see if they were tracking through there, but it remains undisturbed. So, my question is, how long after not seeing any evidence can we rejoin the mice-free club? I intend to keep up with my de-mousing efforts because I know they could obviously come back, but we'd love to ease our minds. How do we keep mice out of a new stove or other appliances? We also put small, peppermint oil soaked pieces of paper towel all over to deter them. Any suggestions or comments would be helpful.

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Old 04-09-2017, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


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I think they may have been coming up from under the back porch/crawl space?
It seems to me you've done an excellent job to this point. The next step to satisfy myself would be the sealing of the back porch and crawl space.

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Old 04-09-2017, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


When the cat looks bored?
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


Mssteed, have you considered cats? I've looked up from reading to see the cats quietly tossing about a toy rat, only to realize that it was once a live rat. Cats live for this!!!

I don't have any concern regarding mice/rats in my home.

Even if the cat goes outdoors, it will still protect its home & you. (In it's own way)
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:50 PM   #5
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


I would be hesitant to leave any food source out, other than the food in the traps. The food source is an enticement for mice and ants, etc. First thing to do when getting of mice is to eliminate their food source....no food and they will look elsewhere. If you're wondering if they are walking around inside your house sprinkle some talcum powder in the areas they would use as walking paths and entry points. But, based on your results it looks like they are gone. I had the same situation, lots of droppings and torn open food containers. I got rid of the food source and put down baited snap traps....caught only one mouse....left the traps out for a week and sprinkled talcum powder along the routes they/it had travelled but have not seen any sign of mice.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


The good news is you have made progress. The bad news and answer to your question "So, my question is, how long after not seeing any evidence can we rejoin the mice-free club?" is never.

The mouse you encountered in your stove didn't come straight from outside and say wow what a nice place for a nest. s/he moved in long before your encounter and once he found an entrance to the kitchen, where a lot of food happens to be, then he found a nesting spot closer his new food supply.

But he came from outside and whether it will be him or one of his cousins he/they will be back. As weather warms up, didn't see your location, they are comfortable staying outside. But when temps drop your house will become a target again. Expand your trapping to the outside and continue the traps inside and keep looking for more entrances.

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Old 04-10-2017, 06:30 PM   #7
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When the cat looks bored?
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Originally Posted by Nik333 View Post
Mssteed, have you considered cats? I've looked up from reading to see the cats quietly tossing about a toy rat, only to realize that it was once a live rat. Cats live for this!!!

I don't have any concern regarding mice/rats in my home.

Even if the cat goes outdoors, it will still protect its home & you. (In it's own way)

I'm not a huge fan off cats. My little 2 year old Chihuahua actually pointed me to my second mouse sighting. He's pretty observant of noises, but I am certain he could never catch one. I actually saw a six foot rat snake in the yard last year and I'm wondering if it stopped doing it's job :/
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:13 PM   #8
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


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I'm not a huge fan off cats. My little 2 year old Chihuahua actually pointed me to my second mouse sighting. He's pretty observant of noises, but I am certain he could never catch one. I actually saw a six foot rat snake in the yard last year and I'm wondering if it stopped doing it's job :/
Through ignorance the snake was more than likely killed.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:55 AM   #9
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Re: How to know when mice are gone...


Pests are not only harmful to property but they can also lead to some health issues.

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