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Fix-It Chick 11-16-2007 10:08 AM

More on Mices
I have a question about mouse poison.

I've had mouse problems before (another time, another place) and ended up using poison on the little bastards. I noticed, however, that after they ingest the poison, they continue to try to live their lives until they finally fall over wherever they are and die. They become real slow and stupid and a two year-old could catch them by hand.

I now have mice living in my ceiling. I do have cats that do a wonderful job (when they can get at them), but I live in a log cabin and the bastards run along the logs, over the door frames, hide behind the paintings, and scoot through gaps in the walls between rooms. It's very hard for the cats to even get at them, but they do try... have you ever seen a cat climb the wall?

My question is with secondary ingestion of poison. If a mouse eats it, slows down and becomes easy enough for the cat to catch, will this also poison the cat? I'm sure it will, so I've haven't used any poison. How many poisoned mice does a cat have to eat before it too starts to hemorrhage internally? I just spent $7000.00 on a new roof and insulation and already I can see daylight through the ceiling when I remove the flange for the stove pipe!

Are there poisons that are "safe" for secondary consumption?

leezarrd 11-16-2007 11:09 AM

Poisons do not know when to stop killing.

Have you tried those no-kill mouse traps? Those "mice-cubes" have worked for us. They even have some that you wind up and lots of mice can go in. Not that I am advocating this :whistling2:, but a friend of mine used one, it filled with mice, she took it outside, opened it up and her cats went crazy!

Is there no way to figure out where they are coming in and plug up the holes? ....which are also letting in cold air!

KUIPORNG 11-16-2007 11:21 AM

sealing up is kind of the only solution when it come to mouse.... unfortunately... I had experience where a trap catched 3 mouses and there are still penty outside the traps parting... the 3 probably consider - what's that called somthing like "collectoral damage"..etc. a word from the movie play by the "terminator"....

Fix-It Chick 11-16-2007 12:18 PM

"Poisons do not know when to stop killing." Ya, that's kinda what I thought.

I've tried live traps and they work really well. I once caught 5 mice at once. They were jammed in like sardines. But they seem to lose interest in them after a while and so I take them away and put them out again in a couple of weeks. the problem is that by then there are more new mice than I originally got rid of!

As for plugging up holes... that would be next to impossible here. Its a 70 year old log cabin on a cement footing over bare ground. The footing itself is about a foot deep, so that's not a problem but there is an addition that is just set on pressure treated 4x4s - why they didn't poor a footer, I don't know...

There are gaps all over the place. I was thinking maybe I could fill in what I can find and then blow in some new insulation to replace what they've shredded and that might smother the ones that are already inside?

KUIPORNG 11-16-2007 12:29 PM

In that case, I would think you kind of have only one choice: get more cats, not 1, not 2, but 4 or 5 or more.....

once there so many cats, the mouse will not think your place is a mice hotel no more...

Dutch1962 11-17-2007 11:08 PM

They do make rodent poisons that have little or no secondary effect. IT may go by different names but here you can get it under the name Talon. Your best bet for finding it would be a feed store as Lowes and the like probabbly would'nt carry it. Most mouse poisons are anti coagulants. (the mouse simply hemorrages and bleeds to death) The wind up traps or 'ketch alls' they are called sound to me like a good bet for you. After you rid the mice you should go about sealing up where ever you can.

If you can't find the specific bait you need try calling a local zoo or simular place-more than likely they use the same product you'll need and may be able to direct you.
for info on mice and maybe some better tips try.

Hope it helps.

ptjohnson 11-18-2007 09:18 AM

Getting rid of mice
We had a mouse problem last winter. We have three cats but they couldn't get at the mice who were running along behind the kitchen cabinets, getting into drawers and the cabinets. We tried live traps and caught many mice, however we soon became convinced we were catching and releasing the same mice. They went away during early spring, but later they were back. We hired an exterminator who explained that if we use poison, they may die where we can't get at them and the place would stink to high heaven. So we opted for kill traps. I paid the exterminator $200 for 14 mouse traps (don't I feel stupid now!) but they worked. We caught/killed about a dozen mice and haven't had any for 3 or 4 months now. I hate the thought of killing any animal but I think the kill traps are kinder, rather than using poison that would be agony for the mice. Just kill them and be done with it. Important to note, we did not bait the traps, just placed them where the mice ran along the back of the cabinets, in the cellar and the garage.

End Grain 11-18-2007 02:05 PM

Years back in NYC, there was a mouse and rat poison called Mouse Nots (if my middle-aged memory still serves me correctly) that once ingested, caused the rodent to go into a frenzy for water as it was literally burning them up from the inide out very quickly. The idea was no dead mouse/rat carcass left to stink up the joint. A place I worked at way back when tried it. Well, it was very effective. So much so that the mice/rats gnawed straight through pipes in the walls to get at water in a futile dying attempt to stop the poison from killing them. It surely got rid of the rodent population in quick time but it also caused the company thousands of dollars worth of very serious plumbing, floor and drywall repairs on the back end. Needless to say, that was the end of that approach towards controlling the rodents. Cats were brought in for two weeks while repairs were being made. After that episode, they went to glue boards for the mice and traditional poison food pellets in small plastic bags for the rats.

Fix-It Chick 11-18-2007 05:36 PM

Thanks to all for your ideas. Although I know I can't effectively seal them all, I will try blocking up what holes I can. My cats have caught about four this week, plus three in traps. Myself, I take the traps out to a hay field about a mile from any houses and let them go. My brothers, however (big hunters who come out every Nov.), think it's more entertaining to let them go in the yard, surrounded by cats.

I'll call around to feed stores and such as well for poison ideas. I don't like killing them either - they're only doing what they're wired to do, just like us.

Why can't we all just get along...

Dusty 11-19-2007 07:03 AM

I asked my vet about this last year when I moved into a new to me house and discovered mice. I have a dog (35 lb) and had the same concerns with using poison. He told me the type of poison I was using (from an exterminator) which causes dehydration might make my dog a little sick but wouldn't be a big deal unless she ate a lot of mice. As it turned out the dog didn't even turn her head when one marched across the floor right in front of her. He was specific in asking me to tell him exactly which poison I was using so there must be differences. Meanwhile he told me the bigger concern would be the dog getting bitten by some mice which really sent some fear into me.

Meanwhile, this poison I have is apparently much better and faster (more humane if you can even think of poison as humane) than the regular store variety. It also is sold in larger pellets which means it's really easy to see when it's had some action. Basically I was told one munch and the mouse was a goner and would meet it's maker within a few hours rather than the couple of feedings and days it takes with the anticoagulant variety. Also because of the dehydration there is no lingering anything if they go into the walls to die. You can also get child/pet proof bait stations to hold them.

If you can stand a description, I realized this fall something was back (saw some knawing on a pellet). Later that night I noticed the light flashing on my trap that zaps the little creeps (it is about 2' away from the pellet) so something was in there that hadn't been earlier in the day. When I went to empty it the body looked like it had been there forever. This is not how others in that trap have looked I can tell you. This one was basically dry and flat so whatever had happened to it was rapid in the way it seemed to be decayed.

So the pellets really do work well and I can't say I've actually found or detected any other remains at all other than the ones that wandered into that trap.

BTW studies done on mice show if you release them it had better be more than a mile away or they just come back. They have a very strong homing instinct. My attitude after being an animal lover and anti-violent is that it no longer applies to mice. If they come in my house I will do my best to kill them, no guilt.

Also, if this helps, when it seemed they were coming back in this year I called the exterminator who had sold me the bait, to come and simply inspect my house for entrances. He checked my exterior and interior and it was nice having his trained eye. I thought I had filled everything and I had except I missed a couple of other things. He told me they will jump 2' if they detect heat. So a natural entrance is a dryer vent. This is normally the only external vent which doesn't have a wire cover (usually a fire law as lint can get trapped) but they will push open the louvers and run down the vent and out the bottom of the dryer. So fire law or not, I built a stiff wire mesh cover from some mesh I got at a HVAC supply store which I can remove and clean if I see a lint buildup. It never dawned on me they would push open the louvers.

He told me they will push any vinyl or plastic (like soffats) so if they are running up downspouts you have to look for where they have been pushing through to gain access under the roof. Luckily mine weren't going up high and apparently they won't very often.

You do have to look for any hole bigger than a pencil. An adult will easily get into a hole the size of a dime and when the mice are actively going in and out (apparently they do that), you have to seal the holes with copper mesh as they will just eat through caulk or other materials they detect over their entrances but they hate metal mesh (and copper won't rust).

The real surprise for me was he said they were probably coming in my back door (gads of all places...I'm plugging cracks and they are using the door?). Now that door is air tight and I can't fit the tip of my little finger between the door and frame but he said they could push the weather stripping and come in. So I added some wire mesh to the door to extend over the opening to the trim. It's a bit icky, but anything to keep the creeps out. Sure enough, within a day or so I noticed a hole chewed in the sweep on my storm door. I guess a rodent was coming in, got blocked by my wire and since the sweep only swings one way, it had to chew a hole to get out. It stunned me that they had been using that door I can tell you. Since then, not one new visitor.

If you have an exterminator around do go in and have a chat with them. They often sell their products as a separate business and I learned a lot from a visit to their office last year. Also just paying for the inspection saved me some money and solved my problem. It was about $90 although prices may differ where you are. For $250 they would come out and find the entrances, block them, and bait and lay traps. That's still a good price IMO to have it taken care of and prevent any more damage to the house.

Fingers crossed for you to be rid of the little creeps and their filth.

johnny331 01-07-2008 09:04 PM

You know I was always told a mouse could fit through a hole the size of a dime...

This never really amazed me until a few weeks ago, I was working in the garage, drinking a bottled beer. Didn't finish a beer and didn't cleanup after myself...

To my astonishment, the next day the beer bottle was still upright, and somehow a rather large mouse managed to climb INTO the bottle and drowned...

I still have no idea how he got in there... it was very interesting, I shoulda took a photo :)

moneymgmt 01-08-2008 08:12 AM

Johnny, that's horrible. I can't believe you left enough beer in a bottle for a mouse to drown in!

ocoee 01-25-2008 06:46 PM


Originally Posted by Fix-It Chick (Post 74301)
"Poisons do not know when to stop killing."

True but rodenticides are pretty good about knowing what to kill

modern rodenticides are coumadin based, a blood thinner.
It turns them into hemophiliacs and they simply bleed out

The antidote for coumadin is vitamin K which is in most pet foods
Rodenticides also have ipecac added to make any animal that ingests it throw up
Rodents can not regurgitate
Pesticides (including rodenticides) dosages are on a milligram per kiligram ratio
A rat weighs a pound or so a cat weighs around eight or more

All of these factors make cats 80 times more resistant to rodenticides than rats or mice especially

ocoee 01-25-2008 06:52 PM

Your info is slightly flawed
Coumdin based anti coagulants, which almost all are do not take multiple feeding and do kill in hours, 8 to 28

The old bait used diphacinone which took multiple feedings over multiple days, this was a built in safety against accidental poisoning on non targets

There is no dehydration poison that I know of
That is an old myth that we let continue because it was easier for us to toss bait into your attic than to come back every few days to check traps in attics

Dusty 01-26-2008 12:32 AM

You may be right. I can only go by what my exterminator told me and what I have seen.

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