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-   -   Mouse droppings...or something else? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f51/mouse-droppings-something-else-112026/)

hominamad 07-26-2011 12:29 PM

Mouse droppings...or something else?
 
Hi - first time posting, great forum. We went away for vacation for 2 weeks and came back to find a whole bunch of tiny ants, as well as droppings around from some kind of unidentified creature.

They look exactly like mouse droppings to me, except some of them appear in places that seem impossible for a mouse to reach. For example, in our kitchen, I saw a dropping on the ledge of a closed drawer that couldn't have been more than half an inch jutting out. I don't see any way a mouse could have climbed up there and even if it did, it seems way too narrow for it to be able to walk on. I also haven't seen any other of the telltale signs of a mouse, like ripped paper, etc and areas where we store food don't have any droppings around. Could there be some kind of large insect producing droppings like this?

I'm going to put some traps around just in case, and also buy some roach traps, but I'd like to figure out what this thing really is. Sometimes there is a scattering of them in a group - and then they're usually much smaller - but most of the time its just one piece here or there.

Thanks!

H

chrisn 07-26-2011 04:54 PM

pics would help

PAbugman 07-26-2011 06:53 PM

pics are needed; the best close-ups tht you can provide. That will help determine the difference between large insect and rodent.

hominamad 07-28-2011 10:58 PM

Figured pics would be appropriate but I had cleaned everything up before snapping the pics. Here are some more I found. From my own experience with mice, this definitely looks like mouse droppings - but like I said, they are appearing in place where I just don't see how they could have gotten there.

Is it possible for a mouse to climb up a piece of wood furniture, such as a desk, if its not touching any other surfaces it could climb on? I mean, a mouse can't scale a smooth vertical wall or surface, right? I also never see any of the other telltale signs of a mouse. Just to be safe I set a few traps tonight. We'll see what happens.


http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d1.jpg
http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d2.jpg
http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d3.jpg
http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d4.jpg
http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d5.jpg

These last two my wife insists are bite marks - but I don't know if I buy it. You can't really see well in the picture, but this was a pressure cooker top inside a cabinet that has no holes other than the front door - and that was closed. Pieces of the rubber seal were torn off. Not sure if this was the works of a mouse or not and its probably hard to tell from the pic, but I figured I'd include it anyway.

http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d6.jpg
http://www.dnsinteractive.com/images/d7.jpg

Thanks!!

H

chrisn 07-29-2011 05:56 AM

I am no expert but I do know a mouse can get just about anywhere it wants.

PAbugman 07-29-2011 06:18 PM

Mouse droppings. Do you have snap traps set? Trapping hint: if mice are getting the bait off without snapping the trap, tie a piece of cotton to the trigger and smear peanut butter on the cotton. They will bite into the cotton as licking won't get enough. His little rear end will then belong to you.

hominamad 07-30-2011 09:50 AM

Thanks. Thats what I expected. Set traps two days ago. Bait hasn't even been touched. It seems like the mice just came out when we were away for 2 weeks. They don't seem to be around while we're home - or even at night.

I don't understand how the mice got into some of those places. For instance, a free standing, four legged table - not near any walls, or anything. How could it get up there? Can a mouse climb a smooth table leg?

The ant problem was easy to take care of with the liquid ant traps (boric acid I believe). That stuff works great.

PAbugman 07-31-2011 09:37 AM

They are very resourceful as far as foraging-thier lives depend on it.

Keep snap traps set with fresh bait.

If they are present when you are gone and vice-versa, I would suggest that you go on an inventory control/inspection throughout the house looking at things that you haven't looked at for a long time.
Examples: stored grass seed; potting soil; pet food; bird seed; attic/crawls; Stored piles of things that haven't moved in a long time; exterior storage such as firewood; tarpped material; sheds; You get the idea-don't wait for them, go after them.

hominamad 08-01-2011 10:34 AM

Got one of them last night. Pretty big one too. Peanut butter did the trick. Going to leave the other traps for a while to see if there's anymore. Is it generally assumed that it will be a family, or is it common to just have one?

hominamad 08-01-2011 12:42 PM

Hey - I'm hoping maybe someone here can help me clear up a debate between my wife and I about this mouse situation. Her family has been telling her things about mice now that is scaring her and making her uncomfortable to be in our house - and I'm trying to convince her that most of these are either outright false, or so uncommon that its not worth thinking about. For example:

1) Mice come into your bed while you are sleeping and either bite or nibble on your ears and nose.

2) Mouse saliva contains some kind of toxin that numbs your skin, allowing them to bite you without you even feeling anything.

3) Mice like to gnaw at electrical cables - increasing the risk that a cable could become frayed and cause an electrical fire.

Of these I could see #3 being the most likely - but 1 and 2 seem farfetched to me. Of course her family knows people that has all happened to, but I'm still skeptical.

From what I understand, the biggest risk with a mouse is that it could be carrying some kind of disease that could be transmitted to humans - but even that seems pretty unlikely to me.

Can one of the experts help us settle this? I want to make my wife feel comfortable again in our own home.

Thanks!

PAbugman 08-01-2011 04:50 PM

respnse to #1: Mice won't come near us because they are afraid. They will live in our houses as they find shelter and food. That is why rats and mice are called "commensal rodents". This myth probably comes from the fact that unthreatened rats in very run-down areas have chewed on invalids and infants. These are the extreme cases, not your situation, not even close, but extreme cases are what myths are made of. In the late 80's Baltimore was the city with the worst rat bite incidents. Don't know what city is now.

respnse to #2: pure nonsense. Somebody got vampire bats confused with mice.

response to #3: They do chew, but they are not big chewers, especially on hard to chew items. Rats and squirrels do the chewing damage.

The rodent disease transmission issue is minimal. In 30+ years in pest control I've never experienced it or heard of it and I've belonged to trade associations the entire time. Never had/heard of a customer with it, either.

You don't have a serious rodent problem as it would be obvious and you wouldn't be talking about catching 1 and seeing a few droppings. Keep trapping. Look for their harborage in the materials that I described previously.

Leah Frances 08-01-2011 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PAbugman
respnse to #1: Mice won't come near us because they are afraid. They will live in our houses as they find shelter and food. That is why rats and mice are called "commensal rodents". This myth probably comes from the fact that unthreatened rats in very run-down areas have chewed on invalids and infants. These are the extreme cases, not your situation, not even close, but extreme cases are what myths are made of. In the late 80's Baltimore was the city with the worst rat bite incidents. Don't know what city is now.

respnse to #2: pure nonsense. Somebody got vampire bats confused with mice.

response to #3: They do chew, but they are not big chewers, especially on hard to chew items. Rats and squirrels do the chewing damage.

The rodent disease transmission issue is minimal. In 30+ years in pest control I've never experienced it or heard of it and I've belonged to trade associations the entire time. Never had/heard of a customer with it, either.

You don't have a serious rodent problem as it would be obvious and you wouldn't be talking about catching 1 and seeing a few droppings. Keep trapping. Look for their harborage in the materials that I described previously.

PABugman - just curious, what about Hantavirus. I know it's not common in the NE. But aren't rodents the vector in the west?

PAbugman 08-01-2011 05:09 PM

Hi Leah: I don't hear or read anything about hantavirus anymore. It was here in the East Coast as well, including two counties away from us here in Pa.
For a year or so hanta stories were all the rage, but not anymore. That is a good question. I'm going to a training seminar in two weeks and hope to ask someone.

Leah Frances 08-01-2011 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PAbugman (Post 698264)
Hi Leah: I don't hear or read anything about hantavirus anymore. It was here in the East Coast as well, including two counties away from us here in Pa.
For a year or so hanta stories were all the rage, but not anymore. That is a good question. I'm going to a training seminar in two weeks and hope to ask someone.

Since you're going to be asking questions....:whistling2: also ask about Leptospirosis. We vaccinate our dogs against Lepto, and I understand it is transmitted via rat urine (as well as many wild animals: racoons and skunks).

I don't remember doing the Lepto vaccine 10 years ago, but I could just be getting old. :laughing:

chrisn 08-01-2011 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leah Frances (Post 698294)
Since you're going to be asking questions....:whistling2: also ask about Leptospirosis. We vaccinate our dogs against Lepto, and I understand it is transmitted via rat urine (as well as many wild animals: racoons and skunks).

I don't remember doing the Lepto vaccine 10 years ago, but I could just be getting old. :laughing:


Lepto WHAT? I have had dogs for 40 odd years and never heard of that.
I will look it up but man o man, don't tell me I have to spend more $ on these animals. My old setter has diabetes and I can hardly afford THAT:eek:


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