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Jim Ignatowski 06-30-2013 01:41 PM

Mouse Trap Question ?
I recently purchased a neglected home that has a history of mice infestation in the basement. i started gutting most of the walls and ceiling and found evidence of mouse droppings throughout the basement. I recently started removing brush and Ivy away from the foundation and am trying to locate entrance points. Since Iíve been in the house, Iíve seen two miceÖ One appears to have gotten trapped and died and another was mauled by a cat that was living with us temporarily. We also have a cat on the first floor but we do not allow him in the basement because of some hazards that were exposed recently. Since the basement is now cat-less I'm concerned that the mice will again find their way back in. I setup several SNAP-E mouse traps with peanut butter as bait Ö I havenít gotten any hits for over two days and the bait looks untouched. My question, how long do I leave these traps and bait out? Will leaving the traps in place with bait attract mice from the outside? Do you think the used litter and cat smell from the our temporary cat visitor is a mouse deterrent? Thank you.

MTN REMODEL LLC 06-30-2013 02:00 PM

Jim... We live in the mountains and do have on a somewhat regular basis (every couple of years) some field mice issues.

In my limited experience, I don't think you can ever block them from entry. They can get in through amazingly small access. It's still smart to close up what holes / acess may be available.

In my case, one instance was caused by a wood pile I had very close to the home... so your clearing that kinda stuff from around your foundation ... I think is a good idea.

We had some friends who got a hellacious infestation within their walls.... and they had cats. I do not know how diligent or responsive to the early problem they may, or may not, have been. They had to get exterminators and take out some drywall.

I've used killer bait mostly whenever we notice anything, and it has worked great for us. I do have dogs, so I have to carefully place it. Sometimes when one gets in, I do use a spring trap with PB, and I usually get'm.

I guess I consider it sorta of a maintence job, and a cost of living in themountains.

Good luck

creeper 06-30-2013 06:13 PM

I agree..get the little bags of poison pellets.

There is no getting away from them with country living, but at this time of year they don't usually make their way indoors. Watch out for the mass exodus come fall though.

When my farmhouse got to the point of endless traps going off all day, I finally realized I needed heavier artillery.

I placed a couple of little poison pouches against a wall where there had been known activity (in my case behind the stove)
As long as the bags were being consumed, I knew they were still active. It went from a bag or two per day until finally the bag remained untouched. Problem was gone until the next fall

Jim Ignatowski 06-30-2013 10:39 PM

Thanks for the response. Any thoughts on how long traps should be left baited? At what point do I remove them and declare that I'm mice free, at least for the moment. I'm concerned that by leaving baited traps, I'm inviting rodents to enter my home that may not be here now. Thank you

creeper 06-30-2013 10:47 PM

Food left in the traps is no more going to attract newcomers than your food in the kitchen will. So I wouldn't about that aspect.

If you have them in the basement , or basement walls then its pretty much a given you have them upstairs too.

Jim Ignatowski 06-30-2013 10:53 PM

I know the house had them, I'm not sure I still do. I have not noticed any new droppings, however a cat did kill a single baby mouse in the basement about two weeks ago. Haven't seen one since. I also have a cat that patrols the first and second floor and he's not friendly to mice. How long would you suggest I leave baited traps around? Thanks

creeper 06-30-2013 11:05 PM

Well I guess I would leave them until the bait dries up...a few weeks..if I was going to use traps.
As I said I prefer poison pellets in a small sac. I would just leave them until they are eaten..even if it took a year

Jim Ignatowski 06-30-2013 11:12 PM

I have a cat and little kids so I'm concerned about leaving the poison packs around.

creeper 07-01-2013 05:32 AM

Hide them in the same place you would hide the traps

Jim Ignatowski 07-01-2013 08:35 AM

Can you tell me which brand you found effective?

gobug 07-01-2013 08:38 AM

It is possible to completely eliminate mouse/rodent problems. You just must think on their level.

Mice detect heat coming from the holes in the structure. They run along the perimeter and sense heat leaks.

A hole the size of a nickel or a 1/4inch gap is an open door. Close the doors. Most doors are at ground level. This would include holes for cable TV, phone, gas, electricity, air vents, drier vents, and siding overhanging foundation edges.

Some rodent doors could be on the roof. Decks and porches (even cement slabs) have below ground level entries.

Mice are like tiny robots. They run the same pathway a hundred times a day (mostly night). Mice have no bladder, so their urine leaks onto those pathways. Mouse urine fluoresces and will glow in a black light. Their droppings are usually where they eat (especially rats).

Place rodent control devices in those pathways. Use several types (snaps, glue bds, and bait). Gang traps are interesting. Mice are communal, which means there is a dominant male. If the dominant male is caught by a gang trap, no other mouse will enter. If it is another mouse caught in the trap, many other mice may enter.

Snap traps are great. Peanut butter seems to work the best, but a cotton ball attracts Minnie (expectant mother mouse looking for nesting material).

Place the devices no further than 8 ft apart. Place them right against the wall because mice have stiff hairs in their fur and prefer to rub them against something as they run. Rearrange the furniture. This makes them reprogram their pathway and improves capture.

I suggest block bait rather than granulated. This is because a single mother mouse will completely empty a granulated bait station and hoard it for her own. The block baits require only a single bite and they cannot hoard it. There are single feed baits, and multiple feed baits. Most of the granulated baits are multiple feed, which means they have to ingest it multiple times to get a lethal dose.

Do not leave pet food out, especially over night. Garages are common places where people store bulk pet food. Garage doors are almost impossible to prevent rodent entry. Hence, it is a highway for mice with convenient food, and many good hiding places. Garages also have many other rodent doors into the house, basement, or crawlspace. I suggest a block bait on both sides of the garage door and bulk pet food in metal containers.

Mtn Remodel LLC was exactly right regarding firewood. It should be a foot from the house and 18" in the air or it will become a rodent habitat.

The bulk of my comments are directed at quick control of severe infestations. Once the mice are in control, limit the devices to the most important areas, like the garage door, under the sink ( a single block placed behind the kick plate will last a long time), And other areas where you see evidence.

If you do clean up rodent droppings, mist them with a disinfectant first. That will eliminate most of the risk of hantavirus.

Good luck

gobug 07-01-2013 08:47 AM

Some block baits have a chemical that limits risk of children getting poisoned. They can also be nailed onto something like a stud in the garage wall. This limits pets from eating it. Otherwise, you should have a bait station that holds the bait inside and prevents kids and pets from getting it.

I recall a story about a young child eating DCon granulated poison from the container which was placed in the living room near the TV. The child would not eat it while the parents were watching because he was told not to. He lived, but suffered. I say only use a poison if you must, then only with caution.

MTN REMODEL LLC 07-01-2013 08:49 AM

GOBUG.... Great write-up and info:thumbsup:

Jim Ignatowski 07-01-2013 07:02 PM

Fantastic post gobug, great information!

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