War on mice - I won! - and no one had to get hurt.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Just sayin, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought I'd report in on my recent war on mice.

    Our coop is inside our larger horse barn.

    Before we got the chickens, I have to say we had very FEW mice, ever, in the barn. Like not any. Not sure why, but we were pretty vigilant about grain storage, kept in mouse proof bins. We do have four cats, but they never range out to the barn, unfortunately.

    That all changed when we got the chickens, and there was now food left out.

    We became overrun with mice... to the point where we'd see them scurrying every time we went in and turned on the light. Gak. Chickens killed and ate some, actually... but still... too many. I can only imagine the horror scene inside our coop at night, with mice crawling everywhere.

    I first tried encouraging a couple of our cats to spend time in the barn. I'd put them out there, a few times a day. They did catch a couple, but clearly, their heart was not in it... they're spoiled house cats. The one who does like to hunt, seems to prefer garter snakes, as prey.

    I can't/won't use any poison. Not with the chickens, dog, cats, and pot bellied pig who might get ahold of either the poison, or the poisoned mouse.

    I tried snap traps, but not only were they hard to find a safe place for, where cats and chickens wouldn't get their toes in them, having a couple of those out were not going to keep up with the problem either, and frankly, I got weary of the grotesque drama of crippled and bloody smashed mice.

    So what to do?

    First, we eliminated the free supply of food to the mice. I decided the chickens did not need food in the coop at night. For day, I set their food bowl on top of a table in the open, that the chickens can fly up to, but mice can't get up on. Mice can climb, but they can't jump far. They can climb rough wood, but they can't climb metal, and they can't get around an overhang on a table. The chickens figured it out in no time, how to get up on the table to eat, and there is no tell-tale mouse poop on the table to indicate the mice can get it.

    Live traps. We bought two different kinds of live traps for mice and loaded them with chicken food. I put them in our tack room, and in the chicken coop. They're perfectly safe for the chickens to be around. These are the kind we bought:

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Victor-Multi-Catch-Live-Mouse-Trap-M333/202668291
    ^says it holds up to four mice, but I caught as many as 8 in it.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/JT-Eaton...Catch-Mouse-Trap-421CL/204513812?N=5yc1vZcaln
    ^the marvelous Mouseshank. - holds up to 30 mice.

    THESE WORKED AWESOME!

    Now... for the sake of less drama for me, I drove them down the road each day, and let them loose in a wildlife area. But you can dunk them in a bucket, or whatever you want.

    Point is, they caught ALL the mice within about 3 days, without grabbing any chicken toes, without poison, without drama.

    I've now had the traps out for 4 days without catching anything new, and there are no new mouse droppings in the coop, or in my tack room.

    Just thought I'd share, in case anyone else was looking for ideas.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  2. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    They'll be back.
     
  3. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The traps will be waiting.

    Cool thing about the live traps is they can sit out all the time, and they keep collecting more. They're not *done* when they get one, the way the snap traps are.

    I realize it'll be an ongoing management issue... but I think I've slowed their cataclysmic explosion in population, and hopefully by keeping them from getting a free supply of food, and leaving the traps out for any newcomers, I can keep it under control.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
  4. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, those repeater traps are nice...don't forget to check them for months at a time [​IMG]

    Whenever I start finding mice sign I stop feeding the cats [​IMG]
     
  5. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah - good tip ;) so far I'm still checking them every day, because it's still on my mind, but I did read about a guy who put it on a shelf in the garage... really intending to put it AWAY, and mice got in it, no bait at all inside. He said it was full of petrified mice when he pulled it down.
     
  6. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They get pretty crispy after a few months.
     
  7. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of the things that put me off mouse poison long ago, even without the danger to other pets, was that we remodeled my grandparent's house.

    They used the decon mouse bait stuff for years, I remember seeing it under the sink and behind the dryer.

    When we remodeled and opened up the walls and the ceiling, we found hundreds, or maybe thousands, of dried up mouse mummies. [​IMG]

    Falling down on us then we pulled down the ceiling!

    They never talked about that on This Old House!
     
  8. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is gross.

    Sounds like a Hanta Virus remodeling job
     
  9. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We discussed that possibility, and wore masks cleaning it up, and for all demo work. :)
     
  10. rides2far

    rides2far Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard, too, that if the Decon doesn't kill the mouse, they become immune. Anybody know if this is true or not? The live traps do work great, though. Our best mouser was a small grey poodle named Monique. She lived to kill mice!
     

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