Mouse Deterrent?

wyndyacre(z6B SW Ont.)February 23, 2006

Does anyone have mouse problems in their greenhouse? I've had whole families of deer and field mice attempt to set up housekeeping this winter. The greenhouse is absolutely clean of anything for them to eat but it's warm in there. I've set traps, used mousebait etc. One kind of mousebait was green and I found tons of little green turds throughout my drawers and cupboards for days! They seem to be under control right now but I was wondering if anyone ever used those devices that emit a highfrequency pitch that is supposed to drive them away. I saw them at Lowes last week and wondered if they work.

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We tried one of those ultrasonic pest repellers to discourage the squirrels that wish to move into our attic. It kept my daughter, one son, and several of their friends out of that quadrant of the house, but didn't seem to bother the squirrels at all. No experience with mice in that timeframe.

When we installed our greenhouse, we ran a strip of hardware cloth, bent to a right angle, along each wall on the inside - with the sides of the L flush with the foundation and the floor - then laid the gravel on top of that. So far, I've seen no evidence of rodents in there, though I think it's only a matter of time before the squirrels decide to check it out via the roof vent.

When we had mice in the house, I applied peppermint oil along their accessible runs and left a saturated cotton ball in areas they frequented - there was no further evidence of mice as long as I refreshed the scent periodically. I've always resisted using rodent poison, since I don't want to take a chance on harming the owls in the area.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:42PM
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    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:52PM
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I have had years of success with a device called the tin cat. This is a box, about 9 inches by 9 inches, and about 2 inches high. There are two doors by which mice can enter, but not exit. (A ramp comes down to let the mouse in, but then goes back up to keep the mouse in.) You place bait (peanut butter works well) in the trap to begin trapping. Once you trap the first mouse, it becomes bait for others. Mice are cannibals, and readily take care of each other. I use this device in a garden shed, and it has proved exceedingly effective. Every couple years, I open the box and dump a few mouse skulls out. Everything else is consumed by the customers. This is by far the most effective, least distasteful method I have found to control mice. I bought mine at Home Depot, but have seen them at a number of hardware stores. By the way, I have also seen these in use near large food processing facilities: they cannot afford to have either mice or bait in their products.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:27PM
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wolflover(z7 OK)

Thanks for the cool tip. I've never heard of the tin cat. This would work great in my barn where I store horse and cattle feed and don't want to use poison.

I saw a segment on the news a while back where they were testing the ultrasonic pest devices. They set up a box of mice next to the device, and it did not even faze the mice. It was like it wasn't even turned on. I had tried one myself years ago, and didn't think it worked either. But seeing that segment on the news proved the devices do not work at all. Good luck getting rid of the pests. I've never had them in my greenhouse but occasionally see signs in my barn. When that happens, I will lock my cat up in the barn for the night and usually just her scent/presence will get rid of them. I think the tin cat idea would be great too, and I'm going to try to find one.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:51AM
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wyndyacre(z6B SW Ont.)

Well, I guess I won't waste my money on the ultrasonic devices but the Tin Cat does sound interesting.
I actually have a cat who is a very good mouser but the mice live under the greenhouse where she can't get at them. Plus once I started putting out poison, I didn't want her near them anyway.
Back in the fall and early winter I was completley OVERRUN with mice, pooping all over everthing, chewing up my gardening gloves and string, storing seeds in the soil in pots.....but I seem to have gotten them all for now. No fresh signs. But I'll be stocking up on a tincat for next year. Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 12:51PM
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Here in the Southern USA we have a product called HAVOC which works very well. The active ingredient is Brodifacoum which is supposed to kill rats and mice which have developed a resistant to warfarin. I put it under a bucket which is propped up high enough for mice and rats to get inder it but cats and dogs cannot. I mix it with peanut butter which keeps the pellets from scattering. It works extremely well.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 12:48AM
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maizenbluedoc(8 SC)

According to the following website, this is not good for wildlife:Very highly toxic to mammals and birds. Brodifacoum is extremely dangerous to birds through secondary exposure, especially raptors feeding on poisoned rats and mice. Hundreds of avian and other wildlife mortalities have been reported across North America.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 4:50PM
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We can use the tools we are given or we can let the vermin take over. The question becomes, do we want to protect an ocassional bird-of-prey victim or do you want to get rid of the vermin? There are few, if any, perfect solutions in life.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:42AM
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I have always used the CAT.....

Wow have I had a few pro's in my time. The best CAT I had would take out rats on my 30 acre horse far. I worried about his safety when he would take off after a rat as big as he was. After 10 years of keeping the barn kritter free, I lost him to cancer (nose cancer). After half a dozen new trial CAT's (seems the wildlife out there elimantes that cat's without good genes), I now have a cat who thinks mousing is a game, and bird hunting is the proper passion.

Sorry, got sidetracked. I still dont think anything is better than a cat.

So they get under the greenhouse where the Cat can not get to them. Anyway to block up their access or seal the void ? and what does under exactly mean ? Wood floor?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 8:29AM
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maizenbluedoc(8 SC)

Unfortunately, you and many others believe that Homo Sapiens is the only important creature on this earth. Were it not for birds of prey, snakes; etc, we would be overrun by critters, such as mice and rats. One only has to look at what DDT did to the Bald Eagle to undrstand that birds of prey should be protected. Coincidentallly, most true gardeners know this already.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:27AM
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themaniam1(z7a Ut)

Last Friday I walk into the GH and look at the ranunculus I was starting and found that mice had dug up and eaten about half of them. The mice had dug an entrance under the GH. So in my anger I ran to the store and bought that green block poison, which causes internal bleeding by greatly reducing the clotting factor of blood, and set it around the GH. The very next day, half of it was eaten and no more mice. The down fall was that it ended up costing me $90 to get rid of the mice because out dog, a golden retriever, also ate that poison and I had to run him to the vet. Now he is on vitamin K pills for the next 21 days, which is the antidote for the poison that helps with the clotting of blood. Dumb me for not making it impossible to get to.

I should have just grabbed the tin cat out of the garage and used it. It works awesome and I have had it for 10 years plus. I just was mad and wanted to kill them out right and not trust to the trap. They do stink when they start to rot so I check it every few days during the mouse season (late fall to early spring).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:43AM
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Themaniam1, I'm so sorry to hear about your dog - it's a good thing you discovered he'd eaten the poison so you could get him to the vet for treatment. I expect he'll have a complete recovery.

Your anger is understandable. We've been through that too, with squirrels in our house. Chewed up the insulation on the electrical wiring for nesting material. Auggghhhhh!

Maize, thank you for making that so clear. Many years ago we finally resorted to calling in a professional to take care of an infestation of mice - we tried many things, but they were still at intolerable levels. Well, the pro used warfarin, and the mice disappeared ... so did the owl that lived out there. I used to love to listen to it at night. Apparently, they often eat the poisoned mice when they go outside in search of water (the poison makes them very thirsty) and eventually become sick and often die themselves. The past few years, I've been hearing an owl again ... will not resort to the poison again ... its "cost" is too great.

We have so many allies out there with respect to pest control ... thank goodness we're finally beginning to better understand and honor that delicate network and support those beneficials. I believe that gardeners are strategically positioned to set an example, for better or worse ... it's our decision.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 1:23PM
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themaniam1(z7a Ut)

Thanks Diane, our dog is doing great! I too am just going to stick with the metal traps, the kids take the trap way out into the field and let them go when they find them alive in it, it is a live trap not a smashing trap. This will also ensure the pair of Kestrel falcons that are in the nestting box we put up on our house will not be poisoned. They have been there for the last seven years. They are always catching mice and the kid figure they are stocking the food supply for the falcons. I don't mind as long as the mice stay out of the GH.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 1:40PM
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A little off-topic, but Kestrel falcons - cool - I didn't think they'd nest close to, let alone on, a house! We're near a tidal marsh where a few osprey have taken up residence recently ... not as serene-looking as the egrets and herons, but impressive birds to watch.

Sounds like your children are getting a good start.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 2:41PM
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princesskatja(8 WA)

Our farm was overrun with rodents when my brother and sister-in-law moved in. They had contests to see who could catch the most in one day. They did have one cat who was a good mouser but certainly not up to the challenge. It was especially important to get rid of them as they were attracting rattlesnakes into the house, barn, shop, etc.

First of all, they eliminated any cover - large shrubbery, etc. right up next to the house. Take away the places to hide and the predators can get at them easier.

My sister-in-law created a mousetrap using a very large plastic bucket. She created a way in - probably a hay bale next to it. Put wheat in the bottom. Mice get in but can't get out. It would be full of jumping mice in just a day or so. Not sure how she actually killed them but it was very effective for her.

So far, two layers of heavy landscaping cloth under my greenhouse are keeping the moles, etc. out. I know they'd be in there if they could be.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 2:52PM
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I love simplicity and this kind of mouse trap speaks volumes against using poisons that kill our allies...the rodent predators of the wild.

I once saw a very effective plastic pail trap that had a slanted step up to the opening smeared very lightly with peanut butter to entice further travel. There was a separate, cantilevered, flat, 1-inch wide stick that went out over the water with the other end resting on the lip of the pail. A heavy wire across the top of the pail [holes drilled in pail to receive the wire], adjusted to create the precarious end that jutted out over the water, was the fulcrum. When the mouse went out to the end to get the bait, he was tipped into the water [drain oil in winter] by his own weight. The one-inch stick returned to its original position once the mouse fell off. Trap reset.
They canÂt jump out, they drown, and it does not need constant attention. Very simple to make at home.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 2:16AM
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the best thing i bought was ecolab pellets, i got mine at a coop in our town,i put them everywhere, mice where gone, i NEVER smelled one, i usually do smell them. but this time i didn't, i have a strong sense of smell. so trust me on this!! LOL no cats came up missing or dead, and we have tons of cats. so thats cool. so when i get mine (gh) set up i'm putting lots of them around to make sure!! LOL

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 5:35PM
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Get an empty gallon glass jug and drop a goob of peanut butter in the bottom. You also use an inch of water in place of the peanut butter.

Now take a stick and tie a string on the end of it. The stick should be long enough to act as a ramp to the jugs opening. Lean it up on the jug with the string dropping into the jug. The string should reach within a couple of inches off the bottom.

Mouse climbs the stick, goes down the string and drops down to the bottom of the jug. The only way out is up the string, but can't jump to grasp the string.

This works great. 17 mice in one week.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 10:53PM
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oh ya, 1 more thing, mice LOVE and i mean LOVE chocolate!! no matter where i put it at, them little buggers find it and i find the little trails all over the place!! not making me happy!! LOL and they also love reece's but their favorite is hershey's kisses!!! LOL so if ya don't want to kill them and want to get them in there, use that!! LOL good luck!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 11:39PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

apparently mice are repelled by the smell of mint. (According to the book Carrots Love Tomatoes). Placing mint around the entrance opportunities either growing in pots or what have you is said to repel them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 2:59PM
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I'd definitely recommend the Tin Cat. We have one in each shed, greenhouse, garage and other outdoor space.
Put them out and forget about them and the mouse problem.
Once a year we usually empty them out if we remember to do so with our other fall clean-up.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:11PM
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kittyl(8/9 Calif)

"The best CAT I had would take out rats on my 30 acre horse far. I worried about his safety when he would take off after a rat as big as he was."

The best mouse/varmit catchers have been tom cats for me. I have this one black male cat right now who brings in gophers into the house through a window, to the bathroom and leaves half, he does about 1 per week. I grit my teeth and realize heÂs doing me a favor.

Maledward, when I was a kid, on my parentÂs ranch, they had a white male cat who would take on rats like you say. Once weÂd caught a huge rate in a live trap, IÂd never seen a rat so big. The cat circled the trap with envy. We carefully opened the trap door, and the cat lunged head first into the trap, and had that huge rat dead in seconds. IÂll never forget the exhibition.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:26PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

cool but yet... eew.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:49PM
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wyndyacre(z6B SW Ont.)

Wow! I started this thread two years ago and it's interesting that it's been resurrected. I guess mouse infestation is a problem with everyone.

I've dug around the foundation of my GH and stapled hardware cloth that goes down 6 inches all the way around. The critters still get in and I continue to use traps and bait. I've found a bait by Warfarin that kills after only one meal so the mice don't leave the GH and there is no chance of secondary poisoning of other birds and mammels.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:07PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

THANK YOU for the Tin Cat recommendation. I found they also make a poly version called, strangely enough, "Poly Cat", that is recommended for outdoor or damp conditions.

I don't have a greenhouse, but we live next to a horse farm and always have a few mice around in the fall. This year they took over the basement. I finally caught all the basement mice, I think, but in a show of solidarity, their outdoor relatives snuck under the hood of my car and started chewing wires and tubes. Four trips to the shop so far. Fortunately, I discovered insurance will pay almost all of the damage. Apparently, Honda is using some soy-based product around the wiring and the mice find it very tasty.

So I'm getting a Poly Cat to place next to the driveway, plus a few for the garage, basement and shed. I like the idea of not having to check and reset constantly.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 9:54PM
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"I've dug around the foundation of my GH and stapled hardware cloth that goes down 6 inches all the way around. The critters still get in"

Wyndyacre- The reason they still get in is because they can and do, dig and tunnel downwards and why setting the wire down does no good, and only 6 inches is nothing for any field mouse anyway. You need to lay the wire out from the base to about 2 ft out, flat on the surface. As long as there are no gaps between the wire and the base, they will never invade again.

If a human runs into that type of barrier, we think to back off and look for the outside edge, but the critters don't. They always dig right at the base of whatever structure they want to get into and when they can't get through, they may try the entire permiter, but eventually, just give up.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:11PM
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i have three horses, 4 rabbits, 2 chickens, 2 english mastiffs, an australian sheppard mixed, 4 miniature daschunds, 2 sugar gliders, and 2 pigs, which amounts to lots of feed, i've been here for 2 1/2 years and haven't seen 1 mouse yet. how do i do it? i dont.....those little weenie dogs have no mercy for small critters, and i'm pretty sure they are handling the mouse population pretty well

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 10:58PM
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Has anyone used the Vitamin D based rodent poison? It apparently is not a real toxin--just synthetic vitamin D. Rodents eat it and it causes heart failure--a much more humane death than convulsions or bleeding to death. I, too, have good luck with the Tin Cat, although we have 2 real cats who are pretty good at their job IF they can get to the mice. Dogs, especially terriers are good mousers if "taught", and snakes (non-venomous) are good contols, too, if you don't find them more offensive than the rodents. They usually depart the scene when the food is gone.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 2:02AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Boy, it would be wonderful to have a mouse problem lol
Florida has gigantic flesh eating rats lol
Of course why wouldn't we ?? Constantly warm and mountains of food supply lol
I keep birds in an outdoor aviary so cats are even more of a problem .
I kept a green tree boa in my shadehouse . Not a single rat cat ,raccoon ,opossum got inside . Of course no birds either. lol
Good luck with whatever works for you,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:57AM
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This is an old thread, but Victor makes an electronic trap that electrocutes mice.

It works, and I cleared out the local mouse population.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:45PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

My greenhouse is tight enough I have never had a mouse. I am upset that I have some small ants.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 4:14AM
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