Mice woes... any sugestions?

seedbandito(7 NC)October 25, 2005

We've had mice problems last year. I thought I've found every little crevice and sealed them up with steel wool and spray foam insulation. I've blocked the sink pipes in the kitchen & bathroom, holes from cable tv and telephones, even gaps in the corners of the walls. You know how well mobile homes are built.

I'm putting out the sticky traps with a dibble of peanut butter and caught 4 babies yesterday. I suspect mamma is living under the washing machine. She did have a nest under the oven, (she got dryer lint). The only two places left I'm concerned about is the dryer vent and the heating ducts. Can they get into these two places? The dryer is hooked up.

We're in a mobile home. Can they climb up the aluminum ducts and get in? If you think they can, then I'll put hardware cloth under the vents. I guess I could also put some hardware cloth at the opening (ouside) of the dryer vent.

I'm not afraid of them, but I DETEST mouse droppings on my counters, in my silerware drawer and in my pots and pans!!!!!! I'm stumped. We also have a dog who sleeps in the house with us, so anything toxic is out of the question. My mother is coming in Nov for a visit, (from PA) and she'll have a heart attack! Any ideas? Thanks for your help.

Nancy

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ncgardengirl

They can climb the dryer vent (they can chew through it to come inside if it isn't the metal kind) and get into duct work also, they are determined little creatures! BUT usually don't come in that way, BUT if you live near a field or have any overgrow vegetation then the dryer vent might end up being a problem for you.
They will find any opening available, even ones you don't or can't see, and if they can't find one, they will make one. BUT if you have stopped up most of the holes, you have done well at the attempt of stopping them and the one (mommy) in the home now more likely then not was already there before you clogged up the holes.
I would cover the outside of the dryer vent, BUT make sure you can remove it to clean it because they can get clogged and the lent can catch on fire....
If they are the little tiny mice, they could come up through the vents if there is a whole anywhere in the duct work or between the ducting and flooring, so if you have the hardware to cover them, then just for comfort I would do it.
You can put poison where your inside pets can't get to it, but then there is a dead animal in the house somewhere and you know about that I am sure.
But if you cover these last two items then you should be ok, have hubby to crawl under home and check the vent duct running under the home to see if there are any openings and then rivet OR liguids nails with steel wool the openings back up!
This should take care of the problem!
I know what you mean about droppings, they are nasty little creatures. YUCK!!!
Good luck....
NCGardengirl

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 1:22PM
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trianglejohn

Where I used to live had a bad mouse and packrat problem. It became an ongoing battle - instead of winning the war I loaded up and moved out here. Cats were the best help but didn't completely solve the problem either. Sticky traps worked better than snap traps for me. One trick I did that many won't try was to dig snake eggs or baby snakes out of the compost pile (a favorite nesting site) and work the week old snake-lings through holes drilled into the walls where I could hear mice throwing a dance party at night. The snakes would eat their fill and live in the walls for a while before they finally found an escape route. This was much better than dealing with the dead mouse smell left over after a poisoning.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 3:01PM
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brenda_near_eno(Z7a)

They can get in thru tiny openings. They just played Mouse-Twister on my glue traps, nothing ever stuck for good. I tried everything and then had to use poison. I put the little bait under one of those big plastic crates you buy at Walmart, then put a VERY heavy weight on top. The dogs and cats have never acted interested in the bait, but I take no chances. Good luck. I had a hundred dollar repair bill last spring becasue they ate the wires under the house that control the furnace.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 4:06PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I posted this in the Farm forum so I just copied the same here:

Some years ago when I had a stable I went through the same stuff. I tried every poison and trap I could find. I really don't like poisons as one of my dogs was killed by eating a dead poisoned rat that he found.
I was not a big fan of cats at the time but the day a mouse came out and sat in the middle of the dining room to watch me eat breakfast!!! that was the last straw.

I put an ad out that I would provide a home for any spayed or nuetered cat. I ended up with 13 of them. With 23 acres and a barn they had plenty of hunting territory to share with each other. I only put out as much food as they would consume by the time I finished feeding the horses.

The only mice or rats that I saw after that were the dead 'presents' that some of the cats would bring me. No more rat droppings in the tack room or cupboards - Happy Days!!

HOWEVER... My nieghbor who also had a stable mentioned one day that she very suddenly had a huge rat and mouse
problem. She wanted to know if the same thing was happening to me. Well.....no,
though I can't imagine why ;-)

P.S. I would only do this when living in the country. We didn't have close neighbors for the cats to bother.

I just recently brought home a cat just for outside pest control (his name is DeCon). We checked with our only close neighbor first to make sure they wouldn't mind when the cat wandered over to their yard. It worked out well, they love him and this weekend he made his first kill - a vole!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 8:23PM
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AngelTrumpeteer(8 NC)

I hate 'em, too!
I had one of those electronic pest deterrents rigged up in my cabinets...and it worked for about 3 years. No Mice.

Evidently they figured out the sound would not harm them and I've had problems with them recently.

I use sticky traps and snap traps, too.

I love it when I get lucky with either one of them.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 8:33PM
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seedbandito(7 NC)

Well, NCGardengirl was right, they ARE coming in the dryer vent. NOT anymore!!!!! I pulled out the dryer from it's cubby hole and found a huge hole chewed through the vent pipe, those cheap aluminum foil & wire jobs. Also disovered that whoever installed the vent system did it comepletely wrong. It has 2 more 'elbows' under the mobile home that I can't get to, to clean regularly. So.... I cut the vent line loose, stuffed the hole with insulation and covered that up with a couple layers of hardware cloth. We'll have to run a vent out the side of the house next year. For the time being, I'll find one of those inside vent boxes since it'll be winter and I can use the extra heat and humidity.

I guess maybe the mice did me a favor after all. A lot of homes burn down from dryer vents not being cleaned out on a regular basis. When we fix it, it'll be done with stove pipe so those things can't chew through it!!

Gurly: I wish I could keep a bunch of cats outside. We're too close to a major road. DH wouldn''t mind cats outside. He found one at work a couple years back, brought it home and named it Casey. Just after he had it neutered, he ran accross the road one last time!! Must've been the ninth time! We buried a horse and a cat that weekend. The horse coliced and we had to put him down. Rough weekend that was.

Thanks for all the advise.

Nancy

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 6:17AM
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