Bleg: Me vs. the Varmint Cong

We have mice in the house. We have a LOT of mice in the house. We have mice that are smarter than the dog–since the mice now ignore mousetraps, and the dog does not.

Have you ever seen a black lab with a mousetrap on his tongue? It’s not a pretty sight. But that’s not important right now.

We’re about to give up and go nuclear on the little bastards. They’re getting into the cupboards and spoiling our food. They’re even eating the dog treats out of the dog treat jar (further proof that they’re smarter than the dog).

I’ve tried snap traps, and got about five kills before the mice started ignoring them. I’ve got an ultrasonic thingie in the attic, but they ignore it, too. I tried a large “tin cat” trap, but all it has in it, night after night, is a lump of peanut butter–no mice.

The wife wants to call in an exterminator ($$$). I’m afraid all he’ll do is put out a bunch of poison. I can do that myself for cheap, but either way, then we’ll have a house full of rotting mouse corpses, just in time for summer. In Atlanta.

Does anybody have any last suggestions before I’m forced to go one of these unpalatable routes? I have found entry points, but I’m afraid if I fill them up, the vamints will just chew around the repairs.

Next thing you know, they’ll find out that I’m going online for help, and start chewing on my computer’s power cor

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113 Responses to “Bleg: Me vs. the Varmint Cong”

  1. tim maguire Says:

    I always found peanut butter to be irresistable to mice. If you’re in the midst of a darwin experiment, breeding peanut butter-resistant mutant strains of mice, how about mixing up the food selection? Another bait tactic I found effective was gluing dog food to the trap (you already know they like it and this way it sticks).

  2. Bohab Says:

    Fill the gaps with 0000 fine steel wool. Also cram the steel wool into any areas that mice frequent (chew holes, crevices)etc…

    Since rodents cannot regurgitate, the steel wool will rip apart their insides. Most of the time they will go outside to die.

    Using this method is far superior to poison because of child safety and the fact that the mice cannot
    develop resistance or aversion to chewing something that is blocking their pathway.

    I just used this method sucessfully about 6 months ago.

    Good luck.

  3. Arthur Says:

    > I’m afraid all he’ll do is put out a bunch of poison. I can do that myself for cheap, but either way, then we’ll have a house full of rotting mouse corpses, just in time for summer. In Atlanta.

    > Does anybody have any last suggestions before I’m forced to go one of these unpalatable routes?

    Get a cat. Or some cute ferrets.
    Otherwise, put out the poison traps. They don’t kill the mice instantly so some (many?) of them will be outside the house when they expire. There might be some smell but if you don’t put out the poison mice will die anyway (they’re not immortal!) and stink anyway. And there’ll be more of them.

  4. DrObviousSo Says:

    Get a new cat. Forget the cat food. Find a new home for the cat when done.

  5. Ruth H Says:

    Use those sticky tape things. It is not a pretty site if you find them when they are still alive but it is better than having mice. They are not poisonous, no problems there; they can’t crawl away and die in the walls, they are really the best way to go. They can be put on the shelves next to the food they are eating and on their pathways along the floor. They will get catch the mice. Then it is up to you to dispose of them.

  6. pinky Says:

    Don’t buy a cat. Borrow one for a couple o’ weeks. Also staying up late with a bottle of booze, dim lights and a BB gun is entertaining and effective. 5pts for a head shot, 3 for a body kill and -3 for just wounding.

  7. Chuckg Says:

    DrObvious — once invited into a household as a resident, Sacred Covenant says that the cat stays as long as it wants to stay.

    Cats is not tools, they is people.

  8. ajacksonian Says:

    You might try contacting Vexcon in Louisiana and see if they know of anyone with a ‘holistic’ solution in Atlanta… or at least offer some good tips…

    Loved those episodes of ‘Dirty Jobs’ with them… classics!

  9. ob1 Says:

    The solution to mice are SNAKES. Release a few in the house and voila…no more mice! Of course, then you need a mongoose to take care of the snakes. And then a gorilla to take care of that pesky mongoose. And on and on. πŸ™‚

  10. Russell Newquist Says:

    Heads. Spikes. The rest should be obvious. πŸ™‚

    Seriously, I sympathize. I’ve had massive problems with ants for the last few years. They got better when I called a professional, but they’re not gone.

    And my parents have caught over forty – yes forty – raccoons in their attic. I’m not talking about a crazy rural house here, either. And like you, the first time we laid out a raccon trap, all we caught was the dog.

    I keep telling them the same thing. Heads on spikes man, heads on spikes.

  11. kevin Says:

    cats – we had mice, called the exterminator, cats killed them all before the exterminator got there. It was actually pretty neat.

  12. Tim Says:

    Concur with the sticky traps solution. Worked for me. Although with a dog in the house, make sure you place them where only the mice can get to.

  13. Mike in ATL Says:

    You might look up the “Do-it-Yourself Pest Control” center (Yes, that is really their name) on the NE side of Atlanta, corner of Chamblee-Tucker and I-85. They were very helpful when I needed to get rid of rats. Get the all-natural walnut-honey bait. It’s non-lethal (just a bait) and rodents can’t resist it.

  14. Will Collier Says:

    I’ve been there, Mike. Bought some stuff from them that was supposed to kill carpenter ants a couple of years back. It didn’t kill the ants (a bug bomb finally did them in), but the dog loved it.

    Fortunately, it wasn’t toxic for dogs…

  15. William Young Says:

    Cat, the 100% all-natural mouse killer. Disposes the corpses, too.

    And they’re wonderful friends who don’t ask much from you.

    Now, about the cat v. dog issues…

  16. Right Wind Donn Says:

    Find a friend who will rent-a-cat. They are built for dealing with these little critters. And, contrary to popular myth, they have NOT given over their job to illegal immigrants who will hunt for mice more cheaply.

    Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

  17. caltechgirl Says:

    We used the no-kill traps with much success. They’re little plexiglas cubes with a one way door. Mouse gets in, Mouse can’t get out.

    Bait them with peanut butter on a cracker and a few pieces of Dog Kibble or cereal in the far end. Peanut butter especially ,though, as it is a mouse magnet.

    Put the traps in dark places and check daily. take to a nearby field/woods and release them where they can feed a nice predator…

  18. Marilou Says:

    I use a snap trap, carefully placed outside poison, and cat combo. I can’t leave the traps out though because I don’t want Jay the cat to get hurt. I found that the best way to get the mouse with the snap trap is to bait it with whatever the mouse is eating. If you have a tomato eating mouse, bait the trap with tomato. The donut eating mouse gets death by donut. Good hunting! By the way, I don’t like like killing anything, but I couldn’t stand the thought of mice in the house with my children. I have become very tough when it comes to protecting my children.

  19. Right Wing Donn Says:

    Oh, and anybody who grew up on the plains of Texas knows:

    the way to get rid of BOTH mice and snakes is cats! HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY!!!

  20. zombyboy Says:

    Backstreet Boys 24-7, baby. That’ll do the trick…

  21. rbj Says:

    Dogs are never good at getting rid of mice. We’ve had it happen with three separate dogs, and in separate houses. Dogs will assume, rightly, that you’ll just go out and buy more dog food. Thus, there is no problem for them.

    I’ve had luck with the spring traps, but I got to the mice early, before there was a big litter. I actually did use cheese, too.

  22. Magycian Says:

    Juicy Fruit

    My mother swore by this. Break it up into half sticks and leave it laying in the area they frequent. They will gobble up the gum but can’t process it in any way. Kills em dead. Clogs em up.

    Might take a day but not much longer. Of course then you have to find the bodies……

    Good luck
    Magy

  23. joy Says:

    Had mice (also in Atlanta area) last summer, after the wooded area down the street was cleared to expand ballfields at the park.

    Called the exterminator. He put out a couple of traps in out of the way places near their entrances (kids & dogs here too). Few days later, collected bodies, and sealed up holes. There were a couple of access points we would never have thought to check, and he got those too. No little visitors since. Only about $250, and it was money well spent.

    Forget the cat – our intown, indoor, lazy fuzzball was worthless.

  24. Judge Smails Says:

    “A big hitter…..The Lama.”

  25. nobrainer Says:

    I have to agree with CalTechGirl.

    I successfully used the no-kill traps to catch a few of the little vermin a few years ago. Peanut butter on a cracker seemed to work.

    Once you catch them, they tend to let you know as they claw furiously in an attempt to dig out.

    Beyond that you can hold a trial, prove them guilty, and impose a suitable punishment.

  26. Dale Madren Says:

    Use the sticky traps….You cry a bit when you carry that possibly still breathing, cute little mouse to his trashcan grave. But they work.

  27. FloridaSteve Says:

    NO CATS!!!! Next thing you’ll be catblogging and there’s way to much of that going on already.

    I say use some good old fashioned, All American, POISON Peanut Butter Ball!! That’s the ticket! Worked for me and they all died outside since there were no “unusual” smells in the house…

    (or is that a bad thing?)

  28. Geo Walsh Says:

    Hi, I believe it was in the Chicago Reader over thirty years ago where I read of this idea. Put out two bowls, one filled with water and one with a mixture of corn starch and portland cement. Do it at night when the dog is inside. The mousies eat some of the starch/cement and then drink some water. By morning their intestines turn to concrete.

    I knew you’d love it.

  29. jaymaster Says:

    I know you have reservations, but I sincerely recommend that you go WMD on their asses. I live in a log home, in the middle of the woods, and I was engaged in a constant battle with mice for YEARS before I finally found the secret.

    I held of on the poison too for a couple years. And when I finally did try it out, it took me a couple years to find one that really worked. And man does it ever work.

    This is the stuff:

    http://www.gemplers.com/a/shop/product.asp?T1=G79890&UID=20060419154948609364992

    If you have a Tractor Supply store nearby, you might be able to find it there. Its the most expensive stuff they make, but its worth it. The mice just can

  30. yetanotherjohn Says:

    A cheap idea that worked for me was to buy some generic cayenne pepper (biggie size) and sprinkle it around the attic. The varmints left because the didn’t like getting the stuff in their noses.

  31. Rob Says:

    Cats are good, but there can be problems. Our indoor cats LOVES to chase mice. So much so that she won’t kill them right away, she lets them go so she can chase them some more.

    With the cat tearing around after the mouse and the mouse making screaming noises, it’s kinda distracting. Also, all too often the cat wants to show off by depositing the headless corpse on your doorstep (or pillow).

    You’re probably better off with an outdoor cat. The mice find a better neighborhood once a cat moves in. Our end of the block used to have an old tomcat that belonged to nobody (but everybody fed) and just the smell of that big old tomcat (he marked his territory frequently) kept the area clear of all small furry things.

    Dogs are good only if the breed is a hunter (and not a breed – such as labs – that retreives). Our basenji will chase anything small that moves (even crickets and lizards), but lots of dogs just don’t care.

    If dogs and cats aren’t your thing, I think traps are best. It’s just too easy for poison bait to find its way into a pet or neighbor kid.

  32. John Kerry Says:

    This adminstration has lied to and failed the American people when it comes to it’s mice policy.

    I propose a new “get tough” policy on the mice which combines American practicality and magnanimaty. It involves a three-step plan to rounding up the mice. First, we need to convene a regional conference with the mice’s neighbors. Second, we need to go after the mice where they live. Lastly, we need to recommit ourselves to the original purpose of this conflict – capturing mice.

    And that’s my plan for getting the mice.

  33. Gil Roth Says:

    We had a mouse-problem in the historic house I once lived in, down in Annapolis. The Three Guys (on the first two floors of the place) put out poison. The girl who lived on the top floor (Katie) thought that was cruel, and went with “humane” traps.

    A week or so passed. Katie was away for the weekend. When she got home, she checked the traps, screamed, and asked me to come upstairs. Seems one of the mice made an early start on the humane trap, and was dead by the time Katie’d come back home. I told her that humane traps were kinda silly.

    So I dumped the little mouse-corpse outside, in a garden that belonged to one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence.

    I have to say, the poison worked just fine. A little nibble, a lot of pulmonary edema, bam!

  34. zeluna Says:

    Agree with the steel wool.. my mom had a house in chicago with many entry points. The steel wool worked wonders.

    Also, a cat doesn’t hurt.. πŸ™‚

  35. doug quarnstrom Says:

    I asked Glenn Reynolds and he thought you should put copies of “An Army of Davids” everywhere you see evidence of mouse activity.

    doug

  36. Hugh Says:

    Where do you live Steve? I never want to live there! The mice here in Columbus, Ohio are wonderfully stupid. The same mouse trap (easy set spring loaded modern type) worked again, and again, and again. I killed over 7 mice at my mother’s house with these traps and I lost count of the number we killed at my girlfriend’s house.

    Of course, the worst thing is when mouse is caught, but not killed. I tried a glue trap once and, being stupid, dispatched the poor thing with the sharp end of a shovel (“there can be only ONE” WHACK). Later on, I learned that drowning the little bastards in a bucket of water is easier.

    My girlfriend’s daughter felt bad when I was going to drown one mouse…she asked if she could pour liquor in the water so that the mouse could get intoxicated while it drowned.

    This was a 17 year old and I sadly told her that even if I poured undiluted grain alcohol down the poor mouse’s throat, it would suffer death by drowning before it felt the effects of the alcohol.

  37. Puff Says:

    I got rid of most of ours with snap traps baited with dog food and cheese, but my wife accidentally came up with the wierdest way I’ve ever seen. She pulled the bag with trash out of the kitchen can, tied it tightly and left it there. (I’ve heard some one say thats a hint, but I know its just a vicious rumor πŸ˜‰ Anyway, overnight a mouse climbed up the bag and jumped into the can to get to that smelly stuff at the bottom, can proved to be 2″ too high to jump out of. I made the mistake of grabing the cute little furball bare handed, after a blocked attempt to use it as a spring board out he chomped my thumb a good 1/2″ deep and hung on tight. After a lot of yelling and banging against the trash can I got him to turn loose and dumped him in the back yard. The local university extension office confirmed that colorado mice aren’t rabid. The next two(I think one was chompy, back for a second round) that hopped in I wore gloves and dumped out far, far away. After those three, trashcan diving seems to have lost its popularity and I whacked the final one with snap traps set where the dog couldn’t get to.

  38. VRWC Says:

    Get an old galvanized steel washtub and stick some strong-smelling, attractive bait in the middle. Use a couple of sticks to provide a ramp on the outside with a crossover (walkway) so that they can jump in but not out.

  39. Ann Says:

    I’ve had a few episodes of rodent invasion, and here’s what I’ve learned:

    First, close down the supermarket. Keep food properly stored: Plastic tightlidded dispensers or storage containers for dry cereals and all other products that come in cardboard boxes or light plastic or paper bags. The dog food can’t sit around in the bowl, either. (It’s true mice can live on crumbs, but like that story about running from the bear – you don’t have to outrun the bear, only the guy behind you – you don’t have to be a spotless housekeeper, just cleaner than the neighbors.)

    Second, plug up all access points with wire mesh held in place with that foaming stuff.

    No matter how many of them you trap, if you leave the door wide open and the buffet on the table, they’ll keep on coming. Or you’ll also get rats, and trust me, compared to rats, mice are nice.

    If you locate any areas where mice have been urinating, clean well and spray thoroughly with an odor remover. Rodent urine is apparently an olfactory announcement to the whole rodent neighborhood that this is where the party is.

    If you live in a house with an attic and/or crawlspace, be sure to put plenty of traps there, check for access points there and clean out/replace any insulation the mice have fouled. Make sure all vents are covered with wire screens – including the dryer vent, stove hood, attic and fan vents. If you have a plastic dryer vent hose, see if they’ve chewed through that (rats did on mine).

    Good luck.

  40. Verkan Says:

    Note on the Jaguar poison recommended by Jaymaster:

    NOTE: Cannot be sold or shipped to Alaska, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., Canada or International.

    Is there a problem with the professional rodents on K Street and in Congress?

  41. bob Says:

    The glue traps work! I cannot say enough about them

  42. Chris Strauss Says:

    The sticky traps worked for me when I got a couple of rats in the house. It’s just a little creepy disposing of it though….

  43. N. O'Brain Says:

    Go with the peanut butter on the traps.

    I got three in one night that way.

    BTW, my wife HHHAAATTTTESSSS mice.

  44. roy Says:

    I had no luck with glue traps. I just found the trap in another room with lots of little footprints on it, and glue in my carpet.

    That mouse also liked to climb vertical walls by wedging itself in a corner, ninja-style. My girlfriend and I witnessed that first hand while attempting to get, uhm, friendly.

    I think poison got him eventually, but it was a college apartment so I wasn’t around for the summer stink.

    Come to think of it, things with the girl went south about that time too.

    Damned mouse.

  45. caltechgirl Says:

    Ann is absolutely correct about the urine. Where you see droppings, clean up the bits and spray with a diluted bleach solution. Rodent urine is their number one means of communication.

    It’s also a good place to set the traps…

  46. DLA Says:

    Will,

    We had a similar problem when we moved into our house 7 years ago. We called an exterminator, and he did put poison in some key areas. He assured us that the mice, when they started to feel the effects of the poison would go outside and die.

    Can’t say conclusively that they did, but 7 years on, we have yet to find a mouse carcas in the house.

    Byte the bullet and pony up for the Ex-guy.

    dla

  47. pinky Says:

    VRWC, I had completely forgotten about that useful and live trap. It works quite well although I recommend old earthenware corn liquor jugs with the thin neck. Reese’s pb cups make a very effective bait, if you can keep from eating them. BTW, I love mice and have had them as pets, but lambs and calves are cute: I still eat them. When a critter is a pest, the moralities change.

  48. Fred Z Says:

    Buggary. Threaten to cornhole the little bastards. They’ll all run away. Mice are not gay.

  49. Brian Macker Says:

    Those ultrasound things don’t work as you are now aware.

    I’ve used the wind up type repeating mouse trap to great success. The one the spanks the mouse into a separate chamber. I think the patent has expired so multiple companies make a model. The one I used was Ketchall, but Victor and JT Eaton’s also have versions.

    Be sure to block invasion points. If you have just put on vinyl siding and the problem started then read the below.

    In my old house I started hearing mice in the ceiling below my attic at night. I went into the attic and found no evidence they had a nest up there.

    Traps would catch them but then new mice would replace them. At first I couldn’t figure out why the invasion point was the attic. Why there first? Mice don’t fly.

    I had put new vinyl siding on the house recently and thought maybe they were coming in via the siding. I inspected and found that the vertical corner pieces that hold in the horizonal siding were hollow. I looked up one and it looked like a ladder inside. Each horizontal piece providing several of the rungs.

    They would climb the corners up into the eaves and from there the attic.

    So I bought some of the urethane foam in a can. I squirted a SMALL amount in the bottom of each corner and it solved my mouse invasion problem. Do not put too much in as it expands and can separate your siding. Do not use steel wool instead it rusts and causes stains outside.

  50. JD Says:

    If scoring for pure originality and potential mayhem, the gentleman suggesting the mixture of cornstarch and Portland Cement is the hands-down winner.

    I can only suggest adding some Pop Rocks in the cornstartch-PC combo, if nothing else than to get a nice, mousey WTF out of the effort.

  51. Hucbald Says:

    Good God, man! I’m so glad I set the beer down before reading that post. The image of the black Lab and the mousetrap made me laugh my, er… tail off.

  52. aaron Says:

    The sticky paper works well. The mice get stuck as they run accross.

  53. geezer Says:

    Will, you’ve had a hell of a lot of good, if not funny bits here to work with.

    We’ve had our house here in DE for 5 years, and for the 1st 3, mice were a pain in the arse. I finally broke down and walled up the kitchen cabinets the li’l arseholes were getting into, and brought it down to an occasional interloper. These plucky, unlucky few were summarily dispatched by Larry, Schmoopy, and/or Binks, cats in varying stages of age and interest.

    If you use traps of any kind, be sure to set them immediately next to whatever vertical surface is available. We found sticky traps around stove areas to be effective, too.

    Happy hunting, and if all else fails, you can still blame it all on global warming and the DubChimpyfeld cabal.

  54. Jimmie Bell Says:

    I once used poison and they all seemed to die in the walls or under the house. Stinky. Tried spring traps and failed. Finally had success with Pressure traps. It’s very important to place them properly. The pressure pad should face the wall where they run. I pulled out the drawers in my kitchen and placed them in the space below where I’d seen droppings. Caught six. Also placed a trap under my stove. Caught three. (Put them in places the dogs and cat couldn’t reach)
    No bait. Reused traps work fine, even covered with lovely mouse blood and guts.
    Be sure to wear disposable rubber gloves for this fun chore.
    Once saw a mouse stealing dog food from a bowl on the deck. Made a tunnel to the bowl by placing a box against the wall where I saw it run. Let it grab more food, then placed my trusty trap in the tunnel. BANG.
    Very effective once I figured out how to place properly. Instructions on package.

  55. Steven Den Beste Says:

    As to ants (a comment way back up there) the stuff you want is sugar syrup with borax dissolved in it. Most hardware stores sell it. It’s thick and clear and you pour it on a piece of cardboard and put it where the ants have been. The foragers take it back and feed it to the queen, who dies. Without the queen, the whole nest dies. I had a problem with ants once in San Diego and tried all kinds of things that didn’t work. Then I tried this stuff, and two weeks later there were no ants. And they never came back.

  56. ThomasD Says:

    Bucket traps can be very effective.

    Five gallon bucket, filled with a few inches of water. a stable ramp leading up to the rim, and a balance pole across the top of the rim.

    At the center of the balance pole is a short cross piece, attached at a right angle, where the bait is placed. Peanut butter is excellent, so is banana. I rub the banana peel all along the travel path to give the critters an easy to follow scent trail.

    The mouse/rat runs up the ramp, walks easily out onto the balance pole, then crawls out onto the cross piece to retrieve the bait. The extra weight on the cross piece causes the balance pole to pivot, the cross bar dips down deposting the rodent into the water. End of rodent.

    The trap is pretty much foolproof, once activated it is darn near perfect so no ‘educated’ rodents from near misses or from finding dead breatheren in sprung traps.

    Also, with a tall enough bucket the water can be omitted and this is an excellent way to live harvest yard rodents for feeding pet reptiles. As a plus it is harmless to birds or housepets.

  57. ScubaDiva Says:

    I’m a pal of BroGonzo’s and in Atlanta…

    If you like free chicken wings and free beer and are free Friday night 6-9pm, email me at wingsfestival@hotmail.com and I’ll send you an evite to the VIP party. You’re welcome to bring some friends. Sadly, there will be no Hooters girls there, but on the upside, now will there be any Hooters wings there.

    Peace.
    Mice = get a cat or two
    Problem solved.

  58. JP Says:

    Trying to kill all of them is futile. As you’ve attested, they’re smart. Smarter than an intelligent breed of dog.

    So what you need to do is send a message. Show them that they’re dealing with a violent, irrational sociopath. Mousiopath?

    Then again, it could backfire. Perhaps these are rodents with backbones, in which case they’ll stand up to intimidation by boycotting Border’s and chewing through your phone line.

    Besides, I haven’t touched my blog in a few days, and I probably have a zillion unwanted trackbacks. Which goes to show that sending a message doesn’t work. And that I’m an idiot who can’t figure out how to install decent anti-spam software.

  59. Sailorette Says:

    Step one: borrow a barn cat. Be prepared to clean up after it, as these are the savage barbarians of catdom.
    step two: rejoice that my mom isn’t around to explain to you about packrats in the water. The size of cats. Old style bear-trap looking things needed to catch the buggers.

  60. skymuse Says:

    (sarcasm ON)

    These replies have demonstrated a deeply-rooted bigotry and xenophobia. The mice obviously had less opportunity where they are coming from, and it is your duty as a citizen of the New Socialist States of America (McKinneyland province) to provide for them. They just want a better life for themselves, and you can obviously afford to help them out a little. To do otherwise is to show true Racism.

    To wall them out, round them up, and exterminate them is heartless and uncaring of their circumstances.

    You should make them citizens of your house. That’ll (somehow) solve the problem. The Senate believes this, you know….

    (sarcasm OFF)

    Seriously, I have a great little hunting cat you can borrow — she used to bring me birds she would catch on an apartment balcony….I’m in Norcross.

  61. Chip Anderson Says:

    Cat.

  62. Alex Knapp Says:

    I know you won’t believe this, but the best way to take care of mice is good old fashioned Coca-cola. Pour some into a little bowl where mice frequent. They’ll be attracted by the smell and dig in–but here’s the rub. They can’t handle the carbonation. They sense something’s wrong and leave the house and die outside.

  63. mouserator Says:

    Yeah… the space under the cabinets are a real mouse hotel. A friend told me to mix some habanero sauce with water and spray under the cabinet. Highly effective… mice lick their feet to clean them.

  64. Robert Says:

    Has anyone noticed that Will’s mice have generated more discussion than immigration, tax reform, and Iran’s nuclear ambitions?

    Let’s give the mice amnesty, tax them , and then nuke ’em for good measure to really jump start this discussion.

  65. TommytheCat Says:

    Get a couple of these and bait them with chunks of Reese’s peanut butter cups. We used a slightly different product (same concept though). Worked like a charm.

    http://www.themousedepot.com/

  66. Joel Says:

    Electric shock traps. Check out the electronic traps under “Victor Rodent Control” on http://www.woodstream.com.

  67. DJ Says:

    When peanut butter fails as bait in a trap, use chunky chocolate instead.

  68. Mike Doughty Says:

    I had this problem. Here’s how we solved it. Plug all the entry points you can find (this took awhile, even though it turned out the main spot was a tiny gap in the weatherstripping on the door to the garage). Then use glue traps and snap traps baited with peanut butter to eliminate the mice that are in the house. Then, at a “do-it-yourself” pest control place, I purchased 5 plastic things that hold mouse poison (and prevent larger animals from eating it) and poison cakes that fit in these things. Then I placed these around the outside of the house in places where mice might be or travel. In my case these were under porches and a deck, near the ouside door to the garage and at two corners of the house. I placed a large rock on top of these to hold them down and prevent larger animals like dogs from carrying them off and chewing them open as this poison will kill a dog. I also placed a couple snap traps in the garage to catch any mice that entered there. It took several months for this to completely work, as the breeding population outside has to collapse, but it DID work. At first I had a number of mice caught in the garage traps (but none in the house). It has now been months since any mice have been caught in traps. The key to this is to keep poison in the outside containers to prevent the breeding population from re-establishing itself. Good luck.

  69. richard mcenroe Says:

    Stuff a king snake behind the drywall.

    Note: King Snake, NOT King Cobra.

  70. Alan Says:

    “Cat, the 100% all-natural mouse killer. Disposes the corpses, too.”

    Man, my cat brings the mice to me to divvy up. She trusts me not to take the lion’s share.

    Sticky traps are the best. And it’s so satisfying to drown the little SOBs in the toilet.

  71. Kathy Says:

    On an old fashioned snap trap, tie a wee bit of string into a loop using the little hole where the bait sits. Then slather it with peanut butter. The mouse will come up, eat the peanut butter but instead of getting off Scot free, he’ll pull the string and—WHAMMO!—trap will snap.

    I learned this from a friend of mine whose job while growing up was rodent hunter in his Dad’s barn (they didn’t have barn cats—entire family was allergic) and it’s never failed me. Also, whoever said to plug up the entry holes with fine grade steel wool was right. Works like a charm.

  72. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: Meeces

    We’ve had to deal with mice infestations twice. Once in our own home in Englewood, CO. The second time in a recently deceased friend’s house, as we were the administrators of the estate.

    On both occasions, we successfully irradicated the varmints.

    The most effective technique was a series of different traps.

    [1] Classic snap trap.
    [2] High Tech snap trap.
    [3] The live-catch trap.
    [4] Sticky traps.

    ALL were baited with Pay Day candy bars; fragments thereof.

    The sticky traps were most effective in the access points to the pantry area.

    In the latter instance, we caught six mice in one day.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Good hunting and good luck.]

  73. Duke DeLand Says:

    EXLAX!

    Don’t Laugh!!!!!

    Put several pieces of Exlax around in the places in the attic, etc where they travel. Do not let the dog have access.

    They eat the Exlax, the stuff makes them into automatic dehydration machines (remember mice don’t drink much fluid)….

    They lose liquid so fast it kills them, and they do not smell nearly as much as they are dehydrated.

    I swear it works Will…..

    Duke

  74. John M. Says:

    If you want a humane/entertaining way of capturing mice, use a paintball gun, but without the paint. Just load up the air and fire away. Knocks the little critters out. Just don’t put the barrel to close to them, it’ll blow those suckers apart.

    John M.

  75. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Duke DeLand
    RE: Exlax?

    “They eat the Exlax, the stuff makes them into automatic dehydration machines (remember mice don’t drink much fluid)….

    They lose liquid so fast it kills them, and they do not smell nearly as much as they are dehydrated.” — Duke DeLand

    That sounds like an interesting theory.

    Next time I have a mouse infestation, I’ll do a live capture and experiment on the little beastie.

    In the meantime, I’d suggest that Will try a live-capture/test. Since he evidently has a goodly supply of experimental material to work with.

    However, I’d have three groups; a control that does not get Exlax, a group that gets Exlax without any additional fluids available other than their normal food sources and the third gets Exlax, normal food sources AND open water available. I’m concerned that if they get thirsty, they’ll just drink water, if they can find it.

    Of course, if the third group does that sort of thing, one could always lace the water with strycine.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  76. thatismytruck Says:

    someone mentioned steel wool, I use Chore Boy “copper” wool. We have an old time hardware store in town and the proprieter swears by this as the material to stuff into any crevace, hole, etc. I used copper screen for larger areas. After killing the mouse/mice of course. My method of killing? rat poison. scattered in areas where the cat, dog, or Boy cannot get to. The cat did get two mice (I witnessed a catch, very cool) but I needed to remove several quickly. poison then plug the holes. Good Luck!

  77. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: thatsmytruck
    RE: Woolite

    “someone mentioned steel wool…” — thatsmytruck

    That’s good for plugging holes to keep them from chewing their way through to gain entry. They can chew through wood and certain plastics readily. But they don’t like chewing on steel wool. Cuts their gums something fierce.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Mange un roch!]

  78. Verkan Says:

    This is on of the more interesting comment threads in along time.

    As a fun additional method, , my Dad used to handload a bunch of .243 rounds with nothing but the primer and some Cream of Wheat, and a small piece of cotton to keep it all together.
    Instant death at 5-15 feet, doesn;t even scratch the paint off the wall.

  79. John Says:

    I’d second the cat suggestion, but my cat brings mice IN from outside. To play with. Still alive. “Come look at what I caught, guys! Say, where’d he get to now???”

  80. pinky Says:

    Guess I’ll stick with my BB gun and booze. It is the difference between a Marine sniper and an Army sniper circa ’68. All credit to the Army, but the methodology is less to my liking.

  81. amyc Says:

    Cairn Terrier. We have one, and she is a vicious bitch–to little creepy crawlies. Eats anything she catches, and never stops hunting. Bosses the dobermanns around too.

  82. Theresa Says:

    Patterdale Terrier. Same as amyc’s Cairn. Never stops, hunts anything and everything.

  83. jaymaster Says:

    As for plugging the access holes, I second the motion of using copper instead of steel wool. Steel wool will eventually rust in all but the driest locations, leaving a hole, and a mess (speaking from experience, unfortunately.)

    Instead, use copper or stainless steel scouring pads (without soap). They are available in most grocery and hardware stores.

  84. JPR Says:

    OK Here you go….
    Plastic pail: 5gal for rats, 2 gal for mice.
    Length of wood dowel (min 1/2″ dia)long enough to cross top of pail + 3″ or so.
    Cut or drill notches on top edge of pail so dowel rolls easily.
    Using a short piece of twine tied to the center of the dowel, hang some bait (PB on bread etc) a few inches below the dowel.
    Place pail in general area of infestation and using an 18 or 20 inch piece of wood create a ramp of sorts for the little buggers.
    Smear small amount of PB in spots on ramp. Your leading them to their demise or perhaps relocation!
    Mouse goes out on dowel, reaches for bait, dowel rolls and mouse is trapped!
    Empty daily or see if you can collect the whole population!

  85. jaymaster Says:

    And since this is turning out to be one of Will

  86. ciaochow Says:

    All of thes solutions strike me as excessively unilateral. You must refer the matter to the UN Security Council. Of course, you will get much better results in that respect if you can prove the mice are Israeli.

  87. CDR Salamander Says:

    Here you go shipmate. The French can help you.

  88. Will Collier Says:

    Jay, thanks for the tip about not using steel wool in wet areas. The big hole is in the basement, which has flooded three times since I bought the house.

    Yet another reason why the lying beyotch I bought it from deserves, er, the mice…

  89. mouserator Says:

    ExLax? That got the memories going…

    Long ago, in a high school far, far away there were these two sophomores who didn’t like being forced to study Latin, made more grievous by the odd creature who was appointed to the task. Imagine a picayune Yoda bleached, femininized, and adorned with authentic Etruscan hairstyles. OK, the ears were normal… but while she stood an un-astonishing 4′ 6″ in her sensible 2 inch heels, her husband Igor (See? Reality IS stranger than fiction!)was 6′ 8″ tall and the name fit him perfectly. Only a sense of my own mortality restrains me from providing a more complete and amusing description, dear reader, but by now you don’t need any more help, do you? When her husband picked her up from work after school they would walk down the halls – hand in hand – in perfect 2/4 time: 2 steps for him, 4 for her. And we were sophomores. .. I call it fate. We were completely helpless as our hormones forced us to do something rude, unnatural and completely fitting.

    The process required one lab mouse, one dose of ExLax, a commodius drawer in the magistra’s desk, and the expiration of 17 hours – the time lapse between her departure Tuesday afternoon and her return to work on Wednesday morning.

    We didn’t know the mouse would die. Really. But the mess was spectacular. Her attempts to uncover the culprit(s), I am sorry to say, provide me with some measure of amusement even now, mixed with small and completely appropriate dollops of shame.

    And now we all know that ExLax really and truly will terminate the impertinent little critters… but watch out for your carpets!

    And please, be kind to the poor Latin teacher.

    If you can.

  90. embutler Says:

    I put cheese in mousetraps and got nothing…I put articficial crab and they fell for it immediately….get the stringy kind…they cant get it out of the trap unless they pull and if they do…..trip..

  91. Becky in Ohio Says:

    Never had a mouse problem growing up on the farm. Even in the barns. Too many cats. Of course, my “pet” 6′ rat snake helped also. King snakes are REAL good mousers. And they fit where the mice go. And they are pretty.

    Moved out, got apartment in college. Got mice.
    Bait of choice: Horse feed
    Trap of choice: glue or sticky

    If you can get it, horse feed works REAL well. Has molasses, alfalfa, all kinds of mouse yummy stuff. Unfortunately, also only comes in 50 or 100 pound bags…
    See if you can find a horse person to give you a cup or so.

    Buckets work. Occasionally found the buggers in the feed buckets in the barn. Couldn’t tell if they died from the fall or from eating themselves silly.

  92. jmaster Says:

    The response to this post proves one thing:

    Ole Waldo

  93. James A. Wolf Says:

    Glue traps. They worked for me when I had mice. A word of warning: The guy at the wardware store assured me they killed quickly (the mice would die from the stress of being trapped). He was wrong. It’s not pleasant to hear a near human sounding scream under your head at 3 AM.

  94. jmaster Says:
  95. Tushar D Says:

    Larry can’t sleep at night because of mouse trouble.
    He goes to his neighbor, Curly, and complains.
    Curly suggests a trap. Larry does not have one.
    Curly suggests poison. Larry does not have that either.
    Curly gives it some thought, and comes up with a plan.

    “Heres waht you do” says Curly. “Put a peanut and a raisin a short distance from each other in an area the mouse frequents. Put a razor blade between them. The mouse will come, and he will be in two minds. Should I eat the peanut? or the raisin? He will look repeatedly from one to other, cutting his tiny neck on the razor blade. Problem solved!

    Larry likes the idea, but does not have peanuts and raisins either.

    “That complicates things”, says Curly. “But you know what, just put the razor blade. The mouse will come, and he will be baffled. Where’s my peanut? where’s my raisin, cut his neck on the razor, and poof!

  96. JPS Says:

    I’m awfully late to this thread, Will, but here goes:

    I worry about the suggestions of poison. Your dog has already shown a tendency to make himself collateral damage.

    Plug all the entry points? Best of luck. A mouse can squeeze through an opening the size of its head. Back when I had this problem, I found it easy to miss a mouse-head-sized hole or two. Better baits? My experience was: Great, we’re luring in more of them.

    You do know that those ultrasound speakers are line-of-sight-only? They won’t work through walls. Also, the mice get inured to them if they’re on all the time. But back in the day, I found that one speaker “illuminating” each room, on for a few days and off for one, semi-randomly, worked well. This was in a crappy old apt in downtown Boston during the Big Dig, and I never saw another. YMMV, of course.

  97. Klug Says:

    Another vote for the live-trap ‘mouse cube.’ Available at WalMart. Peanut butter on Wheat Thin.

  98. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Tushar D
    RE: At Which Point…

    …Moe shows up and slaps the c— out of both of them for keeping him from sleeping.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  99. jmaster Says:

    JPM,

    You have missed one point. Poisons MUST be used in an appropriate container if pets, children, or other non-target animals might be in the area of use.

    And containers which allow nothing larger than a mouse to get inside, contain the poison completely and securely, are accessible only by those with two opposable thumbs, an IQ above 100, and in possession the proper tool, most definitely exist.

  100. jmaster Says:

    And as far as the ultrasonic stuff goes, research I have read claims that ultrasonic devices can be effective at repelling mice and rats. That is, they will keep the creatures from venturing into

  101. Mog Says:

    Sorry, couldn’t plow thru’ ALL the comments above, so I might be repeating someone.

    Mice aren’t big. If you do use poison, when they die, they pretty much mummify. If you can find their corpsed, great, but you won’t have a smell.
    Doesn’t matter what poison you use, the mice don’t ‘all rush outside for a drink’ – it’s an old wive’s tale to stop you worrying about having a stinking house.

    Having a dog that chows on bait is obviously a problem. Doubly so because warfarin is still a very effective killer. Unfortunately, dogs are affected by it too.

    Warfarin inhibits blood clotting, among other things, which my exterminator tells me, is what gets ’em. They’re not very discriminating in what they eat, and pretty soon they lacerate their digestive systems and it’s all over.

    If you have a ‘do it yourself’ exterminator supply store, they will probably have a variety of new-generation baits, which I think will be much better than the normal domestic stuff you get at hardware stores. They should also have bait traps, which you can load, which will stop the dog from being able to eat it. Inevitably, you’ll get some mice by poison, and some won’t be tricked. That’d be where I concentrate on snap traps or glue strips.

    Remember, rodents learn to follow walls, and it becomes a habit they can’t break, so if you identify a commonly used run, put glue traps along it and when you catch something, remove the evidence promptly and re-bait.
    whether you ‘cover’ the physical traps to stop the dog getting his nose glued is up to you, but my exterminator (who seems to be pretty experienced ) says that they usually won’t be upset if part of the section of wall they run has a box stacked near so they can run between the wall and the box.

    Inevitably, you’ve got 40000 postings, pretty much telling you the same thing. They’re adaptable beasties, and you’ll need to use 2 or 3 strategies to get ’em.

    Incidentally, blocking up even a few holes with bronze wool will help. As one other poster sad though, don’t expect to successfully block all holes.

  102. rosignol Says:

    Mice aren’t big. If you do use poison, when they die, they pretty much mummify. If you can find their corpsed, great, but you won’t have a smell.

    Yeah, but make sure you have mice, not rats, before using poison.

    I had a rat crawl up inside a wall and die in a house I was renting once (we didn’t poison it. honest).

    Initially, I had some fun teasing my roomate and his gf about washing the sheets more often (it was his room), but after about a week the situation had become intolerable.

    The landlord (my roomie’s dad) refused to tear up the walls to find it, but was willing to give us a break on the rent (as the room was unusable)… so we closed the door and stuffed a towel under the crack.

    The damn thing took about a year to dry out.

  103. Mr. Bingley Says:

    I was going to say glue traps, as well; they’ve always worked for us.

    But then I read JohnKerry’s plan and I am convinced that he is what we need to solve this issue.

  104. Tony B Says:

    One hint that comes from experience — if you do use glue traps and want to kill the little things humanely, DO NOT run them over with your car. Peeling a glued on mouse bomb off your tire isn’t pleasant. And pretty embarrassing when the neighbors see what an idiot you are.

  105. Geoff Says:

    We had mice. The dog loved to watch them run across the floor. I think the kill traps are messy – besides, the mice can be cute. And with the dog, we really didn’t want poison.

    Recommendation: Live traps with peanut butter. And to close off entry points, first staple in chicken wire, then plaster over. Last bit – vacuum early and often between the entry points and traps. The varmints use their droppings to mark places they’ve safely passed. If there are any droppings left, new critters will think they’re on course. If they don’t sniff any droppings on the other side, though, they’ll think they’re maybe lost and be less likely to try to get through.

    Haven’t seen a mouse in months, and I live in the back woods.

  106. JBP Says:

    O.K.

    I had the same problem a couple of years ago. First, trust me you do not want to poison them. The smell is terrible and long lasting.

    What finally solved the problem was me.

    After about six weeks of battling the things, I knew exactly where they lived and where they went for food, etc. One day, I turned on the light to the kitchen and saw one on the sink. When the the light went on, it started running to its hiding place under the dishwasher. I knew exactly where where it would go. Right next to my had was a huge barbeque spatula. In a near rage, I grabbed the spatula and slammed it right in front of the hole. BAMM! A clean kill. Well, except in my excitement, I broke the wooden handle. Then, a little light went on in my head. I had been trying to catch that bugger with traps for weeks!

    I went out and bought a metal spatula That night, I sat on the counter and waited with the lights low. After 15 minutes, another one came out of the hole. Enjoying myself, I watched it in anticipation. It cautiously moved across the floor. When it was at least two feet from the counter, I jumped down and BAMM! Another kill. It only took me a couple of days to get them all. And it was really fun. (I am a hunter anyway.)

    If you are young and in reasonably good shape, there is not a trap made that is as deadly to the little vermin as you!

    The only downside is that I had to buy a new spatula for the grill!

  107. Guipo Says:

    True Story. I used a Sticky trap once, and I kid you not, the mouse actually chewed up some paper, put it ont he sticky part and made a path, got the food and left. Smart little buggers.

    For me, its all about the peanut butter. works fast and is effective.

  108. Mike Daley Says:

    Ah, nobody seems to realize the perfect solution is the “Rat Zapper”, electrocutes the little beasties with only AA batteries.
    Google to find!
    Of course, as this is the last of 107 comments, nobody except Will, who I emailed, will benefit from this truism.
    Mike

  109. lumberjack Says:

    Those sticky things? You can’t imagine the work involved in unsticking a dog from them. Best to finish tiling the dog with them and telling everyone it’s a new breed.

    Could they be ignoring the peanut butter? Mine used to just lick it off very gently. I found the solution to be jamming a sunflower seed or slivered almond in the flap of the trigger, then covering THAT with peanut butter. Snap! Gets them.

    Or, for a sure kill, I once saw a grid set up by some Sears appliance repairmen. (I won’t identify any further who they worked for, except to say that it was for Sears) They plugged the grid right into the 115 V AC outlet at night and just let the little critters cook until morning. I never saw it in action but the blackened plywood under the grid testified to it’s effectiveness.

    Last possibility, one that PETA would approve of, well, more than the grid anyway, is the old standby: live traps plus a potato cannon. Added benefit, you can tell the opened-mouthed neighbor kids that the mice LIKE it.

  110. jkw Says:

    Get traps at Lowe’s….they have traps that look like they have a piece of plastic yellow cheese (the area where you put the peanut butter), they are .99 cents for 2. After applying the peanut butter, make sure they are set to SENSITIVE (noted by a small “s” on the yellow plastic part). Some mouse traps are more difficult to word than others and I have found these work like a charm. Good Luck!

  111. Deacon Blues Says:

    Get a big snake.

  112. Brendan Says:

    BLACK CHRISTMAS:

    Ingredients:
    —————————
    1. Old paint can
    2. Oil from last change
    3. Thin wood pieces
    4. Peanut Butter

    Instructions:
    —————————
    Fill paint can 1/2 – 3/4 of the way with oil (used). Put peanut butter along the rim of the paint can. Make a wood ramp to the paint can lip and put a second wood piece along the diameter of the paint can.

    Results:
    —————————
    Mice walk up ramp, as they cross the bridge, and eat peanut butter the fall in. Oil keeps them from stinking. Its the gift that keeps on killing, the next mouse follows along the same path to its doom. Over and over.

    Put this in a place where your animals and children cannot get at it. And if you have larger verment (squirells) don’t use – they are big enough to knock over the oil – no fun.

    Regards.

  113. Californio Says:

    train your dog to eat the mice. This may not work with your pet, but our late Australian Shepard/Border Collie mix would capture and chew up anything larger than a grasshopper, including but not limited to: mice, tree rats, oppossums, lizards, snakes, german beetles, jack rabbits, an alleged auto thief who ran through our backyard while fleeing police, the police dog who was chasing said thief, the postman, the electric meter reader’s umbrella, racoons, what looked like a bobcat – it got away, and on and on. [wiping away a tear] Man, what a great dog!

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