Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MOUSE IN THE HOUSE

This past weekend, when I was at the farm, staying inside where it was cool, taking a break from mowing, I was putting some stuff in a closet when I noticed something odd.  I moved a basket that had some fabric in it and saw that some of it had been chewed up a bit and the pieces had been made into a cozy, fluffy little nest. It was apparently on it's way to becoming a regular four star mouse spa.  There were none that I could find.
I envision that they take off running when we drive up and then hide somewhere, laughing.  I took it all outside to clean it, threw away the fabric that had been chewed up and brought the rest back inside, in drawers this time, while wondering how to combat this new enemy. Sure, a fuzzy and cute enemy, but still the enemy.  I'll admit, I'm a sucker for fuzzy and cute and alas, I don't have a mean bone in my body.  Except for poisonous snakes and spiders, wasps and all bloodsucking insects, but I digress.
We aren't out there full time to be able to have a cat, the whole circle of life thing.  We also can't use any sort of trap because we can't leave them like that for days at a time, that's not right either.  We can't put anything down that might kill them because again, we're not there to take care of the, um, end result. Besides, that goes back to the mean bone deficit I have.
Does anyone have any tried and true methods to make the mice want to live somewhere other than Seda Bolsa farmhouse?  Some sort of repellent?  Home remedy or herb?  Electronic device?  Since we're starting to take linens out there, have sheets on the beds, towels in the kitchen, etc, we need to nip this in the bud now before it gets out of control.  

31 comments:

ladyhawthorne said...

My Mom used those electronic things you plug in and she says they work. I think they also make certain bugs leave too.

Mandy said...

We use the electronic plug ins too. They usually work for us :)

kymber said...

sorry 1st man but the only true and proper deterrent that i know of is cats. i haven't tried the electronic things but have heard good things about them. good luck!

your friend,
kymber

2 Tramps said...

It is best to try and find the places where they are getting in. You can plug holes or cracks with steel wool so they can't chew their way inside. At our cabin we use bait bars - they dine and then dash to expire elsewhere. That said, when you live in the country sometimes you just have to put up with the occasional unwelcome houseguest...

rustyduck said...

It's a problem we can identify with only too well, unfortunately! We do have an electronic plug in indoors which has worked so far (touch wood).

But you'll also probably have them all over the land and in outbuildings. They do an awful lot of damage and we've tried just about everything on the market. Mice are smart. Truly smart. They will learn how to go into traps, scoff the bait and get out again. Like when your Mom used to leave mince pies out for Santa and only some crumbs were left in the morning? It's a constant battle, but part of living out in the country, I guess.

I'd also be really interested to know if anyone has found an answer! Jessica.

John Gray said...

we have three terriers and a killer cat and still they come!

Tombstone Livestock said...

First off check for incoming locations, I found water pipe that did not have metal piece around it, also check pipes and toe space under cabinets. Check dressers to see if there is a solid bottom or can they get under then up into drawers. I use large black "rat" size sticky traps, if you don't want to leave them out when you are not there, put some out when you first get there and see if you catch any, then you can take them up when you are gone. You can get the boxes that let them in but not out put some around outside. Or, take a large plastic bucket with a lid, some have a hole in the lid already, put some grain, or bread with peanut butter on it, place it outside where they can get up on top, they go in the hole and then cannot get back out. Trust me ... do not take them out and relocate them, they reproduce faster than rabbits. They are not cute, they are destructive and a health hazard. Good Luck.

AnywhereEden said...

The only way I've ever been able to manage mice was with cats and peanut butter. Peanut butter is pretty heartless, but I figure it's safer than poison. They love the stuff but it gums up their intestines and will kill them. Maybe a live trap set with peanut butter? Then at least the little rodent corpses are caught and you can more easily dispose of them... eww. Just be glad it's not a skunk!

Also, drawers probably won't save your fabrics, but airtight plastic storage bins will. Keep all the foods and fabrics safely stored in them and maybe the mice will give it up as a lousy place to hang out.

rustyduck said...

The plastic storage seems to work best if it's opaque. We stored peanuts for the birds in a clear one and the mice chewed right through to get to the sweetshop inside. But perhaps plastic bungs them up too? You'd like to think so. Jessica.

Peggi said...

We used the sticky traps once and don't think I will ever use them again. The poor little mouse was terrified and not dead when I found it stuck to the trap. I just couldn't stand seeing those little eyes looking up at me. I just use regular traps with peanut butter. At least they die quickly.

Liisa said...

Try Peppermint oil. http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Mice-Naturally

My sister tried it and it seemed to work.

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Cute mouse. So how many 'mouse in your pocket' jokes have you heard so far? :)

Domaine Coquelicots said...

Cat fur then?
One of my friend did it. She collected some cat fur from friends and she put it in specific area. Just the smell make them flee.
Good luck. And yeah a cat, a real one as soon as you are able to have one full time will solve the problem.

quiltvitrine said...

You can use cotton balls with peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. They do not like. I have used and the mice were gone. You put the cotton balls with oil down on the places where you do not want the mice. In addition you can some oil in a bottle with water and thus do spray your house. You will also like a fresh scent in the house. ;-)

melissa bee said...

http://journal.chrisglass.com/2005/09/how_to_catch_a_.html

1st Man said...

I always wondered if those worked? Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Awesome to know! I'm willing to try that.

1st Man said...

I know, I wish we could have them out there (we will someday!). 2nd Family that lives at the other end of the property has several cats. I'll have to ask next time I see them. I think I see an electronic thingy in our future!

1st Man said...

In an old house that's kind of hard but I will look. I do know of a couple small holes, but thought it was too small, perhaps not. Steel wool is a great 'eco friendly' solution. Thank you!

Yes, I do't mind the occasion houseguest, just don't want to have them all over the place. This is the first thing I've seen that is mouse related so I'm guessing (hoping?) it will an "occasional" thing.

1st Man said...

Another vote for the high tech! Yes, I have seen a couple while mowing, in the tall grass. Believe it or not, I used to have a pet mouse (two actually) when I was a young child. Probably why I cant' bear to kill them, ha, but I do know they are very smart. And probably why I don't see them around. They are hiding and plotting! ha.

1st Man said...

Well that's not encouraging, LOL! Maybe the cat is too full? LOL!

1st Man said...

I appreciate your realistic take. I will have to remember that. I just see fur and see cute. I can't help it. But perhaps I needed to be brought back down to Earth, ha. THank you!! I'll keep y'all posted on the "battle"!

1st Man said...

Anywhere, I have "smelled" a skunk while out mowing. I'm sure they are there somewhere, just hope they stay elsewhere. I thought about some sort of containers for linens and stuff. But like Jessica said, i hope these little buggers don't have steel teeth, LOL!

Thanks for the suggestions!!!

1st Man said...

:-( That's what I was afraid of hearing.

1st Man said...

Now that's cool! I love the idea of all natural solutions like that. I'll try it and let you know.

1st Man said...

Ha, you're the first. But probably not the last. LOL! :-)

1st Man said...

Cat fur is a great idea too! And with three cats at home (in the city) that's an easy source, ha. I can't wait to have another one (or two or three) out there someday. p.s. your kittens are adorable (everyone go check out her blog to see the kittens). :-)

1st Man said...

I love that idea too! Sort of like room freshener that is a mouse repellent too! Awesome. I think there is a place here in town that I've seen that has the peppermint oil (and other essential oils) for sale. I'll definitely try that. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

1st Man said...

Now THAT is ingenious, thank you for that link as well! Really smart, thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I work at a hardware store where we were often having mice come in and eat our grass- and bird-seeds. We found that placing bars of (original scent) Irish Spring soap has deterred the mice completely. It has worked well in my home too, as my cats are amazing at all things except rodenticide. In my home I place them where I think the mice were getting in (near a drafty door) and at the store we just set a couple of bars next to the seed bags. Good Luck!!

1st Man said...

Wow, that is very clever. Funny thing, I love the smell of Irish Spring soap so I wouldn't mind that scattered around, ha. There are a couple of spots that I wonder if that's where they are coming in. I was thinking too that we could put some behind the piers (it's a pier and beam house) outside, that might deter them from even coming around the house to begin with. Great idea, I think I might just try that first. Thank you!!