Monday, September 10, 2012

MOUSE IN THE HOUSE NEED MICE ADVICE

Mouse nest in basket
I opened a drawer at the farm and found the above in a basket.  I immediately thought "oh oh".  But before I could get the second "oh" out, I saw movement!  A live mouse!  In a drawer in the living room!  Eeek!


Channeling my inner "He-Man", I lifted the cabinet up, drawers and all, and took it out on the porch in about 15 seconds (OK, so it wasn't that heavy).  I pulled the top drawer out and there I was, nose to whiskers with a little brown mouse.  
Cute mouse, NOT actual size
Of course 2nd Man came out and what were the first words out of his mouth?  "Oh, he's so cute!"

That, however, was followed by screaming, as said "cute mouse" lunged jumped out of the cabinet and began running around on the porch, heading for the door to go back in.  Of course, then 2nd Man goes "get your camera!" (at least he's thinking about the blog!).  I run to get the camera, then I hear "get a broom!"  So I go get the broom and come out, "where's the camera?".  "You said bring the broom!"  "Yeah but we have to get a picture!"  "OK, let me snap a pic"  "He's getting away, get the broom".  Lord, give me strength.

So we proceed to chase it around with a broom (go ahead, laugh) but let me tell you, Mighty Mouse had nothing on this little guy:
Faster than a speeding bullet...
Like a blur it was up my tool bag and back down.  It's weird, they sort of hop like rabbits when they run.  Sort of a run/leap/run/leap/run motion.  In all fairness, I'm sure it was really looking to be anywhere but on the porch with two crazed city folk and a broom!  

Mouse
Eventually, I did get him down the stairs and into the yard and he was ready for his close-up (see above).  Yeah, sure, OK, kinda cute...but...

We found mouse droppings around the house!  In some window sills, behind pillows, along baseboards, in a few drawers, etc.  We didn't see any other mice and we checked all drawers and cabinets and under cushions and the couches just to make sure.  After 2nd Man spent the better part of about three hours cleaning everything from top to bottom "just to be sure", I'm guessing he was hoping I'd run over the "cute mouse" with the mower.

SO...I'm putting this out:


Help!  We need advice!

Here is our unique issue: We are not there full time so we can't have the dead carcass of a mouse in the house for a week.  That means poisons or traps are out.  I'm afraid to put poison around the outside of the house, because I worry they could go outside for dinner and go back inside to, um, meet their demise.

Ultrasonic?  Any sort of home remedy for repelling them?  Mothballs?  Some essential oils?  Any over the counter remedy I can buy at the store?

We've got curtains and beds made with sheets and blankets and pillows and couches and baskets galore.  We definitely need to nip this in the bud so it doesn't get out of control.

26 comments:

Sandy said...

Use peppermint oil. Mice don't like it, I would put some all around the outside of your house. I would also make sure any open area's of your house are sealed with silicone or chaulking. Field mice can also get in your house when you go in and out without you knowing. We used to have this problem in Virginia. Mice carry so many diseases. I would at least while your hoem put down some mouse traps with a very very little peanut butter. This attracts them. Before leaving, pick up the traps. You may have more than one and their hard to find if your looking for them.
Good Luck!

Linda said...

Caulk, caulk, caulk. Mice can squeeze under doors and through a hole the size of a dime! Neighbors got a cat you can borrow?

Dani said...

1st Man - Get a cat? with plenty of mice to eat, and a deep bowl of water, perhaps it'll be OK until the next time you return...

No, seriously, and co-incidentally, this landed in my reader view shortly before your post:

http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-and-store-bought-mouse-trap-designs-that-work

Some good idea's there - especially the water trap (water = dead mouse = no smell????)

Anonymous said...

We have a rural property that we do not get to visit frequently. Mouse problem is a BIG issue, not just because of disease, droppings and destruction. Where there are mice, there are likely to be other creatures that prey on mice, like snakes. We found a rat snake in the window of the house (inside the house). The dispatching of the snake is now part of family legend. We now keep D-con bait traps in several areas of the the house. I am much more willing to deal with a dead mouse body than a live snake.

ladyhawthorne said...

You could try several things to beef up your anti-vermin barriers. My Mom had good luck with the things you plug in, just make sure you get enough. With Hanta-virus on the rise, even in a house in The Woodlands I'd sure want to do do something too.

tami said...

Yikes! We just spoted mice in the garden! We're in the same boat sort of. None in the house yet. Kiki may be blind but he's still got it going on. I'd like to toss him in the garden but he's never been in there.

PB on a trap anyone?

Tombstone Livestock said...

And what did the mouse tear apart to build the nest in the basket. I swear by the Victor sticky rat traps, and I don't think there would be a problem with you leaving them out while you are not there. I would rather have a dead mouse in a trap for a few days than a live one getting into every thing. I have not had a problem with odor from a dead mouse. At least put out traps when you get there and remove them when you are gone. I have seen mice squeeze thru holes the diameter of a number 2 pencil. Their reproduction rate is unbelieveable. You can make a trap with the Victor traps by cutting a hole in a shoe box and place the trap inside. With the Hantavirus on the rise I would do whatever necessary to rid house of mice. Check out farm supply catalogs, check out Nasco online. Good luck, they are NOT cute, they are destructive. Check out all spots where they can come in, look at toe space under cabinets. I have a cabinet where it is connected to the wall and they go up under the toe space, also they can get in drawers the same way. If your dressers or furniture don't have a solid bottom consider putting plywood or masonite to keep them from climbing up into drawers.

kristine barr said...

I have a trap called a rat zapper It is enclosed and is battery operated a little pant butter inside and the mouse goes in and is electrocuted His body is inside the device Bet it wouldn't stink if you check it weekly btw is runs on d cell batteries

Kelly said...

I could send my dog over. He deposited the remains of a similar mouse onto my cushion on the couch when I got home from work today. LOL

Jess said...

Only have time for a quick note - I work at a hardware store where we sell the electronic devices. By hearing from people who have used them, they do seem to help quite a bit when you get enough. Ideally one per room, and up to two or three in larger, open spaces. the sound waves do not travel through walls or ceilings/floors. Plug them into a low laying outlet when possible. And it does take a few days for the sound waves to get through the house and start driving the mice away.

I have personally used the same device except it was programmed for spiders and insects. I plugged one into my seemingly spider infested kitchen; and I swear within one week I couldn't find on in the KITCHEN if I tried! Found em everywhere else but NOT in the kitchen. If I still lived there, I would have bought one for every room :-)

1st Man said...

I've heard that about peppermint oil but didn't know if it worked. Yes, we have to seal up. There are some gaps. I'm heading to the hardware store tomorrow to pick up some of that expanding foam and caulk. I've also got a couple spots that have small openings, I need to get some wood and gorilla clue them off, ha. I'm sure they were hiding, ugh. Thanks for the info!!

1st Man said...

Yes yes and yes! ha. A dime? Really? Yikes, I might have my work cut out for me. Ha, 2nd Family has several cats, i asked if they'd bring them up there and let them roam around. She said they're probably too full, LOL!

1st Man said...

Too funny, hey I might be tempted! And is it coincidence or providence? Ha. Thanks for the link, I like some of the ideas. Side note, LOVE the website too, thanks for sharing.

1st Man said...

OMG, if I walked in and had a rat snake curled up on the windowsill, I'd freak out, ha. Of course, a few of them in the bushes on the property if they'd eat mice, ha. I love that there is a family legend about the snake demise, too funny! thanks for stopping by.

1st Man said...

I have had some coworkers and others also mention those things. And yes, I think you have to make sure you have enough because as I read about them, they don't go through walls. Yes, the whole hanta-virus thing is nerve wracking. And yes The Woodlands is not that far away. Yikes.

1st Man said...

I guess we'll all learn together, ha. Mice in the garden might be making their way to the house, be watchful! I love that your cat is still got it going on, ha. Love it!

PB on anything, apparently it's a mouse favorite, ha.

1st Man said...

Thanks for the wise words! We think it was a pillow that they got the stuffing out of. I'll check out the victor traps. I've never been around a "post dead" mouse so I wasn't sure how bad it would be. Farm supply catalogs are a great idea, thank you. I know, I'm a sucker for furry and it was kind of cute but you are 100% right, they carry disease and we have possible hantavirus nearby.

GREAT idea about the bottom of dressers. There were a couple of them we found some droppings in and others that we didn't. I'm thinking the ones we didn't have solid bottoms. I will be taking care of that this weekend. Thank you!

1st Man said...

A rat zapper? Sounds interesting. I'll check it out. If it's ok for a few days I'd be ok with that too. Thank you!!

1st Man said...

I'd take a loan, if the repayment wasn't in mouse remains, HA! Hey at least you don't have mice now, right? ;-)

1st Man said...

Great info, thank you! I'm glad to hear. It sounds like I might have to make a combination of measures. Plugging holes, some electronic things in each room, and some traps. Thank you for the first hand info!

retiredruth said...

THere is very seldom ever just one mouse....

Anonymous said...

Expanding foam does NOT work for mice. They chew through it. Steel wool worked for me. But I also had to resort to the green poison bait bars, at first in the house because we had mice inside, and then I scrubbed everything inside to clean up the poison and mouse mess, and put the bait bars under the house (trailer - talk about not mouse proof). The traps had stopped working, even with peanut butter (old fashioned metal and wood spring traps). In my previous house a mouse popped in through an AC vent in the wall one evening (I heard the 'boing' noise it made as the metal vent expanded to let the mouse pass through) and was eventually sucked up with the vacuum after being cornered in a closet, and ended up being stomped in the vacuum cleaner bag on the front porch, with the light on at night, next to a fairly well travelled road, with me in my underwear and a pair of trail-running shoes...

Sandy said...

I've used PB on the traps and it works. Just very..very little. You don't want the mouse to eat and not get the snap of the trap.

1st Man said...

Thank you for being the voice of reason. I was trying to convince myself there is just a couple ha.

1st Man said...

WOW! I did not know that about the foam, thank you. I think I might use a combination of steel wool in the holes and then squirt the foam around it? I never thought about poison outside under the house (we have a pier and beam house). If I was sitting there and a mouse popped out of a vent I might pop out of my chair, ha.

Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

We used spring-traps...a tiny piece of cheese...and slam...mice were caught. Sad, but better than having them dirtying up the house with their infestation yuck.
It was several weeks before I deemed the house clean again.
We think it came in sneakily thru the gagage door when the hubs was carrying in some things...steathily little things.
The two dogs were definately not doing their jobs - as they watched it trek across the living room floor - and me screaming 'MOUSE' - of course the hubs thought I was outta my mind nuts - until he pulled back the couch and then jumped two feet in the air and did a jiggity dance when he saw the mouse. Yeah...right...hubs...who is the crazy one now? ha
I don't like to use the sticky traps - If I have to kill one, I want it to be quick and clean at least.
No signs of them in garage nor house this year...thank goodness...we threatened the dogs with a new family member of the feline persuasion if they ever fell down on the job again. ha They both ignored us, so they were not impressed with that threat - besides they know we are 'a-lyin' as their mommie is allergic to kittykats.

Hope your mice stay away now...steelwool will help...and the spray foam did help our situation...just keep the traps continually set - just in case.
good luck!
We are here in WTX, and see them any time of year.