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Mat74UK's avatar

How do you deal with mice problems?

Asked by Mat74UK (4646 points ) November 26th, 2011

How do you deal with mice problems?
I knew I had a problem with mice getting into my garage in winter but I’ve never known how bad until I got adopted by a cat about a month ago. She has fetched about ten to my door and I’ve been in the garage this evening and noticed a plastic bag has been chewed up so I set a couple of traps with strawberry jam and have just got my first mouse.
My garage is really cluttered at the minute and there is nowhere else for the clutter to go.
What do you use on your traps?
How can I go about being more effective?

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33 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I have always found that having cats around has effectively eliminated the mouse problem. Mice just aren’t interested in my area if there are cats.

chyna's avatar

I would use peanut butter on the traps. Set out as many as you can, 30 wouldn’t be unrealistic. My concern would be that the cat would accidentally get caught in a trap though. You should keep the cat away from this area while using traps. I do not recommend poison as the rats will eat it and crawl in the walls to die and leave a horrible smell. Also, the concern is that the cat could eat the poison.

Mat74UK's avatar

Cheers for that. The cat will be safe, the garage in question is a free standing concrete structure a few yards from the house. But yes poison is out of the question.

mrrich724's avatar

1. Block the holes the mice use to enter the facility. Usually exhaust holes somewhere in the garage. There are metal plates with exhaust vents built in that can be put over the holes.

2. Ensure that the garage is always clean, nothing should ever be stored there that will attract mice (water or perishable items)

3. Work on decluttering if you can. Odds are you don’t need an entire garage worth of stuff to live, INCLUDING all the stuff that’s already in your house. See what you can part with to make a little space to access those hiding areas.

Besides bait traps, the superglue sticky traps work wonders. Slide those where the mice would walk, they get stuck, DONE.

Also, our old pest control guy had a box of food to leave out for the mice. Looked like rabbit food pellets. They would eat it, it would cause them to get REALLY thirsty, and with no water sources except sources OUTSIDE the garage, the mouse would go outside. Once it drank the water, the poison was activated and it would kill them pretty instantly.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have a professional pest control service that comes every other month, and will also come when called for specific issues.

Mat74UK's avatar

@YARNLADY – cheers but a bit cash strapped just before xmas. Gotta do it myself.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Mat74UK My son purchased a product at the home improvement store to kill them. He has no mice now, but we don’t have any idea what happened to the dead ones.

Mat74UK's avatar

@YARNLADY – I don’t mind that as the house is not attached to the garage! I’ll look next time I go to town.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wait…you’re going to wipe out little mousie families just before Christmas? What kind of a crazed heartless monster are you? You should wait til New Years then nuke their little furry butts!

Mat74UK's avatar

@JilltheTooth – My tents, fishing gear and shooting equipment depend on it!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@chyna has the right idea. Go at them brutally and with massive overkill. Buy the real Victor mouse traps – not the cheap Chinese knock offs. I use bird food (sunflower seeds). for bait. If there is any blood on the traps I discard them other wise I reuse them. 32 traps will cost you about $6 at a big box store. Do it. You have to kill them all within 6 weeks to be sure you get a full breeding cycle.
Go git ‘em.

Mat74UK's avatar

@worriedguy – Bear in mind that I’m in the UK. 32 traps here will probably cost me £30! Good advise though!

cheebdragon's avatar

WetVac’s are the best way to catch them….seriously.

JilltheTooth's avatar

You guys are brutal…

Mat74UK's avatar

@JilltheTooth – When the little ba*%$+ds eat your tents, fishing gear, books rugs etc… you have to be!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, I know, I’ve done the whole thing. I just don’t like it.

cheebdragon's avatar

Catching mice with a WetVac might sound mean, but it’s honestly the most humane way, (even PETA would approve), the mice don’t get hurt at all, a little scared maybe, but it doesn’t kill them. You can take the vac to a field (cough…...or to the home of someone you don’t like…..cough, cough) and release them.

Tilden_Katz's avatar

Glue traps. I don’t like poisons because it kills wildlife that feed on rats.

blueiiznh's avatar

Defense first:
You need to remove the reason why they are coming there in the first place. Get rid of anything they are feeding on first. They may be there to just spend the winter. Seal off the area as best as you can.
Offense Second:
Cats and traps. The cat will leave these little presents for you, but you will know they are doing their job.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m so sorry to hear that you have a mouse problem. Count yourself fortunate that it is limited to the detached garage. Let’s start with preventative measures.

Not only do you want to prevent damage of belongings, but you need to discover what the draw is. It could just be shelter, but there is most likely something that keeps them around. In my house, it was an open tin of dog biscuits on a shelf in the garage. In Mom’s, it was a sack of bird seed. She now stores it in airtight plastic containers.

Secondly, look for ways of the mice to enter the garage. From what I’ve read, their bone structure is fairly flexible, allowing them to work their way in through small crevaces. Another article on the internet suggests putting vinegar-soaked cotton balls around entrances. Apparently, mice are repelled by the smell. Personally, it sounds like a lot of work to keep this up, but if it works, so be it.

It also sounds as if it is time to have a major garage cleaning and reorganization. Even if there is nothing inside to attract the mice other than shelter, know that they poop like mad. Better to clean and declutter now than later. Their droppings become a health hazard to the family.

The traditional mouse traps are probably the most humane and one of the cheaper solutions for ridding an area like an infested garage. As for what to use as bait, I’ve heard cheese, peanut butter, jam, etc. Just try different items and see what works. They are hungry little critters and will eventually seek out what is offered.

wilma's avatar

Also if you get an outside cat, make sure to feed it well. I know of people who don’t feed their barn cats because they think that they won’t kill the mice if they aren’t hungry.
Cats hunt for food, but they also hunt for sport.
You want them to have food and shelter at your house so that they stick around. Otherwise they will go down the road and find someone who will feed them regularly.

creative1's avatar

Get an vegetable oil bottle with about ¼ of an inch of oil left in it and leave it in the garage with the cap off. The little bugger will climb right in and not be able to get back out, they love the sweet smell of the oil. When you catch one just put the cap on and put it in the trash it will die of suffication. Repeat until you catch all the little buggers in there.

You can also get have an exterminator give you some poison that they will take back to their nest where it will kill them all. That is always another option.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I vote against sticky traps – these are very cruel to the animal, and why do that if there are other choices? Snap traps are the simplest and most humane, but a cat is the most effective option, in my experience. If you go with poison, get the stuff that dries them out, so they don’t rot in your walls and create an extra health hazard.

wundayatta's avatar

Trap, traps, traps. Professionals have some special goo for baiting traps. Us amateurs generally use peanut butter. Sometimes just setting traps seems to scare them away, even if you don’t catch any. We have two traps in the kitchen now.

This mouse used to run across the floor in front of all of us, like he was thumbing his nose at us. This happened day after day. We finally set traps, and while we haven’t caught anything, neither have we seen or heard of a mouse since. Odd. They’ll be back.

Last year we had a rat (rats?). They are smart. We tried three different kinds of traps, and it wouldn’t go near them. Finally we had to use what the exterminator calls “bait.” Once we got rid of the rats, we had to wall out any others. We were told the rat was coming in along the sewer line. There was a big hole in the basement left from when someone had to fix the sewer pipe.

So we spent thousands and thousands of dollars getting a tiny portion of the wall pargeted. It’s an old house and the foundations are just rocks with sand filling in between them. No mortar. No rats so far, but then, we’d never had any in the first 20 years we lived here. Maybe if we get the basement fully walled off, and the holes in the walls where the joists are and insulation and god knows what all else, we might seal out the mice. But I ain’t counting on it.

jazmina88's avatar

I’m allergic to cats, no more felines for me. I have dogs now.
Nobody has mentioned the sonic devices you plug into the wall. I have a few. I used them a couple of years ago and just recently got them back out. No poison.

flutherother's avatar

If you get a nice day I would clear everything out of the garage sweep it out and put the stuff back in only tidier. This will disturb any hiding places the mice have found. The cat might even catch a few mice while you are doing it. It will be easier to identify mouse holes in an empty garage.

JLeslie's avatar

I vote for find out where they are getting in. If the garage has weep holes that is the easiest and most likely spot. Stuff steel wool in the holes. As many times as people try to tell me and explain to me why the holes are necessary, I simply don’t believe it. I hate this type of construction. This is the first time in my life my outer walls purpsoely have holes, and the first time I have to worry about animals getting in.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I live in an older home in the country and need to stay on top of the situation or squirrels, chipmunks, and mice will take over. Sure, they are cute and fun to watch, but they breed like crazy and do tremendous damage.
I store my traps in a small bucket filed with bird food. The wood becomes infused with the irresistible aroma of sunflower, corn, millet and touch of soy. The whole trap acts a a lure. I jam sunflower seeds into the bait pedal and vary the trap placement. Some are parallel to the wall , some are perpendicular. In my barn, I even place some vertically by screwing them to the wood kick plate near the floor.

I check my trap line daily and keep track of which location is the most productive. I then beef that spot up with extra traps. Every week I reinfuse the traps for a day or so, whether they are used or not, so they always smell delicious.

Remember, even if you see only one mouse, one trap is not enough. You need to put out a dozen. You must act quickly before the next one has a chance to breed.

I dispose of the bodies out back where fox, coyote, and scavenging birds can enjoy them.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

A mouse wouldn’t dare show his face at my house. I have three cats. Even if you catch all the mice, new ones will come into your garage if it’s cluttered. Also spiders and other vermin. The only permanent solution is to clean up the garage.

glut's avatar

Get yourself a cat.

glut's avatar

I have five cats.

Mat74UK's avatar

@glut – did you read anything at the top?

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

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