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Gabby101's avatar

Keeping mice out of our house...

Asked by Gabby101 (2478 points ) January 24th, 2013

We recently moved back into our house (which we had been renting out) and found A LOT of mouse poop in the kitchen. I bought traps and in 10 days have caught 3 mice. In the mornings, I can smell urine or spray when I go into the kitchen (some mornings worse than others), but don’t find poop anywhere. The current trap had been baited and ignored for three days before catching this latest mouse. To me, this means it was a mouse entering the house for a visit, versus mice living in the house. Is this wishful thinking? I keep remembering all of the poop I found on the stove and thinking that it must have been caused by a lot of mice.

Additionaly, I keep reading suggestions to fill up the holes on the outside of the house to keep mice from getting in, but I guess I don’t understand what kind of holes to look for. Also, it would be fairly easy for mice to get in under our house because the crawl spaces are not sealed in anyway. Is this something to worry about?

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15 Answers

pleiades's avatar

You’re going to get some good responses soon. Trust me, I’ve asked. My only advice… Wage an all out war, take no prisoners, show no mercy. Fuck em all!

Gabby101's avatar

@pleiades, don’t worry! I hate them! I will do whatever necessary! I hate seeing one dash across the floor and worse, they stink because they pee/spray.

wundayatta's avatar

Since your crawl space is open, you won’t be able to keep mice out. They will keep on coming in for the warmth. It will be a constant battle. Keep laying traps. Lay many, and keep them out, baited with peanutbutter, mostly.

The other thing to think about is whether you want to lay out bait, as well. They’ll eat that and die from the poison. The problem is they’ll die in the walls and under appliances, and smell pretty bad for a few days, if you can’t find them. Or they might not smell, if they die in the right place. We found a desiccated mouse under our fridge when the fridge started dying and we tried to vacuum out the dust so keep the fan from seizing up. It was weird picking up this object by the pointy bit and discovering I was holding a dried up mouse by the tail.

Just keep those traps going. Rebait them once a week. Or not. I’ve let traps stay around for weeks until I’ve decided this current crop of mice are gone. One winter I caught 24 mice! But recently, we’ve had rats, and that cause my wife to spend tens of thousands of dollars patching up all the holes in our basement. We’ll see whether it was worth it. So far, no rats or mice this winter. But it’s really cold now. Now’s the time they’ll try to get in.

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually, using a Warfarin-based bait (the most common type, “the green stuff”) will pretty much dessicate the mouse as the means to killing it, and with no moisture there is little or no smell, especially when it goes back outside or into the wall cavities to die.

But a mouse can enter nearly any hole that you can poke a finger through. All they have to fit into the hole is their skull, and the rest of the body is flexible enough to pass through that penetration.

I personally prefer the old-fashioned hair-trigger “snap” traps baited with peanut butter, because that won’t kill a pet that gets into it accidentally. I only use poison in areas that Willow cannot possibly reach.

diavolobella's avatar

This is what worked for me in a similar (though not as severe situation). My home is on a crawlspace. I set out traps, but that did not solve the problem and one of the most frequent places the mice visited were my stove (they pulled out the insulation) and kitchen drawers where my utensils were located. The final straw was when I discovered mouse poop under my pillow on my bed.

As soon as I told my boyfriend about the problem, he had the solution. He told me to seal all the possible entry points (mainly where water pipes enter the house and around the hose to the dryer vent. Then he told me to buy as many flea/tick bomb foggers as I had rooms in my house and at least four for my crawlspace. We then removed all my pets from the house, put all the food (even food normally in cabinets) in the refrigerator, opened all the cabinets and drawers and set off all the bombs. At the same time (and this is the critical part) we set off and threw the extra bombs into the crawlspace and closed the door. After the allotted time required (per the instructions on the bombs), we returned, washed all surfaces and all of the dishes, etc. I have never had another mouse in my house in the three years since.

gambitking's avatar

Get a cat. Don’t name it Tom. (that cat only ever had one mouse to catch and he never could)

KNOWITALL's avatar

Three mice in ten days doesn’t sound like an infestation to us (hubby is helping answer for a bit since he’s the mighty mouse hunter). You do need to seal up holes with brillo pad or foam or something, anything bigger than a nickel should be sealed.

Make sure you clean the traps of all dead mice smell and re-bait. With no food source available, they’ll eventually all get caught. The other day I was cleaning a mosly unused cabinet, and found a beer coozy full of food so I’m looking for signs of mice. With two messy birds and a dog, there’s plenty to eat all the time, ughhhhh!

glacial's avatar

I agree with @KNOWITALL regarding the size of holes and how to plug them up. If you’re sure it was just one or two, great. If not, I strongly recommend getting a cat. Even borrowing one for a couple of weeks would help deter them for a long time, because that cat scent will persist (from the mouse’s perspective, anyway). I wouldn’t worry overly about entryways outside the house – I’d concentrate on holes inside.

majorrich's avatar

Always put the traps against a wall or in a channel. Mice don’t see particularly well so follow walls and sense of smell to get around. You might get better results.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, definitely against a wall or channel. As @majorrich might have put it in military terms: find the choke points and ambush them there. Find the places where they have to scoot between, say, an edge of a cabinet and the foot of a stove, or along the wall at the back of the under-sink cabinet where they have to run behind the stuff you have piled there.

Also, mine their approaches to water: drains, tiny leaks in pipes or places where condensation drips.

jca's avatar

You know who’s really into mouse-catching? Lucky Guy. I’ll try to message him on FB and maybe he’ll come here with advice.

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28lorelei's avatar

Yeah, since your crawl space is not sealed, it is a problem. I don’t know if there is any way you can get it sealed anymore…
but if you like animals, you can get a cat or a jack-russell terrier. They will have a dandy time catching all those mice. Also, their scent will keep the mice at bay (after my family got one of those jack-russells, there have been far less mice in the house than before).

Gabby101's avatar

Thanks for all of your suggestions. Glad to hear that you don’t think it’s an infestation, @KNOWITALL ! We plugged up all of the holes we could find on the inside of the house and will look around the outside once it stops raining. The crawl space will have to wait since we will have to hire someone. I will let you know how it turns out – so far, one night with no mouse in the trap!

RajeshJha's avatar

Although some mice are innocent, the mice that invade your home can anger you. Thanks for giving information.

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