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Mice!

AstnsAstns Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So I got an interesting xmas present this year. An infestation of mice in my apartment D:

I've tried the ultrasonic repellers and found that they are almost totally ineffective, so I'm thinking old fashioned snap-traps now.

Does anyone have any experience/tips/useful information for dealing with these little bastards? Cleaning mouseshit off of my kitchen surfaces in the morning gets really old, really fast.

Thanks

Astns on

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    CyvrosCyvros Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    There are plastic traps out there which kill mice pretty cleanly. I'd recommend trying peanut butter first rather than cheese. We had success with peanut butter for about a year, then the mice got clever and we've been using cheese since.

    Now, we wouldn't have had this problem if our damn cockatiels weren't so messy when they ate.

    Cyvros on
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    SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'd go traps over poison any day of the week, even if you do not have pets. Better to have to clean up the corpses than have them die en masse inside of a wall somewhere and stink up the place.

    Speaking of walls, crawl around (or find a mouse and chase it) and see how they're getting in. Make sure to check the insides of all of your cupboards and cabinets, behind the oven and fridge (underneath these two appliances seem to be popular nest sites for small mice), pretty much everywhere along the inside perimeter of the apartment. If you find an entrance (or entrances), seal them up.

    Remember though, the entrance may not be in the kitchen, this is just the most popular spot for a mouse to be since it is where all of the edible stuff is. Any room with pipes in it is a likely entrance site.

    Also, I'd bug my landlord about it.

    SmokeStacks on
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    AstnsAstns Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'd go traps over poison any day of the week, even if you do not have pets. Better to have to clean up the corpses than have them die en masse inside of a wall somewhere and stink up the place.

    Speaking of walls, crawl around (or find a mouse and chase it) and see how they're getting in. Make sure to check the insides of all of your cupboards and cabinets, behind the oven and fridge (underneath these two appliances seem to be popular nest sites for small mice), pretty much everywhere along the inside perimeter of the apartment. If you find an entrance (or entrances), seal them up.

    Remember though, the entrance may not be in the kitchen, this is just the most popular spot for a mouse to be since it is where all of the edible stuff is. Any room with pipes in it is a likely entrance site.

    Also, I'd bug my landlord about it.

    Pretty sure theyre coming in through the gaps around the pipes that lead to the boiler in the kitchen, tried blocking it up with steel wool, but the shape and angle of the gaps and pipes makes it nigh impossible to seal it completely and they're still getting through. I've resigned myself to just killing as many of them as I need to to get them gone.

    My thoughts exactly on the poison, heard a horror story from a friend about a poisoned mouse dying behind a fitted oven, by the time they found it, it was mostly goo and stank to high heaven.

    Astns on
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    ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    also seal up every food product you have. Throw out old food stuff into a lidded garbage can so they can't get into it. Even tiny crumbs make them want to come back again and again

    ihmmy on
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    Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I had a recent mouse-in-the-house adventure myself.

    I put out that poison that makes them dehydrated, so they leave to find water.
    glue traps with peanut butter (basically a big flat tray that's hella sticky so they step on it to get the peanut butter and can't get off)
    and sprayed the outside perimeter of the home with pest "repellent"

    have not seen or heard from a single mouse since doing this.

    Captain Vash on
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    AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm sure you're fine with killing the mice, but really please do not use glue traps. They are pretty much the most inhumane way to trap and kill mice.

    Prevention is the best way. Make sure everything is spotless, and even though the source of the hole is difficult to plug, try your best anyway. If you need to kill them, the classic snap-traps are the best chance of getting a clean kill.

    Asiina on
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    McVikingMcViking Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Rather than trying to stuff cracks with steel wool, try some of that self-expanding spray foam insulation. You'll get a nice air-tight seal, and I don't *think* the mice will bother to chew through it. It dries pretty solid.

    McViking on
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    For non-lethal traps you can buy little "houses" that have a weighted lever in them. It makes a ramp, they go in after the food (I used peanut butter), and once they're all the way in the weight raises the ramp back up so they can't exit.

    Once it got cold I had some sneak in from my dryer's exhaust hose. I don't think they ever left the laundry room so I guess they just wanted some heat.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
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    fyastarterfyastarter Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Get a cat?

    fyastarter on
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    Enos316Enos316 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I've used snap traps and they works well. Place them along your walls and bait them with peanut butter.

    Enos316 on

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    SmokeStacksSmokeStacks Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Astns wrote: »
    I've resigned myself to just killing as many of them as I need to to get them gone.

    I had a similar feeling when I moved into an old house that was built at the turn of the century (the 1899-1900 turn of course), and there were mice. At first we tried trapping them to set them free in a nearby field, then we tried blocking their access, and finally we decided that The Time For Diplomacy Was Over and we had an all out Mouse genocide.

    One thing to remember is that mice can multiply fairly quickly, and if it's cold out where you are you're likely going to be attracting a significant amount of mice in general, so if you're resorting to only killing them, you might be in it for a while. You should definitely look into the foam that was mentioned (or maybe some kind of moldable clay that will dry hard, like Play-Doh? I don't think mice would find that very appetizing to chew through but I may be wrong) as well as snap traps, this way even if you do kill them all, you won't be looking at a new infestation next year when it gets cold again.

    SmokeStacks on
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    PasserbyePasserbye I am much older than you. in Beach CityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The foam insulation's a good idea, mice don't have the same kind of jaw strength as rats do so chances are they won't be able to gnaw through it. Other than that, go with the peanut butter and the snap-traps, It'll kill them quickly and, IIRC, you can reuse the traps.

    Cats aren't such a good idea (I've lived with cats my whole life, literally) because indoor cats which are fed regularly are inconsistent hunters - they have no need to exert themselves. Some (usually females) will try to catch something even if they're not hungry, but most won't; males can be even more inconsistent.

    Passerbye on
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    EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    What others have said. Snap traps, peanut butter.

    Keep the traps in the same places each time. When one catches a mouse, mark the bottom with pen. That way you know where you're getting the most 'hits'. It's also nice to look back and see just how effective it's been.

    Maybe I'm just strange that way.

    Everywhereasign on
    "What are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the goddamn Batman!"
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    oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Peanut butter works, but I like to change up the bait on them. I feel like it keeps the mice on their toes. Whatever you use make sure it's firmly affixed to or smeared on the trigger mechanism in a small amount so that they have to trigger it to get to the good stuff.

    oldsak on
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    TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    you could use glue traps and check them a couple times a day. A few drops of mineral or vegetable oil will free the stuck, but live, mice and you can set them free far away.

    Trillian on

    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I second the cage traps. Much more humane, and you can even pretend that you have a pet mouse as you feed it while figuring out where to set it free.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    rat poison seems like a pretty effective way to say Fuck Off

    I don't know if mice are capable of communication, but when I set out rat poison pack, I saw that some of the pellets had been spilled after a while, but after that I never saw any mice...

    Sam on
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    illigillig Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sam wrote: »
    rat poison seems like a pretty effective way to say Fuck Off

    I don't know if mice are capable of communication, but when I set out rat poison pack, I saw that some of the pellets had been spilled after a while, but after that I never saw any mice...

    yeah, but then they die in your walls/floors and stink while they rot...

    illig on
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    ah mice. so i personally like snap traps since they are effective. if you can fid the one with the faux cheese trigger those are the best since they have a hair trigger. always put the trap perpindicular to the wall with the triggger on the wall side (duh).

    glue traps suck. inhumane, only really useful once. more often if only part of a mouse gets caught in it, you end up with a mouse missing a leg or so.

    if you are feeling adventurous. get a 5 gallon bucket. put a dowel across the middle secured by 4 nails so it can spin freely. build a ramp up to the edge of the bucket, fill bucket halfway with water and coat the dowel with sardine juice or peanut butter. wait. every so often pour out dead mice

    mts on
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    ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I've dealt with mice a couple of times before. Traps are okay, but you'll never get all of them in traps. The fact that you live in an apartment (I assume a complex) means that even if you clean up bits of food and seal the holes, mice will still be coming back about once a year as your neighbors are unlikely to do the same. Even though it's nasty and has disadvantages (smelly corpses), I just dump a crap load of mouse poison near their entry points. This will kill ALL the mice, as they generally feed it to the younger ones. I've had one instance where a mouse died behind the washing machine, which was kind of smelly before I figured it out and had to move the appliances around to get rid of it, but other than that they usually walk out in the open to die, or die under the house or outside somewhere convenient.

    Edit:

    Forgot to mention glue traps suck. My girlfriend (at the time) got some as they were advertised as "humane" traps and we weren't yet to the point of hating the mice, so it seemed like the thing to do. DON'T. I guess we didn't think it though all the way, because after we laid them out one night there was a terrible squeaking noise coming from downstairs the next morning. We went down and saw the poor trapped mouse on the glue pad squirming and screaming (for who knows how long) and we were like, now what do we do? Bash it with something? Then the dog came running up to investigate and got his face stuck to the pad with the screaming mouse on it and HE freaked out and started running around the house barking and clawing at his face while the mouse shreiked even louder (I didn't know mice could do that). It was a terrible mess.

    Chalkbot on
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    DMACDMAC Come at me, bro! Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    I've had to deal with mice a couple of times, luckily always at places I was only staying temporarily. As people have said, glue traps are pretty awful because you have to deal with the mouse being stuck but not dead and freaking out. Finding blood and mouse bits because one has torn itself free is disturbing. On the other hand, the snap traps don't always do the job instantly either. They're definitely more likely to give a quick kill but I've also heard the snap and arrived to find a mouse thrashing and spurting blood. As much as I hate having mice running around where I live, I find that kind of stuff really unnerving.

    If it's not a major infestation, I'd definitely be tempted to start with the cage traps and see how that works. I would also pick up some good rubber gloves and disinfectant for clean up no matter which traps you use.

    DMAC on
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    If it's mainly the pipes, get some metal covers.

    They're just hinged metal wall plates that cover the space between the pipe and the cutout. Cheap, and can be found at any DYI store.

    MichaelLC on
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    OrestusOrestus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Probably not adding much to the thread but I'll agree on the glue traps. I caught three mice over about 4 years of living at my old apartment and it really sucked having to wake up to the sound of a half stuck mouse flopping on the trap and squeaking (i.e. screaming). I didn't know what to do w/ them either, I ended up putting the trap into old shoe boxes, tying that up in a plastic garbage bag, and throwing it in the dumpster...what a shitty way to go, I still feel bad about it whenever I think about it, and I'm not the kind of person who would generally have any issue killing a bunch of mice to keep my apartment clean and healthy.

    Orestus on
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    CyvrosCyvros Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    DMAC wrote: »
    On the other hand, the snap traps don't always do the job instantly either. They're definitely more likely to give a quick kill but I've also heard the snap and arrived to find a mouse thrashing and spurting blood.
    We've had one or two thrashing, no spurting blood though. They were the usually the smarter ones who had previously pulled the bait out without the trap going off. While I was trying to take out of the house one of the ones which was thrashing in the trap, the bugger escaped and ran under the house. He died in the same trap the next night after we reset it.

    If you go for a snap trap, get a plastic one (the ones we have have little 'hoods', so you don't see the heads, but there's no mess). Mum's told me enough stories of blood and gore with the old-fashioned metal traps (when she was younger and they were killing rats and mice) to make me never want to use a metal trap.

    Cyvros on
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    GothicLargoGothicLargo Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    fyastarter wrote: »
    Get a cat?

    As amusing as the suggestion is...

    Predation is kinda an unreliable way to deal with the problem. Hunting behavior varies based temperament and interest. Some cats will mouse, and some won't. Of the ones who will, some will decide that you deserve the mouse and drop it somewhere convenient, like on your bed or out in the open on the carpet. Others will eat it (leaving a mess), get sick, and puke everywhere.* Further, predation often won't deter mice, it will just motivate them to start choosing paths where they can't be attacked, like through couches or cardboardium boxes.

    *The moral of the story here is you can't win.

    GothicLargo on
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