Mouse problem or, are mice much of a problem?

Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet:Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
So we have mice in the house. We periodically do, especially in winter, and we typically put up traps and the like and for many years we had cats, which kept the numbers low, but even without the cats I doubt we have more than a few at any given time. My question is, should I be considering the presence of mice in the house as more of a health risk and be doing more/contacting an exterminator to get rid of them? In particular I'm worried about their droppings and the like, as we have many small corners it's hard to keep clean and I sometimes leave clothes lying around at night, and I know they've been in my closets. I've always assumed that mice are pretty common and a lot of people will have some every once in awhile, them being hard to keep out on a permanent basis, but recently I've been concerned I should be a lot more diligent about controlling them and cleaning when they're around than I have been.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    I mean wild mice can carry the plague or hanta virus so how much do you like solid organs that stay inside your body?

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    Generally, speaking mice are mice and will always be around.

    The odds of catching a disease from a mouse are low, unless you are not exercising proper food hygiene in a food prep/storage area like a kitchen (and washing your hands, etc). You'd be likely to get salmonella before anything else though. The hanta viruscwould likely be a concern if you had enough mice to urinate in a high enough concentrations to risk airbone exposure to it, or you are, for some reason knowingly sniffing mice urine or droppings. If you're in the city, then hanta virus is pretty low (deer mice are more liable to have it than house mice). But cleaning of those areas would limit the risk, and deprive them of food. Sealing holes into your home, etc would also help.

    If you are say... having to clean a corner or something like, daily because it is very visibly contaminated by mouse feces, you should probably call an exterminator, because that's a lot of mice.

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  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Depending on the house, the occasional mouse is just sort of part of the deal. Traps (and cats) will of course help if you have low numbers, but I've see much more satisfying, long term success trying to think like a mouse, figure out what routes they're using and why they're going where they're going, and blocking those paths. Keeping them away from food will eventually solve the problem.

    Solve here of course meaning only the occasional mouse. Even if you're not getting too many, if you're starting to think maybe it could become an issue, it's better to act sooner rather than later. Speaking from experience!

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  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    Depending on the house, the occasional mouse is just sort of part of the deal. Traps (and cats) will of course help if you have low numbers, but I've see much more satisfying, long term success trying to think like a mouse, figure out what routes they're using and why they're going where they're going, and blocking those paths. Keeping them away from food will eventually solve the problem.

    Solve here of course meaning only the occasional mouse. Even if you're not getting too many, if you're starting to think maybe it could become an issue, it's better to act sooner rather than later. Speaking from experience!

    Remember, you don't have to be perfect in sealing up your house, just measurably better than your neighbors.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Sealing up your house, cats and dogs and removing building materials are the most effective ways to control mice. The presence of predators matters more than their mousing abilities.

    Baiting works ok, traps work reasonably well.

  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    It also helps to know where they are coming from are there open fields or such nearby? Any grocery stores or clumps of fast food places?

    I am overran with predators from feral cats to coyotes, hawks and I have seen a nest of gila monsters. as well as great plains rat snakes that paid me no heed as they sunned themselves on a bike path. I know there are mice around when I was at Walmart but I feel the number of predators keep the numbers low

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    Amusing story. When I lived in Colorado a mouse was caught in a spider web. And so I grabbed my brothers cat who was a bona fide mouser to see her in action. She walked up pawed the mouse and then walked away in contempt to me being like “I thought you were a mouser.” I killed and disposed of the mouse. That evening, apparently in hurt pride...dead mouse on my pillow.

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  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited February 1
    zepherin wrote: »
    Amusing story. When I lived in Colorado a mouse was caught in a spider web. And so I grabbed my brothers cat who was a bona fide mouser to see her in action. She walked up pawed the mouse and then walked away in contempt to me being like “I thought you were a mouser.” I killed and disposed of the mouse. That evening, apparently in hurt pride...dead mouse on my pillow.

    Domestic cats are kind of broken as predators. They're thrill predators that kill for play more than food. They'll kill far more than the will ever eat no matter how well fed, they'll torture their prey, they'll release it just to chase it again and hurt it to hear it squeak. It's great for pest control, because they'll kill and kill and kill until they're out of things to kill. It's also really bad for the local small animal population because they will also do this to birds, lizards, frogs, fish, snakes, bugs, worms, whatever.

    Offering her a trapped mouse didn't give her anything to hunt for. The dead mouse was a pity gift since you clearly can't kill them properly yourself. You got the dead mouse you asked for, and she probably got a few great minutes of play out of it before it died.

    Hevach on
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  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    Very belated update, we had some exterminators in, my dad dithered about hiring them but promised to make some of the changes they suggested like not keeping his food out, and did no such thing. I just today cleaned up some in the kitchen and found a terrifying little pile of droppings in the far counter corner near the wall. I'm pushing my dad again on hiring the exterminators, but as I don't think they're an essential service and this being the age that it is, besides trying again likely in vain to make my dad more conscientious about leaving food out (Though I have put what I can in tupperware) is there really anything else I could reasonably do right now?

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    have you put out traps? I catch a few mice every fall in my traps.The blocky looking plastic snap traps ones work better than the old school lever on a board traps. I think the brand I have are called Jawz. Fill the cup with peanut butter.

    Trash needs to go out every day. Sink needs to be empty and washed of food. Counter needs to be wiped off. Floor needs to be swept. Vacuum everywhere every few days. If your dad can't do it, put it on a daily checklist for you. It doesn't take this long to do these things.

    More single or infrequent chores. Move the fridge if you can and sweep under it. I'm always collecting food under there because of the kid. Move all the couches and sweep or vacuum under. Remove nest material like cardboard boxes. Some spray foam will stop mice. It is very cheap. spray open cracks on the exterior or garage areas you think they are coming in. If they continue to chew through put in some steel wool in the foam. This deters them even more because it scratches them up if they try to chew it. Remove everything from cupboards and wipe them down. Make sure they aren't in there eating crackers or anything. That's what will get you sick. All grains or pasta should be in sealed containers.

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  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    I think hiring an exterminator is probably unnecessary for most mouse problems. I will mention a little trick I learned to ensure that you will actually catch mice. If you are using the standard mouse trap, bait the traps with peanut butter and put them out, but do not set them. Leave them overnight, and check them the next day. If the peanut butter is gone, you know that the trap is in a good place. Bait it with peanut butter again, and set it this time, put it back in the same spot. If the traps have not been touched, move them somewhere else, but don't set them until they eat the peanut butter once. I put mine in the pantry closet, in between the fridge and the counter, under the sinks in the kitchen and the bathroom. Keep rebaiting and placing traps until you stop catching mice and stop seeing mouse droppings.

    I don't like using poison or glue traps, but I do have poison out in my garage in the corners and behind shelves, since I am pretty sure that they get into my garage first before they enter my house. This last time I had to use glue traps because I had some crafty little ninja mice that were eating the peanut butter without setting off the trap. If it's a bad infestation, I would use all three, standard mouse traps, glue traps and poison.

    Good luck

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  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    Not to be a corporate shill. But, I bought one pack of each of these and loaded them with peanut butter five months ago. Point the jaws to the wall leading to where you think they are and you'll literally kill a dozen in the first week.

    https://www.amazon.com/Authenzo-Catcher-Effective-Sanitary-Families/dp/B07HQMLHCL/ref=sxin_3_ac_d_pm?ac_md=3-1-QmV0d2VlbiAkMTUgYW5kICQyNQ==-ac_d_pm&cv_ct_cx=mouse+trap&keywords=mouse+trap&pd_rd_i=B07HQMLHCL&pd_rd_r=3558f374-bcef-4377-87b3-aad3495e1354&pd_rd_w=t707W&pd_rd_wg=tSHAW&pf_rd_p=516e6e17-ed95-417b-b7a4-ad2c7b9cbae3&pf_rd_r=Z9R0B2N9F89XDM2AF06H&psc=1&qid=1585329482

    https://www.amazon.com/Rodent-Killer-Reusable-Effective-Catcher/dp/B07FDZY21W/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=mouse+trap&qid=1585329482&sr=8-6

    You'll note that each of these traps were loaded when temps were below freezing. That was not an error. I still have not refilled a single trap of its formerly frozen peanut butter and each one is still murdering mice.

    Again, buy one of each of these sets, and put them jaws facing to the wall of where you think your mice are travelling.

    If you have any more questions about specific trap placement then DM me.

    I hate mice.

    Fuck mice.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    I think hiring an exterminator is probably unnecessary for most mouse problems. I will mention a little trick I learned to ensure that you will actually catch mice. If you are using the standard mouse trap, bait the traps with peanut butter and put them out, but do not set them. Leave them overnight, and check them the next day. If the peanut butter is gone, you know that the trap is in a good place. Bait it with peanut butter again, and set it this time, put it back in the same spot. If the traps have not been touched, move them somewhere else, but don't set them until they eat the peanut butter once. I put mine in the pantry closet, in between the fridge and the counter, under the sinks in the kitchen and the bathroom. Keep rebaiting and placing traps until you stop catching mice and stop seeing mouse droppings.

    What's the point of this exactly? Because another way to tell if the trap has been set in a good spot is if there's a dead mouse in it.

    Set your traps.

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  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    I would assume so the mice think it's a safe place to get food, as they've already gotten food from it once?

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    I would assume so the mice think it's a safe place to get food, as they've already gotten food from it once?

    Mice aren't that smart.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
    Smrtnik
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    Mice are plenty smart enough to learn and remember good, safe places to find food. I'm still not sure if the extra step is worth the effort; presumably you could have just killed them the first time they came to the trap, if it was set. I could easily be wrong, though.

    Smrtnik
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    Mice are plenty smart enough to learn and remember good, safe places to find food. I'm still not sure if the extra step is worth the effort; presumably you could have just killed them the first time they came to the trap, if it was set. I could easily be wrong, though.

    I caught 11 mice last fall with one trap in the same place in my basement. It is good to learn where they are coming in rather than having the trap across the house, but I always set the trap with peanut butter and I caught that many mice as they were coming in to be inside for the winter. I had reason to suspect that they were coming in in a certain place. I always knew when the trap had a mouse because I'd check it every night and it had fallen off the part of the foundation I had set it on. In order to get at the peanut butter, a mouse must step on the trigger.

    This is the trap I use.

    https://www.amazon.com/Eaton-409BULK-Plastic-Mouse-Liquid/dp/B081S8PYM2

    I've never had the trap go off and not have a mouse in it. By baiting the trap and not setting it, I would just be feeding the mice and doubling the time it took to kill it instead of just killing the mouse.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
    Smrtnik
  • Ark EvensongArk Evensong The NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    I think that specific advice is probably more related to saving fingers than to more efficiently catching mice. Probably don't want to handle/move around traps very much after they've been set, in case you place 'em somewhere mice don't frequent.

    (Note, I haven't handled a mousetrap in my life, for all I know you should train them on fingers so they'll get a taste for blood and be more effective mice killers in the long run.

    Er.

    I mean, are perfectly safe to move around when set? and/or everyone knows how to disarm safely before further handling?)

  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    Mice like to run along walls so we tend to put traps with the trigger side closest to the wall. We don’t even bait the traps anymore.

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  • DonnictonDonnicton Registered User regular
    Rolling log mouse traps are effective as well, though they're not exactly the most humane (it relies on dropping the mouse into a bucket of soapy water where they drown). They are great for heavier infestations as they can trap multiple mice at a time rather than ones you have to reset each mouse.

    knitdanzepherin
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    We occasionally used those as well but they take a bit more time and effort to set up

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