At the risk of jeopardizing my manhood – I hate mice. I admit it. Beyond a solid dislike for the rodents they propose a definite threat to existing food supplies if they gain access. The last thing I need with grocery store shelves bare and resupply questionable is to open a 20 pound bag of rice to find “Mickey” staring up at me.
Of course food stores need to be stored away in protective containers such as buckets however that is not always practical nor available. Taking out these dastardly mini-demons need to be thought about and prepared for ahead of time.
Here are three ways which to reliably deal with mice – and their larger brother – the rat:
#1: Mouse Traps – One of the most perfect inventions ever made – the mouse trap simply baits the mouse and when the bait is taken the trap is triggered and the mouse is no more.
Once the trap is sprung and the mouse is in mouse-heaven, it can be picked up and tossed in the trash.
Another use for mouse trap – or especially the larger rat trap – is for catching small game such as squirrels. Cheap trapping method.
#2: Poison -The second method for ridding yourself of mice is poison. Basically the mouse nibbles on the tasty stuff and they keel over and die. I don’t really care for this method unless you do not have any pets. Not good if the family pet decides to snack on the mouse poison for themselves.
#3. Cat. Yup – probably one of the top reasons for the demise of tens of thousands of mice every year – cat’s. Cat’s are a great addition to the homestead and barn.
So – what has worked for you? All I know is whatever method will kill – I like it.
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23 thoughts on “Rodents after it “hits the fan””
Rourke- just when I didn’t think you could be higher in my opinion-you upped yourself once again. It takes a real man to share what he doesn’t like !!(smile!)
I agree poison can also kill pets if they eat the poisoned mouse. The fast kill trap is the most humane method and the cats. We have 4 cats that patrol the barn and home and cellar. I don’t mind mice but I dislike those large rats. Those traps can break a hand so be careful if children are around-hide them in places a child cannot get near.Arlene
I had a bit of a rodent infestation in some of my food preps recently… it did not end well. For the mice anyway. You can check out some lessons learned here:
Allow me to wander a bit; Living out in the country for a spell as a child offered a different definition of -acceptable behavior- than other more suburban locals. On every other Saturday morning a friend and I would sling our bolt action 22’s and ride our bikes the 7 miles or so to Loyd’s Market to purchase a 50 count box each of 22 caliber shells. Loyd would see us enter his store, rifles in hand and new exactly what we had come for…. the ammo and 2 bottles of pop. We would guzzle our drinks, return the bottles for our deposit and then ride another 5 miles to the town dump, full of anticipation for the killing spree we would soon unleash. On though’s Saturdays the dump workers would fire-up the bulldozers and bury the 2-week supply of garbage, the rats that called the dump home would scatter to the woods and wait out the demolition and a new supply of trash to search through. We would take up positions near the working dozers and shoot the rats as they ran for the woods. The dump workers never had a problem with our fun and we would always hand up our rifles to the dozer operators so they could show us how it was done. We’d keep count, trying to better each other and our own personal bests. There was never a shortage of rats. I imagine that today this sort of activity doesn’t happen….. shame…. I went on to shoot competitively in the Jr. NRA…. where the targets didn’t scurry and serpentine to safety….. they just sat there! Once my dad got me a Savage-Anschutz Match 64 22 (what a gorgeous rifle) it hardly seemed fair for the other competitors. Ok, I’ve wandered enough. We buy the enclosed mouse traps, they’re your standard old spring trap but with walls and a roof so you can’t see the job it’s done…. just a tail trailing out the door. Peanut-butter makes a fine bait.
One of the things we learned is that mouse nests are usually within 20 feet or so of water. They also usually hang out in pairs so if you get one chances are you’ve got a second one somewhere close by. We use the spring mouse traps, sticky pads, which work better than the traps but cost about .50 per pad that catches one or two, and poison. I don’t use poison in the open areas where those mice may die and get eaten by the cats. Instead the poison is along back walls, in closets, etc. Usually the mice die quickly, and with the summer heat they shrivel up to nothing and are of no interest to the cats.
Yeah, not only can rodents threaten your food stash, they also carry diseases including mice. While Lyme Disease is not transmitted directly to humans from mice, they are the primary vector. Hanta Virus is another threat and can be caught from old dry mouse feces and be fatal. The only problem that I have with semi-feral cats is the damage they do to all wildlife. If they could only be taught to be more discriminate and hunt vermin, they might be the perfect pest control. Well, besides a Rottweiler.
I am currently working a rat problem in my urban home. Sticky traps took care of three rats and a few mice, the spring traps got two rats, but the most fun are when my dogs have cornered them long enough for me to retrieve the camp whisper cat. Two for two with my pellet gun and eager for more.
Traps are great. Cats are good as well as long as they are mousers, otherwise you will have to continue feeding them after the SHTF.
Poisons I’m not so fond of. In addition to the listed reasons there is one more from my experience. We used d-Con for a short while when I was a kid and the mice take some time to die. Now I really don’t give a rat’s… nevermind, forget the pun… about their suffering, but after eating the poison they run “home” and die. Their home at the time was in our walls. After they died they smelled horrible for a week or two until their little bodies dessicated. That is something I don’t want to add to my miseries on a daily basis, let alone in a post-SHTF environment.
Well, we do have one cat, out of three, that is a mouser. But one of my neighbors has a Daschound (spelling) / wiener dog that gets after mice like they are the best thing since sliced bread.
Apparently they were bred for chasing rodents at some point and they are very effective at it. If we turn over a board and there are less than three or four mice under there the dog gets them all.
I don’t like to see any living creature suffer if theres a faster way to die-except maybe those that abuse and torture others .As a youngster being the oldest it was my job to remove the dead rats from the traps am that my Dad would set he night before under our front porch- it took all my might to pull back the steel and throw them into the trash -I guess that made me strong. Arlene
We have a wolf hybrid that is excellent at killing mice, rats, opossum…or anything else that is stupid enough to trespass into his domain.
I trap my mice and rats with a homemade trap. Drill a hole in the bottom of a soda can, slide a well straightened coathanger through it. Drill holes through the rim of a 5 gallon bucket and suspend the can over the partially filled bucket. Paste the can with peanut butter and slide to the bucket’s edge. Place a scrap of wood to form a ramp and be ready to scoop out the dead rats. BTW, I don’t care who thinks this is animal cruelty… They are RATS!!!
@CM, I have been considering various ways to make extra money here at the farm. With all our land and my love of dogs I had thought about the possibilities of breeding dogs. It seemed smart to use a breed that was small, cute, cuddly and wouldn’t take up much room or eat us out of house and home. I picked a few different breeds and started doing some research. The first breed I looked into was the dachshund…. well… here’s some of what I found out: The dachshund was bred as a killing machine to burrow and eradicate badgers, rabbits and prairie dogs. It’s body is muscular with paws adapted to digging, and it has a keen sense of smell. Its large lung capacity allows it to dig underneath its prey to catch it by surprise. Packs of dachshunds were even used to hunt wild boar. There’s likely little money to be made breeding subterranean killing machines no matter how cute or adorable, but having one around to help with unwanted rodents sounds like a winner.
Essentials oils will work wonders keeping the critters away. Peppermint , teatree or eucalyptus oil dropped on cotton balls then placed around a perimeter of your food storage will keep them away. Replace monthly.
Thanks Benda !!! I have used bay leaves to keep moths away from
food closets and they work. Arlene
John G .We adopted a stray dog who was mostly lab and he was the best rat killer we ever had. He delighted in pouncing on them in our fields. Arlene
Like John we used poison and had mice die in the walls of our home….we not only had to live with the smell, but it attracted big old “blow” flies that kept getting into the kitchen….very nasty.
Never put out poison and traps. Our poison was nothing more than a blood thinner, apparently the same mouse got hit with our spring-type trap, after eating the poison. Next morning the mouse wasn’t in the trap, but there was blood everywhere. Was like a horror movie, couldn’t believe a mouse had that much blood in it’s body. This time I had to clean the kitchen and our utility room, a job that took forever, because everything had to be disinfected with bleach.
Love the suggestion about using a large rat trap to catch squirrels….quiet and won’t attract attention.
Mice and rats have the ability to squeeze into the smallest spaces. In addition to the food storage issues, rodents are carriers of many diseases that affect humans–sometimes it is in the fleas that they carry.
I lived in the wilds of Northern Virginia about 45 miles west of DC. The mice and voles were so aggressive, that five cats could not keep up with them. For you non-cat people, when the cats kill the rodents, they often leave them on your pillow or drop them at your feet. This is a love offering and you should feel special. However, a dozen gifts a day is far too many.
Arlene, we have 3 dogs and 2 cats and although we often find our yard littered with rabbit, moles and mice, we still needed traps for the inside. We still aren’t sure who’s doing the killing…. the pets are all… mums the word….
John, Hmm sounds like your pets are a good team !!! (smile!!)
seven dust, the garden pesticide. spread it under and infested house, trailer of conex. it burns their feet, they lick it and die. won’t bother the pets, in fact it makes a great flea/tick powder. can be mixed with cornmeal for greater effect or for bait.
I always have trouble setting my traps, mostly a fear of getting my finger caught. HA. In my neck of the woods, mice mean snakes. Which may or may not be a bad thing depending on your opinion. I use poison in my attic or barn, but cats have always been reliable too
Beartail, I have read in historical journals that our ancestors welcomed a black snack( non-poisonous) in the cold cellar because he ate the rats who were after the stored food.Does anyone today use this method ?
I trying the peppermint for insects ~ having issues with those pesky sugar ants, not sure about peppermint for mice. I have 2 cats and have praised them from kittens when they brought me gifts (dead things) At first it was gross parts of …, now they bring me whole dead things, easy to throw away. If a mouse happens to be in the house..they both sit like pointer dogs at the area the mouse is in ~ I might need to open a few cabinets , or drawers but next morning a ‘gift’ is waiting.
My youngest is apt at catching large birds and squirrels and often brings my gift still warm and intact. I spose’ in a dire situation ~ one could prepare the ‘gift’ for later cat food or a snack for me. 😉 Im looking into getting a guard dog, but one who will protect the cats as well as myself…suggestions?