Getting rid of mice in my old house: What's the best way?


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Old 11-05-10, 08:24 PM
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Getting rid of mice in my old house: What's the best way?

My 100 year old has mice. I'm sure that in a house this old, there are plenty of places for them to come in. I set mousetraps & catch mice, but they keep coming. What to should I do? Would an exterminator do anything different than set traps?
 
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Old 11-06-10, 05:31 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Are you in a residential or farm setting? The first thing is to remove any food from the premises where they are likely to feed. Without food, they will leave. On my farm I welcomed rat snakes . They may have stolen an egg or two from the chickens, but no mice/rats, either. You may be allergic to cats, but a good mouser will help too.
Now, to the poisons, please be careful where you put them and what you use. The modern poisons are second generation lethal, so if a mouse eats the poison, and your cat, a hawk, rat snake gets the rat, then they die.
Exterminators are fine, but the mice will return with the invitation to food.
 
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Old 11-06-10, 05:50 AM
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We rarely even place traps as we surely can't come back to check them on a regular basis as that would be cost and time prohibitive. We place rodenticide in the critical areas. For example: on top of basement wall, above drop ceilings, attics, behind kitchen stove, garages (keeping it inaccessible). Exterior bait stations can be purchased and baited by yourself. Our local Tractor Supply Store has them, probably other feed/farm supply stores, possibly hardware and the big box stores, too. I suggest baiting both the exterior and interior as described above, keeping safety in mind. Even if you don't have dogs, people who own dogs take them along when visiting people and they wander around and find the bait, usually in the garage. It happens.

The rodent baits available in stores are the same active ingredient that the industry uses. We prefer bait blocks and meal over pellets for acceptance.

I bait our 15 year old house, as well as have several traps set. I am willing to take the risk of having a dead mouse/odor in the house rather than live mice. Sometimes I can find the dead mouse, other times I have to wait until time bails us out. The question that I ask myself is "would I rather have live or dead mice in my house"? Not a desirable question, but a realistic one.

Another trapping option: google "tin-cat". These are multiple catch mouse (live trapping) traps. Don't get the wind-up kind, too much to go wrong. Get the low-profile trap that has a hinged lid, usually has a clear top for inspection. You then have to release them far away from your house (and everyone else's!) or give them a long bath in a deep sink (better).

An exterior bait station should be placed along the perimeter of the house, probably 1 on each side. They are pricey, but will last a long time. Place a brick or equivalent on top so that raccoons, etc won't drag them around.
Hope this helps.
 
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Old 11-07-10, 02:09 PM
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interesting, i just got off the phone with a "retired" Pest Control guy> He said there are 2 types of the "poisons" used- one is very FAST and potent to the mouse (commercial grade) and the other is the kind you can get at the Box Stores (like Decon pellets, the anticoagulant ones) but apparently they are dose related so the mouse has to eat enough of it to die...so it may not be that fast. The traps are hit or miss and often the mouse WINS. The glue mats are better but it's a slow death and "sometimes" they can escape or move the mat around a lot...(I think they're cruel and the mousetraps are more humane since they're quick) but from experience- it's true- I've heard many a trap set off with no mouse to be found! My dilemma is how healthy/unhealthy is it to have all that mouse poop in the insulation and then dead mice decaying Lord knows where inside the house? (sometimes they do leave he said- but not always) and mice won't smell as long as a rat will. Should the whole attic be "cleaned" after the extermination? He surely implied this is a CONTROL problem and not a one time killing event- trying to locate the source of entry is key but you may never know or be able to fix that. It's very unnerving hearing them up there and not knowing how many, etc...I figure only a matter of time until they begin to explore the living areas of the house- if they've not already begun! So, if anyone has more answers about this, please elaborate. The Big Extermination companies want OVER $500 to come out and basically put down bait/traps and look for entry ways, mice paths, etc...but it's an ongoing thing and the cost adds up!
 
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Old 11-07-10, 03:59 PM
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The same active ingredients on my truck are found in the box stores, farm supply stores, etc. Modern day anti-coagulants are all single-feed and have been for years. Warfarin and Diphacinone would be the exception; if you can even find them anymore (don't use them). D-con's active ingredient is the most toxic anticoag (oral ld 50 test), that's why I don't use that active ingredient. Ironic that the most toxic is the one most prevalent in retail outlets.

Secondary poisoning with modern day anticoags is technically possible but not realistic nor likely.

Live mice are more unhealthy than dead mice, not a great choice, but I'll take dead over live. Rodents die inside houses naturally anyway, old house attics,basements, wall/ceiling voids have dead carcasses. We have a collection of dried, almost mummified rodent bodies in our office display (weird, I know), some still in a peaceful, sleeping position. Find them inside houses, no one knew about them (shed snake skins, too). Can you imagine how many bodies are lying in wall/ceiling voids? Pick up the dead mice that you see of course, nothing you can do about the others. Again, better dead then alive.
 
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Old 11-11-10, 09:22 PM
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more on mice


Well, it IS ironic the more toxic is readily available! (hmmm). I found a guy on Craigslist who seems to know a lot but now he's kind of become a little "hard to find" so still not sure how I'm going to handle the problem~ but at least I feel a little better about just letting them DIE around up there and DO agree they're better dead than alive.
I'm a nurse and they definitely carry salmonella and I think the hanta virus- but it's in their excrement which was part of why I wondered if the old soiled insulation should be removed or not? I guess since nobody will ever be UP there it doesn't really matter - and now I'm not so worried about the "decaying" carcass~ i'm sure there's already a bunch of dead ones up there... UGGH!!! I've thrown 2 dead ones out from the traps. IF this guy never shows I should ask for what kind of rodenticide? (you mentioned secondary poison and "meal or bait block vs the pellets"- what chemical is that and how will I know what I'm supposed to buy if not the D-con? I can just put it at the top where I can reach and hope they FIND it~
This guy was going to go up and look for their ?urine paths? and nests then set some traps too- come back in 2wks and get any to dispose of, then do an outside perimenter check. For
 
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Old 11-12-10, 02:38 PM
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D-con was the very first company to come out with the "second generation anticoagulants", and they haven't changed their active ingredient. The more recent second generation, and now the third generation anticoags are effective but safer, while Dcon stayed with the original formulation.

Bait blocks will come in different brand names in the retail outlets; around here a popular brand name is "Tomcat". It doesn't matter what name you find, just get blocks as opposed to pellets. Examples of good active ingredients: Bromethalin, Brodifacoum, Bromodialone; all good.

Also, google "tin-cat"; it is a multiple catch live trap; see if it is something that would work for you. It does mean getting close to live mice while in the trap. Either release them far away from your house (and others) or give them a long bath in a deep sink. Get the hinged lid rather than the wind up kind. Hope this helps.
 
 

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