Mice in crawl space: Please help...I must sleep soon!


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Old 03-01-08, 06:37 AM
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Mice in crawl space: Please help...I must sleep soon!

Hi all;

For about three months I've been listening to scratching and noises in the walls and ceiling above my bedroom (crawl space) late at night (generally after midnight and never during the day). I assumed it was a squirrel and wasn't bothered by it. WELL! A week ago I was awakened by different noises and I called my son, who came in with a flashlight and.....a little mouse was in my bedroom!!! I about died, let me tell you. He ran like mad into the closet. Next day, my son bought several glue and snap-traps and set them about the house. He found droppings on the floor of the mechanical room (which is right next to our bedrooms in our small, one-story house) and there were holes around the pipes which went through the floor; we'd filled them with metal mesh when we moved in but now the mesh was pushed up to create a space they could crawl through. In two days, two mice were caught - the one in my bedroom and one in the mechanical room. We've kept (and relocated) traps in all of our rooms and found nothing.....no bodies and no droppings anywhere except those found the first day in the mechanical room. My son has since filled those all holes with expandable foam. My questions are these: can we assume that the noises in the crawl space were/are mice? (we DO live in the country). And, how do we deal with that? There is only a very small square "door" in the ceiling of my son's bedroom closet; we'd have to gut his closet and remove the permanently installed shelf to access this opening...and it isn't large enough for a person to fit through! We can put poison in the crawl space beneath the house, but what do we do about the crawl space above? I haven't slept, I'm so scared, and don't know what to do! Thank you so very much....Barbara

Update: Today inside the outside opening of our below-the-house crawl space (the mini door is approx. 2-4" off the ground) my son found a small amount of droppings. He found no signs of life in the crawl space itself (dirt floor).
 

Last edited by Barbetta; 03-01-08 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Update
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Old 03-02-08, 12:22 AM
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I don't have any better solutions for you, but will be watching this thread. I have the same problem. Scratching noises on a _plaster_ wall is much louder than you'd think! Very unnerving -- and I don't even mind the cute little things.

I have an extremely aggressive cat which has helped somewhat, but obviously she cannot climb down between walls. At least they stay out of the living areas. That small access door in your closet sounds perfect for a kitty though.
 
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Old 03-02-08, 04:09 PM
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LOL, my son has suggested we toss one up there! I'm so terribly allergic to cats so we can't have one....at least not in the general living area.

Today marks 11 days since we saw/caught the second and last mouse....I wish I knew if that is enough time to feel secure again? No sign of anything - droppings or bodies - in 11 days. I haven't slept in my room in 11 days either, so I don't know if the upper noises are continuing! I might have my son sleep in there tonight (but he'll sleep like a rock, he's not scared of them!)

I know, I'm a big baby. I'm strong in many situations, but this northern city girl has failed the Georgia field mouse test.....
 
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Old 03-07-08, 04:23 AM
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I prefer using a product called Safe Kill by Spector. It is a systemic disruptor for mice and rats. It has no second generation affects, so if a cat, hawk or other domestic animal eats the carcass it will not be "poisoned". The mice/rats eat the product and are unable to drink water, so they dehydrate and die. I am sure it is not endorsed by PETA, but I don't endorse them, either. I note in your header, you are in my part of heaven. What part of NE GA are you in?
 
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Old 03-07-08, 07:35 PM
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Hi Larry, and thank you for taking pity upon me with your reply.

I'm in Gainesville, 12 years now. I have read about Safe Kill, but if I (read: my son) could toss some in the upper crawl space won't they then die and decompose up there? Then with Georgia's summer coming.....stench, flies, etc?

I called my county extension office today; gentleman there said that it could still be squirrels even though there's only nighttime activity. My mind boggles!!!

Still nothing in the crawl space under the house; poison has not been touched there.

Barbara
 
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Old 03-08-08, 03:14 AM
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Barbara: If you only have mice, then the beauty of the Safe Kill is that it dehydrates the body, eliminating the smell. You may find dried up carcasses, but in my experience, no long lasting effects. Now, rats, different story. They will smell for a long time. Good luck with the mice!
 
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Old 03-08-08, 02:15 PM
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My personal experience is any dead animal will produce a smell while it decays. The thing is, will it die and decay in a space where you can smell it?......in an attic, probably not.

I use a ton of snap traps on a monthly basis, yes, I'm a pest control tech., and I wouldn't suggest anything different for you. It's unfortunate that your attic hatch is blocked, but you really should get access to it, in my opinion. The problem with just throwing poison up there is that if you do have another type of animal up there, ie. squirrel, then you could risk killing it and having it dead up there. I would try and get a couple of snap traps baited with peanut butter up there. If mice are the problem, I can just about guarantee that you'll catch them. If all you can do is reach your arm up there to set them, that's fine - they'll find it. You could use a mirror to check them if you don't want to stick your head up there.

I don't know if you have much snow down there, but checking the exterior for entry holes is also a must. With all the snow we have up here, it wouldn't be an option for my house right now.

For arguements sake, I would also place a couple snap traps under the house as well, although I know you said nothing's been touched under there.

Good luck.


Jay
 
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Old 03-22-08, 08:00 PM
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Seal all gaps and entries into the structure to prevent mice from entering. They can enter through a space as small as 1/4" or smaller. Once mice enter the structure, it is time to trap. There are various types of traps available. The use of baits and poisons are not recommended because of possible death in inconspicuous areas and resulting odor in wall voids, etc.

In addition to eliminating entries into structure eliminate food sources in around the structure. Seal all gaps and entries in foundation and where wires and pipes enter structure. Seal around pipes beneath sinks in bathrooms and kitchen. Do not leave out pet food dishes. Eliminate bird feeders. Seal all garbage in bags before placing into pickup containers. Eliminate all hiding and breeding placing in the landscape.

Do not make a foregone conclusion that late-at-night that you have mice. You can have bats. You can also have small squirrels. I have a mountain cabin. I do not get there very often, but I have learned to share that space with smalls bats and squirrels when I arrive. Despite all exclusionary efforts, I return each time after many months to welcome unwelcome friends. I have never had mice.
 
 

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