Mice congregating for no good reason in my workshop


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Old 08-26-13, 03:04 PM
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Mice congregating for no good reason in my workshop

OK, so I have a large garage/shed/workshop which is detached from my house (actually about 50' up a hill from it).

I don't eat in this outbuilding, nor do I store food products in it. I use it for ammo reloading, occasional car maintenance, and some woodworking.

The building is essentially open to any sort of small critters who might wish to explore (it's rather old construction, and the primary doors basically just hang loosely and slide back and forth, not to mention innumerable other points in ingress).

I don't really mind this in principle, but the mice that have taken up residence seem hell-bent on making it an issue. Specifically, they like to congregate in an open area in the middle of the floor, and crap extensively. So much so that within a day of cleaning up I'll have about a 1' square area quite densely covered in droppings.

This is becoming a problem, if for no other reason than having to deal with cleaning up mouse crap each and every time I go out there FIRST, before I can even use my space, is quite a deterrent to ever getting anything done.

And I really just don't understand it. There's no food there. The ceiling above that spot seems every bit as solid as the surrounding areas. The floor is concrete, and is just as clean there as anywhere else (or would be if not for their literally incessant crapping in exactly the same spot). So, the mice seem to have picked this spot basically at random. I would hardly notice if they picked a spot way off in a far corner, but, no, they randomly picked the spot smack in the middle of where I stand/walk when I'm working.

I've used traps (caught a couple mice) and had a "pest control company" put out a couple traps (supposedly professional strength, whatever that is). There is, in fact, a trap and a poison station right next to their little meeting area.

Now, I'm about to buy a slew of sticky traps, if for no other reason than for my own satisfaction. However, because this building is so open I have no illusions that it will ever be animal-free.

Does anybody have any ideas why these infernal mice have picked this spot? How might I encourage them to share the barn more equitably? I see no reason why they shouldn't prefer any other spot in the entire space, and yet they still insist on congregating in exactly the place where I lay traps and poison.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 03:22 PM
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Mice congregating for no good reason in my workshop
That's OK, I have fully grown people that do that to mine. At least yours are small

I think the attraction isn't so much food as it is a warm, clean, dry place with plenty of things like mop heads, rags, insulation, things that they can make nests of. Look in the back of your bench drawers. If it is like mine they build nests back there to raise their young. Now, as far as the central meeting place, I haven't a clue.

I formerly used Spectracide Safe Kill, until they discontinued making it. It was a systemic product the mice ate and basically dehydrated them to the point that they could not take on water, and died. Absolutely no second generation poisoning, like you will find with modern poisons. I think you are on the right track, you may just have to keep at it with the traps and sticky papers.
 
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Old 08-26-13, 03:59 PM
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Are they eating the rodenticide?

If a one foot square area is full of droppings then that is a LOT of mice. If they are eating the rodenticide then make sure that you have plenty for them to eat. If a lot of mice eat a little bit of rodenticide that may not amount to a lethal dose for any.

Mouse odor and pheromones attract more mice. Due to the nature of your building I fear that rodents will now be an on-going problem.

There are repeating mouse traps such as “tin cats” that can be placed inside with attractant in them. They will be “on duty” round the clock. I don’t like the “wind-up” tincats, but the passive ones that use a “counter balance” “walk the plank” kind of trap.

If you could get a black snake to live under the floor and you and he could respect each others space, that would be a good solution too!
 
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Old 08-26-13, 07:51 PM
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Good idea on the rat snake. I forgot about them. Excellent deterrent, and friendly.
 
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Old 08-27-13, 04:35 AM
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....... unless the wife see's the snake
Personally, I'd keep up with the traps or poison - it's going to be an ongoing battle that I'd be determined to win
 
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Old 08-29-13, 08:53 AM
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If you could get a black snake to live under the floor and you and he could respect each others space, that would be a good solution too!
I love snakes (keep a pet corn snake), but the floor is solid concrete. Plus, my experience in acquiring snakes is limited to pet stores and reptile shows. If I had some way to find a rat snake or three, and to encourage them to hang out, I'd be all over it.



That's OK, I have fully grown people that do that to mine. At least yours are small
I hope yours aren't crapping on the floor, too.
 
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Old 08-29-13, 11:57 AM
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Get a cat in there. The smell alone will drive them out.
Other wise you could do the buck o water trap

Bucket Mouse Traps | Five Gallon Ideas
 
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Old 08-29-13, 12:28 PM
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Yeah, I read about the bucket somewhere else earlier today, too.

Think I'm gonna add that to my arsenal. Hopefully I can create an obstacle course of death.
 
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Old 09-09-13, 06:26 PM
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I posted this in General Chats and Discussions, because I couldn't find your OP. This guy showed up on Friday and hung around while I worked in the shop, just movin' about. He's super cool, and about 5' long.

Name:  rat snake.jpg
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Old 09-09-13, 06:38 PM
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Awesome! Cute lil' feller.

That would be a sight for sore eyes over here.

In case anybody was wondering, so far my particular mice have seemed to be most eager to meet their end on my sticky traps, and also my RatZapper Classic is in the #2 spot. I believe my tally just broke 10 this morning.

Surprisingly the bucket has no catches yet. I'm thinking maybe I need to put a ramp going up to the top?
 
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Old 09-10-13, 05:23 AM
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My father bought a house back in the 50's that had been vacant for some time and the cellar had a dirt floor. We woke up every morning to the sound of my mother screaming and my father killing mice. About the time the mouse problem was resolved and the house all spruced up - the gov't decided they needed to put a highway thru the property

I live at the top of a tall hill so we don't see many snakes [and my wife is petrified by them ] but we do have 2 outside cats that do a decent job of taking care of the mice. Still have to set a few traps each fall when it starts to get cold
 
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Old 09-10-13, 06:28 AM
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Surprisingly the bucket has no catches yet. I'm thinking maybe I need to put a ramp going up to the top?


yeah they need some way to get to the top of the bucket.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 10:01 AM
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no ramp - I missed that
The ramp doesn't need to be anything fancy, most any board [even a yard stick] that goes to the top and maybe halfway to the middle of the bucket opening will do. The mice have to get up there before they can fall in
 
 

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