Mice. LOTS of mice

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cosmoline, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Active Member

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    I've noticed an amazing increase in mice numbers at my lot this summer. The little buggers live in the loamy soil under the trees in the wild, but apparently my occupation of the property (and setting up a kennel there) has scared off the normal predators (owls, foxes, etc) which eat the mice and keep their numbers under control. So I've got a mice population boom on my hands! They are getting fat, too, apparently sneaking in and grabbing dog food and scraps left over from cooking. I noticed one moving somewhat slowly for a mouse, and walked over to investigate. His proud belly was dragging on the ground, and if I didn't know better I'd say he was stopping to catch his breath.

    The dogs, German Shepherds, have zero interest in eating mice. They're guard dogs and they are bred not to be distracted by wildlife. I'm wondering if an investment in a pound rescue rat terrier would pay off. But then I don't know if it would be able to cope with an Alaska winter. Any ideas on mouse-eating dogs with thick undercoats?
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Can you get your hands on several big cats? You can also make a huge mouse trap with a 55 gal drum.
     

  3. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    How do you make a trap with a 55 gallon drum? Sounds interesting!


    Brad
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Feed them some DeCon.. Cheaper, and more effective than feeding a dog. I put it in a milk jug with a hole cut in the bottom and laid on its side.
     
  5. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Mice. LOTS of mice = Poison. LOTS of poison.

    Like Uncle Will said, its cheapest most effective way to go and since your dogs arent interested in mice, you dont have to worry about them eating a poisoned one.

    DeCon is fine, but I've had good luck with several cheaper kinds. Just look at main ingredients on DeCon box and look for imitation with simular ingredients. Although some with different ingredients can work fine also, just depends how lucky you are. Lets see, last poison I used was called Havoc by Loveland Industries. Effective and cheap. TSC no longer carried it so recently bought some different brand. Havent tried it yet. Seems like I got some generic bulk stuff in little white bucket at Walmart some time back. It worked fine also. I even just reused the decon boxes. That wedge shape seems to be a good design.
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Brad, To make a 55 gal mouse trap start with a drum that has the top taken off. Drill 2 holes 180* apart about an inch or so below the top rim. Take a tin can with both top and bottom cut out. String the tin can on a piece of wire and thread the ends thru the two holes, leaving some slack so the can is suspended in the center of the drum's opening. Make a ramp up to the lip of the drum so the mice can run up it. Fill the drum about half way with water. Smear peanut butter on the tin can. The mice will run up and jump onto the can, which then dumps them in the water where they drown.
     
  7. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Decon is a NoNo for me. We had a rat drag some out right where the dogs and cats could eat it. I'm so glad they didn't. There are other safer, more natural ways.
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Active Member

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    The poison scares me a bit. The adult dogs will ignore it, but the wee pups will try to eat everything. I like the 55 gal. idea. I have a bunch of old drums lying around and will give it a try. I've noticed three dead mice in my water jugs recently, so perhaps I made one of these traps without knowing it. A cat is likely to be too traumatized by the many dogs at the kennel I suspect.

    Is there a breed of dog that's like a fox--a small dog with dual layer fur? That's what I need. Essentially a replacement for the foxes who won't come on the property with all the dogs around.
     
  9. Brad

    Brad Active Member

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    Just want to make sure I got this right, thanks!! So smear peanut butter on the outside of the can?
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    That's right. Mice can't resist PB! Think you can skip the jelly tho. They also love chocolate, but I can't share that with mice! :haha:
     
  11. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

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    You can take a five gallon bucket and put a small amount of corn or feed in it and sit it along a wall or somthing mice can climb and they will find it andmost cannot climb out i have caught ten mice in one night i just take them outside and the cats or dogshave a good feed.
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Bar Bait. LOTS of Bar Bait. Careful concealed in Clorox bottles tied to and hidden within rolls of hogwire. In the barn. And mothballs beneath your house.

    I have to add, I think it's unlikely your occupation of the property has scared off predators. Around here, the predators practically follow us around :rolleyes: --- and whenever they hear a tractor or lawnmower revving up, HERE THEY COME! :yeeha: Hawks, eagles, WHATever, all circling above, waiting for lunch once the mowing's done.

    :rolleyes:

    Of course, around here, once a bizzard or crow has found some good road kill, they flatout won't get out of the middle of the road for nothing. :rolleyes:
     
  13. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

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    An old time rat killer potion was flour and concrete dust mixed about half / half. Provide another nearby pan for water. Rats eat mixture, get thirsty and drink. concrete in stomach - death.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    This year I've noticed a jump in mice population down here in the lower 48. I don't have any concrete mix, but I do have a leftover bag of mortar premix. Do you think that might work just as well?
     
  15. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    some additional advice on rodent control from an exterminator:

    use enough of whatever you choose: if you use snaps, bait, glue boards, or buckets, they should be placed at about 8 foot intervals for the quickest results. A combination of devices produces the best results. Place devices against a wall.

    Move things around the day you put everything out. Shuffle furniture, boxes and such. Rodent paths are habitual. When you mix it up, they must reprogram. This makes the devices less suspicious to the rodent.

    D-con is a multi feed bait, meaning it takes several feedings for the rodent to get a lethal dose. Bar bait or block bait is stronger and better. A single mouse will empty a D-con box and stash it, giving the impression that many are feeding. Block bait must be eaten in place so it goes further and it takes less to kill.

    control access to food: don't leave dry dog food or pantry foods open and available. don't leave dry food for the dogs to eat at their leisure.

    Avoid poison bait if you have birds of prey. There is a bait called "Quintox" that has no risk of secondary poisoning, but it is not readily available. Most manufacturers have done extensive testing to assess the risk of dogs and cats eating poisoned mice. Call them if you are concerned. Most pets rely on their master for food and do not eat large amounts of mice. As such, most pets are at very low risk.

    Any rodenticide can kill a pet if enough is eaten. Place the bait so the pets can't get it. Use a wire, nail, container or other method to secure it.

    Start inside, finish outside. If the problem is big, deal with the indoor problem then increase the perimeter. Close rodent doors.
     
  16. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    you already have dogs, go find a few little rat terriers. the little fighters delight in hunting mice and rats.
    I have one I adopted, hes small but absolurtely fearless. and will spend hours out in the yard chasing and digging for mice and moles....
    get 2 or 3 of them and they will be in heven.
    and they eat the mice....
     
  17. One of my 3 dogs, Alice, is a wienerbeagle. Which is to say that she is a cross between a dachshund and a beagle. She is a better mouser than most cats. I see her out by the woodpile stalking them like a cat, waiting by their holes and pouncing. She's nabbed a squirrel on at least one occasion as well. No mean feat for a dog.

    When I moved to this house last August there were mousedroppings in the basement, nests in the shed and a healthy population in the wooded backyard. Now the only hold-outs left are in the woodpile and even their days are numbered. I haven't had to put out a single trap.

    Alice has a very short coat, though. Which is great as far as minimal shedding is concerned. But I don't know how well such a crossbreed would hold up in Alaska.

    Good temperment, exceptionally smart and a good little hunter. If you can find a wienerbeagle and outfit her with a little sweater or something, that could solve your problem.

    -Jack_Cville




     
  18. I have a Basset Rat Terrier (mix between a Rat Terrier and a Basset Hound) and she catches more rats and mice than any barn cat has ever dreamed of catching. Becky is terrific!

    I would also be leery of using poisons around the dogs. My dad always used the drum method in his barn and it worked great. If it weren't for my Basset Rat Terrier I'd have a barrel in my barn. With Becky and four cats I haven't needed it...yet!
     
  19. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    One reason I use bar bait is because the rats and mice have to eat it in place. I'm also very careful to secure it --- I use old Clorox bottles (or similar), sometimes widening the opening a bit to make sure rats can get in. Someone gave me a huge roll of old hog wire a couple of years ago, and it's turned out to be perfect for baiting. I tie the baited Clorox bottles inside the roll of hogwire, which is inside an old barn.

    Whenever I bait anymore (I don't bait constantly, I might add), I also close off the gates to that area and for months afterward, patrol for critters. Because you never know what your neighbors are doing, too (that is, whether or not they're baiting), it's just a good idea to patrol for dead critters so your dogs etc don't get hurt.

    And I keep mothballs under my place and NO critter feed out in the open.

    Just as effective has been mowing --- that alone has probably done away with more rats and mice than baiting :yeeha: I regularly have hawks and eagles hanging around and circling. They love lawn mowers and tractors around here.

    I also have a very large skink population that I've done everything possible to encourage. Skinks will eat not only bugs, but small mice. I have them living everywhere --- an added benefit is they're absolutely darling and very curious little creatures. :D

    And I have certain places I keep panels of corrugated tin down. The rat snakes really seem to like that corrugated tin and will establish little homes under it. Skinks also like it, although they seem to prefer wood.

    So far, it's worked. When i moved in here, this place was infested with rats and mice. But no more. I still find evidence now and again of rats in the old barn, which is why I bait there on an erratic schedule. But NOTHING like it was when i first moved in here.
     
  20. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. It should give a case of fatal indigestion to your rodents. Mix recipe isn't set in stone either.