Winter mouse damage

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by LisaBug, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Now that the snow has melted for the most part we've discovered mouse damage on quite a few of our trees. To prevent it next year I have a couple thoughts. First, baby food jars with holes in the lid and filled with mothballs and put around the base of each plant. That way there's the smell but not the soil contamination. We don't want to use poison because of the dogs. Not that the dogs can get into the poison because it'll be inside fences but what if they get ahold of a poisoned mouse? This is the first year we've had this problem and it has to stop NOW. Any and all ideas sure would be great!

    LisaBug
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Decon will kill the mice. The mice will not have enough poison in them to hurt a dog. I poison mice all the time and have cats around, but have never had one sick from eating a mouse. The mice would mostly not die out where they could be eaten.
    A good bait station is a milk jug with a two inch hole cut in the buttom near one side. The DeCon can be put into the jug loose. Lay in on its side wherever mice (or rats) might find them. Be sure the hole is on the side close to the ground. Easy to see if the bait has been eaten.
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Moth balls are probably one of the most toxic things you could choose.
    And one of the least effective.

    The rodents are more likely to be voles than mice. They do damage to low growing shrubs and evergreens in the winter when the food is scarce. They girdle the branches eating the soft cambrium(sp?) layer.

    First, remove debris and prune your bushes up off the ground. Keep it clear. Sometimes this is all that is needed. If you have other habitat, like wood piles etc., eliminate them. Keep the grass cut low.

    Second, find the trails and use snap traps with hamburger as bait. Since you have dogs, you will need to put a box over the top and a rock on top to keep the dogs out. They are primarily nocturnal, so you could set the traps at night and keep the dogs in till day.
     
  4. LisaBug

    LisaBug Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Ok, no mothballs, not a problem. Snap traps tend to catch little birdies, even under an ice cream bucket. Did I ever feel bad about that.

    We live back in the woods, not much we can do about that. The orchard is out in the field, so there's not much to be done there either. Everything around the bushes, trees and orchard is mowed though.

    I'm not worried about the dogs getting into the bait itself so much, except for rare instances. We have a kennel of 18 sibes and a golden retriever and can fence in the bait/traps. My biggest worry was the mice getting into one of the kennels and getting eaten then poisoning a dog. Our cats aren't ever outside, they'd get eaten by owl, coyotes or the occasional loose dog.

    Guess I'll dig out the box and put it somewhere the birds and other creatures won't get into it. I suppose the mice would make their own tunnels into the bait/trap if it's placed near where they've been doing the damage. I'll give the traps and poison a try today. Thanks all.

    LisaBug
     
  5. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    VT
    :no: no problem

    These mice can end up killing your trees. Keep it clean under the trees.fence around the bottom of the tree with 1/4 mesh hardware cloth. Sink it into the ground about 1foot deep, keep it about 6-7 inches from the tree trunk. Thats all you have to do.
    john#4