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Pest (mice) control recommendations!?!?

We have a lovely craftsman in Lakeside we are renting out and they just texted telling me they’ve caught nine mice in four days. Yuck! And now I’m anticipating getting screwed over by an exterminator. I’m from Duluth and yet I’m viewed as an outsider because I’m not there to deal with this and I call from an out-of-state number. I need someone to figure out the point of entry and seal it up. Help fellow Duluth folk!

23 Comment(s)

  1. It is the time of year when some vermin enjoy the indoors. Finding the point of entry sounds like a cure but the critters will create a new entry if needed.

    I would continue to set traps. I wouldn’t waste my time on a professional unless an infestation occurs. Nine mice in 4 days may sound like an infestation but the count will hopefully go down.

    I live in an old building and have set traps in the fall as a precaution. One thing that may work is Irish Spring bar soap in areas where you may think they are entering. Just cut off a chunk and stick in into small crevices or cracks. I was given this hint a few years ago and feel it works.

    heysme | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  2. It is also important to note that the weather just turned cold and lots of snow just began to fall. So the mice have certainly been driven indoors.

    kerc | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  3. I have to disagree with the first commenter and say that nine mice is a lot of mice. Unfortunately I don’t have a recommendation for an exterminator, but please don’t wait for your problem to turn into an infestation before you take action.

    I’ve dealt with mice on several occasions and one thing holds true: You need to deal with them mercilessly. The good news is that, as kerc said, the mice have probably just entered the house, which means they probably have yet to set up shop and start reproducing. If you can completely eliminate what’s already inside, it’s doubtful that any more will enter this season.

    When mice first enter a house, they tend to roam around and discover the areas that are good for them and the areas that are dangerous. This is the time to go in for the kill. Once they find some safe place to nest, it’ll be much more difficult for you, and easier for them to start making their brood of nasty little germ-spreaders.

    Barrett Chase | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  4. You might be able to get a Google Voice phone number so you can masquerade as local when calling. Look into it.

    Karasu | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  5. Don’t spend the dough getting fleeced by an exterminator. Buy the plastic Victor traps and some Maytag Blue Cheese. They can’t resist!

    I bag scores of mice each fall and then none for months. Mice in the house is just an Orwellian never ending war. Never forget.

    bushleaguer | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  6. Mouse1 to Mouse2: “Let’s try this lovely craftsman!”

    Soren d'Hillside | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  7. Give your tenants a cat for Xmas. Tom and Jerry batter or Tom and Jerry cartoons- it’s all good…

    TimK | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  8. I lived in this home for four years before these tenants -- and never once was there a single mouse (believe me, I would have moved out while they “fixed” it! Ha!

    I think there was a new point of entry, possibly from the flooding erosion that happened earlier this year. In any case, I called Plunkett (boo for corporate, I’d rather give my money locally) and they are going to head out there to the tune of 200 bucks.

    I can’t leave my tenants just dealing with this. It’s gross, they have an infant, and did I mention it’s gross?!

    I do like the idea of giving them a mouse-related Christmas gift! Maybe the game Mouse Trap and some Tom & Jerry cartoons. Ha! Love the humor!

    sommerrayne | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  9. Cats. Cats are mooches, but they do the trick.

    in.dog.neato | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  10. Not my two cats. We had a mouse running around, the cats were freaking, so was the kid, I had to deal with it. Yuck. Especially since the last cat we had was a great mouser, we used to lend her out to neighbors to suss out mice.

    We had an entry point in our last house, always had a mouse trap there and checked it regularly. Did the trick. This time of year can be busy.

    Claire | Nov 28, 2012 | New Comment
  11. Three years ago I posted about mice in my basement and got a variety of advice.

    Adam’s Pest Control came out and blocked the various entry points and there have been no mice since … unless they have been quiet mice.

    Paul Lundgren | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment
  12. Give it up sister, until you get the proper area code. If you are not 218 — you are a second-class human as far as Duluth is concerned. After you pass the communication exam, then try the local exterminator route. I offered my renters a bounty once of $5 per and their kids had a blast making money and saving dead mammals.

    Thomas | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment
  13. These days, everybody has a number that is not indicative of their location. I refer to this comic by XKCD:

    So I think your chances of being taken for a ride are a little lower than you think.

    Dorkus | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment
  14. Four years ago I plugged one or two Victor M754 Mini PestChaser Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent (comes in a 4-Pack) in each room of the family cabin. Since then, I have not seen one sign of mice, whereas previously there were signs of mice on the kitchen counter and elsewhere.

    I got mine at Menard’s, you can also get them at Amazon, and Denny’s Ace Hardware (grabbed a 2-pack for big rooms for my mother’s basement), to name three.

    No traps, no mess. These do not bother dogs or birds (I am guessing cats are ok with them too).

    Suzy | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment
  15. For plugging the entry holes (and remember they don’t have to be big holes) use steel wool. My daughter’s father is an exterminator and this is what he uses to plug the entry holes. Regarding the sonic device, I bought one of those for keep deer out of the yard. It worked but my husband, who has very good hearing, could hear it when it went off and it hurt his ears. The tone for mice would probably be a different frequency but don’t assume your tenants won’t be able to hear the tone.

    Ruthie | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment
  16. A few years ago, we installed a new furnace. The installer told me that, when he took out the old furnace, he found many torched mice carcasses. It seems the mice found their way into my furnace while it was still warm enough for me not to turn it on; then the temp dropped and I fired up the furnace; and, well….what a way to go. Poor mice.

    emmadogs | Nov 30, 2012 | New Comment
  17. I can top that, emmadogs. I just recently gave up a storage building adjacent to a wetland that was severely mouse-infested. This past summer I was cleaning and I grabbed an old copy paper box that had a spare printer in it. After I lifted the printer out, I heard rustling in the box. There was a mouse living in the box with my printer! A very fat mouse. She perched on the edge of the box and saw me, and then took off scrambling. I put the empty box in my trash pile. About a week later, I asked a friend to flatten a bunch of boxes so I could put them out for the trash. (Boxes have to be flattened or recycling won’t take them.) To her horror, she found seven dead baby mice in the printer box. The mouse I evicted had recently given birth.

    Anyway, since that was a storage building, I favored old-fashioned spring traps. However, for indoor spaces, I use a multi-pronged strategy, everything but spring traps.

    My favorite are glue traps. The Catchmaster brand sold at Walmart are the best.

    I also like snap traps, including Tomcat brand. I don’t like the idea of reusing them after they have killed a mouse, but they are a snap to empty and reuse, or you can just throw them away.

    The D-Con circular mousetraps are nifty, but I’m not sure I ever caught a mouse in one, and they’re more expensive.

    The D-Con poison boxes are useful, and their emptying will tell you if you still have mice.

    I don’t favor live trap mousetraps. I tried one of those once and caught two mice at once, who killed each other inside the trap and made an awful racket.

    I have tried ultrasonic pest repellers with mixed results. They made no difference in that storage building. At best they are a passive accompaniment to an active program of mouse killing.

    professor55812 | Nov 30, 2012 | New Comment
  18. Glue traps are cruel. If you’re going to kill the mice, at least do it quickly with a spring trap.

    Easy homemade live trap: a tall bucket with a handful of birdseed or a few cheese crackers inside of it. Mice are attracted to the food but can’t jump out of the tall bucket. Check it once in the morning and once in the evening, and release the mice you catch about a block away.

    Sonya | Dec 1, 2012 | New Comment
  19. I can’t imagine glue traps being one’s favorite method of mouse control--have a heart! I had Adam’s come and plug the entry points … cats still catch a few mice now and then … are they leftovers? Is it true that they chew wires and cause fires? If so, it seems like we would be having a lot more house fires.

    FranceneStarr | Dec 1, 2012 | New Comment
  20. My grandpa’s solution was to put a handful of oatmeal on the kitchen floor, and wait. When the offending rodent made its appearance, his Crosman pellet gun was close by.

    in.dog.neato | Dec 1, 2012 | New Comment
  21. I haven’t had to deal with mice in twenty years [knock on wood], but the last time glue traps were fiendishly effective. Gross, yes, but frankly I have very few humanitarian scruples when it comes to extra creatures in the house, particularly mammals.

    The Big E | Dec 1, 2012 | New Comment
  22. I have had three mice in my house over the five years I’ve lived here. My cat managed to get them all, but there was a mysterious and horrifying incident that happened within the first six months of us moving in.

    I am going to preface this by saying that I hate glue traps, and always have. My dad used to use them when I was a kid, and I always have found them to be traumatizing.

    One morning, a few months after moving in, I woke up, threw some toast into the toaster, and headed to the utility drawer to grab a knife. I opened the drawer, and to my horror, discovered a dead mouse in a glue trap. The only possible explanation is that the previous owners had put it behind the lazy Susan cabinet, and then the mouse had somehow climbed into the drawer with the thing stuck to its back, where it finally died. Five years later, the drawer is still completely empty and unused. Every once in a while, I open it, just to check. NO. NO NO NO.

    EvilResident | Dec 2, 2012 | New Comment
  23. I am so much with you EvilResident! I would do the exact same thing if I ever found a mouse in a drawer, except I’d probably throw the drawer out and live with a hole in my cabinet.

    pats | Dec 2, 2012 | New Comment

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