Eeeeeck! Crazy moose loose in the hoose!

EntryPoint348952

This must be the spot where mice are inviting themselves into my home. What I don’t understand is: Why rip the siding apart? That’s got to be hard work for mice, and it’s totally unnecessary. I mean, hell, six mice at a time could enter side by side now. If they make the entry much bigger a cat will be able to go in there after them.

Anyway, finding a little black mouse doing laps in the basement sink is a fun way to start the day, isn’t it?

Make me feel better by commenting about infestations you’ve experienced and your innovative and hopefully humane ideas for termanting the lives of the little bastards.

(I’m not including any photos of the mouse or details about how it was executed, because I want you to like me.)

33 Comments

Touchdown

about 12 years ago

I actually heard a mouse set off a trap in our kitchen the other night. It didn't kill him right away...I could hear it struggling under our cabinets. We decided to just let it die overnight and then retreive the dead mouse in the morning. Well, we went to do that and it turns out the damn thing had gnawed whatever part of its body was stuck in the trap off and escaped. The tenacity of mice is spectacular, if not a little gross.

The Big E

about 12 years ago

We had a couple mouse sieges when I was a kid.  The first time around, my parents bought little humane traps that did not impress the mice.  So they turned to poison, which made the mice thirsty and impaired their judgment, leading them to run along the wall toward the laundry room while my parents watched TV, at which point my dad would smack them with a broom.  This was a much better outcome from the human perspective than having them expire in the walls, of course, and it's seemingly pretty lucky that isn't what happened.

The second time out, about 10 years later, they bought some super-duper flypaper-like stuff.  That was extremely effective at capturing the mice, but presented one with the necessity of disposing of very alive, very immobilized little mammals.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

Well, the easiest way to get rid of mice is with rat poison. But it's not very humane, as it dries them out as it kills them, and it takes about three or four days to do this. What you get in the end is an easy-to-dispose-of mouse-husk that, even if it gets lost in your walls or whatever, isn't going to decompose and stink up the place. 

The most humane way to dispose of mice is like this. The link leads to instructions for a live trap you can build yourself using a toilet-paper tube, a couple of quarters, some tape, and a wastebasket. (After you catch the mouse you have to box it up and drive it out to Mouseville or wherever and set it free to live to a ripe old age.

I've tried the poison, but never the live trap. It's all moot for us now because of the cat. If you want to borrow a 35-pound tomcat for a couple weeks, by all means you may.

Chester Dark

about 12 years ago

I opened the lid on our basement toilet in St. Paul one cold autumn morning and found a rat doing laps. I wasn't looking forward to the thought of having to somehow kill it but my wife smartly suggesting flushing and the bad boy went away.

To this day, I cautiously raise toilets lids.

the doog

about 12 years ago

Cats are a just a different infestation. Like children. But if you are a slave to the cat gods  check out these toons.  Very funny and safe for work  www.simonscat.com

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

@the doog: I'm not happy with the cat, either. It came with the girl.

What I think Paul should do, actually, is stand on a chair with his hair in rollers and scream.

udarnik

about 12 years ago

Having lived in a 100-year-old farmhouse in the country, I second poison and traps.  (Not live traps, the plain old wood-and-metal ones that break the mouse's back.)  Our poisoned mice tended to wander out in public like the Big E's, which is handy for disposal but a little disconcerting to come upon.

Also, if you can't get to repairing or caulking the holes right away, just stuff them with coarse steel wool; that helps a lot.

akjuneau

about 12 years ago

After a year of mouse-free bliss in my house, I have had several appear this year.

I tried a live trap, but one time I came back to find the thing broken in pieces, with the peanut butter bait all gone. The second time, the contraption got the "trap" part right, but not the "live" part.

I've had no luck with other traps. Meanwhile, three more mice have done themselves in by various means. I will spare everyone the gory details.

One bit of good news... no ants this year!

Denise

about 12 years ago

Paul,  Well, the best part that you left out was how you became aware of all of this activity this morning.  I will leave it up to you to share. Steph told me the story and I am still laughing.  

I heard there is some type of sonic system that is sold at Menards that has a sound that hurts their little ears so they go away.  It does not affect your ears or your dog.  Also, peppermint oil on cotton balls.  And, of course, D-con.  
I am sharing your site with a friend of mine who recently went to put on her tennis shoe and it was filled with some type of seeds that a mouse has put in her shoe to store...for the winter. 

Two things here is to secure/tighten up the outside but that will not help with the mice you already have in the house.  Got to use D-con or live with them.  Based on how Steph looked this morning... I do not think the second options is going to work. 

I will bring steel wool tomorrow to Steph. I also have some mint plants that may also be helpful to put around outside or in the house.  Denise

Gwanto

about 12 years ago

Out here on the farm in the middle of a 100 acre forest, here's the best way I've found to get rid of mice in your home. Skip the poison, mouse traps, sticky paper, etc. They're expensive and unnecessary. Do you really want that crap in or around your house anyway? The best way I've found is a mouser cat. If you don't have access to a mouser, here's a much less expensive and less invasive way that works great. Set out jar lids or trays of soda - cheap cola works very well, but Coke, Pepsi, or RC work even better - they seem to like it more (probably because of the extra chemicals and sugar). It's the carbonation that really does the job. Rats and mice love soda and are "built" in such a way that they cannot fart, burp or vomit and will bloat and die. Works like a charm. Within a month or so (a good waiting period to let the little buggers escape and not die in your walls), seal all holes you can find that lead or may lead in/out of your home. The little critters seem to really hate "foam in a can", by the way. Hope this helps - it worked great for us!

Beverly

about 12 years ago

We have a 5-gallon bucket full of salt in the garage, which we use on the icy driveway. One time we found about five preserved mice in there. Salted.
When we catch one in the house, we drive it down to a golf course to set it free. It's the closest spot that doesn't feel like we're giving the mouse to someone else. Except, of course, the time a mouse I was trying to catch jumped on my baby son. I turned into a Mama Bear, caught the mouse, took it outside, smashed it and then cried hysterically.

Cory

about 12 years ago

Mice can be playful, loving and can grow used to being handled. Pet mice should not be left unsupervised outside as they have many natural predators, including (but not limited to) birds, cats and dogs. Male mice tend to have a stronger odor than the females. Well looked after mice can make ideal pets. Some common mouse care products are:

    * Cage — Usually a hamster or gerbil cage, but special mouse cages are now available.
    * Food — Special pelleted and seed-based food is available. Mice can generally eat most rodent food (for rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, etc)
    * Bedding — Usually made of hardwood pulp, such as aspen, sometimes from shredded, uninked paper or recycled virgin wood pulp. Using corn husk bedding is avoided because it promotes Aspergillis fungus, and can grow mold once it gets wet, which is rough on their feet. Mice should not be exposed to pine or other scented tree chips as many studies show these to have adverse effects on lung function in mice.[citation needed]

Pet mice

Some benefits of having mice as pets are

    * Minimal shedding and allergens
    * Entertaining and interactive
    * Inexpensive
    * Clean (contrary to popular belief)
    * Socially self-sufficient
    * Less likely to bite than other rodent pets
    * Relatively intelligent
    * Bond well to their owners
    * Are playful and attentive

Gwanto

about 12 years ago

By the way (and in response to the post above my last one) steel wool is a good idea for sealing holes. The sonic system at Menards is a scam. Tried it, doesn't work. I urge you to stay away from poison. It will inadvertently kill or sicken other little critters you'd prefer stay alive, like children (who get into everything) and beloved family pets (who get into everything). Skip the D-Con and pick up a 2-liter of Coke.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

OK, Paul also asked for tales of infestation, so I will share two such tales.

1) One night I came home from the bar, made a peanut butter sandwich (mice LOVE peanut butter) and went to bed without putting the lid back on the jar. The next day I woke up to find the jar EMPTY and LICKED CLEAN, with a couple of mouse-pellets next to it left as payment I guess.

2) The year after that, I bought some candy corn which I put in a bowl and left on the kitchen table. The next night, I went to eat some, and noticed (thankfully before I got them to my mouth) that every piece of candy had a bite taken out of it. You'd think the mouse would prefer to eat the whole piece of candy, but I guess they were too big. It/they just ate off all the pointy ends. I threw them away, but for weeks afterward, I kept finding pieces of candy corn that had gotten carried off and secreted away in various corners. Yeah, it's cute. I poisoned every last one of those sons of bitches.

brian

about 12 years ago

Shortly after putting our 20-year-old cat down for the eternal catnap, I had to work on the dishwasher. I pulled it out from under the counter, shining the flashlight around to see what was wrong, I saw a pile of dog food waaay back in the corner. Suspecting a mouse was stealing and storing, I put one of the snappy finger pinching traps back under the dishwasher before re-assembling it, baited with peanut butter. Emptied him from the trap the next morning. Haven't seen anything since.
Don't know if the geriatric cat deserved the credit for a mouse-free house until then, but probably. Dogs appear to be no help at all.

Sue

about 12 years ago

I realize that many won't appreciate this sentiment but please don't catch and release, just kill the nasty rodents!  They will find their way back into yours or anothers home (probably mine - YUCK).  

I've never heard about the soda fix before but will make sure I put some around the house now.  

I once woke the entire household as I went down the stairs into the basement and saw some nasty little rodent run across the floor.  They thought I had fallen down the stairs.

I hate rodents.

akjuneau

about 12 years ago

Robert Burns, "To A Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest, with the Plough," 1785:

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie, 
O, what a panic's in thy breastie! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty 
Wi bickering brattle! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 
Wi' murdering pattle. 

I'm truly sorry man's dominion 
Has broken Nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion 
Which makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor, earth born companion 
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; 
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live! 
A daimen icker in a thrave 
'S a sma' request; 
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave, 
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin! 
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin! 
An' naething, now, to big a new ane, 
O' foggage green! 
An' bleak December's win's ensuin, 
Baith snell an' keen! 

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, 
An' weary winter comin fast, 
An' cozie here, beneath the blast, 
Thou thought to dwell, 
Till crash! the cruel coulter past 
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, 
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble! 
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble, 
But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble, 
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane, 
In proving foresight may be vain: 
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men 
Gang aft agley, 
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, 
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me! 
The present only toucheth thee: 
But och! I backward cast my e'e, 
On prospects drear! 
An' forward, tho' I canna see, 
I guess an' fear!

(Standard English "translation" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_a_Mouse)

udarnik

about 12 years ago

"One Brown Mouse," Jethro Tull

Smile your little smile --- take some tea with me awhile.
Brush away that black cloud from your shoulder.
Twitch your whiskers. Feel that you're really real.
Another tea-time --- another day older.

Puff warm breath on your tiny hands.
You wish you were a man
who every day can turn another page.
Behind your glass you sit and look
at my ever-open book ---
One brown mouse sitting in a cage.

Do you wonder if I really care for you ---
Am I just the company you keep ---
Which one of us exercises on the old treadmill ---
Who hides his head, pretending to sleep?

Smile your little smile --- take some tea with me awhile.
And every day we'll turn another page.
Behind our glass we'll sit and look
at our ever-open book ---
One brown mouse sitting in a cage.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSFU8fYkqDg

Bobby

about 12 years ago

I agree with the poster who said that a cat infestation is as bad as mice.  

It is a known fact that cats spread a bacteria that causes rodent brains to short-circuit, confusing the pleasure and fear areas.  In short, they become sexually aroused by the scent of cat urine, they walk up to cats and get eaten, and the bacteria returns to the cat's intestines, which is the only place it can reproduce.  

This is why cats are so off-limits to pregnant women.  They've even linked the rise in cat domestication to the subsequent rise in schitzofrenia (I can never spell that one).  So, if you really, really, REALLY love your cat, you better go get tested.  

Oh, and if you ask me, it wasn't mice who made the hole in that picture.  You better get some skunk traps while you're at it!!

jen

about 12 years ago

The animal shelter in Two Harbors has excellent mouser cats for only $25. They are fixed and come with a free vet exam at the Lake County Vet Clinic. We keep two around at all times-- in the summer, we cut their food down, and they're often spotted crunching up little rodents around the perimeter of our house.

EvilResident

about 12 years ago

About two weeks ago (the thursday where it first got really cold), my house suddenly became completely inundated with hornets.

They were *EVERYWHERE*. And i'm terrified of hornets. TERRIFIED.

I did manage to find where they were getting in. I just waited around outside until I saw an area where they were parading into the siding. I used that spray insulation foam stuff to block their entrance, and then proceeded to go on a ravenous hornet-killing SPREE inside my house with a can of RAID. 

Hopefully there's not a nest in the wall that is dormant, waiting for someone to read the passages from the Vespanomicon...

Calk

about 12 years ago

Our late kitty, Loulou, was a mouser. We knew she was getting old when we started finding mice droppings in our house -- in fact, it was if the mice were taunting Loulou, we found some mice droppings with cat food in a drawer. No way the cat put her food there. For some reason, mice get into our house through a drawer in our kitchen. We put our trap in that drawer and get the mice. I make the Mr. deal with the little mice body.

professor.n.Marion

about 12 years ago

Do rat stories count here?

I lived for a while in a semi-abandoned farm house in Missouri next to a beat up trailer my mom lived in--I could hear the mice and rats running around in the empty second floor, but was basically kind of ho-hum about it--my usual reaction when critters live in the same spaces as me.

One evening rounding the corner of the house to go from the house to the trailer I came upon a rat in the middle of the path--it was crumpled and snarling-faced, but didn't move much (guess it had been at the poison mom kept in the barn--sorry Gwanto). Something atavistic in me made me go nuclear on that rat, and I snatched up a piece of 2X4 and smashed it--not sure what came over me--perhaps something about the fact that it had a snarly face, or that it was right in the middle of the path I often walked barefoot at night or maybe I'm a secret rat hater? I buried the rat to keep a scavenger bird from eating it (though I suppose that shows favoritism to vertebrate creatures, as the worms and bacteria probably got sick from the poison in the rat's system, too.)

Another time, I found a dead rat floating in a half-filled water bucket in the barn.

I have let bats live in my belfry (except for the ones my cat was able to knock out of the air when we were gone--she ate everything but the tale and the claws). And I currently have squirrels in my attic. (That's be a good band name--"Squirrels in the Attic.")

huitz

about 12 years ago

We have a nice funnel web spider infestation (not the Australian kind, obviously).

I think I've lived in only one place that had mice.  The home-owner took the brutal approach (i.e. he did everything in the name of war).

Don't forget that steel wool is flammable.

Aren't we about due for an army worm attack?

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

Army worms (forest tent caterpillars) shouldn't be back until at least 2011.

The last invasion was in 2001/2002 and was the worst -- by far -- in recorded history.

Marilyn Marthaler

about 12 years ago

Since we live in the country mice have long been a part of my life.  I have many mouse stories.  One that comes readily to mind is when my kids were little.  I was sneaking into my daughter, Kathy's, room in the dark to kiss her good night.  I stepped on something...somehow I thought it was the stem of a leaf.  Silly me, I picked it up and realized it was a dead mouse that I had by the tail.  I could not stop screaming!  I had to have screamed and jumped up and down for a good 5 minutes.

huitz

about 12 years ago

Paul, I hope this isn't something I said before, but... fun Duluth trivia about the caterpillars (maybe survival advice for those that have yet to have the experience).

Right around that time period (01, 02) the little guys didn't come until the afternoon during a bike jaunt up the north shore.  Just a nice peaceful solo ride.  Then, they voraciously ambushed me on the ride home from Two Harbors.

That story isn't funny except for two things...

1. I witnessed a teenage girl rolling over them on inline skates without batting an eye.

2. They were dropping on me from overhead branches, and I would also run in to them as they so boldly hung at face level on their silk threads.

(Extra) 3. The smell of baking-in-the-sun dead forest tent guys in what seems like lemming behavior trying to cross old 61 to the lake -- where they'll just die anyway -- is enough to make anyone vomit.

I think I received a few gut spurts by a couple of passerby cars.  I might even have accidentally swallowed some of it.

I wish I had my camera.

Mary

about 12 years ago

Every fall, mice attempt to invade my car.  They find some kind of fiber (I can't tell if it's the upholstery, or the stuffing in the seats, or something else), and they make big poofy balls of fluff in my trunk, like they're building a nest.  As soon as I spot the beginnings of the first poofy ball of fluff, I know it's time to peppermint the car.  

I get two or three bottles of peppermint extract from the grocery store, douse a bunch of cotton balls with the stuff, and throw them all over my car.   Trunk, glove compartment, under the seats, everywhere.  I've been doing that for four years now, and I haven't seen a single mouse turd in my car throughout the winter months so long as I keep it pepperminted.   

Bonus:  the older and crappier my car gets, the lazier I get about actually getting the peppermint extract on the cotton balls--sometimes I just douse the floor with it instead and cut out the middleman.

Barrett Chase

about 12 years ago

On the subject of army worms, one of my favorite things to do during an infestation is to go out into the woods and just stand there for a few minutes listening to them chew. It's not an unpleasant sound, until you realize the sheer numbers it takes for you to be able to hear caterpillars chewing leaves. Millions. 

[shudder]

zra

about 12 years ago

in the Philippines, they have bugs so big you can hear them walking.

michellep

about 12 years ago

Do you remember the smell of the dead moths after all the caterpillars morphed?  Eww.... I dry heave thinking about that odor on Superior Street outside the casino and to this day feel really bad for their custodial staff who had to shovel the dead moths off of the sidewalk.  Puke.

Todd Gremmels

about 12 years ago

We have cats and they do a bang up job!!! But what I really find works is a Remington Model 5-12 shot gun with buch shot. The little mist of red that occurs when you ground pound the little bastards is so fine even the other mice can not find the tid bits.

Peace

HerbieMannFann

about 12 years ago

It seriously cracked me up to read about blasting mice to bits and then... peace.  
Too funny.  

I like animals, I don't like to kill things, but man do I not want those little f***ers in my house.  My many mouse related freak outs will probably keep my kids laughing for the next 50 years.  -In fact I just created more memories for them tonight when the dog pulled a rodent shaped leaf out from under the stove.

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