questionsmice? mouse? in my house!? best product?

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Sorry, can't recommend a product.

But bit of advice.

Whatever you do, do NOT give one a cookie.

DO NOT. I can't stress this enough.

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currently having a problem with rats/mice too, coming from the bike path behind our house. They come in every evening right before sunset, to eat grapes off the grapevines on our back fence. We can see the little bastards using the largest of the vines as a highway.

Traditional mousetraps (the snap ones mounted on a wooden board) aren't working. I've been using the little ones for mice and the big ones that are supposed to be fore rats, but they keep getting the bait without triggering the trap, and when they do trigger it, it doesn't catch them.

My next step is going to be getting a good airgun with a scope and sit on the back porch and shoot them.

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I guess it would depend on where your concern lies in terms of being humane. If you're not worried about killing the mice, the basic plastic snap trap things have worked pretty well for me with a touch of peanut butter on the top. I don't really have any experience with traps that don't kill/ hurt the animal, but you'd have to have somewhere you can set it free where it wont come back. If you live in a more urban city, I could see that being an issue.

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Rise up and become their master. Soon you will command an army of mice to do your bidding.

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If you go with a traditional trap, use a mixture of bacon grease and peanut butter. Mice can't resist it. The traditional traps are quite effective and inexpensive (so long as you don't mind cleaning up the mess). Be sure to keep them against the edges of high traffic areas (high traffic for them, not you).

The most important thing to remember is that you will be fighting this indefinitely until you resolve the real problem (Where are they coming in at?). I suggest locating those spots and filling them with copper scouring pads. Any hole larger than a pencil is large enough for them to come in. Once you've fixed all the problem areas, getting rid of the ones left inside is much easier.

Good luck!

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Traditional Traps:

•My dad taught me this trick. After you put the cheese or PB on it, wrap a bit of thread around the food. The mouse/rat gets their teeth momentarily caught on it, moves, and wham. Never fails for me. I use cheese so they have to fight a bit.

• He also said that once a trap has caught a mouse, throw it away and use a new one. He said a mouse won't come to a trap if it smells death. YMMV depending on how bad the decapitation and how long it was left in the trap. He got me long-handled pliers and said pick it up with that & shove it in a trash bag.

Poisons:
• Gotta be careful if you have cats, dogs, or children around. The standard bait is made very sweet to attract the rodents. It also attracts other things. I know this from a $700 vet visit for two dogs that climbed under my workbench in the garage to get the bait. Maisy is one of them.

• The bad thing about poisons is if they're living in your house, they can go in your wall and die. Stinky.

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Don't feed them after midnight. Don't get them wet and don't put in direct sunlight.

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@kamikazeken: mice ride bikes? you may want to reconsider getting rid of them; you could be sitting on a gold mine :-)

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we need to know your tolerance levels on killing of said varmits, and whether there are desired small animals around (cats, dogs, bunnies, kids, etc). if you don't care if they die and nothing around will eat the bodies definitely posions so they don't come back, but if you have kids or cats this is a big time no no. mothballs around the outside of the house and in the basement/crawlspaces, and attics. some plants are natural rodent repellant. most major hardware stores sell a pest repellant chemical, but this must me applied liberally and where kids/pets aren't at.

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@jsimsace: That looks yummy! I'll just bet it is good with peanut butter.

Seriously, not the solution for everyone, but our friend had a severe rodent problem in a shed he inherited. We saved him dried ferret poop, which he spread throughout. It has very little odor when dried, and it worked like a charm. Not recommended for indoor use, although it does work at my house, but after you oust them, it would keep them at bay, if you can locate a source.

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@jsimsace: The problem with stuff they eat and die is that they often do so in your walls and the odor can be quite disgusting; for quite a long time.

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The problem with poison is that the mice tend to go back into the walls to die, where they create foul odors until they dry out completely.

If your kids are old enough to be trusted to leave the traps alone, then properly baited spring traps are a great way to kill off a few mice.

The first step though is to stop them from getting into your place; otherwise you'll just keep cleaning out the traps and resetting them. Steel wool is one way to plug up holes, but first you have to find the holes and that can be a long process.

We always just used cats, though not all cats are very good at killing mice.

Good luck.

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We've had bouts of rats in our garage a few times over the last couple years. At first, I thought they were mice. I got Have-a-Heart traps, and the first rodent I caught looked big for a mouse, but too small for a rat. My mom assured me it was a mouse, and they were just big country mice. (I'd recently moved from NYC where mice are the size of ping pong balls and rats are ginormous). After catching, no joke, about 20 of those f-ers, I realized they were not big mice but just very young rats. That day came when I saw a 8" bodied rat run across a shelf in the garage and about had a heart attack.

Thus out came the snap traps, baited with PB & bacon tied on with a string. Leave them un-set for a couple days to get the rats lured into false security. Then set 'em. We got about 7 or so (very gross CSI -esque). Then the rats got smart and avoided the snap traps.

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There is no one best product. I live in the country and have had mice many times (including right now) and found that each time I get a wave of mice the effective strategy changes. For a while I had battery powered mouse traps (brick-sized reusable - they electrocute the mouse and blink to let you know when to empty the trap) which worked great. Then the next mice didn't fall for it. I used the regular wooden spring-loaded traps for a while and eventually the mice figured those out. I've tried the noise generators that are supposed to keep them out, those never seemed to make much difference. I'm allergic to cats so that wasn't an option, and of course when you really want a cat to do the job you'll end up with a lazy cat that ignores the mice. I've tried the poison bait stations and I'm not sure if those made a difference, thankfully there are childproof ones now.

You need to figure it out by trial and error. Good luck.

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I don't mind killing mice, but I can't bring myself to using the sticky traps. Usually one of two things will happen, the mouse will either starve slowly and painfully while it's unable to escape, or it'll chew off its own feet in an attempt to escape, only to get further stuck in glue and die a slow, painful and now bloody death. Both are a bit gross and just plain mean imo. At least the snap traps end it quickly. I don't particularly like mice, but I'm not looking to draw out their misery.

My suggestion is a cat. First to catch the mice and later as a deterrent. Mice won't hang around if they smell a predator.

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Buy an iPad. Then you won't need mice.
:-)

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If you use this kind

let the peanut butter dry a little while on the fake cheese. Else you will just be feeding them.

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@moosezilla: Kids? Yes. Pets? No.

No aversion to dead/killing things.

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I live in the country. Field mice are endemic and sneak in via any opening. My best luck is a combination of items. I use the glue strip/pads in corners and out of the way spots, baited with peanut butter. I also use typical mouse traps, pictured above in areas that seem well traveled.

Mice do learn, some will explore glue strips, some go for the snap traps. No point in being queasy about disposing of the mice. They will ruin furniture and food, carry disease and will stink up the place with urine. You can also try poisoned (warfrin type anticoagulant) bait, but since that can also hurt birds, cats and other animals it should be used only under controlled circumstances.

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If it was just mice, I'd try the suggestions here. If you actually have rats, I would call a professional in to deal with the problem. From my experience (and it's only word of mouth), rats will bite and claw at humans, without provocation. They are notorious for spreading disease. You may want to speak with your neighbors, too. If you've got them, they probably do, too. Perhaps you could work out a muliti-home deal with a professional. At any rate, if you have children, or, just for yourself, I would not take any chances with rats.

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Thanks everyone for your late night/early morning support.

Other than the few things that we have tried, we think we are going to get some plastic snap traps and bait with a combo of peanut butter and flour. I am going to attempt to check them every morning before the girls get up and contact the landlord and explain that this does us no good if they keep coming from his abandoned property next door. Maybe then it would put some pressure on him to get it cleaned up and possibly a visit from an exterminator. Then again, it took the city writing him a ticket to mow the lawn, and he was the mayor. :(

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Exterminators will use tacky boards in the attics. If you're up to removing not dead rodents and aren't worried about the humane factor, these are good because it keeps them from going into the walls.

Ours were getting in the attic via a tall tree next to the house. They can squeeze in through the small crack between the brick and the eaves. He had us top that tree below the roof line (2-story) and waited a week for them to exit. Then he put down tacky boards.

Live catch? You're on your own. You're just moving the problem IMHO. It's not like they're an endangered species.

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Then moved onto electric traps - got 2. Then nothing.

So we got a cat from the shelter where I volunteer. Asked for the biggest, meanest barn-cat/feral they could legally adopt out to me. She worked like a charm. Killed and presented us with about 5 half-eaten rats. Yay! Turns out, she's pretty friendly, too. She likes to patrol the roof, garage and crawl space under the house.

However, when I heard them in the attic, and walls, I gave up on avoiding poison, and called the exterminator. We got an eco-friendly one that uses a low-dose poison so if your cat/dog/etc eats the dead rat, they aren't affected. Two weeks after the exterminators came the rats were gone.

I really strongly prefer to kill something quick and humanely, or let nature take it's course with a cat, but sometimes you gotta waive the white flag.

Last two cents: I would never, ever use those glue traps. They are incredibly cruel and there are better ways to solve the problem.

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@jsimsace: poison is out of the question, we have lots of quail and cottontail rabbits in the neighborhood that people like, along with the occasional coyote and turkey. Not to mention little kids.

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Although not the most humane, if you can't monitor or access the trap very often take a 5 gallon bucket, fill it half full with water, put a plank leading from the floor up to the rim of the bucket and smear a bit of peanut butter up the plank and plenty down inside the bucket. They fall in and eventually you'll have a bucket filled with your problem rodents. Not for the squeamish but it definitely works.

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@capguncowboy has a key part of the answer: "Be sure to keep them against the edges of high traffic areas (high traffic for them, not you). "

When we had our mouse problem, I found that putting the traps with the bait side towards the wall worked very well. I found out where they were getting in to our basement and spray-foamed that area to seal it off as they can get in through amazingly small cracks. If I hadn't fixed that, they'd just keep getting in and we would get nowhere.

Then I left the traps out to capture those who were in the house until none of them were caught for two weeks before declaring victory. (The spray foam was what did the trick.)

Peanut butter worked very well as a bait.

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@rhmurphy: Good point. Rodents travel along walls and fences where they feel safe.

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I used to have pet rats and pet cats. I have read that mice don't like rats and will avoid houses where they live. This seems to be true in my experience - we never saw mice while we had the rats, but shortly after my last pet rat died, we began having a mouse problem. Luckily we still have our cats. One of them is a former stray and she not only killed two mice, but found the spot they were getting in. I think she intimidated them into leaving because we haven't seen any sign of mice in months since she killed the second one.

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@kamikazeken: We sell a bunch of this stuff annually. The OP didn't mention small pets or kids, so on the basis that there aren't any I would recommend this product, but not necessarily the seller. It's available in lots of other places at a cheaper price.

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THE BEST AND SAFEST WAY TO GET RID OF MICE IS TO PUT A 5 GAL OR EVEN 2 GAL BUCKET OF WATER FILLED ABOUT 1/3 TO 1/2 FULL. ADD TO COVER WATER SUNFLOWER SEEDS ( IN THE SHELLS) THEY FLOAT. THEN TAKE A FLAT STICK AND TAPE IT TO THE BUCKET SO THEY HAVE A RAMP TO CLIMB INTO THE BUCKET ( THEY CAN'T SEE THE WATER) IN THEY GO AND THEY DROWN. IT WORKS LIKE MAGIC, YOU CAN DUMP THE REMAINING OUT INCLUDING THE MOUSE OR MICE, SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, FEED ANOTHER ANIMAL, AND GROW SUNFLOWERS IN SPRING OR DUMP THEM IN A POND WHERE THE SUNFLOWER SEEDS WILL FLOAT AND DUCKS OR GEESE WILL EAT THEM...IT'S A WIN WIN ALL THE WAY AROUND, AND YOU AREN'T TAKING CHANCES WITH POISON. EASY AS PIE AND IT DOES REALLY WORK WELL. I TRIED IT LAST NIGHT AND IT WORKS , I GOT MY FIRST AND HOPEFULLY LAST MOUSE.
CHEAP, EASY , ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE, AND HELPS THE REST OF NATURE SURVIVE .

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@ittybittyx: THE BEST AND SAFEST WAY TO GET RID OF MICE IS TO PUT A 5 GAL OR EVEN 2 GAL BUCKET OF WATER FILLED ABOUT 1/3 TO 1/2 FULL. ADD TO COVER WATER SUNFLOWER SEEDS ( IN THE SHELLS) THEY FLOAT. THEN TAKE A FLAT STICK AND TAPE IT TO THE BUCKET SO THEY HAVE A RAMP TO CLIMB INTO THE BUCKET ( THEY CAN'T SEE THE WATER) IN THEY GO AND THEY DROWN. IT WORKS LIKE MAGIC, YOU CAN DUMP THE REMAINING OUT INCLUDING THE MOUSE OR MICE, SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, FEED ANOTHER ANIMAL, AND GROW SUNFLOWERS IN SPRING OR DUMP THEM IN A POND WHERE THE SUNFLOWER SEEDS WILL FLOAT AND DUCKS OR GEESE WILL EAT THEM...IT'S A WIN WIN ALL THE WAY AROUND, AND YOU AREN'T TAKING CHANCES WITH POISON. EASY AS PIE AND IT DOES REALLY WORK WELL. I TRIED IT LAST NIGHT AND IT WORKS , I GOT MY FIRST AND HOPEFULLY LAST MOUSE.
CHEAP, EASY , ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE, AND HELPS THE REST OF NATURE SURVIVE .