Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › The Front Porch › Off Topic Discussion › More mice than you can count
- November 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm #39927JeanParticipant
Hi, I have known for a while that I have mice in both my barns. I would see one every now and then and there is plenty of mice poop. I have a barn cat, however this time of year he spends more time in the house then in the barn. He also has a girlfriend across the street (he is fixed). Last night when I fed my mini gelding his grain it wasn’t 1 minute before the mice started coming out from under the stall wall. I counted 4 going to the feeder, which is on the floor. There may have been more, it was pretty dark in the barn.
My question is which is best to try to kill them with traps or with poison? I have tried the herbal bags that are supposed to keep them out of the barn because they don’t like the smell. Waste of money. As you can tell by the fact that I let my “barn cat” sleep in the house I am too soft. I want the mice gone, but I don’t want them to suffer.
Don’t hold back, I know I have let this go on too long because of my squirmishness to kill them.
JeanNovember 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm #48309dominiquer60Moderator
I recently talked to a friend that had the same problem, but with rather large rats. This idea could work just as well if you scale it down to a mouse sized contraption.
Take a five gallon pail and drill two small holes about 3-4 inches from the top and directly opposite each other. take a straightened coat hanger and thread it through an empty soda can and then through the holes so that the can is suspended in the center of the pail opening. Secure the wires by bending them so that they won’t pull through. Put peanut butter on the top and bottom of the can and top it with your horse grain. Fill the bottom half of the bucket with water, or if it is cold use RV winterizing fluid (non toxic to the house/barn cat). The rodents will try hard to reach for the snack on the can and may actually touch it, but soon find them selves in a trap that they can’t get out of. When my friend first emptied the trap she thought there were 3 or 4 in it, there were actually twenty. She loves it and can’t thank the guy who told her about it enough.
ErikaNovember 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm #48305RodParticipant
Have you thought about trying another cat, ours keeps all my barns and house mouse free. Goes out every night and hunts. I think all the mice that he doesn’t get have left for safer places to live. And no cleanup or dead mice to deal with.November 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm #48308jen judkinsParticipant
Personally, I like the natural predator-prey relationships like that between a semi-feral cat and mice. I run across a half eaten mouse from time to time, but generally my mouse population is nil. We got 2 feral kittens from a neighbor, handled them enough to catch them for shots and neutering and let them do their thing. I simply make sure they have fresh water and I feed them lightly in the winter. We had another feral cat move in last winter….I hav-a-hearted her, fixed her and set her back out to work. She is still with us but not approachable at all.
This method has worked for me and I don’t have to dispose of little bodies (except on occasion). The cats seem fine all winter long in the barn…I even see them out in the woods hunting in the snow.
I tried to make my house cat a barn cat once….it didn’t work. She got pissed and ran away from home…haven’t seen her since. I think they have to be one or the other and start out that way to be happy.
Jennifer.November 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm #48307Does’ LeapParticipant
Mice are one step away from rats. We had lots of mice, then after a few years rats – for me a whole different ball game. Mice are inconvenient, rats are destructive and can be vectors for various diseases. We make cheese for a living and have zero tolerance for any rodents, especially rats.
We got a Jack Russel Terrier who has virtually eliminated our rodent problem and has be a great pet to boot. Have also used poison in a dispenser I made from pvc. You need:
- 3 pieces of 1 1/2 pvc cut to 16″
- 1 1/2 “t”
- 1 1/2 cap.
Glue your 3 pieces into the “t” and invert to make an upside down T. Put poison in the section facing up, cap it and secure to a wall with metal plumbers strapping. Rodents get in to access the poison, but nothing else (cats, chickens, dogs, etc.). There are “organic” poisons available if you don’t like the real thing. Make at least 5 traps and put them all over the barn. Check the poison regularly. This should get rid of everything.
GeorgeNovember 25, 2008 at 12:17 am #48311RobinParticipant
Cats & rodents…My cat is indoor/outdoor and he does a good job on mice/rats/squirrels/rabbits, etc. The only problem I find, other than the carcus’ is worms. I have to worm him every 4 months for tapeworms. Last year he had other varieties. If you can’t handle your cat for shots, vet appts. how will you be able to get a pill down?
I did have more cats previously, but they have passed away. Right now, I have the indoor/outdoor guy plus one indoor sissy cat. She is afraid of her own shadow, but I haven’t seen any mice in the house in a few years. She must be doing her job.November 25, 2008 at 4:28 am #48310dominiquer60Moderator
I agree that a good cat is very valuable, mine with kill mice, chipmunks, voles, song birds, rats, squirrels, and full sized rabbits. I haven’t seen a chipmunk in the garage or a squirrel in the yard since I got him. Once we did have a problem with really huge rats that moved in the house during March, rain must have flooded their winter nests because they moved in like gang busters. They had a bad habit of taking chicks out of the brooder even after we covered it. The cat could not keep up with the population so we resorted to poison. I wish I had know of the “Adirondack rat trap” back then, the dog and cat were fine with the poison around, but I hated using it, but sometimes the cat:rodent ratio is not in your favor.November 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm #48304Carl RussellModerator
I went out and got a six year old human who is absolutely nuts about any and all types of traps. Does a wicked good job. He’ll “Have-a-Heart”, or “Have-no-Heart”, either way you want!!!!!
You should have seen the #4 he set up over my grain bin, complete with 8 penny nails driven through a board, and horse shoes for weights. Never caught the monster rodent that was chewing 3″ holes in the bin, but it went away sore, and never came back!!!
It may not be the best solution for some of you, and it is really pretty expensive, but it certainly adds excitement and humor to solving a rodent problem.
CarlNovember 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm #48306JeanParticipant
Do you rent that human out? They are few and far between around here.
You all have given me some good ideas. As soon as I have some day light to work in I will start the great mouse murder.
If my min pin would stay in the barn she would be an easy solution, but first she would have to try to kill all wildlife in the woods, then when that was done she might work on the little critters in the barn. Never saw an animal with more of a killer instinct. Thank goodness she is only 9 lbs.
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