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How to prevent damage from mice

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#1 BruceNewEngland

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 10:16 PM

There are a lot of great posts about observatories, and they are giving me the itch...

 

However, we live on the corner of a large field with woods nearby, and large numbers of field mice find their way into all of our outbuildings.

 

They’ve caused significant damage to numerous things over the years, I can just imagine what they’d do with a room full of astronomy gear frown.gif

 

Do you have similar issues and if so, how do you deal with it?

Bruce.


Edited by BruceNewEngland, 10 August 2020 - 10:17 PM.


#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:05 PM

We get some mice on our rural property... not a lot, but some. This is a brute-force approach, but it does work. >>> Just buy Rat Poison... the kind that comes in big sticks, about the size of a candy bar. All I do is put those around the inside edges (where the floor and walls meet) of every out-building. There are signs of them being nibbled... but ever since I started using those, years ago... we never get any mouse damage or even sightings of mice. So, the occasional mouse that wanders in... returns to the nest --- and drops dead! Extremely effective, and cheap! The one caution is you can't do this with pets around... and would have to make sure your kids know better than to get into the poison. Dogs would eat it (a horrid death); cat's seem smart enough to avoid it. If your cats eat poisoned mice... wouldn't be good!

 

Ummm... There are lock-boxes you can put it in... mice can get in there, but your pets can't... I use those, too. I check the boxes about once a year, and it's obvious that mice have been in and out. Like I said... they return to their nest and die. I feel sorry for them, but just gota be practical...    Tom

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#3 jessebear

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:12 PM

I grew up behind a corn field in Nebraska. Mice got into everything, but it was really annoying when they chewed on wiring in stored cars/motorcycles. My dad always used poison and the old Victor traps. We tried more humane methods but they just don't work.

I hadn't seen them on my property in Colorado since coming here until last year. They infested a shed right outside my garage but thankfully didn't come in. I put out the pet safe poison traps but they didn't seem to like those. Victor traps with peanut butter caught 7 in one night and then fewer and fewer each night after. I sprayed diluted bleach all around the shed too - I guess they hate the smell.
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#4 RichA

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:27 PM

When I was young, I had an overnight job cleaning a mall restaurant.  Mice would eat their way into loaves of bread.  One time, one fell into a toaster so when someone in  the morning went to make some...


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#5 rgsalinger

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:18 AM

We have an observatory and a warming room. The warming room never gets mice because it's well sealed up and the door is closed when we aren't there (and usually when we are there). We keep around three non fatal traps and set them out when we are out there. The mice eat the bait and then if we get back in time we relocate the mice. If we don't then we relocate the bodies. I wish we didn't have to kill the little fellows but we do because they will gnaw the equipment if we don't.

 

One thing I've seen is to put a band of aluminum all around the observatory about 5 feet of the ground. Most climbing vermin can stat attached to aluminum so you can avoid roof rats and lizards that way. We're still renovating - just finished up painting the place so maybe we'll get around to it in the fall. 

 

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#6 Stevegeo

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 03:54 AM

If you stated where you were at, what part of the country. Our answers would be a bit more direct.

 

Catching and killing is the easy part,  keeping them out is the challenge..   small mice can get in a 3/8 in hole so a tite building is one, but that just slows them down... they chew , and rats, they can chew through cinderblock walls.....I have seen it on our farm growing up and at a processing  plant I worked at.

 

Poison bait  like Tom cat is great, but like a few have mentioned,  you gotta be careful around d kids and pets.

My next offer is a simple 5 gallon bucket with 6in of water ( a touch of antifreeze for cold weather)  a coat hanger  , soda or beer can , and a stick for a ramp.  And peanut butter... 

Look up mouse traps on you tube.  This method is cheap, simple. And resets itself.   We have caught many mice using this easy setup,  in my garage I have two, in my observatory  outside under the building , another.

 

Last suggestion.   Unreliable,  get a cat....lol

 

Good luck.  Stevegeo 


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#7 BruceNewEngland

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:37 PM

Thanks everyone.

 

I’m in southwest New Hampshire.

 

Interesting point on the aluminum, maybe wrapping the pier with it would keep the mounted scope safe?

 

We have dogs and a cat (and wild critters like fox, hawks etc.) so I’m hesitant to try poisons.

 

I have heard of the water bucket trap, good to hear that it’s effective! I could use that three seasons, but not in the winter with antifreeze, too dangerous with dogs...

 

The biggest issue is protecting the gear. I’ve even tried hanging things by ropes in the shed, they still get to them frown.gif

Bruce.



#8 John Carlini

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:48 PM

In rural Wyoming, the cats do a good job keeping them out of the main house. However, I get mice in my cabin crawlspace. So, I use a layered approach; I deploy traps, mouse poison, audible repellents and scented repellant. The scented ones, like the link below, appear to keep them off my hot water heater:

 

https://www.amazon.c...693979269&psc=1


Edited by John Carlini, 11 August 2020 - 12:50 PM.

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#9 Stevegeo

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 02:58 PM

At my other house where I keep a few antique cars the  mice used to be rampant...  the garage , no matter how tite I got it they came in and wrecked Havoc.   The bucket method worked at catching them... but to keep them out took a bit more .

 

An older man I know at a car show with his prized model t told me that the car fresheners  that  smell like new car are most effective for one winter..    tho be a but more specific the Christmas tree fresheners...

 Being skeptical i bought a few, at a buck for three i figured no loss.   He told me to get the black ones called BLACK ICE.

 

I bought two three packs, one each at the corner of both garage door where they can sneak in, and  one taped to the center of each door at the seal.... tore off about an inch or so ....and let them fume.   Periodically I would visit the garage and. heck for droppings  or things disturbed.... that was 10 yrs ago.  No mice.... not one. The pail outside would occasionally get one or  two dear mice, then nothing for months...   I change the fresheners  now every fall around a week after labor day..

Then again in march.. I do the same at my observatory inside.  It works.  

What have you got to lose trying this?  Have a backup of a few baited traps  and check them every week...

Mice are determined and destructive  animals....

 

Stevegeo 


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#10 BruceNewEngland

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 07:38 PM

John and Steve,

 

I’ll try ”Grandpa Gus's Mouse Repellent” and “Black Ice” air fresheners in my storage shed ASAP.

 

Thank you!

Bruce



#11 MHamburg

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 09:52 AM

In my experience you can rarely eliminate them 100%; just keep them under control.

Michael


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#12 vsteblina

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 05:33 PM

Lots of tools for killing rodents, because most are not that effective.  The key really is to keep at it, to keep the population as low as possible. 

 

Cats work.  Just be sure you get a working cat. The only ones that work are the females.  We are not cat people, but when we lived full-time in rural areas, we always had TWO cats around.

 

One note on poison's.  Had several large dogs that almost died from eating mice that died from poisons.  They were not on my property, but the neighbors...so post or tell your neighbors your using poisons to kill mice.

 

I watched my wife's Bichon eat a dead mouse, that I killed by drowning.  He would have been dead if I had used poison.  I feed the dead mice to the coyote's.



#13 Stevegeo

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 07:20 PM

I would not use poison for control of ANY mice ....my reasons,

Mouse eats poison,  mouse gets sick doesnt die ..or does  .. hawks  , owls , even fox eat mice ....they DIE  from the poison...

That being  said, even a Cat or dog as well ...

 

I would use the bucket method , check you tube for information,  or a repeater trap ..easy to make and maintain. 

And very effective in controlling  these varmints.  

Poison has other detrimental  effects as well, getting into the soil and water where birds and other animals can get . 

NOT GOOD . 

Hope I made my point . 

Stevegeo.  


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#14 MHamburg

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 09:37 AM

Call me a softie, but on a couple of occasions I had the misfortune of finding a mouse caught still alive in the the snap trap. I moved it into the woods hoping that a natural predator would eventually administer the coup de grace.

Michaelundecided.gif



#15 derherr65

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 10:45 AM

There are lots of designs online which hold a spinning or dropping baited platform over a 5 gallon or larger bucket. Taller buckers can hold mice for relocation. Shorter buckets can hold 6-10 inches of water for a permanent solution.



#16 MikeMiller

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Posted 18 August 2020 - 11:59 AM

For those suggesting to get a cat...

 

Would you suggest a Maksutov or a Schmidt?


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#17 SimonIRE

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 04:49 AM

About a year ago I found a mouse scurrying about in my observatory. I basically beat it within an inch of it’s life and let it go back its nest to relay its experience to the others. I’ve never seen a mouse since...;)

#18 MHamburg

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 07:39 PM

😁😁😁


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