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DCblogger's picture

I have discovered that I have mice in my apartment.

My collie dog does not consider mice to be his department and I am very allergic to cats.

I don't like the idea of poison because they will die in the walls and not smell nice.

I don't like the idea of traps because dealing with dead mice in a trap does not appeal.

Any other ideas?

No votes yet


Submitted by lambert on

I get the el cheapo kind, under $10 for a pack of two IIRC. All I can say is that I haven't heard scratching in the walls, but then I blocked off that part of my area anyhow partly for heat and partly because the other unit is noisy.

Also, I combined with poison around the house. Poison does not act instantly, and so my idea was to poison them and drive them away with the sonics.

There are also live traps.

Totally non-causal, all of it!

NOTE I wish there were another kind of animal that you weren't allergic too, like a gecko or something.

dugsdale's picture
Submitted by dugsdale on

I've used these things for years and years against occasional mouse incursions. They're live traps, so you have to pay attention on a daily basis to see if they've been sprung or not (othewise the mice die). Once the trap has sprung (hopefully capturing a mouse, although sometimes clumsy mice spring the trap while they're not IN it yet), take the trap for a long walk or a short drive, let out Mr. Mouse, and head home. Let's see if I can throw in the URL:

Good luck!

dugsdale's picture
Submitted by dugsdale on

A couple additional thoughts: I assume you've already done the "find and plug the holes where mice get in" operation; I have a couple of hard to find holes that are unpluggable and have (I THINK) found a remedy by sprinkling a little used cat litter by the holes (I hear a chorus of "ewwwwwwww"s, but a) the holes are nowhere near food and b) are not visible, and the litter doesn't smell at all to ME). Also, using the tip-trap (which I initially got free at the Humane Society here in NYC) you may have to "train" the mouse to go into it, grab a snack (peanut butter works well) and leave. Once the mouse is habituated, you can set the trap up so it'll tip and close once the mouse is inside. (I also have a larger appliance called a "tin cat" that I haven't field-tested yet; people say it works great, but like the tip-trap, you need to get the trapped mouse freed before the mouse can die of dehydration or fright. Of course, the ideal solution for you is to walk the trap-cum-mouse several blocks, or miles, from where you live and free it in the wild where it can't find its way back; mice being intensely territorial creatures it'll undoubtedly be ripped to shreds by the locals, so I'm not sure how "humane" the whole operation is, at least for the mouse.)

PunchnRun's picture
Submitted by PunchnRun on

Could you handle ferrets? Perhaps you could borrow a couple (they seem to like to run in pairs).

Submitted by lambert on

That's an original solution! First Read knows about ferrets.

Also, I wonder about a second dog bred to kill rodents? A small one?

Submitted by hipparchia on

you're not missing out on anything in the rodent-elimination department by not having a cat, or even a whole houseful of cats, i can promise you.

i haven't tried any of these remedies yet, but if i do, i'll let you know what the results are

wuming's picture
Submitted by wuming on

D-con makes the mice thirsty so they go outside and die outside. Seemed to work pretty well in my experience.

Submitted by lambert on

I do know that when I checked the D-Con I put down last year, it had been eaten, and until very recently, no mice. And no critter sounds, at least.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Had a major problem with mice in 2011. Nothing worked until I tried steel wool in every possible entrance for the mice into the apartment. Have been mouse-free since.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Mice don't like scent of peppermint oil. Pick up a small bottle at a health food store and dip cotton balls into it and leave them about. A nice smell to deal with a darn nasty problem. Good luck.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Call a pest control company and let them handle it. I had squirrels in my attic. No that's not a metaphor. Had to call them twice. They set up traps that lead to the outside of my house. When the traps are full, the company comes and takes them away. I didn't want to ask.
It's probably more money than you will want to spend but when it comes to unwelcome guests, I go with the pros.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

I once watched a mouse run over the paws of my old dog - he was completely unfazed.

You can get live traps - they are rectangular metal boxes with a spring door at one end. Put some caramel or peanut butter inside. When trapped, release mouse outdoors away from your house and reuse the trap as needed.

zot23's picture
Submitted by zot23 on

Mice are a way of life ;) We must catch/kill/drive off 4-5 dozen a year from the house.

Unfortunately, there are only 3 things you can do with mice:

* Kill them
* Remove the haborage you are providing (seal entrances to your house)
* Live with it

If sealing and living with it are out, you are really down to killing the mice. Unless you are willing to take a long walk to release them, they will be back in the house soon are harborage is harborage for mice. In other words, if your house looked warm and cozy once (and the entrances are there), it will continue to look warm and cozy.

We tend to kill them, using most every method under the sun. Here's what we found:

* Regular mousetraps: good, but can misfire and be dragged away into the walls.
* Glue traps: better, mice almost never get away but can only catch 1-2 mice before it is used up.
* Poisons: works but yeah, mice crawl away and die in the walls. 2 weeks of dead animal smell. Don't do poison.
* Improved traps: You can find these at Home Depot and garden places, it's like a regular trap but plastic and has a wider plastic "shelf" they step on to trigger it. These work excellent, it's what we are using now. Little pricer but reusable and very solid, don't usually misfire.
* Also, there is a "housing" you can buy with the traps above, it's like a little tunnel (with entrance holes) that has two traps inside. Mice love it as it simulates harborage and has food inside. These things catch mice like mad, you have to regularly check it though to see if it has sprung.

One last tidbit: if you have some old peanut butter don't throw it away. Mice and rats are CRAZY for PB, arm all your traps with it. Peanuts (or dog/cat food) can be used in the middle of glue traps as well, but PB in an improved snap trap works like a charm.

The good news for you is if you've not had mice before, if you can catch them quick you might not get them again for a while. But I suggest catching/killing them quick. If they breed in the walls, you will have generations of mice for a long, long time. It might seem a kindness to not kill them, but if you end up with dozens over years due to not killing the first 2-3, have you done anyone a favor?

zot23's picture
Submitted by zot23 on

Oh yeah, the sonics. They seem to work ok to keep them out of an area, I have not found they will completely drive the mice out of the house. Maybe in the kitchen to keep them from your food. The problem is if it is freezing outside, they will put up with the irritation of the sonic noise rather than freeze to death. Mice are small but they know their business. ;)

Submitted by lambert on

My critter(s) started causing problems when it started getting cold and I didn't have time to go around the house and seal up any diggings at foundation level.

Submitted by jawbone on

after each catch, as the mice get panicky and pee and shit. Messy. At least I think they have to be washed -- anyone know?

I then drown the mice in a pail of water and dispose with which to make nests. They got a real hold on my house when I was hospitalized for a month and have been very difficult to eradicate.

They are dirty and they damage things to make nests. Like glove linings in what I thought were safe drawers. They can get in through incredibly narrow openings.

Since I lost my last cat, I am going to use poisons to try to winnow them down and must also be vigilant with the plastic cube traps.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Let me also recommend the steel wool in the holes, but it has the same problem as poison, they die in the walls.

I don't recommend those plastic shelf traps, we went through ten of them at my work, where the mice ate all the peanut butter(and yes the older the better, we had this old funky stuff with liquid oozing out of it that they FLOCKED to) without ever tripping the trap. The old school metal ones work better, but they are touchier.

No one likes to deal with traps, I like them and find them a lot more humane than than glue traps. I've seen mice start eating each other if more than one are stuck on the glue trap, plus they squeal. I'm always the first one in my office, so I get stuck removing the traps, and what I do is dip into our stash of plastic grocery bags(the reusable ones are great, but I do one trip a month to get the plastic ones, as they are so convenient to reuse for trash liners) put it over my hand, use my covered hand to pick up the wooden part of the trap, so I don't have to touch the corpse at all. I pull the bag off my hand, with the trap now inside, I tie the bag up and throw it away.

Voila, no mess trap.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

years ago I had skipperkee mix, never a sign of mice. The winter after the skipperkee mix died, the mice moved in. At that time I used poison, but I really don't want to repeat that. A friend of mine got a couple of barn cats to fix her mice problem, and that worked perfectly. Ferrets appeal, but I am really not in a position to add another animal to the household, and I don't think that the collie would approve.

Sonics will keep mice out of certain areas, but will not keep them out of the house. As a tenant don't feel like calling professional help, my landlord won't. The area is gentrifying and he wants to see to a developer who will just pull the house down.

Peppermint oil and live traps sound promising. I will see what I can do to seal the house up.


coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

We get mice in the attic when it gets cold. We have sealed every visible hole with steel wool AND I have sonic plug-ins all throughout the house.

No scratching this winter (and we just got through 5 days of 23-40 degrees - perfect mouse days) in Arizona.

ralphbon's picture
Submitted by ralphbon on

Battery powered, electrocutes them instantly.When the flashing light indicates the done deed, you pour Ethel or Julius Rodentberg into the trash without touching or even looking. Deeply disincentivizes mice from nibbling your crumbs or stealing your nuclear secrets. In our four-family co-op, these did the trick for our neighbors; our cat does the trick for us. Get the rat versions; smaller zappers supposedly designed for mice don't work nearly as well.