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post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 

Ok so embarrassingly, I have found out that my house has mice. I don't think we had mice until this winter. A couple of months back we realized that our down stairs had them and we thoroughly cleaned the whole house (shampooed the carpets and everything). Things seemed to get better until I got into the closet to get some baby stuff out and noticed mice poo all over. Then days later the kids said they saw a mouse again.

Well I had thought I had them contained to at least the down stairs closets....not that I wanted them there...but I could handle them there more than the main living area.
Well my bubble was busted when just a couple of days ago I noticed mice poo on my kitchen floor and the next day I saw the offending creature when I got up in the morning. I was very displeased but was like well at least it is not on the counter.....well  I spoke too soon and that night what do I hear but a mouse on the counter and then find poo. I was soooooooooo upset about it! I don't even know how they get up there!!!!!! No wonder the family has been so sick lately!

Either way for the past couple of months we have really been trying to keep crumbs disposed of and any food stored away from where they assumingly can get it. Thankfully I don't think they have been in our food...but I don't like the idea of them being on our counters!

Basically I obviously don't want to use poisons as
1. I have 4 kids
2. I don't want them falling dead in my house and me not knowing where
3. even though I don't want them in my house....I still kind of feel bad killing them 0_o
So that of course takes out the idea of snap traps and glue boards as well......but if I don't get them out of here...then I may have to result to inhumane killing =(.

I have tried the live catch traps. The first caught one in downstairs area. I released it a couple blocks from our house. But when taking the trap back to the house, I dropped it and it broke...so I had to toss it after one use. I planned to buy more but they didn't sell that kind anymore. So I bought the more expensive live trap and it has been worthless. It has been out for a couple of months hasn't caught a thing....even though I have seen mice!

I have tried catching them in peanut butter jars as from research they really like peanut butter....but that didn't work.

I have tried some of the things (that you have around your house) that are supposed to repel them. Such as moth balls and bounce dryer sheets. Moth balls didn't work and I just put the dryer sheets out today. So we will see. 
I tired peppermint leaves (dried) and that didn't work. I have been told peppermint oil works...just haven't found any around this area yet.

I have read of various non-toxic and humane ways of getting rid of them...but they have mixed reviews. I just hate to put out a ton more time and money if it won't work.

I put screens in the vents to keep them out but apparently they found a different way. I even vacced the vents out so they wouldn't have stored up food.

I wouldn't mind the mice as much if they didn't carry disease, chew on things, and leave poo all over. Honestly I think they are cute...but I don't want them running free around my house!!

So I ask.....does anyone know of anything that ACTUALLY works!?!?!? help.gif

post #2 of 89
Snap traps or a good mouser cat. innocent.gif once the mice are in, they can just keep reproducing and if you see one or two, there are many more that you are not seeing. you have two problems, getting g rid of the existing infestation and then figuring out where they came inside to begin with and fixing that. I have not had much luck with humane methods but to be honest if there is a mouse in my house, I don't sleep until it is gone. Mice inside seriously freak me out but my old neighbor did die of hantavirus which mice in my area can carry.
post #3 of 89

years ago we had a rental with mice. The owner spent a lot on pest control. Basically the guy went around the whole house. The spot they entered was so tiny. They leave a dark greasy mark where they squeeze in..eeeewww!  That was the first thing he did, seal entries. Also, cut grass etc near the building. Then he placed a lot of traps...so, yeah, he killed them. He came back every day to check the traps. It did work. He used peanut butter too. He said never give poison as they can die in a wall cavity and you will never get rid of the smell.

Good Luck...

post #4 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info
Yeah I think I might have to go for the good ol' fashioned snap traps. I will just have to have dh be the one that disposes of them....as I don't think I could handle it 0_o

I just want my family to live in a safe place...not a place that has possible bacteria filled rodents.

I would so just move if my husband would let me.....but then I would freak if they came in the moving boxes with us!

We rent the place we are currently in and have lived here for almost 10 years without a mouse issue......like I said...it pretty much all seemed to just start in the past few months. Our vehicles and our neighbors vehicles have even been attacked! We have seen them just running around the yard! I can't believe they have been so bad!

The family has had so much stomach and intestinal sickness over the past few months and I am starting to wonder if it was from the mice. I kind of chalked it off as just normal flu that comes around in the winter, but when only one member would get it....it kind of makes me wonder.

The kids play on the floors constantly and of course then put their hands in their mouth or eat without washing hands......so who knows.

It just grosses me out and I hate that those things may have been making my family sick!


If I didn't cringe at the idea of a cat getting hair all over my house (and if my kids were not terrified of animals) I would get a house cat.........but I don't for see that happening.

We have been keeping it as crumb free as possible...you would think they would run out of food at some point!!

post #5 of 89

I sympathize, we're going through the same thing!!! EEEK! I am also deeling with it poorly on the emotional end. It makes me feel dirty, effects my sleep and is embarassing! :/ WE're doing the snap traps as well.

post #6 of 89

I spent a lot on humane traps too, but what actually worked for me was the ol' paper-towl-tube-off-the-counter trick.


Here's how it works:

1. Get a paper towel tube. Put it so one end is on the counter top and the rest is hanging off above the floor.

2. Put a coin or something in the counter end to help weigh the tube down.

3. Put some bait (e.g. raisins) near the tube, and put one in the over-the-floor end of the tube.

4. Put a large bucket or trashcan under the tube to contain the mouse. IIRC, it needs to be at least 20 inches tall (and smooth inside, of course).


The mouse will walk into the tube to get the food and his own weight will cause the tube to fall into the trash can with him in it.


You have to release them at least a mile from your home, or maybe some kind of wildlife rehab organization will take them. Since you'll have the mouse contained for a while, make sure you remind your kids not to pet them.

post #7 of 89

If it's a rental I would prob tell the owners. If I was an owner I would be happy to know and get rid of them. Worse case would be renters who didn't care and the problem got worse. Our owner was right on it and let us call pest control and bill him.  I would want pest control in and the mice out asap.

Looking back our prob was pretty bad and got out of control fast. The worst was at night, I would hear then in closets and in the evening watching tv I would sometimes see one.

I had babies then too. The house never felt clean to me again.

He put the traps high, on shelves, in attic etc.

I think I let our problem get bad before doing anything. So long ago but I still remember that smell and thinking they were gone and finding poop and just crying.

If it's just the odd one or two you should be able to deal with this pretty fast.


post #8 of 89

FYI, if you've seen evidence, and you've let it go since this winter, you probably have, no exaggeration, hundreds, if not thousands of mice :-/       The risk of that kind of waste product in your house far exceeds the risk of traps and poisons. It's time to hire a professional, it's been so long I doubt you'll be able to get it under control by yourself.

post #9 of 89
Thread Starter 

I have been trying to deal with it from the get go. We thoroughly cleaned our house bottom to top.....and things seemed to get better for a while. It wasn't until here recently that the problem made itself evident again.
We try our best to maintain clean floors and counters and keep all food stored away in an assumingly mice free area.

And we have tried some traps...just not the killing ones or poison.

We caught one in our first live trap. That was shortly after we realized there was a problem.
Then we ended up catching one accidently in a trash can. This was maybe a week or two later.
I also caught one in my kids stereo.
And we found a dead one.

I have put out other live traps but they just didn't catch anything.

We hadn't seen any mice in a while until a few days ago. Each time he has been seen he has gone back to the same location.........so I think I figured out his house (behind the dishwasher). So I hope to figure out a way to deal with that.
I honestly don't think I have a lot in my main living area as up until a couple of days ago I did not see a single sign of mice......no poo....no chewings, no noises....nothing. But in the past couple of days I have seen poo, the mouse and evidence that he has been messing with stuff and heard noises. So I think it is a relatively new thing to have them up here. 

Now down stairs there seemed to have been quite the problem but we haven't seen any down there in a while and after I cleaned up the last of the poo, I haven't seen any return. So I am hoping they have stopped attacking down there.....but I hope they didn't just move upstairs!

post #10 of 89

You have to figure out where they are coming in and seal it up.  Until you figure out where they are coming in, they will just keep coming back.  If you have a garage, that is a prime suspect place.  Look for any new holes or cracks.  There is this product called liquid foam, which you can use to spray all around your pipes, in any cracks in the walls, anyplace small enough where they could come.  It sprays like foams and then hardens and mice can't chew through it.


Then set traps to kill the ones already in the house.

post #11 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.
I had checked around the outside of the house a few weeks back and covered any place I thought might have let them in gravel. The landlord did put some of that spray foam in an area that had rotted. It is an area by a spicket that comes out from our house. The spicket drips and the water has rotted the cedar siding a little. So my landlord, used that spray foam. I covered that area with white rock gravel to be extra safe. I checked it a few days ago and the rock had been moved some (not sure if water did it or mice) and the foam was exposed and of course was damaged (could have been from me putting the rock on it or perhaps the water dripping or maybe even mice). I kind of just moved the gravel back over the spot and will tend to it later. 

We do not have a garage....so I know it isn't there that they are getting in..lol.

I am also concerned as to where I can safely put the traps to where my kids won't get into them.

My husband found a mouse repellant.....there is an indoor and outdoor form. It is pricey but has decent reviews...but I don't know how long it lasts. I would hate to have to use it all the time. It is about 25 dollars (without shipping) to cover a 50 ft line 8 inches wide....which is what is recommended for the outdoors. I think we would need about two to go around a house (maybe more). And as stated previously, I don't know how long it lasts.
I do wish my landlord was more proactive about it all, but I don't care to make a big fuss about it...given that he is my father in law and I can't get away from him. lol

I did find out that mice have some interesting abilities. My son saw one hopping up the stairs! We have spiral metal stairs...so it is open between stairs. They have had the ability to somehow get on the counters and shelves....even though supposedly they can't run up walls. They have the ability to chew through hard plastic....as they chewed the corner of my kids stereo. And I am wondering if they have the ability to open cabinet doors, as I heard my cabinet door shut when no one was around but me.

They finally got into my food in the pantry.....thankfully just a couple of bags of cereal was sacrificed....but needless to say I was mad. I guess when you take away all of the easy food (such as floor and counter crumbs) they well...u get the point.

I am just so ready for this to be over!

Thank you all for your help =)

post #12 of 89

We have battled mice over the years and where I grew up (farms) mice were sort of a part of life.


We recently went through an epic battle and I thought my DH was going to have a breakdown, it was so stressful.  What made it worse was they were deer mice, which are far larger than the little field mice I was used to and deer mice carry ticks that can cause Lyme disease.


As far as I am concerned, there is no "nice" way to battle the mice, you need to take the gloves off so to speak.  We had to get a professional exterminator and here is what I learned from the experience -


1. mice can squeeze through a crack smaller than the tip of your pinky


2. no matter how clean you keep the house, once mice find a nice place to live/reproduce, they settle in and will travel outside of the house to find food


3. not all cats are good micers.  Mine were/are, so much so that they liked to play with the mice for hours prior to the kill.  A cat bringing a live mouse into bed in the middle of the night will cure anyone of their squishness over traps and poisons, ask me how I know.....


4. we used enclosed bait poison stations and didn't make the decision lightly.  These are places in the dark corners of closets, cabinets, etc where mice like to travel.    You need a key to open the it and because of how it is designed, I think it would be hard, if not impossible, for a kid or other pet to get it open unless they used a hammer and a crow bar.  The exterminator told me that the "poison" is basically blood thinner.  Mice are so little, it doesn't take much to do the trick.  It makes them extremely thristy, driving them outside (ideally) to look for water and if all goes right, they die outside. I didn't find a poisoned mouse in the house.



We learned this old fashion trick from a friend - fill a bucket about 1/2 full of water and put something in the water to give it a scent, we use a couple of drops of cooking oil.   Place a board against the lip of the bucket with the other end on the floor, you are creating a ramp from the floor to the bucket.  The idea is that mice will run up the board ramp and fall into the water when they try to get a drink.  I had my doubts but we were catching one or two per day!  


I used aluminum foil to seal spaces around the heating and plumbing pipes but now know that mice will chew through that.  The exterminator gave me a type of steel wool made out of copper that has proven effective.


I can't remember the exact price but I think we pay $375 a year now.  The exterminator we use guarantees results and will come as much as needed to get the problem under control, regular visits are quarterly.   He provides all the traps and supplies.


When we would catch a mouse once in a while, I didn't think it was a big deal  My DH pushed and it was hard for me to agree to this service because I hated the poison idea and was very worried about our son and our cats.  And then we got massive quantities of mice and that pushed me over the edge.  We have been free of mice for about a year, keeping fingers crossed.

post #13 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your tips

I have thought about trying to fill the kitchen sinks with bleach water every night and see if that will catch a few.......but not sure if the bleach would repel them or not. But I figured if they fell in bleach water, that not only would they drown (hopefully), but hopefully the bleach would kill them. But the smell of the bleach might repel them given they have sensitive noses. It would be great if that idea would repel them from my counter in general....but I don't know that would work.

I did learn that apparently they can climb out of a large peanut butter container. I had set this out as trap......but this morning I just found mouse poop in the tall peanut butter container.
Also again my kids saw a mouse hopping up the stairs.

I think a lot of times people underestimate the abilities and intelligence of mice. No wonder they use them for so many testings in labs 0_o

I still cringe at the idea of snap traps....as I think I would not be able to dispose of the remains without freaking out or if I heard the trap go off, I might be bothered by the fact that I know I just killed a mouse.
I am getting better at the idea of them dieing.....I just don't like the idea of blood and guts. And I don't want to risk them dieing in my walls or various places with poisons. The smell is horrendous! I currently have a dead mouse in my vehicle vent 0_o...thankfully it is warm here so I can drive with my windows open to help clean the air!

I think I might search online to find the original live capture traps I used which actually did do its job unlike the piece of junk I am currently using. I think if I bought a lot of those and put them places that I have seen mice that I could capture them and this time be sure to take them farther from the house. At the same time, I think I might press the landlord to put out the money for the outside repellant.....given that it isn't my fault that his land has had a mice problem.

Here is what I have found DOESN'T work-
-moth balls don't seem to bother the mice like they are supposed to
-bounce dryer sheets...I am not positive if this affects them.....I stuffed some in the cracks I have seen mice around and some of the sheets don't seem to be moved...but others do....but it might not be from mice. I know I have still seen evidence of mice....just not sure if RIGHT NEXT to the bounce sheets. 
-dried peppermint leaves don't work....although I haven't tried the oil. I might buy some just to give it a try
-peanut butter containers- apparently mice can get out easily from them without knocking them over....even if they are the 6 inch high containers

Things I have learned-
-apparently mice can actually hop up stairs
-mice apparently can get on counters and shelves.....somehow...still not sure how
-they can fit in really small spaces
-they can chew hard plastic

I am reassured that they have not plagued my main living area for very long.......so that at least makes me feel a little better....given that it is apparently a new problem and hopefully can be taken care of quickly.
I know for sure that they have not been on my counters for more than a week.......which I find comfort in.
But now it is just time to get them out all together!

I would like to naively tell myself that since the mice can hop up and down the stairs...that perhaps there are less than I figure......I know last night I heard a noise that sounded like a mouse running across my upstairs room and in less than a minute my son came up to tell me he saw a mouse jumping all the way up the stairs. So I hope that is the same one I heard just moments before. And hopefully the same one that has been on my counters and into our pantry (which is basically a shelving unit without doors next to our stairs).
I do know that the mice I have seen do not limit themselves to one area. As I have with my own eyes seen one run from my bedroom to the kitchen or vice versa. I have seen this a few times. And my son has seen one run from the living room to the kitchen. Our house is really small, so all of these areas are pretty close to each other.....but with seeing them go from place to place it helps me think that maybe there are not as many. =S

post #14 of 89

I had mice for the first time this past fall/winter. I HATE mice in the house. Outdoor mice are cute..but they do not belong indoors. Mice are pests. They are overpopulated probably due to easy access to food and nice places to live (houses) and lack of natural predators. I feel NO remorse killing them. Neither should you. :p Disposing of dead mice was hard for me at first, but I got used to it. It's MUCH MUCH better then actually living with mice in your house and having them poop in your cabinets and on your counters and in your bedroom. *shudders* I would hear them at night run across the floor. 


I basically bought snap traps and glue traps. I will not recommend the glue traps. The mice do nice die easily and I found it gruesome to wake up and find a mouse struggling to get out of the glue. Plus I had several mice escape from glue traps!!!! Snap traps are the way to go! They are cheap enough that I just tossed out the trap when I caught one, even though they are reusable. Snap traps cause a quick and painless death for the mice. I think it basically breaks their neck. There were no blood and guts involved with snap traps. :) Unlike the time one of the mice was trying to chew off its leg in the glue trap. :( I did drown that one after I found it so it would die quickly..and then never used those traps again. Anyway...I really didn't want to touch the snap trap with the dead mouse..so I ended up using tongs to do it. I was tempted to ask my kids to throw it away for me because they really didn't mind... lol

post #15 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info =)
Yeah I think might just have to buck up about it all =S

Thanks for letting me know about the glue traps...definitely don't want to use them if that happens.

My kids begged me to get snap traps today at the store...they even volunteered to dispose of them.....IF I let them I would have to have them use gloves or I would freak out about them touching it!

My landlord did offer today to set/check/dispose of the traps....so I might go with that. I just hope I don't hear the trap going off 0_0

post #16 of 89
Definitely a huge no on glue traps from me as well. They are nasty, nasty inventions, not a quick death by any means. I use snap traps and go through several packages a year. We keep them in our crawl space under our house with no stair access, they can climb up walls, I have seen them enter our house through this access. And also in our garage and around our our dryer vent enters the house. All are points of access for mice in our house and we always keep some in our camper. I can not tell you have many times we caught a random mouse in those traps. A mouse can fit through a hole the size of your fingertip. In our last house we had them crawling up wood beams outside the house to enter through 2nd story windows off a porch! Anyway, after many years of using snap traps and many mice in them, I will say that the vast majority of the time, it is a very quick death for them. I can only remember once when I had to call dh to finsh the job. I don't touch the traps either so I can't blame you there, ok so i have but only when forced to! I prefer the snap traps with the fake cheese, the mice in my area LOVE those and will always flock to those over the regular snap traps with any sort of goody in it. They must smell really good. I do not relish killing any animal and used to have pet rats as a child, but as soon as wild ones are loose in my house, they must go.
post #17 of 89

Those glue traps are horrible.  Snap traps are far more humane. 


In my opinion, snap traps are disposable.  I would not "clear" a snap trap because I am sort of a sissy. 


The "fake" cheese traps do seem to attract more mice than real bait.


While I don't think oils are a total cure for mice, I used small bits of rags soaked in orange oil in our lower cupboards and under the stove and I do think it discouraged the mice from visiting those areas.  It only moved them away from my dishes to other parts of the house but it was a small victory.

post #18 of 89

We have lived in a few rentals with mice.  It was disturbing - nothing that I did would get rid of them permenantly, I think because there were so many of them that we didn't see.  (We lived in the middle of a big meadow right by a water source and in a big old house which probably had mice for many many years before we got there.)  We would scare them away with high pitched mouse repellers or trap them (If you want to use humane traps try the "mice cube."  It's cheap, you can buy lots of them, and they always work well.)  We tried to plug up all the holes, but there were just too many was to get in.  The mice population would decrease slightly with these measures, but if I ever was slightly less than vigilant about all the food stuff and the trapping and everything, (like when my daughter was born), they would come back full force, I think because they were never gone completely to begin with.


When we moved, I decided that we were done with this mouse stuff for good, and we adopted three cats.  One is an outside semi-feral cat.  She keeps them from getting too close to the house.  And the other two patrol the inside for any that might have gotten through her clutches.  No mice in the house at all, ever.  It's awesome.  It's completely worth the cat hair and even the fact that one of the cats sometimes pees in the plants.  Way better than mouse poo to me. 


I feel good about the humane aspect of the mouse patrollers because I think the mice are scared of even getting too close to our house.  I wish you the best.  It is not any fun to have to worry about kids and rodents OR kids and poisons.  I hope you figure something out.   

post #19 of 89
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies for all of your help!

The mice seem to have been testing how far I will let them go and I think they finally crossed that boundary as to me not caring  about their furry little neck being broken. I think last night one ran across my bed while I was sleeping. It woke me up and then of course I freaked and could not go back to sleep. A couple of nights ago while in a very deep sleep, I remember being slightly woke up by the same thing, but I kind of thought I was dreaming but last night when I got woke up, I turned on the night stand light and sure enough there were tissues pulled from my tissue box......so that pretty much has pushed me over the edge. I slept absolutely horrible last night.....so now it is war!

I did find out for sure that bounce dryer sheets are pointless for mouse repellant....as I put one on the cereal bag they have been attacking and by the time I was out of the shower and went to check on it the dryer sheet was on the floor. Also I saw a mouse run from one crack I stuffed the dryer sheet into to another crack. So apparently they don't affect them at all.

Prior to going to bed, I had put bowls of bleach water around to either deter or possibly capture the rodents.....but it was unsuccessful. Today I am doing another deep clean and then am going to get some traps.

In regards to the mice cube...yes it really does work...that was the first live capture trap I had and the only one that actually caught anything....but unfortunately I don't know that they are sold around here anymore. If I do go that way, I might have to order online. But a part of me is past live capture and just wants to buy a ton of snap traps........just to get the job done quickly. With the mice cube it took a week of having it out and the occasional moving of locations to catch anything. So I don't really want to prolong the situation any.

If I do go with snap traps, I will probably just have them out on the paths that I have seen the mice run and only have them out at night.......since that is when they are most active.......I just hope my 3 yo doesn't wake up in the middle of the night and step on one!
The nice thing about putting them out at only night is that hopefully I won't hear the trap go off......and of course by the time I would find the trap in the morning, it would be all said and done and I think I could get over it quickly. As I stated previously, my landlord did say he would set/check/ dispose of the traps ..but he is gone for sometimes a month at a time.......so that really only helps when he is home. I know I could set the trap....just not big on the checking and disposing idea. =S

The nice thing about seeing them over the past week or so is that I now know their routes and hang outs.....so now I know where to put the traps to be most effective.

Hopefully I will have this problem nipped in the bud quickly.

I had really thought about getting some cats.......but dh has not been on board with that AT ALL and plus....honestly my kids are terrified of most living creatures. =S
Plus I would be really concerned the outside cats would get ran over....as we live in a very busy community.

There used to be two stray cats that roamed the neighborhood and I think they helped keep the mice away.....but they were both ran over =(.

My kids have cats at my parents house (not that they ever do anything with them.....just moreso they are called my kids cats and such....basically that was the excuse my mom used on my dad to be able to keep them when they first showed up on their property). I have thought about getting one or two of them....but would feel horrible if they got ran over! My parents live in the country and can get away from having animals roam about.

We do have owls in the area and honestly they just came back in the past maybe 6 months or so.....so I wonder if that is why the mice finally came inside????

Although I will say I wish the owls did a better job of getting the outside mice! I think the older owls stay closer to the tree line.....one baby owl was ran over in our community a while back.

Ok well I better get off here....I hear the washing machine/dryer is done....so that means I need to continue with operation clean......which means I am re-washing a bunch of clothes I think mice might have been on....ugg

post #20 of 89

I am a cat lover, had cats my entire life but I would not recommend cats as a solution, especially if your DH isn't supporting the idea.


There is no guaranty cats will put a dent into the mice population.   My current cat was more than happy to catch mice, to play with, not to kill.  He is the one that brought the live mice into our bed at night, dropped it so he could play some more and it raced off to live another day.  Cats also like to display their kill for owner's to admire.  Our other cat would kill mice and bring them to DH's side of the bed for him to "see"/step on.   She was good for a mouse every other day or so but given the rate those little suckers reproduce, she wasn't controlling the population.


Growing up, our outside cats were good mousers and would leave their kills on the mat directly outside the kitchen door, not really a big deal but if you don't like the idea of dead whole mice, bits and pieces of mice will gross you out more.


I grew up in the country and outside barn cats were common.  The idea was that they should "go hungry" to motivate them to hunt mice (and rats) on the farm.  I don't know if this holds true but I personally couldn't deprive a cat of food in hopes they catch more mice.


So, just one gals opinion, cat(s) might not be even part of the solution.

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