Droppings in storage

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I have been noticing strange dried tiny specks in an area of where I keep my foods for Y2k. They look like tiny caraway seeds, like the kind you see in rye bread but they are NOT seeds, they look like dried up droppings of some kind.

I found a couple of packs of Ramen noodles had 1 inch wide holes in them and most of the contents "removed" but no sign of any kind of bug or living creature. The remaining noodles inside the bags are dirty like something filthy was moving around inside the tiny bags.

All the droppings or specks are bone dry and are almost all uniform in size. No other foods were attacked. I have never seen ANY living thing in the area and went on a mad hunt looking in the smallest cracks but nothing shows.

Anyone know what was eating my Ramen noodles?.

-- stasher (stasher@stashit.com), September 05, 1999



From your description, it sounds like mouse droppings. There is one species of mouse that is much smaller than regular "house' mice; perhaps that is what you have had visiting your stash.

I would suggest putting a trap to catch them, either live or dead, such as some of that fly-paper sticky stuff or a conventional trap. That way you can see what it is. If you just put out poison, you'll never know for sure what it was.


-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), September 05, 1999.

It sounds like you have mice. Get a glue trap and put some peanut butter on it and that should take care of the problem. Since it's only a couple of packs of noodles, the good news is that it may only be one mouse.

I store bags of things in new galvanized trash cans, Mickey and his friends can't chew their way into those babies.

-- Mabel Dodge (cynical@me.net), September 05, 1999.

Hi stasher:

You might also consider Bats (same size droppings); like mice, they can squeeze through some incredibly small passages.

Just a thought...

-- Yan (no@no.no), September 05, 1999.

WARNING. When you clean up the droppings be sure to wear a surgical type mask to avoid breathing in any of the dust from the droppings. This is especially true here in the southwest. Mouse droppings can contain the Haunta virus which makes you sick as a dog and can be fatal in 50% of the cases. There was a recent case in San Bernardino county California and it pays to be careful.

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), September 05, 1999.

My family has a cabin in rural Montana, where mice have been a problem. We have tried the traps, the peanut butter, etc but what has worked best for us is poison pellets called DeCon. Apparently mice find them good to eat, and then they retire and croak. No, we never see their little dead bodies, but if the level surface of the DeCon has been disturbed, we figure we've got one of them.

The warning about to Hanta virus should really!! be taken to heart. People don't have resistance to it, so it is very deadly. It first surfaced I believe on Native American reservations where it killed young adults in perfect health.

-- Peter Errington (petere@ricochet.net), September 05, 1999.


Storable food is subject to all sorts of "foragers".

The best pest control is to keep a physical barrier between your food and "them critters". Use 5 gal plastic buckets, fill them with nitrogen, store them off the floor, check them regularly. Use pest control when appropriate.

Do not store Ramen noodles "only" in the original celophane package, DO add a more robust barrier such as a 5 gal plastic bucket or other pest resistant devices.

Good luck.

-- helium (heliumavid@yahoo.com), September 05, 1999.

and get a cat!! eddy

-- eddy (xxx@xxx.com), September 06, 1999.

stasher -- it may NOT be rodents. It could be something that hatched inside the Ramen packets. There are several varieties of roaches and flies that lay eggs in rice and pasta products. The roaches leave a fine, gritty dark poop that looks like tiny coffee grounds.

I recommend getting sticky mouse traps (they make a larger size for rats and snakes) and putting them along walls and under shelves where you won't accidentally stick to them. You'll be amazed at the number and variety of bugs you'll have in a week. When it's covered, or you've caught a mouse, just throw it away.

-- helen (sstaten@fullnet.net), September 06, 1999.

Re: Hanta Virus

I've heard that it's a good idea to spray the area with a bleach & water mixture and let stand for a bit before you sweep. The virus is carried in the dust particles from the droppings. Anyone one else heard of such a thing? What about Lysol?

-- flora (***@__._), September 06, 1999.

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