Mice in the attic

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Okay, I know I dont' want to do anything about the bats in my belfry but I WOULD like to take care of the mice in the attic.

It has to be a humane solution. I know about the humane traps and that's an option, but I wondered if anyone had tried those electronic gizmos touted to repel pests? Do they work? And does anyone know of any other humane options? (I can't let the cats up there to spread their scent around because there's a ton of blown insulation up there. Maybe I could try scattering a little fur from their brushing sessions.

Yeah, I know, I'm a bleeding heart but I'm not gonna change so don't tell me to get one of those nasty mouse-traps. I just might trap the little critter(s) and make pet(s) of 'em! Not really, I need them to relocate.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 25, 1999


The electronic rodent repellers DO NOT work at all! I've seen mice sitting next to them eating. They're supposed to disrupt their breeding habits...also not true. I've also tried the humane traps and found them to be of very limited effectiveness.

-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), September 25, 1999.

I second, they don't work - dagnabbit!

-- flora (***@__._), September 25, 1999.

We once had a squirrel in the attic in NJ. Rented a trap for $1 a day from the SPCA. Put walnuts leading into the trap. Got the little sucker immediately, then let him go over at the golf course. He was a lucky fellow.

BUT. Last year since moving to the Midwest into a new home, we had 3 mice in our attic (at different times). Don't know why OR HOW they get in. Put poison pellets up there. One mouse ate the stuff and died within a wall. What a terrible smell that critter gave off! So, then in for the next two, we just gave in and got a mousetrap. Worked excellently and did the trick. They are rodents so they don't count as animals in my book anyways. A neighbor swears by the gel traps, though.

Anyways, good luck. (I hate mice)

-- Who Me (Ime not @home.comm), September 25, 1999.

Hi Old Git,

I haven't seen these recently, because I haven't looked, but Wal Mart might still have the plastic-box mousetraps that are made like teeny weeny Havahearts & they only cost a dollar or two. You smear some peanut butter inside & the mouse trips the mechanism going in. Lockdown. After you dump & drown...er, relocate the little dear, you can use the trap over & over.

I used to use them in the chicken house, where I couldn't put down poison because the chickens would find & consume it, poisoning their little selves to death. They worked pretty well even there, in the midst of chicken-feed mouse heaven.

Your attic visitors might have consumed poison somewhere else that hasn't worked yet, so you sure don't want one of your cats to catch & puncture one - that's what my Mewsette the Mighty Huntress did when a mouse got into the enclosed porch & she got so terribly sick right after. They might not stay in the attic. Good luck & good riddance!

-- Scat (sgcatique@webtv.net), September 25, 1999.

I have an awful confession to make. I bought those mini hava heart type traps for our rodent neighbors. The problem is that if I didn't get to the little tightly enclosed space in time, my little rescuees seemed to sweat to death. Sad to say the least.

-- flora (***@__._), September 26, 1999.

Old Git and crew, when we think of our furry friends, we must be aware of the disease they carry, the ability to destroy wiring, food storage, and to plant unhealthy droppings everywhere. Here in drought ridden TX we are having minor plagues of rodents as they move into the cities from the wasted fields, looking for food and probably water too. If everyone does not make an effort to kill the little critters they will take over a neighborhood in nothing flat...with the resultant spread of disease and an increase of their numbers.

If you have to think of it this way...me? my grandchildren? or them? I don't think the choice is difficult.

My neighbors cats have done a fine job, and I give them the run of my yard gladly. I have refrained from putting poison out in the open (in places like my wood pile)out of respect for these fine hunters. My sister told me that I should put mothballs in my attic and under the house in the crawl space; that this will run any rodents out. Then I'll leave the rest of the job for the cats. At least as long as it works. If not, will have to go for the traps.

At one point last autumn the problem was so bad here you couldn't find any traps in the stores. I also recall a story on Fox urine as a deterent to be used in attics.

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), September 26, 1999.

We bought the get-in-but-can't-get-out traps, used peanut butter, worked like a charm, and we released the prisoner before it sweat to death, LOL! I have even rescued two field mice from the clutches of our kitty, and told them to stay away if they know what's good for them. (Kitty is a vicious mouser)

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), September 26, 1999.

Well, well, well...

Just last night I went through my "working" can cupboard (vs my "preps") and some little mousie had tunneled through everything possible! I have settled on using the old wooden Victor "snap their neck" traps. The poison (D-Con, etc.) uses warfaring (coumadin) which causes the mouse to sloooooowwwwlllly bleed to death internally - this can take days. I found a mouse who had been poisoned, he was dragging himself around pathetically (sp?) and I drowned him to stop his suffering. That was what convinced me.

At least the old fashioned traps work quickly (about 99% of the time). I lump this practice with having to butcher those beautiful roosters because if I didn't then they would reproduce themselves to death (not to mention the feed bill!) - I guess I have to play the role of the fox!?

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 26, 1999.

Oops! Warfarin (though I believe it was originally developed for "warfaring" - imagine the enemy's soldiers dying this way.... pretty sad someone even came up with this stuff, but for stroke victims it can help in certain cases). Blah, blah, blah - I talk too much! :)

-- Kristi (securxsys@cs.com), September 26, 1999.

Thanks for all the info, especially the part that stops me spending money on a useless electronic gizmo. We don't have a bad rodent problem around here--six years and this is the first sign of one. Too many cats and other predators. I know it (them?) wasn't in the attic a couple of weeks back when I finally stashed toilet paper up there (doesn't everyone?), so there may be only one or two right now. I'm going to go with the humane trap and release the little bugger(s) out in the wild. Can't kill 'em, sorry, goes back to a traumatic incident when I was a little girl. Anyway, I'm a philosophical vegetarian, not a health vegetarian.

I had thought of putting some used cat litter up there then realized it gets pretty warm under those rafters. . . As for access, the only place was the dryer vent in the utility room on the carport. Guess what's going to have hardware cloth put firmly and securely over it?

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 26, 1999.

For everyone who is determined to let the little fellows go free... at least protect yourselves when dealing with the traps and the mice by wearing bite proof gloves and a mask...does anyone remember hunta virus? It hasn't disappeared you know.

-- shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), September 26, 1999.

Sheila, how do I get a fox to pee in my attic?

-- (rcarver@home.xcom), September 26, 1999.

oLD gIT....be careful covering up your dryer outlet with mesh. The lint wil gather on it and then you could have a fire. Most mice come in around the plumbing. Chech where it comes into the house, like under the sinks. stuff steal wool around the pipe where it comes through the hole. I would definatley use the dirty cat litter. Put some paper cups out with it in up in your attic.

-- Taz (Taz@aol.com), September 26, 1999.

Old Git -- Have your cats sleep on an old towel (our cats love terry cloth). This will get their scent on it. Put the towel up in the attic. Maybe this will wise up the mice. Good luck!!!

-- Libby Alexander (libbyalex@aol.com), September 26, 1999.

More good hints. az, of course, stupid of me. It would have curred to me just as I finished supergluing it into place! Okay, so I have to buy one of those fancy dryer outlet thingies then, one with a removable lint catcher.

Maybe I'll try the litter idea when the weather cools down a bit. I've got TP, books, etc., stored up there and wouldn't want the odor to permeate.

Wasn't concerned about getting the fox in the attic, just about persuading him to pee in the cup!

Good idea on the towels. Some of them already do sleep on towels so that won't be a problem.

No, not gonna touch the critters, I do remember hanta virus and all the other diseases rodents can carry. I don't think they're precious little furry darlings, just don't like to nobble innocent creatures who serve a purpose on the yard. I'm not sure what it is they must do some good. Food for the red-tailed hawks and big brown owls who hang around here, maybe!

Thanks again for all the useful suggestions.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), September 27, 1999.

We have chipmunks in our roof. They roll walnuts and hickory nuts around. I am going to get my husband to put the radio on REALLY loud in the door of the loft. I will go outside and check that they come out. My husband will stuff steel wool in the crack they use for a door.

I have no idea how the mice come in. They don't worry about my cats or dog. I can't put down poison in case my cats get it, or eat a poisoned mouse.

-- Kath (wingy@sprint.ca), September 27, 1999.

Coumadin (generic: Warfarin) is a potent medicine that slows clotting. I take it (daily) because I clot too easily. If given in overdose, it can promote internal bleeding, and the rodent bleeds to death. Sometimes it is combined with ground glass as a rat poison.

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), September 27, 1999.

When we first moved into our current house, we discovered a family of racccoons living in the attic (they had come in through a missing vent cover). Raccoon sows with babies are not easy to trap and relocate so we had to persuade them to leave on their own. All it took was a little AC/DC and a couple of 300 watt speakers. It also saved us time knocking down all that loose plaster on the second floor.

-- Sam Mcgee (weissacre@gwtc.net), September 30, 1999.

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