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Getting Rid of Mice in the Kitchen


paulraphael
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I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me if I repeat anything.

I was recommended a rat/mouse poison that supposedly kills the little buggers after one feeding. But, fear of having my kid or the dog get into the stuff left me looking for alternatives.

I was told try bacon instead of cheese or peanut butter in a conventional trap. Stuff it in there so they have to work at it to get it out. I tried it. It works.

good luck!

Cheers,

Geoff

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Cats instinctively hunt and chase, but even wild cats don't instinctively treat prey as food. They usually learn that from Mom if they're raised in a place where there's an opportunity for her to teach it, or else from hunger.

This is often why city cats, especially well-fed indoor cats, 'play' with prey. Mom never showed them that this isn't a toy, that you're just supposed to kill it before it can escape, and eat it before a bigger animal takes it away. Get a cat that was raised on a farm or in the country and you usually don't have this problem.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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best bait ever no matter what trap you use is a Snickers bar! I have great luck with cheapo traps and Snickers when we get a mouse in our house (of course my mice are country mice so they may be more naive )

I thought my dogs would eat the mice when some found their way in ..but alas my pit bulls are afraid of vermin

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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The long term plan is to block off the points of entry with steel wool, metal plates, whatever. Short term I'm trying to trap them.

If you're going to wage a successful campaign against rodents you need to fight on three fronts: exclusion, traps and poison. If you ignore one of those, your strategy is incomplete. In particular, if you don't deal with the exclusion issue up front then new mice may just come replace any that you poison or catch -- so your efforts can wind up being a waste of time.

So, find those entry points -- the cracks near the floorboards, the gaps around pipes and cables, etc. -- and stuff them with steel wool and fill with expanding foam sealant. Also deny the rodents any nourishment or attractive aromas: make sure all edibles are in good containers, etc. We have taken to storing a lot of things in the fridge simply because the fridge is essentially rodent proof. Clear out all the stuff under the sink and in other places where bottles, rags, etc., accumulate.

Once you've dealt with the exclusion part of the strategy, you're ready to deal with the rodents that have already taken up residence. Traps and poison are both effective tools but you have to know where to put them. Mice like to travel along walls, so traps and poison placed in that path are the most likely to be encountered. If you're actually getting bait stolen then that's good -- you're choosing the right places.

Because you have a pet you'll want to put your poison in bait stations. These are black plastic triangular boxes that mice crawl in to to get at the bait but have openings too small for pets to get at. Again, along the walls is best. You can open them up to see if the mice are eating the poison, and adjust your positioning accordingly.

Trap-wise, I've had good luck with glue traps and small pieces of Snickers bars as bait (a trick I learned from the best exterminator I ever met). Snap traps are also good. If they're stealing the bait off your snap traps you just need to refine your technique or get better traps and stickier bait. Again, if you have a pet you have to be careful with placement of traps. Behind furniture where the pet can't fit, at the backs of floor cabinets -- locations like that are what you have to rely on.

If you didn't have a pet I'd also advise the use of tracking powder, which is highly effective.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've been working to eradicate the mice in our new-used trailer. Our cats and dog have been helpful, but since we don't live in the trailer all the time their access is limited. The mice have cheerfully ignored the ultrasonic mouse repeller that I purchased. (They probably think it's singing a squeaky lullaby.) Open snap traps have too much potential to injure a curious household pet, but I've had excellent success with d-Con's No View, No Touch rotary snap trap. It isn't cheap, and it isn't reusable, but it works.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Well, on the pro-side they are mice and not rats so you're a bit lucky there.

Don't know which General said something like: "Know and respect your enemy"...

O.K. so after working 20 odd years in the hospitality biz, this is how I know the enemy

They never like to move more than 50 feet from their nest.

They are highly trained to smell out odours as well as heat, and they prefer warm places. This means they prefer spots under refrigeration units/ stoves.

Unfortunatly they do not respect incest rules nor do they have homosexual tendancies, in other words, they pro-create, and very rapidly......

They are rodents, and by this, thier front teeth are constantly growing--like human hair or nails--and must chew constantly--on anything--to keep thier teeth short. If they don't, they can't close their mouths and will eventually starve.

Thier biggest bone is thier skull. Any hole larger than a dime, they cans squeeze thier skull through and then the rest of their body. This means door gaps and cracks are the most possible points of entry.

DO NOT use over-the-counter posion. Most rodents are immune to this, and by buying poison you have made yourself a pet owner--you're feeding the little critters.

The best traps IMHO are the tunnel type "Live catch and release" types. DO NOT release the little guys, or they'll be back, you have to kill them. Most pest control guys will drown them in your kitchen sink, but you can submerge the traps in a pickle bucket for this purpose, or, my method of choice: "The final Swirly"... where you release the trap directly into a just-flushed toilet.

Put door sweeps on ALL doors. Tight tolerances are best. Examine the sweeps regularily, the little critters will chew holes in the rubber components of the sweep if you let them

Plug up any outdoor building cracks with cement. It's not a big deal. A 25 lb bag of cement can be mixed in a styrofoam salmon/fish box and can be wheeled around and troweled into cracks in a few hours. Any interior cracks can be plugged up with bits of metal, used alum foil, steel wool and held in place with that aerosol expanding foam stuff. This is especially good around plumbing lines/fixtures/clean-outs and electrical panels. Rodents hate steel wool, but they can pull it out with claws and re-enter through the same crack that you just plugged up with steel wool, hence the foam "glue".

You can go hog-wild and put as many bait stations outside of the building, especially near the garbage cans and any shrubbery, this is best done by a pro company that will use a more effective poison than the regular over-the-counter stuff.

Hope this helps

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Folks, I'm telling you. You will not find a better, more effective and humane trap than this:

www.ratzapper.com.

They absolutely work. Whatever you do, please do not use glue traps.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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Your retired cat needs a new playmate. Get another kitty and let it do what comes naturally. If there's an organization that traps and spays feral cats in your area see if any of the kitties are being fostered and need a home. Nothing better than a formerly feral kitty to take on a mouse problem.

I worked in a restaurant once that had a horrendous mouse problem. There was a stray orange tabby in the alley behind the restaurant. Chutney, as he became known, was a prodigious mouser and earned his keep every night when he was let loose in the restaurant. He'd eat the mice, but apparently found their faces weren't pleasant to eat. So he'd leave the little faces all over the rug. First person in every day was on "mouse patrol" and had to sweep up the little mouse faces. Ewwww. One day as we were musing as to why Chutney left the faces behind, our head busboy suggested it was so the mouse families could identify their deceased! :laugh:

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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So rather than starting a new thread, I thought it might be appropriate to switch the topic from rodents in the kitchen to insects. Moths in my case. I had to clean out a bunch of stuff from my cabinet over the weekend where I keep my baking supplies. I've got sealed plastic canisters (tupperware type things but not that) for my various flours and sugar. Other things are in boxes (corn starch, baking soda, etc.) that are then in zip-lock bags. Most these were OK. However, I had some things in the plastic or cello bags they came in that had been opened, partially used, and then reclosed by yours truly by folding over a few times and closing with a small binder clip or the like. This is mostly what I had to trash. Luckily all the chocolate was good.

Now that I've cleaned the cabinet well, inspected everything, trashed what needed to be trashed, ensured the remaining stuff is fine and well-sealed, what else can I do to repel the moths in a food-safe way?

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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There's a pretty long existing topic on pantry moths, including some information on the solution I had luck with.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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  • 3 weeks later...

damn damn damn

honey there is an animal in the kitchen....and no its not the cat, Princess is laying on her pillow in the livingroom

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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If you ever get the situation under control, mint is said to be an effective repellent. When we leave our house in NY I leave dry mint in all over the place.  Seems to work as we've had less mice issues when we return. 

Death by cat is not quick or painless, I've often thought that would be about the worst way to go. But they are effective!

Mint oil on cotton balls seems to work for us. The barn cats do a good job on those mice that leave the premises to escape the mint scent.

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You could try a hefty dose of narcotics (fentanyl would probably be best) mixed in some peanut better. A very small dose should kill a mouse quickly, humanely and most importantly before it can run into the wall, die there and stink the place up for months.

Edited by s0rce (log)

Professional Scientist (in training)

Amateur Cook

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  • 4 years later...

I'm going to read this carefully. I'm getting insane with mice. Welcome back to NY!

I still have a lot of my kitchenware in boxes from my move here because I'm afraid of putting the stuff in the cabinets. And the exterminator has already been here last week and set open traps with poison everywhere.

Tonight I saw one happily running around the kitchen while I was there!

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We had a problem with mice about a year ago, and all the tricks and suggestions noted above were ones we tried. Finally, we called the vector control office at the county. and they sent a guy out to assess our situation. The assessment included a thorough examination of the house and surrounding area, and we got a report on what to do to eliminate the problem. Since then, no more mice ... try calling your county vector control office. It may be called something else in NYC, like pest abatement ... or?

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 ... Shel


 

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We had a problem with mice about a year ago, and all the tricks and suggestions noted above were ones we tried. Finally, we called the vector control office at the county. and they sent a guy out to assess our situation. The assessment included a thorough examination of the house and surrounding area, and we got a report on what to do to eliminate the problem. Since then, no more mice ... try calling your county vector control office. It may be called something else in NYC, like pest abatement ... or?

I'm a big fan of calling in a reputable pest control company to deal with mice problems, too. I work for a property management company and we deal with mice & other critters on a regular basis. It is obviously more costly than other home remedies, but a good PC company will do a thorough job of setting proper traps & poison in the right places, check & dispose the err...corpses, and also advise how to prevent them coming in (eg. patching up holes, etc.). They'll also deal with scarier critters like rats (ugh!). Well worth the money spent, I think.

We had a horrendous mouse invasion at my old office before we moved, to the point where the critters were running over our feet as we worked! They used a combination of snap traps, glue traps and poison. The poison had a dessicant in it, so the mouse would eat it, then go and die somewhere, and its body would dry up & no dead mouse smell. It did take some time and multiple visits from the PC guys before it became less of a problem, but there were noticeably fewer mice.

And no, I don't get kick-backs shilling for a pest control company! :raz:

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Get a cat, Franci. Or two.

The problem with getting rid of mice and other pests in apartment buildings, is that you can be spic and span and doing everything to discourage/kill mice and cockroaches, but if your neighbors don't do the same, you'll get more invaders to replace the old.

Is your Super in the building? Is he aware of the problem and is the Property Management company paying for the exterminators? If it's not in your lease, you're probably on your own.

I lived in a row house once upon a time in an old mill town in Pennsylvania. There was a tannery down the road from me that was demolished and all the mice moved into my house or so it seemed! They kept chewing up my cereal boxes and pasta boxes and ate a hole in the plaster in the pantry even though I killed a dozen of them with the snap traps. I was ready to get a BB pistol and take them on before I moved to a nicer neighborhood.

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Hi Annabelle, we live in a brown stone, we have the 1st and 2nd floor and there are other 2 tenants on the upper floors. I must say that for the first couple months here we had workers in the basement reinforcing the structure of the house. The exterminator was sent by the building manager. I know we have an issue in the back of the house, don't know why but when they fixed the basement they didn't close properly the door in the backyard leading to the basement. I know we must take care of that.

In our lease we cannot have pets unless agreed with the landlady. I must ask her if it's ok to have a cat. I'm sure my children would love one.

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Hi, Franci. I hope your landlady lets you have a cat. I know the children would like a pet and cats aren't destructive when they get attention. A young cat (who does not get too many treats!) will be a good mouser. You can sell the landlady on the cat not only being a pet, but a four-legged enforcer, freeing your home of mice.

You should let the landlady know about the basement doors, too. The workers need to return and get the doors fixed before the weather gets too bad and you end up with ice and snow in between your interior door and the walk-out doors.

Best of luck!

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We have two cats that do a reasonably good job of keeping mice under control but they don't have free access everywhere.

I absolutely hate the idea of poison for several reasons.

Plain old-fashioned Victor snap traps that are baited with peanut butter have always worked great for me.

The secret that I learned from my grandmother is to tie a piece of butcher's twine on the bait area of the trap letting the ends of the string extend out about a 1/2 inch.

By working some peanut butter into the ends of the string the trap is made much more effective due to the mice tugging on the string and easily springing the trap.

Trap placement is also important, the metal bait tab should face the wall.

Doubling up on traps at each location is also a good idea.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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