Advice on mice (or worse) prevention

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  • Advice on mice (or worse) prevention
  • theflatboy
    Member

    Chaps, it appears we have a little (or possibly not so little) visitor in our ground floor flat (with underfloor crawl space), which is obviously not ideal.

    I am embarking on a mission of sealing any possible point of entry. We have a few airbricks, so I have got some wire mesh covers for those on the way. We also have some much wider air vents – around 60cm width. The covers aren’t an option for that size, any tips on how I can block them while still keeping the airflow?

    Cheers!

    dooosuk
    Member

    Make your own covers? Just buy some very fine mesh.

    theflatboy
    Member

    Good point… I will investigate.

    Just lay mouse traps and kill as many as possible. We thought we had one mouse in the flat, turnd out we caught 5. Haven’t seen one since….Not to say there’s not anymore there, but haven’t seen one for months.

    theflatboy
    Member

    Well we’re definitely going to be putting as many traps down as we can, but I want to fully seal the perimeter as well to stop any replacements appearing! We had one a little while back which we got rid of, the repeat occurrence has spurred me into preventative action…

    steve-g
    Member

    I think you want to have a go at killing as many as you can before you block up any holes. Trapping them under the floor or whatever is just going to delay the problem. Seal the outer perimeter for sure, but if they are coming up from under the floor then I would not go sealing them up down there as they will just find another way up.

    First find a high traffic place and examine what the poop looks like, that will tell you if you are dealing with mice or rats, and probably what size. If you are in doubt I am gonna say its mice.

    Then buy loads of traps, loads. 8 is a good number, and poison.

    Block the holes up with the poison, its like putty, that way they should eat through it in order to get in, both killing them, and preventing sleepless nights listening to them knawing away at whatever thing you blocked the hole with.

    Make sure the place is absolutely immaculately clean when you go to bed with no accessible food or rubbish anywhere, this will get them nice and hungry and lure them into the traps. Traps near the way in, under kitchen units, any places youve seen them or evidence of them. Move all your furniture and check for any holes knawed between the floor and the skirting.

    We had mice for the first time last year, coming in through next door, which is in turn next door to large storage facility for a local restaurant. Did all of the above, caught maybe 12 in ever decreasing size until they were all gone. Once it gets to October time I think they stop breeding while its cold so you dont get any new ones, although they do not hibernate. Then sure enough about 3 weeks ago saw one, seemed pretty lost, kept us up one night chewing through something or another, caught it and another one that night and have not had any back since so I think they were maybe explorers rather than a settled in family like last time.

    Mrs-g heard that chocolate spread was the best bait for traps while I had been told peanut butter, we split the baiting 50-50 and the score is currently 2-0 peanut butter so take from that what you will.

    Also, be prepared for a few weeks of feeling like you are a bit mental. After about 9pm when it’s dark, any sort of noise “its a mouse”, shadows move in the room “its a mouse”, relection moves in a window “its a mouse”

    Good luck, enjoy the battle

    traps to kill the ones that have moved in, sonic scarers to encourage others to move, then mesh over the air bricks
    This sort of thing

    theflatboy
    Member

    Ok, I have in my possession traps, wire wool and foam sealant. Arriving tomorrow are the air brick covers, and I’ll try to get some mesh for the bigger ones as well.

    So are we thinking best plan of attack is:

    1. block up kitchen entry points with sealant / wire wool;
    2. lay traps all over crawl space for tonight;
    3. block up non-air brick external access points;
    4. leave it a few days with traps out and checked before doing final covering of air bricks outside?

    I figure that way it starts sealing up, while giving us a good chance of catching them in the meantime, and then once we’re reasonably happy we’ve got the lot, seal up the rest of the external points… Sounds sensible!

    Cheers for advice, very helpful!

    Premier Icon DaveRambo
    Subscriber

    We had mice in the garage and I decided trying to seal up every possible way in was pointless.

    I laid traps for a few weeks and caught loads of the buggers. One afternoon I caught two within seconds of re-baiting, re-setting.

    Also invested in some of those sonic repellents to fill the place with sound.
    After a busy couple of weeks they stopped.

    I keep the traps down and the sonic things out and nothing in well over a year.

    One problem with poison is that they eat it, crawl off somewhere, and then die, if that happens to be below your floorboards, you may have rotting mice – not nice, but probably not going to ause that much of an issue.

    One interesting point, when we caught our first, we forgot to remove straight away. Went to sort the next morning, we had caught another mouse in the trap next to the original. But mouse number 2 had managed to eat most of mouse number 1 before getting caught…

    johndoh
    Member

    got some wire mesh covers for those on the way

    Wire mesh won’t stop a mouse.

    If you can get one of these through the hole, a mouse can get through it…

    And those sonic things – rubbish, we tried one and it didn’t work at all. We ended up getting someone in to poison them.

    One problem with poison is that they eat it, crawl off somewhere, and then die,

    The way the poison works is that they get very thirsty so they tend to wander off to their normal water source and die there. Not saying it isn’t infallible, but they don’t normally die in the house.

    Premier Icon woody2000
    Subscriber

    The other problem with poison is the harm to animals that find the dead mice and eat them, I’d avoid poison and put some decent traps down. Get some neck breakers and bait with chocolate

    dooosuk
    Member

    Wire mesh won’t stop a mouse.

    We’re not talking chicken wire, there’s some very fine mesh with holes much smaller than a biro.

    theflatboy
    Member

    5mm wire mesh – looks pretty small, they’d have to be some mini-mice to get through it. They have it in sheets at the DIY place near my work, so there’ll be some DIY covers being made as per first reply to OP. 🙂

    dooosuk
    Member

    I’d say 5mm was still too big a hole, they’ll get through that. You need even finer mesh like modelling mesh:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fine-Aluminium-Mod-Mesh-Wire-for-Modelling-3mtrs-Hole-Size-1mm-x-2mm-/300963209235?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item4612ce2013

    unovolo
    Member

    Ex Pest Controller for my sins,
    Rodenticide is generally a anti-coagulant so once they have consumed enough it causes massive internal bleeding hence the feeling of thirst for them, but there is no guarantee where they will die, in the past I have found them dead inside the bait boxes and anywhere and everywhere inbetween.

    The best traps are actually sticky boards which consist of a layer of very strong non setting glue on a thin piece of card.
    Once they get on that there not coming off again which means you normally need to fold the board in half and give it a sharp slap to a wall to put them out of there misery.
    Downside is the good ones(ie.Pro quality) are not generally sold to the public.

    Good old fashioned breakback traps(Like on Tom & Jerry) work well if set up right.
    Small piece of Mars or Snickers bar pushed onto the pin on the bait end so that Mice can’t easily remove it, then set the trap so the baited end is facing into the skirting or wall edge so the whole trap is at 90degrees to the wall.
    Reason being mice will generally hug the wall edges to travel so first part of the trap they come into contact with will be the baited end that trips the spring to kill them.

    theflatboy
    Member

    Good knowledge, thanks. I have seen a fair few droppings in the crawlspace, and a few possible entry points from the outside in, and also from the crawlspace up into the kitchen. Where would be the best locations to put the traps if it’s not clear what routes they’re taking to get around? Thanks for your input. 🙂

    TheDTs
    Member

    We had a problem with mice at work over Christmas. I was going in over the shut down to check the building and post and stuff. Several days I found 6 to 8 alive in a dustbin, next to a bench. They were all looking for food I guess.
    Just seems a bit dim for them all to jump in one after the other…

    Big Dave
    Member

    Current pest controller for my sins.

    I’ve always found with mice that a load of traps set in the areas where they are most active is always really effective at cutting their numbers back. If you bait the traps with chocolate spread or peanut butter they will find the traps if they are placed close enough to their runs. For some reasons new infestations never seem to consist of many more than 5 – 7 mice.

    Once you’ve started knocking their numbers down it would then be a good time to start adding some poison bait into the mix. Use lots of small bait points spaced a couple of metres apart to exploit the feeding patterns that mice tend to stick to.

    The other problem with poison is the harm to animals that find the dead mice and eat them

    This is always a concern but having seen one small mouse do more than a thousand pounds worth of damage in a customers house by chewing through a plastic water pipe it is a risk worth mitigating by checking thoroughly for dead rodents once you have started using bait. You must always check regularly for dead mice or rats when baiting.

    As plenty have said above it is essential to back this up by blocking as many holes as you can. If they are more active in certain areas then is likely to mean that there is an access point close by. Also, if you can hear them in certain locations try to figure out how that noise may be related to potential entry holes on the outside of the building. On a recent job a tiny piece of missing mortar was allowing the mice into the wall cavity and then over the lounge of the house and into the loft. Blocking that one hole sorted the issue. You might want to block the holes with just wire wool to start with rather than sealing it in place; if the wire wool is disturbed in only one or two places they will be the areas to focus on.

    Glue boards are barbaric and I generally try to avoid them. They need to be checked every 12 hours if they are to be considered even vaguely humane. Those electronic trinkets that are meant to scare mice off don’t work. They may make good paperweights but they are naff all use for anything else.

    typer
    Member

    Currently dealing with mice myself. I first spotted one about a month back while watching tv one night as it boldly ran over the living room floor. So I bought loads (20+) snap traps. Placed them under the kitchen cupboards and at 90 degree angles to the skirting in various rooms. I think I wiped out the initial population fairly quickly and caught 6 or 7 within a couple of days. I have since caught about 3 more but much less frequently, I do think these may just be visitors and not resident. The house is an old terrace and I can’t see anywhere they could be getting in on the outside of our property which makes me think they may be coming in from next door which is a harder problem to solve. Doesn’t help matters that the loft space is shared by the neighbours on either side. On the plus side I’ve not seen any more mice or there droppings so I’m hoping I have the problem under control 🙂

    theflatboy
    Member

    Ok, cheers again. I did some sealing outside and some sealing in the kitchen last night, and there was no sign topside of anything this morning, which is good. I’m thinking it’s a bad move to completely block up airvents etc. on the outside now, before trapping as many as possible – if there are some inside, if they can’t get back out then I guess they’ll just come up into the house a different way, which we don’t want!

    Any suggestions on timing for trapping / blocking up?

    Big Dave
    Member

    I’d normally use traps for around a week and after taking out as many mice as possible it is then time to start blocking the access points. It can sometimes take a while after this to eliminate them all, but as they start appearing in new areas that will highlight any holes you may have missed. Best to view is as a job that will get results over a couple of different stages of action.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Glue boards are barbaric and I generally try to avoid them.

    The halfwit next door made his own from card cut from cereal boxes and some sort of industrial adhesive. I discovered this as a sticky card baited with immobilised live mice makes for a great cat trap. Trip to the vets, that was. Bastard.

    Simple but effective.

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC1XNDyxE4c[/video]

    ransos
    Member

    I’ve had success with humane traps, baited with chocolate. I released them in parkland some distance from housing. Mice can get through tiny spaces so sealing up seems pretty pointless.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    If the OP hasn’t resolved the issue by now, his house must look the Pied Piper lives there.

    Closing spam-resurrected file.

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