Morgan Wright

Mice, are they extinct?

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Last year I was catching 3 or 4 mice a day between all my cars and the garage. Mousetraps everywhere. Last mouse I saw was in October.

 

A series of early very snowfalls last year---it snowed 8 times in October, a total of around 25 inches---put an end to the mice. But I thought they just went underground. They normally run around under the snow also. And they usually run around on top of the snow as well leaving tiny tracks. This winter, never saw any mouse tracks. This spring when the snow all melted, I saw no trails under where the snow was, and I have not seen a single mouse all this year even though all my traps are set in all the cars.

 

Not complaining, but are mice extinct where you are?

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Nope, just had a bunch of them fall out of a car last week. The exterminator has already been here and we've caught two of them (out of how many? I don't know). I get so angry at these guys bringing these cars in that they never drive and they always fill up with mice if they sit. The car smells faintly of urine, too. I had to renegotiate the deal on the spot and the guy got testy until one of the mice actually ran across the shop floor. "Who's paying the $600 exterminator bill to get rid of that?" He started to get it then.

 

It's certainly not my preferred negotiating technique even though it did get me a substantial discount on the car this time. We have a lot of work ahead of us, including new carpets (at minimum) in that car.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

Nope, just had a bunch of them fall out of a car last week. The exterminator has already been here and we've caught two of them (out of how many? I don't know). I get so angry at these guys bringing these cars in that they never drive and they always fill up with mice if they sit. The car smells faintly of urine, too. I had to renegotiate the deal on the spot and the guy got testy until one of the mice actually ran across the shop floor. "Who's paying the $600 exterminator bill to get rid of that?" He started to get it then.

 

It's certainly not my preferred negotiating technique even though it did get me a substantial discount on the car this time. We have a lot of work ahead of us, including new carpets (at minimum) in that car.

 

My solution for this has been two good American Shorthair (Tabby) cats.  These guys are happiest when they have something to hunt and keep my shop clear of every living thing other than people, and that includes bugs, spiders, rodents, and lizards. 

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Your mice will be back in the spring. I.e. soon. If you have caught all those around your shed, others will move in soon. Don't worry, they'll be back. Next autumn they will be back inside looking for a warm nest site so expect to catch as many again!

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We’re doing our best to make them so.

 

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  You should see most activity as the first hint of Fall appears. They are usually fine in the outdoors but when the cold weather approaches they seek out a warm place to nest. You probably had a much bigger problem than was apparent and you reached the point where you eliminated enough to stifle breeding. I dont have any pets/kids around the shop and ALWAYS keep poison in strategic places and where I can check to see if there is any activity. The poison is an anticoagulant (think Coumadian) and the idea is when they start to bleed out they compensate by seeking water and will hopefully leave your shop. Occasionally, I will find a corpse and am careful to dispose of it so another animal doesnt feed on it.

  Prevention is the best approach, especially after you have eliminated breeding. If you wait until the evidence presents itself repeatedly, it is "later" than you think. Mice are busy, quick and proficient little breeders!

  Just a note...a pattern that I have noticed repeatedly, where a "problem" exists and has been ignored, is the capture of an adult mouse. A day or two later a second mouse, also an adult, and then the capture of several mice which are obviously juveniles. In these circumstances, I would have initially use a traditional mouse trap, then put down glue traps so arranged that the spot of the initial capture cant be accessed without crossing onto the glue traps. My theory is the first capture is probably a male foraging for food. The second adult is the female following the urine trail the male puts down...and then the juveniles, if they are mature enough to venture out of the nest, following after the mother.

  Just my uneducated but personally experienced 2 cents,

Tom Mooney

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I still have not seen a mouse since October 2018. Not inside the garage, not in the barn, not outdoors. I used to see them every day and catch them in mousetraps on a daily basis, in old cars, the truck, etc., where I had 10 mousetraps set up all the time.

 

Now, not a single mouse anywhere.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Morgan Wright said:

I still have not seen a mouse since October 2018. Not inside the garage, not in the barn, not outdoors. I used to see them every day and catch them in mousetraps on a daily basis, in old cars, the truck, etc., where I had 10 mousetraps set up all the time.

 

Now, not a single mouse anywhere.

 

 

 

I'd be happy to export some to you !

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In south central PA, they're as plentiful as ever. Old fashioned Victor mouse traps are still at work.

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20 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 

  Bubba Tom

 

  Ben

 

Is that your cat's name?

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My neighbor's four outdoor cats keep the rodent population in check.  The cats always make a beeline for the garage when the door is open.  Years ago, I stored my 1949 Super in a friend's barn.  Never a problem there because the resident barn owl was always on the watch for food!

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5 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

These gray traps:

 

https://www.intruderinc.com/products/the-better-mousetrap

 

The original Victor's work well also, but these gray traps work without bait, although a smear of peanut butter lasts for years. Open them and place the opening against the wall. Mice run along wall, cross trap and SNAP.

 

My peanut butter gets mildew and blue mold after a few weeks. Always gotta change it here.

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On 6/23/2019 at 4:09 PM, Frank DuVal said:

The original Victor's work well

The little blighters licked the peanut butter off mine without triggering it!

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I find the good old fashioned Victor mousetraps, baited with a small chunk of smelly cheese and a dab of peanut butter, does the job. Mice can't resist the peanut butter and they are DRT - dead right there. Use to use D-Con years ago until one time a mouse ate some and then went behind a couch to die instead of going outdoors. The growing odor of his corpse led me to him.

 

A retired exterminator told me that when mice get inside your house you can’t just clean-up the turds you find. You now have to wash down & disinfect all the surfaces the mice came into contact with. The reason why is because every 10-12 feet that they travel…they urinate. You can’t see the dried urine. But he would freak people out by turning off all the lights in their kitchen and then shine an ultraviolet black light on the floor. There would be streaks of dried mice urine all over the place.

 

And don’t forget that their feces contain pathogens that are a danger to humans, like the Hanta virus. I saw an episode of Forensic Files that told the story of an outbreak of the Hanta virus on an Indian reservation in New Mexico. Fourteen people died, and it was traced to a wet spring & summer that then provided abundant food for an explosion in the mice population. No wonder the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats.

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This spring when the snow melted I found a starved weasel corpse. Still have it. Have not seen a fox this whole year.

 

Seems the lack of mice is killing all the predators as well. Wonder what's going on.

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