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Great organic mouse catcher  RSS feed

 
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Discovered a great, safe mouse catcher.  A large Pyrex-type salad bowl with about 3 Tbsp of peanut oil in the bottom.  The mice will climb over the edge, slide down, and it's too slippery to get out.  They do get drenched in oil.  Inside a building they make it through the night, and we take them very far away and let them go.  Outside, so far, they have not survived the night.  The camera shows the fox that comes through very pleased to find a "marinated" mouse.  

The bowl is about 12" across and maybe 4" high.  I'd like to catch voles in it, too, so I put a ramp to it when it's outside.    So far they haven't been interested in climbing over the edge.

I found this on YouTube, and the demonstration shows them putting the mice in soapy water afterwards to clean them off.  It doesn't clean them at all.  Their droppings and chewing damage is dangerous enough that they are fair game for critter snacks.  The last two I got were up in the BBQ making a mess inside.    The Slippery Bowl method is safe for the rest of us, and very reliable.

(PS, mods, should there be a rodent category here?)
 
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That's awesome Cristo!  Do you think the voles are after the peanut butter smell/taste?  I've heard the only way to trap voles with a mouse trap is to put it in their way and they trigger it by chance.  Does this bowl need to be in their path or do they seek out the peanut butter oil?
 
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Cristo Balete wrote:(PS, mods, should there be a rodent category here?)



Hi Cristo, the intent of the nibblers category is listed as  "deer, moles, voles, birds, mice, rats, squirrels ... critters that eat your growies!" so I think this is a great category fit.  Thank you for the suggestion, much appreciated.  Got me thinking about if we might want a pest category, though all the pests I'm thinking of are nibblers (nibbling me, my house or my crops....everyone else out there is not a pest to me), so I think we're ok at the moment.  Other staff?  Opinions?
 
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I'm thinking of are nibblers (nibbling me, my house or my crops....everyone else out there is not a pest to me), so I think we're ok at the moment.  Other staff?  Opinions?



That sums it up for me too. Thumbs up.

 
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what a great idea. i'm having a real hard time with tiny mice eating my seed starts and I am at wits' end. The largest size wire screen I can get (aside from window screen) does not impede them. I'm thinking maybe there is some way I can implement a "moat" with oil around where my seed trays are (i have only a few small trays so far)
Think sunflower oil (or canola, rice bran, or corn oil) would work? Peanut is something I can't get here.
Thanks!
 
Cristo Balete
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Tereza, I know mice eat corn if they can find it on a farm, and that might have a scent that will attract them. Or melt a little peanut butter and stir it into the corn oil.   You may only need a bowl nearby to catch them, because they go straight to it.  If the bowl is not in an enclosed area canines of all sorts will want to lick the oil out, so keep that in mind.  I got 4 one night, and the example on YouTube got 7 mice in one night.

I've kept the mice and voles away from seed trays by making thigh-high sawhorses that hold up a few old fence boards that expand to the outer edges of the sawhorses, boards about 6 feet long (2 meters).  We have very clever packrats that can climb just about anything, and they can't get up the saw horses, and neither have mice.  The camera did show them climbing the tree above the seed trays and jumping down onto the trays, so that got moved in a real hurry.

I also put sheer white curtains over the seed trays and tucked them under the trays, loosely over the seedings, and that works nicely.   I've also put one layer of chicken wire under the seed trays that extends beyond the boards on all sides, and makes it difficult for anything coming up from underneath to get beyond it.
 
Cristo Balete
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Just in case, if the edges of the chicken wire are at the eye level of a child, that might not be good if there's any poking wires on the edge of it.  I've had the best luck with the sheer white curtains, so far they haven't gotten underneath it.

I also have some large plastic shelves on plastic legs, the kind they sell for storage in a garage.  They are about 2 feet by 18 inches, and the shelves have an open "mesh" look to them.   When I'm transplanting in the greenhouse I keep all of the tomato transplants on the top and second shelf of the plastic shelf unit, and no critters have managed to get up onto the shelves.  And I have voles and mice in the greenhouse, and am constantly protecting seedlings.
 
Cristo Balete
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Mike, the mice haven't had any trouble locating the bowl, although I put it near where I've seen signs of them, behind the BBQ, near the base of a cabinet inside.  I put one bowl under the 18" high deck by the stairs and got 2 more there.  Maybe they are more apt to take the time to climb into it if it's under something, since they don't like to be vulnerable out in the open.  So under a chair,  next to a wall.  In the greenhouse it doesn't seem to matter since they seem to feel protected.
 
Tereza Okava
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Cristo, you're an absolute fountain of ideas. I have an old pair of sheer curtains that can be sacrificed for the cause! I was also thinking an old plastic shelving unit, with its feet in water. Will try that and the bucket.
I keep the starts on top of my dog's kennel. He is obsessed with chasing mice, but they seem to have a deal after dark, because the little monsters eat EVERY STINKING THING i plant, no matter what I spray it with. And not for lack of other things to eat either.
 
Cristo Balete
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Tereza, I've learned the hard way, and have had many things lost to critters.   So the war goes on!

Is there a tree over your dog's kennel?  Birds love seedlings, too.
 
Tereza Okava
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he has no agreement with the birds, that at least would be a problem he could handle! (birds steal his food and he will happily go after them).
his kennel is in the corner of our covered parking area, right up against the front wall of my house, so no trees. Which puts the mice at huge risk, but doesn't seem to stop them. I know they are underneath the kennel, I am going to have to fill in that space or else we're going to end up with snakes in there going after the mice-- too close to my own living space for that.
 
Cristo Balete
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A little off topic here, but I've found it easier to lift things up to stop the mice, rather than fill in below, because they dig really well and go under anyway.  1" chicken wire doesn't stop them.   Any way to put the kennel up on a couple of cinder blocks?  With the holes in the cinder blocks side to side rather than up and down.
 
Cristo Balete
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Here's a picture showing the bowl size.  This bowl has too much oil in it.  It only takes a couple of tablespoons swirled around the bottom and up the sides a bit to make it too slippery.

MouseOilBowlB4After.jpg
[Thumbnail for MouseOilBowlB4After.jpg]
Mouse in oil in large salad bowl
 
Tereza Okava
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Cristo Balete wrote:Any way to put the kennel up on a couple of cinder blocks?  With the holes in the cinder blocks side to side rather than up and down.


I could, but the ground under the kennel is tiled, with concrete under that (and concrete everywhere else, which is why this is so frustrating), so I think they`re probably going to go in any other direction!! i`m concerned with the kennel up more than a few inches that the dog will knock it over, assuming his truce with the mice ever ends and he decides to go after them (kennel`s big, he`s big). I am assuming that a few long, wide boards can be cut and entirely fill in the space.

slightly shaky image of my decimated sprouting box, every single coriander seed has been eaten- even though after planting i covered the entire surface with lavender foliage (ongoing experiments with mint, lavender, etc prove that mice care not a whit about the things they are supposed to hate and avoid).
 
Cristo Balete
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Tereza, those seedlings look like they've been chewed off, as opposed to eaten (which would mean they wouldn't even be there).   Have you checked for slugs or rolly polly bugs, something like that?  Check it about an hour after dark with a flashlight and see what critters are on there.    They could be in those other pots.

If it turns out to be slugs or snails, coffee grounds all over the top of the soil about 1/4" thick will slow them down, or pennies on the surface, because copper gives slugs and snails a shock.

Are you seeing mouse droppings along the base of the walls there?   Wouldn't your dog be barking like crazy if they were on top of the kennel?  It seems like the mice wouldn't even venture into such a small space with a dog in it?
 
Tereza Okava
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the foliage was thrown on top of the soil surface as a repellant. there were only soaked coriander seeds (cilantro). Every single seed is now in tiny pieces, what is left of them anyway. Definitely mice (also little mice craps all over the place.)
 
Cristo Balete
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Okay, I see what you mean.  Yeah, covering them ought to work, and then the oil bowl up on top of the box ought to be out of the way of the dog, hopefully.  
 
Tereza Okava
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Cristo Balete wrote:Wouldn't your dog be barking like crazy if they were on top of the kennel?  It seems like the mice wouldn't even venture into such a small space with a dog in it?


This is the million dollar question. The dog is taking the fifth thus far. I can only assume the mice pay him better than I do.
 
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The oiled bowl is a good idea. We found out by accident that a 5 gallon bucket with a piece of wood leaned up against it and some water in the bottom will catch mice if they’re thirsty. They climb the wood (ramp) and jump in for a drink, then they drown. No need to oil the sides. You only need a little water—6 inches or so. Maybe more, but not enough to allow them to swim to the side and escape.

Since then I’ve learned this is a common way to catch mice. One man (on YouTube) figured out how to bait this trap. He attached a rod across the top so that it would spin when a mouse or rat climbed onto it, thus dumping the mouse into the water. He smeared peanut butter onto the middle of the rod and put some dishwashing soap in the water. The rats (he was after rats in his wood shop) would climb up the ramp and onto the rod to get the peanut butter; the rod would spin; and the rat would fall into the bucket and drown. He said the soap would make them wetter so they would drown very quickly and suffer as little as possible. He caught a LOT of rats the first night. At first he thought he had only one, but when he dumped out the bucket, there were all the rats. The soap had gone cloudy and hidden them.

You don’t need peanut butter if it’s not available. You need something mice or rats or voles like to eat. Probably something high fat, and most importantly, it must be the very smelly. It needs to be something you can smear onto the rod and it will stay there.

Hope this helps!
 
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This is cool. All I need is to get a metallic bowl put some oil in it some peanut butter and veggies and seasonings and place it under the table before going to bed. In the morning I will get the bowl and fire it over the stove before going to shower. The recipe needs to be serve hot.
 
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I’ve done the bucket idea to catch some rats. It worked great the first night!  I know that while they were drowning they were shouting instructions to all their fellow beings.  Never caught anymore.  They knew what would happen to them. Since they had the play by play the night before!  Did the same in the chicken coop while our chicken coop was being inundated by rats.  A barrel with a hole in the lid and a pipe down through the hole. The bottom of the pipe was smeared with peanut butter and the bottom of the barrel had water in it.  Again worked great the first night!  Never again though.  
Invited the neighbor children to come practice their shooting skills in the early evening and we took out many many rats. This was maybe 5 years ago when we had a major problem!  I should have just called the Pied Piper of Hamelin with his flute!  

Even tried to meditate them gone!  Asking them gently to leave, that we couldn’t possibly live under the same roof.  Of course they had other ideas....

Has anyone ever had problems with mice chewing holes in the ceilings?  I hear them scurrying all night over my head.  Sometimes though it seems like they want to see where they are, so they chew a hole through the gyp rock.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
Hole in my bedroom in the ceiling
 
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This past fall and into winter, has been a very micey (new word?) time for every one here in our area of NH. One neighbor caught 6 just in her car! I had them in my car, and in my pantry. We've lost count of how many we've trapped and the cat has caught. One way I found one is in an old wine jug in the pantry. The mouse must have fallen In then just died inside. I thinking about putting something yummy inside to get more to fall in, maybe that peanut oil is an idea. My daughter, who lives in an old farm house in Maine,  said she stopped counting at 40 this fall. I think it was a sign of what a snowy winter we were getting.
 
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