• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

how to catch a mouse without a mousetrap

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have seen an idea similar to this!



http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/easterly110.html
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19440
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've heard of the bucket method with water - that's pretty cool.

I've also heard of places so terribly infested with rats that they use 55 gallon drums and do basically the same thing. 

I do have to wonder about somehow not letting that meat go to waste.  I would prefer that a cat or dog eat the mouse.  Or maybe somehow give the mouse to the chickens or the pigs.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rodents can harbor toxoplasmosis, plaque etc...  I would just as soon burn the carcasses as try to feed them to something!  or better yet bury them so that they contribute to the soil.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19440
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Plague is super rare.

I wonder if some of the things you are worried about can be mitigated.  Like feeding the rat to a non-mammal:  fowl or fish.

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have seen my chickens chase down and eat mice. I don't let them in my house or cuddle with them, so I suppose I could let them eat the carcasses.... they do anyway
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19440
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently heard a story of a woman having trouble with squirrels.  She had a barrel of water and floated a styrofoam plate with some peanut butter on it. 

It turned out to be amazingly effective.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bet that would work. I have seen many a squirrel that met its end in stock tanks during the summer months. I make it a point to put a big stick in the water to prevent it.  I like the squirrels but I can see how they could become a nuisance. They were just more of a nuisance to me fouling the stock tanks with their dead bodies!
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19440
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few months back I did this with a bucket and caught a mouse in about 30 minutes.  The next morning there was another mouse.

I just put some peanut butter in the bottom of a bucket and laid a 2x4 as a ramp up to the edge of the bucket.

I have since tried it four more times.  The first three caught nothing and yesterday I caught one little mouse. 

Here is the interesting thing:  that mouse would try to jump out of the bucket and he ALMOST made it! 

That makes me wonder about the previous three attmempts.  Maybe they worked, but the mouse just jumped out later. 

So maybe I need a deeper bucket, or to put water in the bucket.

 
Steve Nicolini
Posts: 224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is a good way to do it.  Cheap, effective... if the mouse isn't a high jumper! 

Has anyone used the hide of a mouse?  I know it is obnoxious, but I killed a mouse with a 2x4 last night, and I feel like I should use some part of Stewart Little.  I know it is small, but it might make a nice little medicine pouch or pocket knife sheath.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it would be pretty difficult to tan/preserve. If you just bury it in your garden it will serve a purpose just not a very tangible one. I would love to pull out a coin purse made from a mouse/rat with the head still on at some store. plop it on the little counter at the grocery store while i dig through it adn watch the womens lower lips quiver. 
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read where Native Americans thought moles were special, and if they found a dead one, they would make a little medicine pouch out of it.

Leah, you're funny!  I would like to be there!

Of course, Steve, you could take it into a taxidermist and get a quote on preserving the 'hide'. That should be good for a laugh, if nothing else.

I found a dead hummingbird the morning of a hard freeze.  I showed it to my friend and wondered how much a taxidermist would charge to stuff it.  She said, "He'll probably want to know if you're bringing your own cotton ball".

Sue
 
Steve Nicolini
Posts: 224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You are funny, Leah.  That inspired me.  We have to wait for another mouse though.  Something (probably raccoon) snatched it up last night.  We killed a big old Norway rat the other day.  I put it down in the mud outside and the next day there were raccoon tracks walking to and from where the rat had been.  Their tracks (raccoons) are very much like human hands. 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
do you need us to mail you one?


 
Steve Nicolini
Posts: 224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
No, I am sure there are plenty here.  Great pic though.  That young gal looks intrigued.  I will post after I attempt to skin the hide of our next mouse.
 
Kelda Miller
Posts: 769
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
uh, would you guys eat a drowned squirrel? Like how many hours later do you think would it still be okay to eat?

 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A freshly-drowned squirrel would probably be fine, but if you didn't know how long ago.... I would probably pass.  It just isn't worth possible ptomaine unless you're REALLY hungry. 

sue
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
kelda- I wouldn't. but I'm not that hungry either.

my little girl came running into the room "momma, momma, I found something AMAZING! come see". it was the mouse (being traumatized by the cat). its fun to see things through her eyes. she wanted me to take a pic of her holding it so that ( in her words) she could send it to her aunt and "freak her out". Thats my girl. 
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Your daughter, my Mom!

I was working in San Jose and my mother would send me 'Care' package.  She was working in an upper-crust department store in Las Vegas, and they gave their employees fantastic bargains, so she would collect stuff and send it to me at work.

The two female owners would bring it in and hang over the box to see what I got.  I had told Mom that I was telling them about the flying cockroaches in Vegas (palmetto bugs), and they thought I was kidding.  So she found one, dead and dessicated in an empty pot, put it in a small white jewelry-type box with cotton, and sent it in one of my packages.  The lid just said 'for your friends'.  I lifted the lid and they both leaped back about 10 feet!

Sue
 
Steve Nicolini
Posts: 224
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How cold is the water, Kelda?  That is one hell of an opportunity to find one.  And you didn't have to hunt it!  How did it drown?
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
that is really funny sue!

steve - squirrels drown in stock tanks regularly. when water is scarce because of heat or cold they try to get a  out of reach drink, fall in and can't get out.  When I used my tall rubbermaid stock tank for the horses I started leaving a large branch propped in the water to give the squirrels a ladder out. 



 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ahhh, yes the "Palmetto Bug". I remember my 1st encounter with those. I was in Florida. They should be the Florida state bug! The place is flying & crawling with them!

When introduced to them, I remember thinking..."Palmetto Bug" what a lovely name  for a FLYING COCKROACH! Someone even had the nerve to say to me, they're not cockroaches, they're Palmetto Bugs. YEESH!
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gwen Lynn wrote:
Ahhh, yes the "Palmetto Bug". I remember my 1st encounter with those. I was in Florida. They should be the Florida state bug! The place is flying & crawling with them!

When introduced to them, I remember thinking..."Palmetto Bug" what a lovely name  for a FLYING COCKROACH! Someone even had the nerve to say to me, they're not cockroaches, they're Palmetto Bugs. YEESH!


State bug or bird?  And when you see one as you walk to the fridge late at night, don't try to smash them by dropping something on them because you will more than likely be giving them the weapon. 
I'm just happy they usually prefer to stay outdoors.  Chickens really love to eat them!!!

As to those mousetrap ideas, I'm about to go try them as I'm having a bit of a rat problem around the property this year.  And the thing with the squirrels I might try that too as they have taken to eating all the leaves off my sweet potato plants again!!!  Does anyone know of a good squirrel, rat, bunny deterrent that is safe to use on food crops?  I don't mind sharing a little with the critters but I get irritated when they won't share with me
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"oes anyone know of a good squirrel, rat, bunny deterrent that is safe to use on food crops?"

A good mouser cat!

Sue
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not quite sure how to get a "good Mouser" since most cats need to be taught how to kill a mouse by a mother cat who knows how to do it and they need to want to kill the rats rather than just play with them and then let the go tell their friends about it.

The one cat seems quite happy to chase squirrels but I don't think he will catch them and it doesn't seem to deter the rodents much.

The other cat seems more interested in the chickens.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know about needing a momma cat. I think the most important thing to do to keep a mouser doing its job is to keep it hungry enough to. cats go feral very easy even ones that haven't had to hunt for generations.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Uh, oh. "pet" peeve time!

(We have 5 cats. 3 were strays, 2 of which were borderline feral. The other 2 are my mother's inbred, siamese freaks. If they didn't live here, they'd would probably have been dumped by somebody who decided they didn't like them. They...have...problems! )

Over the years, I've found homes for many hungry, skinny, young stray cats that were the spawn of cats that had been dumped likely because people think things like: oh, don't worry about it...it's a cat...it can take care of itself. Well, it ain't necessarily so! Especially if you are talking about cats that have been someone's pet for years...even only a couple of years.

If we are talking about kittens that have never been handled by humans and were allowed to "go feral", well...maybe. But who really wants feral cats roaming around their property that can't be handled because they instinctively hunt and also avoid humans? Even our most misbehaved cat (who really dislikes it when we have visitors. So much so that I put him in another room!) lets me clip his nails & respects my dominance in this house.

I've worked for, boarded at & visited many riding stables over the past 32 years. I think I've heard every theory about creating "good mousers" that there is. The worst one is "on't feed them anything...and they'll catch mice!" I can't tell you how many sickly, weakened, skinny, starving barn cats I've seen that chose to eat pelleted horse feed right outta the sack rather than hunt mice that had just jumped outta that sack! Even to this day, when someone brings their "house cat" out to the barn because their kid has allergies or the cat stopped using the catbox, I just cringe. The cat doesn't adapt. It hides, freaks out & ends up getting injured or killed.

Once a rat or mouse problem has developed in a barn, there are TOO MANY of them for a cat or even a few cats to kill. I've been in barns that were overrun by cats (because the cat's weren't spayed or neutered) and there was still a mouse problem! So now there's too many cats and too many mice. 

On the other hand, "Heather", one of the best mousers I've ever known (she mostly hunted, killed but didn't usually eat them) was a spayed, well fed, healthy, friendly barn cat who had yearly trips to the vet. Aging has a lot to do with mousing skills too. Domesticated cats don't hunt as well once they've started aging. Even that good little mouser I knew started hunting less & sleeping more as she aged.

IMO, just like domesticated farm animals that have had much of their wild tendencies bred out of them over the years to make suitable animals for specific needs, the same thing has happened to cats. Take the flat faced, Persian breed of cat, for instance. If ever was there a breed of cat that wasn't much of a hunter, that would be it. They are lazy lap cats. Usually pretty mellow.

So, I'm begging anyone that reads this...please don't dump your aging house cat who has (lived indoors for practically all of it's life) outdoors & expect it to go feral & start mousing. I don't think it's going to happen!

It's funny, but the best mousers I've ever seen weren't even cats. They were Jack Russell Terriers. And they'd eat the mice too! Crunch, crunch, crunch!
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know its a peeve of yous. but I stick to my opinion. especially after reading a plea for advice on another forum recently. over 30 cats they had..... all were 'dumped'. I know you have a special affinity for cats. and this is a subject where we differ somewhat.

I have cats and I like them but the idea here isn't to have nice pet cats its a mouser. a hunter. a wild cat given just enough care that it sticks around. equate them with creating habitat for birds of prey in cities to control pigeons.  there are definitly plenty of breeds of cat that have had the mouser bred out of them and couldn't survive in the wild and I am certainly not talking about dumping a persian in a corn feild that would be silly. but with the feral cat population you have to admit there is no doubt that the the basic short hair mutts go feral easily (too easily)....as a population.... not neccesarily as an individual..... any one individual is subject to the same mortality rate as a wild animal and in the first feral generations propably even a higher mortality rate, it is to be expected. so it doesn't seem abnormal at all to expect that a cat put out to be a mouser (especially an old house pet) would dissapear or seek out human care. but many many of them in terms of wild animals, can survive  with little care if adapted when young. their life spans will reflect that they are wild and yes just like any wild animal the weak will die and the rest will survive. and just like any wild animal they won't likly be fat and healthy all the time. depends on whether your goal is to raise nice healthy pets to keep your mind at ease or have a few mousers around. to be clear, I am not advocating dumping a long time house pet or special breed in a barn to be a mouser ! just pointing out that all the feral cats out there are descendants of pets and a large percentage of them are able to survive long enough to reproduce (unfortunatley) it is one of those things that isn't tasteful because cats are considered pets by most people. we would't bat an eye to find out about a 50% or more mortality rate in a wild animal. but  we think its horrible when speaking of animals that are traditionally kept as pets. if you view wild cats for what they are...wild animals....its not so hard.

the barns I have seen overrun with cats are not sickly because of extreme starvation. they mostly are sickly because of a unnaturally tight population due to them being fed jsut enough ( I know you know how little cat food it takes to keep many cats in excellent condition) and not dying or moving on and therefore the passage of parasites and disease are sped along and although the owner keeps shucking out bucks for cheap cat food they can't or won't shuck out the bucks for sterilization and the healthcare that is needed in such a high population that is protected from predators. the same things happen when people feed deer, raccon and bear other wild animals. disease are spread and populations are allowed to reach abnormal levels.

having had quite a few internet conversations with people who have land it is often found (to newbies) that "cats are always dumped here". in reality I think that most of the cats were always there. its just that now somebody moved in with a soft heart who feeds them. and the cats are perfectly willing to trade their life of fighting it out with nature for a bowl of cat food just like raccoons in pet doors, deer in gardens, and bears in dumpsters.

our new place has cats. the dogs have run off the ones near the house. but I spy them with my binoculars out in the feilds daily. most look kinda mangy and thin and young. defintily no old cats out there. but when I see them....they are hunting. just a few days ago on the way to the feed store there was a cat trotting down the road. when I got close I could see it had a big rat. I think feeding wild animals including cats is a big responsibilty and care must be taken to not take it too far. sometimes that means taking your heart off your sleeve and stuffing it in your pocket and letting nature take its course. and if you specifically want to introduce cats to help control the rodent population there is not much point in feeding them much. probably would be alot more effective to worm the regularly and of please please please sterilize them.

a great tip I saw from the '30 cats dumped over the years' was feeding barn cats dog food. they don't like it. but will eat it if they really need it. sounds a bit like a cat in the feed bag but a little more appropriate food available.

my chickens free range chickens just get a bit of food here and there. if I kept a feeder out for them. they won't go more than 50' feet from it. as it is. they dissapear during the day finding things to eat (hopefully some ticks). I think a cat whose purpose is to be a mouser should be treated similiarly.

the older I get the 'meaner' I get. and the more willing I am to accept death and suffering as part of life for many animals.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I posted my 1st reply to this for those people who might read any of this with the thinking that their aging housecat is going to go out & learn to mouse and survive.

I didn't mean to insinuate that I thought you would advocate dumping a persian cat, but other people do it all the time. Their rationale might be hey, I read this post on the web, says cats can fend for itself. Let's take it out to a corn field & dump it. I was just thinking about the bigger picture and what other people might interpret. Sorry if it seemed directed at you.

I guess I have aged past the point of "meaness" as you put it, or maybe I've just given up?

You know my dh is a big time "heart on your sleeve" sort of person. Especially when it comes to animals. To some extent it has rubbed off on me over the years. I could kill for food though, if I had to. I don't know how hungry he'd have to get to do that. I'd probably have to be the hunter and he'd be the gatherer!
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
your right people can walk away from some things with something entirely different than the point that was trying to be made!

outdoor cats probably aren't the best solution to rodents in most situations either way. but if people are trying to use them for that purpose they should keep in mind that they aren't pets. I'm not talking about using miss puss sitting there on the couch....i'm talking about using a tomcat that was neutered with a pocket knife ! but if miss puss from the shelter  was not sterilized and was released outside she would very likely produce one of those tomcats within a few litters. spay and neuter your pets!!! did I say that already  
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You are so right!

Ever since the advent of email, blogging & posting in forums, I just never know how someone is going to interpret what they read or what I write. Sometimes, I misinterpret what is written. I am probably overly careful about my wording, but I guess that got started when I began writing blogs for someone else. When I post on here, I'll type the post, reread it a few times, change the wording, and finally post it. Then the next day I'll go back & if I don't like it, I'll change something else. I know, I over think things. I just feel like I'm out there for all the world to see...er...read!

I guess the real issue is people will take something out of context to justify or rationalize what they are doing and it's a little frustrating.

And yes, you mentioned spaying & neutering in both your posts!  Rabbits may breed like rabbits, but cats sure run a close 2nd in that dept! 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we got a new kitty! ok. so I wanted to post this and this sorta fits in....right...... 

little Tulip came from one of those soon to be cat infested places. they moved to the property with their many horses in november. they now have 3 unspayed females and several tomcats and two litters of kittens. a bowl of cheap cat food is out all the time. hard to bite my tongue. it is my new source for horse manure.

little Tulip will not be expected to catch any mice. Although from my experience any mice in the house are just too much fun to resist for youngish kitties. She will be living in the lap of feline luxury....mostly our laps.... that is already all she wants to do. its like having a tiny engine on your lap....pppuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. this is my first ever kitten! my two other cats were young but already adults when I got them.


 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Those are such cute pix! Tulip does look like a lap cat. Have fun with her!

I wish my indoor/outdoor kitty would hunt the dang gophers we have, but noooo, she has to go after the leopard frogs! And sometimes birds. Fortunately most of the birds weren't songbirds. She got a couple of mice (outdoors, haven't ever had them indoors) last fall. I with she would stick to fur bearing critters, but for whatever reasons, those frogs were her big thing last summer.
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yeah that is one reason why they aren't the best for rodent control  I still reccomend snakes. they will eat frogs and such too (especially cotton mouths and water snakes) but most prefer rodents and they will raid nests some times but I don't *think* they are as bad as cats about getting songbirds.....although it could just be that they don't deposit them on your front porch to show them off like cats and so we just don't think they are killing them.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Snakes are great! I love snakes. I wish I had more of them around my yard. Have only seen one that was big enough to get a mouse, but unfortunately...he was getting a toad! Wouldn't have even noticed it at all, but the toad chirped really loud & we looked in that direction, only to see him being dragged under the studio by the snake. At I know they're out there...somewhere & somedays they must eat "beef" (mice) instead of "chicken" (frogs or toads)! 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mark saw four snakes yesterday (and a deer) while brush hogging! he of course wasn't particularly thrilled about the snakes but I keep reminding him that they are better than rats!
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wish snakes were more...trainable? Or at least somehow be contained in my yard. The dang pocket gophers have turned my yard into swiss cheese this year. If you go out into the wrong part of the yard while it's raining hard, you could be sucked down into the great down-under! Tunnels & holes everywhere. A good team of snakes would have a feast! I know...they'd go after frogs too. Oh well...I can dream...

Speaking of frogs, I am seriously wondering how big the bullfrogs I have will get since they seem to have no predators around here. I saw one last nite, he's a big boy!
 
paul wheaton
steward
Pie
Posts: 19440
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gwen,

Can't you pop over to a pet shop and pick up a garter snake or two?

 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think i have ever seen a garter snake in a pet shop! only ball pythons, fancy corn snakes etc.......it just relatively recently became legal to have snakes in tulsa (at least I think that passed)  they have some dumb laws but its getting better. there was also a big boom on tattoo shops when they legalized tattoos. we are just coming out of the dark ages.

not sure it would be a great thing to take captive bred snakes and release them into the wild. garter snakes aren't big enough to take care of moles and voles anyway except maybe when they are at full maturity. and as gwen pointed out.....how do you keep them in?.......and then how do you keep your neigbors from killing them with a shovel when they get out? most likely the area is supporting as many snakes as it can considering the conditions in a neighborhood. it takes more than food unfortunately. they have to be able to survive mowers, pavement, pesticides and herbicides that everyone uses on their lawns and gardens plus predation by domestic cats as well as wild animals that make themselves at home in urban areas such as coons and possums. that settles gwen. you just need to move
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I 2nd everything Leah said! These dang pocket gophers are too big for most garter snakes I've seen. A bull snake would probably do it...but he'd kill all the frogs too!

If I ever find a gopher (live or dead) I'll post a picture of it. When I had that Ball Python over here, he was about 4' long. He was fed small rats or big mice (which weren't very big).

I think it would be a scary big snake that I'd need to eat these stinkin' gophers...and I don't think the guy who has to come in my yard to read the gas meters would appreciate being greeted by a bull snake! 

Yah, we need to move. Neighbor's teenage son moved in with Dad. Kid has a full drum kit, plays it in the house, but the house ain't sound proof. Yeesh! 
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic