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Thread: Mouse bait

  1. #1
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Mouse bait

    Damn mice outside are driving me crazy - I'm beginning to feel like I'm in that movie Mouse Hunt. My wife and I keep a suet bird feeder set up by our eating area window that overlooks our patio and last summer a brave or crazy as shit mouse started running out in broad daylight to pick up the crumbs off the ground. For a day or two we thought it was entertaining but then he had a partner show up and I said this needs to end. I've been trying to trap these damn things for over 2 months and so far I only managed to get one of them - who must have been the Darwin subject of the group. I've trapped far more birds with the live traps than I have mice - can't keep nosy Wrens out of them. I started out with live traps as I've gotten kind of soft in my old age and generally just let live as long as they live outside. But I'm afraid they are multiplying and now we have a dead one in the wall between our pantry and garage that we are still waiting for the odor to dissipate. I think he must have gotten in up in the attic somehow where the top of the stud wall is open as everything down below is tight. I think it was around a video camera cable hole I needed to caulk. These things will crawl right up a wall. How he managed to escape all the sticky traps I keep up there for spiders and the such I don't know. Fortunately none have gotten in anywhere else - garage included.

    I get up every morning and look at our surveillance video of the porch and they are running around there all night but avoid the enclosed, live traps like crazy. They won't enter one for peanut butter, jelly, bird suet or Tom's Mouse Bait. By the way, Tom's mouse traps and bait and worthless in my opinion now. After going through about a half dozen commercial and home built live traps I've gone now to good old Victor mouse spring traps - live and let live be damned. Set them out last night with a couple sticky traps and baited them with all the above. Got up this morning and looked at the video - damn mouse running all around the traps but not getting caught in any of them. One was sprung and a sticky trap is missing but I think the racoon that came by made off with it semi-permanently attached to it. AND - to add insult to injury the SOB chewed a hole in my hose on the hose reel last night that I had a nozzle on the end of but hadn't shut the hydrant valve off on.

    So, I have a feeling I'm going to make some nosy Racoons very unhappy but I'm thinking of blanketing my whole damn porch with Victor traps and sticky traps tonight. Has anyone found a particular bait they are really drawn too? I figured peanut butter would really get them but I'm not having a lot of luck with it.
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    I'm fighting coons. Chicken coops are sound, but the coons come into the runs at nght and eat up the chicken feed.

    Peanut butter was always my fav. Being semi wet, pests keep licking and messing with the trigger until it's sprung rather than get a change to lift the bait and make out.

    I've heard sardines are good because they're so smelly.

  3. #3
    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    12 GA shotguns work.

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    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    That might be overkill on a mouse. Not too sure they didn't try that in Mouse Hunt though.
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    Administrator Funding Member Kevins's Avatar
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    Dan,

    I had mice in my shed and was hesitant to kill them. Then they chewed the wiring out of my mower and that changed my mind, so I bought some good quality traps (they're plastic rather than wood). I use peanut butter and they go to the traps for it. In the beginning, the hit rate was low and I found traps sprung and the peanut butter gone. Then I did a bit of reading about why traps spring with no catch and learned that the force of the spring causes the trap to move and it often misses the mouse in the process. I tested that out for myself (using a screwdriver rather than my finger to trigger the trap, for you wise guys out there) and could see how that would cause a lot of misses. I had a lot of tile scraps from a recent project laying around so I drilled and fastened each trap to a piece of tile and the hit rate went way up. I still find an occasional sprung trap, but probably 85% of the time there is a mouse in it. Oh, I now make room in the garage for my mowers over the winter just in case - haven't seen any mice in there.

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    I used cheese on the spring trap. Worked for me.

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    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    They use beer for me. Catches me every time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    I looked at the one trap that was sprung last night and it had peanut butter on it, but not sure if a coon or mouse tripped it. I will stick with the peanut butter. Thank for the tip Kevin about a heavier base. I’ll see what I have that I can use.
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    Senior Member Funding Member RedBarchetta's Avatar
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    We would get Norway rats on the side of our house in SoCal. They'd just hang around the trash cans but I never liked them so I made it sport to get rid of them. The best thing that worked were Victor traps baited with melted cheddar cheese on the trigger, and then covered that up with a little peanut butter. They couldn't resist it. I'm an ace several times over. :-)
    -Dean

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    I like that idea Dean, I’ve been on a roll lately reading WWII books on Air Force groups and various fighter squadrons. If I get 5 mice I’m an ace right? Get 10 and I’m a double ace? I guess that one I live trapped and released would only count as a probable. I need to get me some little decals of a mouse profile with a red circle and slash across it.

    I screwed the traps down to pieces of a 1x4 and have them bated with peanut butter for tonight.
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    GROUCHY FUC***G OLD APE Funding Member Silverback's Avatar
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    You need a hungry ass cat that is almost as ugly as I am.


  12. #12
    Senior Member Funding Member RedBarchetta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanEC View Post
    If I get 5 mice I’m an ace right? Get 10 and I’m a double ace? I guess that one I live trapped and released would only count as a probable.
    Yes and yes. But the one you let go will have to be recorded as an unconfirmed kill. No emblem on the fuselage for that one.
    -Dean

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    Boy, I hear you all. Moved into the Sierra Nevada mtns from SoCal 15 years ago and fought woodpeckers and deer for 10 years. Now have netting draped from the roof for the peckers and 8' shepard hooks with netting for the rose gardens. Looks less than spiffy but saves the siding from becoming swiss cheese. Now it's the ground squirrels this year. Dozens of them were undermining the slopes under the driveway so I got some advice from an exterminator who lives on a ranch with cattle and protected wild animals. He suggested using 6-10 foot long 3 inch diameter pvc pipes, anchoring them to the ground with rebar or stakes and setting bait in the middle. Larger animals can't get to it because the pipes won't move. I set up over a dozen of these. From about 50 squirrels to 1 in less than two weeks.
    YMMV

  14. #14
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Dang, that's an ugly animal. Are you sure it's a cat? I think if I had one of those roaming around the neighbors would probably be hunting it down.
    Our world is not divided by Race, Color, Gender or Religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by Race, Color, Gender or Religion.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Well, - I looked at my surveillance video and went out to check the traps when it got light and Nada. Only think worse than pest are unreliable pests. No mice or coons showed up. I have a motion detector sprinkler on my porch called a "Scarecrow" that I put out there in hopes of running the coons off before they could get into the traps. The only think that showed up was a gray cat who immediately wandered in front of the scarecrow setting it off. He jumped straight up in the air about a foot and took off like the proverbial scalded cat.
    Our world is not divided by Race, Color, Gender or Religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by Race, Color, Gender or Religion.

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    Administrator Funding Member Kevins's Avatar
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    Franklyn, did you have to put netting over your entire house? I'm trying to picture what the solution is. I'm having a problem with a woodpecker - I think it's just one. He pecks the siding in two places and when I bang on the wall or go out and yell at him he flies away and, a minute later he's at the second location on the other side of the house. I scare him away from there and he goes back to the first place. So, back and forth it goes. After doing some reading, I picked up some shiny reflective tape at home depot and attached a couple of streamers at each location. The woodpecker no longer pecks in those locations and, after about a month now, I've only heard him elsewhere one time. So, it went from an every day thing to only once in the last month. If he starts pecking in a new location more often, I'm considering getting a .22 caliber pellet gun. That would be illegal, but he's already damaged the siding and I can't let it continue. At least it is just one bird - sounds like you have a much bigger problem with them. The ironic thing is we have a bird feeder just outside our breakfast room window and woodpeckers come to eat, so we're feeding the little bastard. We really do enjoy the birds (so does the cat, who has a window seat there and they're a foot away) so haven't considered getting rid of the feeder.

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    Senior Member Funding Member Carlewms's Avatar
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    Have you thought of adopting a "barn cat" (i.e. one that lives in a barn outside the house) ... find a nearby farmer who might have a bunch of barn cats and get one. Let em live outside. and they will take care of the mice.
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    Senior Member Funding Member DanEC's Avatar
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    Carl - we would like a cat but our last one died not long after we got married (long time ago) from a kidney infection that I guess we didn't recognize in time and we were so attached to her and traumatized that we never could bring ourselves to get another one. It's also something that has to be dealt with anytime we leave town for a couple of days.

    Kevin - I have a .22 Benjamin air rifle and it's got some power but even a .177 pellet gun will get a woodpecker's attention. At our last house I used to have to sneak out on the patio and around the corner to pop a big woodpecker that would attack our siding by the chimney. Never really tried to kill it though - finally solved the problem when we sided the house.

    Funny about bird feeders - we have a simple little cake suet feeder and it has been just swarmed by birds, particularly sparrows. I even added a wire mesh platform to the bottom of it so they could perch there and more of them could flock to it. Finally had to start rationing the suet cakes and they were eating us out of house and home. It was the droppings of suet on the ground that started attracting the coons and mice. So this week I got a cheap plastic oil drain pan from Walmart, cut it down to about 1-1/2 inches in height and suspended it about 8" underneath to collect the droppings and they could still peck around in it like some of them did on the ground. I don't know what it is about that black pan but it has totally freaked out the birds. The sparrows make approaches to the feeder and then like they are waived off from a landing they dodge away. About the only thing that has approached and actually landed on it in 3 days has been a mocking bird, a redbird, and a woodpecker. What used to be a day's ration of suet has so far lasted 3 days and it's hardly been touched. I figure if they get hungry enough they will get over what ever phobia it is they have.
    Our world is not divided by Race, Color, Gender or Religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by Race, Color, Gender or Religion.

    Nelson Mandela

    "Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f--- things up."

    Barack Obama

  19. #19
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    Woodpeckers can be utterly maddening. It took several years to retrain them away from our house. It all started when we installed "gutter helmets" to keep out oak leaves and pine needles. They saw the dark openinng around the perimeter of the house and began filling up the gutters with acorns. The only way to get the "helmet" open was to unscrew it from the top. PITA. I tried hanging CDs from the roof which was pretty cool when the sun hit them. It looked like giant eyeballs scanning the siding when they turned in the breeze. That worked for nearly a week before the birds figured it was just an illusion and went back to work. I tried deer netting over the gutters thinking it would discourage them but the acorns fit right thru that. Then they started in on the decking and roof by halving and quartering the acorns, using them as wedges to seperate the beams of the deck and lifting the roofing shingles. At daybreak they'd start in right by our bedroom with daily wallbanging. I was going nuts.

    I finally had the helmet removed and installed fine mesh screens designed to cover the gutter tops and keep out debris. You can see a variety of them at any home and garden show. That worked for keeping them out of the gutters, then I used silicone to glue metal mesh to the shingles over the peaks and valleys of our roof where acorns were accumulating the most and with some vigilance for protecting the rest of the house broke them of the habit. I have deer netting draping from the roof on a 2nd story side of the house about halfway down that I don't see often and got a finer gauge netting tucked up into the eaves which is hardly noticable.

    Early this summer we had a young white and gray pecker start in on our living room picture windows, flying against them with his beak and claws for hours on end, then going to the front of the house and attacking those windows. We weren't sure if he was going after his reflection or defending his territory. I draped the netting from the roof over the windows to keep him away. He'd bounce back and forth on the railing for a while, then left, returning the next day. After a month of that he quit the daily visits. But he continues to come around once or twice a month so the netting is staying through the fall probalby until next spring. It may not look beautiful but it works.

    Kevin - If I were you I'd try draping deer netting approach from the roof down the siding in the areas the bird attacks. It'll keep the bird physically away from your home and hopefully get it into another habit. It'll cut down on interior drywall repair too. I've been to Natl Parks with bird problems and have seen the same approach with netting protecting cabins and other park buildings with woodpecker problems.

    Simple, fast, effective. Good luck.

  20. #20
    Administrator Funding Member Kevins's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips. I'm hoping that I'm correct that it is just a single woodpecker - if it's more than one, they're the same size, 'cause they look alike to me. Anyway, it's been about a week since I've heard him pecking so hopefully he's moved on. If not, I may have to try some of your ideas.

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