If you have a barn, mice
get into every closet, drawer, box and piece of equipment you have. They
get into your tool box and make nests out of the insulation they ripped out of
the walls. They get into your truck engine, chew on the wires and make nests out
of the insulation they ripped off the inside of the hood. They get into any
storage container that has an opening as small as a dime. They chew up
anything made out of paper or plastic and they crap everywhere. They get
in your car's vents, die, and smell for months (if not forever).
If they get into
your house, they live in the walls and chew through your wires. They skitter
about in your ceiling all night long and have babies by the dozens. They get in
your clothes, chew holes, urinate and leave droppings. The mouse in the movie,
The Green Mile was cute. In real life, they're not. If you see one,
you've probably got dozens. Oh yeah, they come in a multitude of
varieties, in different sizes with different feeding habits and preferences. We
have Field Mice, House Mice, Meadow Jumping Mice, Pocket Mice and Deer Mice. And don't forget
the rats. We have Roof Rats, Kangaroo Rats but mostly Wood Rats (Pack Rats) that
chew up your plants and steel shiny objects out of your tool box. They get
in your cars air filter and pack your carburetor with acorns and grain.
Take-em alive? Not if you're
over run and serious about winning the battle.
Catherine, cat & mouse - Journal Entry
You've probably heard the
term Barn Cat or in our area, Ranch Cat. In my opinion, having a cat is
the best form of rodent control you can have. No poison or traps and
they're great companions when you're working in the barn. Unfortunately
for me, the cat solution won't work. We have coyotes and no matter how
vigilant the cat, the coyotes eventually win. We lost Clancy that way and
I won't go through that again. Another reason is that we are Bird Watchers
and cats can decimate the bird population in short order.
You could create a whole
website on this subject. Live traps, snap traps and now even, electronic
traps. Not a bad solution though don't expect to ever be done. If
you live in a rural area you will always be setting traps and you will need to
keep them set even when you think you've won. When Catherine goes out for her
morning exercise she refers to it as checking her "trap line". She has
them set up in the other buildings and even has them in her car.
For live traps I use a
small Havahart cage or the smaller Victor tipping trap. The Havahart seems
to work best especially if you have larger Wood Rats. The live traps aren't a
bad solution for the soft hearted especially if you aren't "over-run" with
rodents. "Over-run" is the condition we've reached several times when we
haven't been vigilant and the mouse population reaches critical. I
described those conditions in the first two paragraphs of this article. When that happens
we have to resort to poison.
professional exterminators use poison is because it works the best. As far
as I'm concerned it's the only solution when you are over-run by rodents.
Centuries ago I had to train to become a certified pesticide applicator for the
state and I'm well aware of all the complications that go along with this
For me, causing any form of life to suffer is
abhorrent and some of the poisons, especially strychnine, are out of the
question. I talked to a doctor about anticoagulants and though it sounds
gruesome he said that it is mostly a painless way to die. For now, I'm
using it as a last resort.
Oh yeah. For anyone going
this route, the mantra is always, READ THE LABEL!!!!