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It's official: it's not just one mouse.

This morning I was awakened by the sound of my cat Jacob literally ripping the walls down. I gather he heard mice in there and decided the best way to get them out was to pry up the baseboard. Have I mentioned that Jacob is freakishly strong?

So bleary eyed and still half asleep, I made my way into the bathroom where I was promptly joined by a fast-moving, terrified little grey mouse, Jacob and Opie hot on her trail*. I managed to shove the boys out the door while the mouse basically levitated up the wall. Once the door was shut I tried to catch her, but she vanished somewhere into the closet (and, I believe, under the floor).

So now I'm spending my break scouring the internet, in search of humane methods of mouse control. This site looks promising (I plan to give peppermint oil a try), and features a link to PredatorPee.com, a site that sells urine in a variety of flavors (such as coyote urine, wolf urine and mountain lion urine). So here's my question for them: if predator urine keeps mice away, then why are the mice invading my apartment through the closet where the litter box lives?

* Tino is a lover, not a fighter. While the excitement was going on all around him, he enjoyed a leisurely nap on the couch.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I've had some success with peppermint oil on cotton balls - stuff them into any tiny opening or holes in the walls, then stuff some steel wool.

I think mice will brave anything once they find a food source. If you have any food stuff out in your kitchen, pack it away as soon as possible. I'm not sure how you would deal with keeping them away from cat food, because they'll snatch that too.

If you know where they're coming in, cover the area or do the steel wool/pep oil thing.

After you eliminate all possible food sources or easy access to food, they'll stop coming around. (Hopefully)

We still get them in our basement, but they stopped coming upstairs after I started making sure I put all food away and cleaned up crumbs

I have to admit that I resorted to poison a few years ago because there was a hole in my basement wall that led to the outside side entrance of the house at one point and a few rats were getting in. I couldn't deal with that or the possibility of them breeding in my basement.
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Memo to myself: buy some steel wool.

Now if only my building weren't already patched together with bubble gum and duct tape ...

Edited at 2008-02-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Wonders what kind of suicidal mice you have that live in a place with three cats....
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
They prefer to be called "adrenaline junkies."
Feb. 12th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
While those catch-and-release humane taps are worth a try, I learned from previous experience with mice in my Boston apartment that NONE of the other humane deterrents worked. Not the electronic thingie, not vinegar all over the place, not the pee repellant, not the landlord stuffing up holes with steel wool (only partially humane).

And make sure no pet food is left out in the dishes.
Feb. 12th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
Pet food is a problem, because there's always some dry food out in the kitchen.
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
yup. you're going to have to put it away, in rubbermaid containers or something. mice love to eat that.
Feb. 12th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
But then how will I train the cats to open the Tupperware?
Feb. 13th, 2008 02:59 am (UTC)
We tried every humane way we knew of getting rid of our mice, but nothing worked. There were just too many of them. Those are pretty good ideas on the site though, and might actually work.
Feb. 13th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Well, when I got home I doused several cotton balls in peppermint oil and put them near all the entryways (that I know about). It's day two and my apartment is minty fresh, and I haven't seen any more mice. Then again, it was nearly two months between the first sighting and the second.
Feb. 13th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd keep doing that often. We started out with only one or two, but in a few months we were competely infested. We stopped doing anything actively when we didn't see any for a while, but we probably should have just kept it up.
Feb. 13th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
From what I've read, the cotton balls should be re-oiled monthly.
Feb. 13th, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)

::Junps on chair::
Feb. 13th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
erm jumps
Feb. 13th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Seriously? I had no idea.

I remember once in Chicago, I was in the waiting area of a bank and there was a mouse running around. Several people were waiting and most of us saw it -- I was far from the only person who followed it with their eyes -- but nobody said anything, and certainly nobody was frightened up onto a chair.

I don't mean to tease; I've just never understood why anyone would be frightened of a tiny little mouse*.

* Well, OK, I suppose there is the threat of rabies. But otherwise ...
Feb. 14th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC)
I'm not afraid of mice - not that I know of. I couldn't resist the comment. You needed a chuckle anyway :)
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
How do you have mice, isn't that what the cats are for? I would have trapped Jacob in the bathroom with it, not myself.
Feb. 15th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
The issue isn't having mice -- I don't mind sharing my home with mice. The issue is having dead mice. If I let the mice get into the apartment, then the cats will kill them, which is what I'm trying to prevent.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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