my kitchen has been invaded
Ove the years, I've lived in some pretty sketchy (cabin-like vacation home) places in the country. I've lived in my current modern rural home for over 20 years. Never had mice. This week an uninvited summer guest moved in--and I don't have any tricks up my sleeve to get the rascal out! Calling all rodent savvy hounds!
I haven't been using my cooktop much lately, but have been doing baking etc. After using the rangetop I removed the burner trays to clean them and ARRRGGGGGHHH found "calling cards" from mice under the burners. Totally grossed me out. I cleaned up after them disinfected the area, then turned onthe self cleaning oven. I figured they might be living in insulation around the oven? I put a sticky trap under the burners, and one under the lower drawer, on the floor but out of reach of kitty cat.
Next morning, the trap was gone! I removed the drawer and pulled out the slide-in stove a bit, and NO evidence of mouse or trap. This confuses me as there is no opening anywhere in the cabinets or behind them for a mouse to pull a trap. Mouse had to have pulled the trap out from under the drawer front and gone...
The plot thickens--now I hear something scuttling behind/around the dishwasher, which is right near the stove. I have NO idea how a mouse could squeeze into a 3/8" gap around the front of the DW, but it appears the mouse has moved to the dishwasher cavity. Where the sticky tap is, I have no idea.
How do I get the DW out to check? Do I call a plumber? The thought of the mouse peeing (sorry) and pooping everywhere is soooo gross. I've had no experience with mice except in the garage, so I need the voices of experience here.
I'm going to put some Dcon under the stove in the hopes it lures them, but then, dead mouse smell??? Hubby used to put Dcon out all the time in the garage and attic crawl spce, something I've neglected. I will begin to do so, but how to get them out of the kitchen??
I haven't seen this problem discussed, hope it's not grossing you out like it is me. I checked all my base cabinets and there are no holes anyhwere, all connections under sink are escutcheoned or drywalled closed around pipes, etc. Cupboard doors are fully closed. No poop anyhwere else.
Mice haven't been a problem in my house in the suburbs, but have found "evidence" of them a few times over the years. One time one ran all the way across livingroom and disappeared SOMEWHERE... while my ANCIENT Dobie just watched and gave me a WTF look! Several months ago, found a "gift" my cat left for me in the middle of kitchen floor... a really small and really dead mouse.
After finding mouse stuff in a few areas, EVERY food item is in glass or plastic containers... rice, pasta, flour/sugar, spices. My "pantry" is 2 sets of wire shelving in my attached garage. Nothing on those shelves that could be gnawed open... jars, cans or sturdy plastic container. A few month back discovered evidence that something was scrurrying around out there. Had some craft stuff on a work bench... cute purses made from wooden cigar boxes. ALL the fringe on tassels... GONE!?! I'm CHEAP but splurged on traps. Coulda bought the standard wooden things for very little, but didn't wanna deal with carcasses... EW!! Think it's Decon who makes these plastic, encosed traps. Kinda quarted circle shape. Little trap door in back for bait. Once there set, you know you caught something when little red lever is UP. Still a little gross to have to pick them up, but nothing to see.
If you're out in boonies, have a feeling critters come with the territory!?! I'd start my mouse proofing anything they might be interested in eating. I'd AVOID putting out any poison if you have any pets. My sister was planning to leave D mouse bait behind at her place in the mountains. BUT her dog, friends dog, or BOTH got into it before they even got there. Luckily they discovered the scraps of the packaging. Cost them several hundred dollars at vets... stomach pumping and frequent blood tests to test clotting factor. If they hadn't noticed bits of cardboard under rarely used diningroom table... dog would probably have died. Vet said once they acted sick, woulda been as good as dead... and MILES from a vet.
We only had a mouse one time in my apartment - it's not exactly airtight as we get lots of bugs, but never a mouse. My then-elderly (now ashes), declawed cat discovered it and took great delight in batting it about and cornering it, but she had no kill instinct. In trying to get to it, I lifted up one edge a metal filing cabinet it had run behind and it ran underneath and well, I put the cabinet back down and that was the end of the mousey. Never another since then and kitty has been gone for over a year and mousey gone for 5 or 6.
The solution to your cat is to go by a baby gate for the kitchen until all the mice are gone, and then trap the shit out of your kitchen. Cheap baby gates can be had from a place like Wal-mart or K-mart for around $10, and it will be worth it to set as many traps as you can so that you can expedite the critters' departure, one way or another.
Having had a massive mouse invasion many years ago, the only thing that worked was lots and lots of traps. That and what kseiverd said about sealing up all the food so there are no crumbs about.
We just used the cheap wooden traps. I couldn't stand to remove the mouse from the trap either, so I just put my hand in a plastic bag, picked up dead mouse and trap together and threw both away. One time we had a trap go off and get replaced three times in under 10 minutes!
There are a lot of kitties in the shelters needing homes. Why not adopt a good mouser? Everybody wins but the mice!
If you don't want to use poisons the simplest way to get rid of mice is with a Victor electronic mouse (or the bigger rat) trap. Uses low voltage batteries with a voltage stepper to electrocute the pest. You just put some peanut butter in the trap and the trap does the rest of the work. You do have to dispose of the critter but that doesn't involve touching it - and you most likely want to clean the trap periodically. Works like a charm. Now as far as pulling your dishwasher out to see what gross stuff is back there - that is usually pretty easy - there are just a couple of thumbscrews lifting the dishwasher off the floor and maybe a couple of other screws holding it from the top. You may have to pull off the painted front panel - BTW EVERY dishwasher has gross stuff back there.
My beach place is a mouse hostel every spring. I use cats, springtraps and poison, all without backfire. Re: poison: (a) it makes them crave water, so most will leave before expiring; (b) dead mice tend to dessicate/mummify, and rarely make a stink; but (c) do put the poison where dogs and cats can't get to it.
LOL, I'm visualizing Ratzilla using your stickytrap like a snowshoe.
Finally, never *ever* forget the first rule of mousetrapping: "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
"second mouse gets the cheese"--so check traps often??
I have only the area under the stove to place traps, my brother advised a tiny shmear of pnut butter on the trap. Also he advised tying the trap to something with string so supermouse can't haul it off.
I have since discovered that the front panel of the DW is fake at the bottom, and is insulated with a thick cotton felt. Mousey ran up behind it, and from there to the space btwn the outside of the DW box and the adjoining cabinet. Plenty of room for a mouse condo to get started. I can't place taps anywhere else or kitty cat can get to them.
If I can get the door off (do they lift off like oven doors??) then I could get some dcon or traps in that side space. My big fear is the pee and feces soaking the insulation an I'll never get the smell out. My new 1K Bosch!! Dead mouse smell would be preferrable to that!!
thanks for making me laugh at the snowshoe image!! I needed that... ;-(
I disagree wholeheartedly about mice leaving and also not smelling when killed with poison. We had a mouse problem and foolishly used the bait. Mice took in back to their nest, which was located in the drywall. The smell is what lead us to find the problem. We had to cut out holes in the drywall to remove about 50 decomposing bodies. Still working on getting the smell out of the area. Strongly recommend NOT using the poison. Old fashioned and cheap wooden traps work the best, and are more humane than the sticky pads.