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OMG!! Mouse in the garbage disposal!


We have had a chronic problem with mice but I haven't seen one in quite some time now. I guess a few of the leftover Thanksgiving dessert plates were hit with a splash of water but somehow left in the sink last night (someone will get a talking to about this). I come home to a mouse nibbling away at apple pie and my immediate reaction was to cover it with a tupperware container and push it into the disposal with the water running and flipped the switch! I didn't see him run off but now I'm worried that my 1st instinct might leave me with a big mouse carcass remnant issue. I ran the garbage disposal for 5 minutes and poured copious amounts of bleach. Anything else I should do or worry about? Anyone else ever vaporize a mouse?

  1. You might get a call from PETA.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Chinon00

      well, yes I felt horrible after I realized what had just happened to the poor thing, but...

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        while yes it is regrettable, in the grand scheme of things it's far more instant and humane than those awful glue traps. a roommate used one once and the poor thing cried for hours until I finally drowned it in a bucket (the mouse, not the roommate)

        1. re: hill food

          Get a Havahart trap and relocate the poor mouse!

          1. re: RUK

            Relocate it to where, the neighbor's apartment?

            1. re: juliejulez

              I have taken more than one mouse to the next park and give it at least a chance to live.

              1. re: RUK

                How do you scoop it out of the sink?

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  If it was unable to escape that sink and you had it contained with a Tupperware container, you could have saved yourself that trapping step. I would have slipped something sturdy underneath the mouse and removed it that way/ essentially now in a closed container.
                  Sorry, I can't help myself there....I just can't kill them.

                2. re: RUK

                  And then it's someone else's problem in your neighborhood. Hopefully the poor thing will find its way back to your home. And the cycle continues....

                  1. re: miss_belle

                    Like when the folks in our town would live trap squirrels and bring them out the 'country'. Where my dad would trap them and kill them to save his vegetable gardens.

                    In one basement apt, we had quite the infestation of mice. My roomie wanted live traps, but I explained to her, that it was winter and the mice would just come back inside through whatever hole they came in through in the first place. After she woke in the night with mice running around her bed (we were broke students, she slept on the mattress on the floor), she changed her mind.

            2. re: hill food

              Our friends lived on a lagoon, and he took the glue trap & mouse she wouldn't touch and threw it in the lagoon,. It landed right side up and they watched the poor thing float out to sea.

              1. re: Nanzi

                that is sadly funny. I'm a bad person.

                1. re: DGresh

                  I'm bad too, it made me laugh...

                  1. re: Nanzi

                    This story is extremely funny and merited a long, loud and very enjoyable fit of laughter by myself and my sick- sense- of- humor twin sister, when I read it to her. Great visual of the stuck mouse floating off to sea...... they are nasty, filthy animals that poop constantly as they travel around your home. We are still laughing. It has been several minutes. Bon voyage.

                  2. re: hill food

                    I would use the glue traps as "catch and release" traps. I'd take the stuck mice to the woods, squirt the the glue pad with "Goo Gone" which would liquify the glue, and watch the mice run off. I was the crazy woman who would be driving the mice to their new wooded homes at two in the morning. That did change after the "Hannibal Mouse" event.

                    1. re: Vidute

                      Hannibal mouse? that sounds like a story I'd LOVE to hear.

                      A dear friend of mine had a mouse in her bathroom. She tried to trap it with whatever was handy... the silly thing escaped the plastic crate she threw over it, and ran off. Next she saw, it was perched on top of the handle of the plunger. We call that the "Jedi Mouse" event... this is not the mouse you are looking for. LOL

                      ETA - I think I see the Hannibal mouse story below.

                      1. re: jujuthomas

                        Mice....the worst "pop-ins" ever.

              2. I probably would have had the same reaction! Yuck! I would think if you ran the disposal for that long he's probably long gone.

                10 Replies
                1. re: juliejulez

                  I wouldn't feel bad if I were you. Anyone who has had rats or mice would be in complete sympathy with you. In addition, it's a public health issue. Field mice at Yosemite, caused several hantavirus deaths this year.

                  Would those people feel badly if you had garbage disposed a roach? They are just anthropomorphizing animals. I doubt that the mouse had any qualms about killing insects to eat.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    Agreed. I had a rat in my house once and I sure didn't think of relocating it. Well relocating it alive. It was relocated to the garbage along with the trap

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      we had huge DC rats (think bigger than a teacup poodle) in the kitchen once when the city was re-doing our sewers. I am not a fan. I bought a rat trap, but actually was afraid to try to set it. thing was big and strong enough to break my hand.

                      1. re: hill food

                        The one I had was a big citrus rat. Pulled loose from the sticky trap I first put out. Had to go back for the heavy gun snap traps

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          citrus rat? I'm guessing you're in a semi-tropical climate. I was sort of surprised once while visiting LA and a friend idly commented that she needed to call the landlord to trim her palms "why?" "rats nest in the dead fronds" that was news to me.

                          1. re: hill food

                            That's why, in Hawaii, they place aluminum 'wraps' around the trunks, toward the top.
                            The rats can't get ahold (slide) and are, therefore, unable to get to the top of the tree and nest.

                        2. re: hill food

                          I'm with you -- I let my bug/pest guy reset the traps, cuz I was afraid of breaking fingers and knuckles. Mouse traps? No problem.

                          1. re: lsmutko

                            Yeah, we removed the palms in our yard when we bought this house, and we occasionally have to ask the neighbors to have their garden guy cut their palm fronds that dangle over our roof. We've read that rats like the scratchiness of the bark 'cause of their fleas. Disgusting creatures, and they drop from palm fronds onto your roof and into your attic.
                            Years ago, we actually moved from an apartment when we couldn't catch the mouse that was tormenting us. Glad he didn't crawl into one of our packing boxes and come with us!

                      2. re: chocolatetartguy

                        I totally agree. While I am a complete wuss about killing mice, spiders, etc., I have no trouble hiring exterminators to take care of the problem if it's serious.

                      3. re: juliejulez

                        < I would think if you ran the disposal for that long he's probably long gone.>

                        Opposed to what? :). Reinventing himself and climbing back out of the disposal?

                      4. Draining bleach water through it will not leave bleach sitting on it, let alone the high areas of it, to kill germs. There are instructions on cleaning your garbage disposal, just Google it. It involves capping off the outlet where it drains so that the bleach solution actually sits IN the disposal long enough to do the job.

                        I'd replace it, though. I'd never be able to NOT think of what I did when flipping that switch.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                          Yea, it has occurred to me, but replace it, hopefully I can avoid investing in a new disposable because of that lil bugger.

                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            I honestly don't think there's a need to replace the disposal. I get it - there was a rat in there, but don't people throw raw meat and chicken in the disposal?
                            I think a solid bleach clean should take care of the germs that damned things carry.

                            I see that you can fill your disposal with ice cubes and rock salt to clean bits that are clung to the blades. If you don;t have rock salt, use vinegar. When sink is empty, fill with ice cubes, pour vinegar down, turn on cold water and turn disposal on for about 10 seconds.

                            My maintenance guy was the person who explained the pipe cleaning trick to me because even though something went down the disposal, it could still be in the pipes and a sink-full of bleach water should do it.

                            1. re: nikkib99

                              ice cubes are good, maybe a myth but I've heard they help keep the blades sharp. another is that every time you use a lemon save the skin and toss it in after a load of dishes or running a bunch of other refuse and grind it up. deodorizes the thing.

                              1. re: nikkib99

                                Exactly. *Gross* things go down the disposal, you don't eat what's touching it after all. I'd pour a big pot of boiling water down the thing and then forget about it.

                                1. re: nikkib99

                                  Wait! We can put meat in the disposal? Are you kidding me?! All this time Inhave been stinking up my garbage.

                                  1. re: melpy

                                    You clearly missed the point.

                                    1. re: nikkib99

                                      I thought melpy's comment was hysterical. I think you missed the joke, nikki.

                                    2. re: melpy

                                      just be sure there aren't any bones in the meat.

                                2. Poor little mouse. Mice are people too. Well not "people" but still they do breath and what not, get mouse nookie when the mood is right and suckle the little mouse babies.

                                  I crack me up. Does anybody know of an app that denies computer usage after two or more double bourbons?

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: kengk

                                    they also eat the mouse babies if the food horizon appears to be grim. (funny how many little newborn mice 'got away' over the weekend in grade school but the adults stuck around...)

                                    I suppose you could get one of those devices for chronic binge drinkers that attach a breathalyzer to the car ignition and wire it up to your computer. the only other solution for "Prosting" is discretion.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      It's not only babies they eat. I came down into my kitchen one morning to find a mouse, stuck to a glue pad, with its throat ripped out. No more catch and release after this event.

                                      1. re: Vidute

                                        ewww. knowing they do this to each other makes it all so much easier.

                                        1. re: Vidute

                                          Maybe that was a mercy killing carried out by a rodent pal.

                                          1. re: Vidute


                                            What a horrible morning for you! Nasty glue pads. We really have no idea what goes on at night in our homes after we go to sleep. Your story about the mouse with its throat ripped out reminds me of a harrowing experience of my own, about 30 years ago, involving sticky traps after dark. This story is so disturbing that it could have been a Stephen King short story. Before I tell that story, a few comments about mice.

                                            I hate mice. Some may be cute but they are all filthy and they poop constantly, according to my cousin who is an exterminator. When I learned this and learned what to look for, it was easy to spot the trail of mouse droppings, like the crumbs of Hansel and Gretel, in a couple of former apartments. In the drawers. On the dishes. In your pans. Under the sink. Oh God! The germs! You are living in a cesspool. A sewer.

                                            They will reproduce and take over your house. It is them or us. Hey, we are talking about survival of the fittest here. Look what the rats did to the population of Europe in the Middle Ages. When it comes to rodents in your home, take no prisoners. If you want to let the cute little things live, you may find yourself like the poor SOB in a previous post who found 45 mice in his home. You cannot live like that.

                                            I used to be afraid of killing mice, spiders, etc., until I had a terrible spider infestation in my home last year. Huge wolf spiders. Almost as big as the palm of my hand. They were hairy with fat bodies and long thick jointed legs. Big fangs. When I would open a white curtain in the sunlight and find a big spider with all eight legs splayed out wide, maybe three inches across, it was so jarring I wondered why my heart did not stop and for all I know there were some close calls. These spiders were mean and aggressive. They were fast. If you tried to catch or kill them, they would come at you.

                                            My fiance had just passed away and I was living alone. It had been his job to kill horrid spiders. Now I had a challenge to face alone. I would sob with fear as I realized that they had infested my home. Once, I found a giant dead spider in my bed. Dear God!

                                            I had a massive black wolf spider in my mailbox. I asked my then 20 year old son to get my mail out. of the box. I warned him about the spider. He looked inside and said, with quiet understatement "That is one big spider." He was calm but I could tell he was shaken. He simply refused to get the mail. I could not believe it. He had never refused to do something I had asked him to do. We both retreated to the house. We felt the spiders were controlling us. I wanted to get a weapon and shoot them.

                                            So I had no choice. I learned to kill them quickly and ruthlessly. And I would kill a filthy mouse in my home just as surely as I would kill a big hairy spider running in my bedroom.

                                            Because there is only one thing worse than killing a giant spider, rat, mouse, cockroach, centipede in your home. And that is not killing it.

                                            Instead, going for the kill with a paper or a broom and missing completely, watching with horror while the ugly thing escapes, running like the wind across the floor, or dropping fast from the ceiling with a good chance of landing on your head and running into your ear canal. If the animal did not invade your body, you can be sure that it continues to live in the comfort of your home, that it will indeed climb into your bed while you are sleeping, and that it knows who you are and it hates your guts.

                                            On sticky traps. When I was in college I lived in a vintage apartment by Ravenswood in Chicago. The building had giant centipedes and these huge black beetles that people called Chinese Waterbugs but looking back I think they were just exceptionally huge cockroaches. They were two inches long and fat. They came out at night. Their legs were long enough to lift their big bodies off the floor. Fast.

                                            We bought sticky traps that were boxes the bug could climb in and then get stuck to the bottom. The first night we set the traps out, we caught a huge black cockroach. Of course I was disgusted and could not touch the box. So I let it sit there all day and forgot about it that night. The next morning, I looked in the box. The huge cockroach was gone.

                                            All that remained were his legs.

                                            What had happened in the dark of the night?

                                            We had no evidence of mice. I always thought that the giant cockroach had thrashed and wiggled so aggressively (trying not to picture that scene) that he had ripped his body right off of his legs, and then slithered away into the walls. The only other thing I could think of was that he had friends who pulled him out.

                                            These memories still trouble me. So I "shoot first, ask questions later."

                                            1. re: Willa

                                              Dear gawd....

                                              I'm going to have nightmares tonight.

                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                LOL, Latindancer! Sorry. I got carried away laughing as I read the hilarious comments on this thread and started reminiscing.....

                                                I got rid of my nightmare problem with this wonderful sound machine that my sister bought me recently after she got fed up with my occasional screaming nightmares. LOL. It plays the ocean, a bubbling brook, thunderstorm, gentle rain, summer night and white noise. It really works. I love it!

                                                1. re: Willa

                                                  I used to have a tape of frogs and crickets and, oh sorry... (heh)

                                                  I am of the school of thinking - outside it gets to live with no fear or animosity from me, in my house not a chance. I wish we could behaviorally engineer these critters, spiders to weave organic window screens, mice to gather crumbs (and not continuously poop) bats to not roost in the attic yet still harvest annoying bugs in summer etc. and non-poisonous snakes to finish them all. now I have to search for natural skunk repellant as a few minutes ago I saw the third in as many months in the yard 30+ feet (about 10M) away, but I could smell it.

                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                    "I am of the school of thinking - outside it gets to live with no fear or animosity from me, in my house not a chance."

                                                    I think we went to the same school.

                                                    The only exception to that I make -- lizards (anoles) were welcome visitors when I lived in Florida -- they LOVE to eat roaches and spiders and anything else they can catch -- and they're fast.

                                                    And much to my chagrin -- there are no window screens in France. If you want the windows open, you open a huge hole in the wall of your house with nothing to keep out the birds, bugs, or whatever.

                                                    Summers bring a rather impressive crop of daddy longlegs spiders who have set up shop in the corners of all my rooms...I hate it, I can't stand spiders...but they make a noticeable impact on the population of mosquitos and flies inside the house, so it is truly the lesser of the evils to let the spiders hang their hats. Come the first frost, I send out eviction notices taped to the business end of a very long broom. (I love living in Europe, but the fact that in the 21st century my best defense against flying insects is allowing the spiders to proliferate sends me into a foaming-at-the-mouth rant)

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      that reminds me: I have to vacuum the remnants of this summer bounty crop of longlegs. and despite what I was told they do bite (woke up last summer with a swollen phalanx of marks on my arm). can't believe I used to grab them and toss them into my sisters' hair. hunh, maybe why we don't talk much.

                                                      I never had a problem living screen-free with summer bugs in Europe (Spain, Germany and a very short time in Italy) or SF (except for fleas and house flies).

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        we live in a river town -- so the skeeters are plentiful.

                                                        I have learned to keep window boxes of geraniums, because the mosquitos don't like the smell (Ah, so all those picturesque cascades of geraniums have a genuine purpose other than to look charming!)

                                                        I've even tried putting up screens with velcro -- which worked until the velcro fell down (the joys of an old house.

                                              2. re: Willa

                                                As if my immagination didn't do well enough on its own! Nightlights, here I come.

                                        2. This reminds me vaugely (vaugely in that mine did not end quite so grapically) of something that happened to me back in colledge. The sudio apartment I lived in had some mice. Originally, I sort of took a live and let live policy (there never seemed to be more than one, so as far as I was conncerned, I had A mouse, not mice.) What finally drove me to get some (have a heart) traps was a cetain sleepless night. I had become innured to the mouse popping out from under the fridge (where he or she always came out, and even the time it decided to hide in my snow boot (I never wore them, so it didn't really bother me). But this night, the mouse in question decided to pop out of one of the burners on the stove's range. I literally spent the whole night up trying to spray water down the holes in range to drive it back down, and not DARING to nod off (I was afraid the mouse would start gnawing on the gas lines, and If I fell asleep, I'd never wake up again). Fortunately the mouse finally must have gotten bored and moved back into the wall (I wasn't until about a month after this I noticed that the top of my stoves range in fact could be lifted off, so that I could have simply taken the whole top off and driven the mouse back down with no trouble. And a week or so later my partents mailed me a few have a hearts so I was able to do something to remove some mice (by now I knew there was more than one) Though even that had some funny points, like the time I saw a mouse trip the trap without getting caught inside (the traps were the balance kind), and then spend 5 minutes trying to push the trap back to open so he could get at the ":yummy ball" (my standard mouse bait, old peanut butter rolled in stale parmesan cheese. Sticky enough to hit stick to the back of the trap if tossed with a little force, but not so sticky as to be hard to clean off when the trap needed washing. Or the day two mice came out got on both ends of the top of the trap, and played teeter-totter for a while.
                                          But yeah, Im a softie when I comes to mouse disposal. I will not kill them (this isn't so much due to a love of mice as due to the fact I am far more afraid of dead mice than living ones) So all the caught mice just got a trip outside (incuding making sure they got whatever was left of the bait in the trap as a snack) and a release (if it was cold, I even tried to make sure they were released somewhere warm. Even today while those mice who find the snap traps my parents put out under the kitchen radiator (where the mice come in) are of course killed any who make it to the other rooms of the house and are chased by the cat tend to wind up being caught and released (we tend to get maybe 5 mice a year in our house always in the same pattern, two normal sized ones (who always wind up in the traps) followed by one to three baby ones (many of whom end up trying to wander around the house by day, and hence get a chance to get caugt, released and live.

                                          1. The good news is he died quickly and probably with very little pain. Much better than the snap or glue traps which often just catch part of them and make them suffer. My husband used to have to pop the heads off mouse pups with scissors in one of his labs. Quick and easy. But it did make him sensitive to hurting anything so now we catch and release. But be sure to release miles from home or they will find their way back.

                                            As for the cleanliness of your disposal, I bet it is cleaner after the bleach wash than when you rinse raw chicken in the sink and wash it down!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mojoeater

                                              Yea, actually a friend of mine had a severe mouse problem and managed to catch 45 mice in 1 year. He always used the haveaheart traps and felt less guilt about killing the little creatures. When he moved out 2 years after the first mouse sighting, he discovered a haveheart trap with a mouse corpse. I guess it's important to also check the traps periodically to dispose of the mice if you really want to have a heart.. I imagine he suffered far worse than the mouse in the garbage disposal.

                                            2. Oh my gawwwd.....
                                              You poor thing :).

                                              It's like a kitchen scene out of a Woody Allen movie...I can't begin to imagine how you feel. I like the idea of pouring a gallon of bleach down the drain with buckets of ice and more bleach. I can't imagine anything else you should worry about other than your nerves.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                Yea, I think I lost a few years off of my life and my throat is quite sore. Perhaps I should learn to control my freak outs :)

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  <Perhaps I should learn to control my freak outs:).

                                                  Me too. A long, long time ago, while watching cartoons with my two small children in the dead of winter, I opened the door to outside and a large bird flew in. I called 911. Thankfully it was a small town, not overwhelmed, and they came and helped the poor thing. What an idiot I was back then.

                                              2. Wow, you must be pretty quick to have captured that mouse with the tupperware. I would think of it this way, you gave him a fine meal before the big sleep. Living in a house in a rural area with a stone foundation, I can relate to this. Every year around this time, the mice start to look for warmer accommodations and I have to start setting out the mouse traps.

                                                I would not replace the disposal, I would just clean it well. There are instructions below on cleaning a garbage disposal.


                                                I would not worry too much about PETA, but the HSUS (Humane Society of the US) might try to infiltrate your kitchen to document your mouse hunting activities. :-)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                  well he was very focused nibbling away at crumbs so didn't notice me approach

                                                2. Okay -- mental trauma aside....let's look at what we have here:

                                                  Miscellaneous bits of inedible (and potentially contaminated) stuff inside your garbage disposal.

                                                  Not different a bit from cleaning out the fridge and throwing whatever-that-was-but-it-stinks down the garbage disposal.

                                                  A good cleaning (done) -- some bleach to knock down the population of nasties (done) -- you wouldn't obsess about how clean your disposal was after putting something rotten down it...this isnt any different.

                                                  (as long as there's nobody out there who's licking or consuming anything coming OUT of their garbage disposal, that is...we'll assume no one is.)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    I agree, what you've done so far is plenty to irradicate any mouse germs from the disposal.

                                                    Too bad for the mouse but, as others have said, he went quickly with a mouthful of apple pie.

                                                    Did you push the pie into the disposal along with the mouse?

                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                      There wasn't really any pie left just crust crumbs

                                                  2. omg. i.hate.mice. that was some quick thinking! I haven't vaporized any, but came down one day to one rummaging around in the trash. I tied the bag up and ran it out to the trash bin. it was nice of him to throw himself out, lol.

                                                    We've had the "have a heart" traps, DH insisted for a while. but it was HIS job to drive the little buggers SEVERAL MILES away and release them. He wanted to release them on the deck - no way dude - they'd be back in the house before him! LOL. Now we use a combination of snap traps and glue traps (we had some voles last year that got in - they were too big for our other traps.)

                                                    thank you for posting this, it reminds me to go home and reset the traps! :)

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                      jujuthomas, I was screaming with laughter reading your post. To the point where I burned calories. Thank you for the work out.

                                                      1. re: Willa

                                                        glad I could help. :)

                                                        my freak out over the voles was pretty epic. it's actually the stuff of much hilarity in my family, since I called my mother hyperventilating over the "giant mice" LOL.

                                                    2. I just buy the pouches of poison from Home Depot and am done with them. We had a horrible infestation years ago (old house, lots of access points). I have an open area under my kitchen sink where the pipes come up and I just keep a poison pack there. They are evil, dirty, nasty creatures who can reproduce quickly. I don't feel bad about the poison.

                                                      40 Replies
                                                      1. re: suburban_mom

                                                        sub_mom - there is a sealing compound that is sort of cement based to seal those gaps around the pipes. the reek will make you woozy for a couple of days, but once it's dried and cured, that's gone and no more problems. that's how they were getting into my 1894 house.

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          My landlord actually sealed the stove and that's why I think I hadn't seen any critters for a good few months. Leave it to apple pie to bring them out...Although, at Home Depot they assured me "they will eat through that crap eventually" so perhaps it was just time. I will need to be careful over the Christmas holiday...many an indulgence is planned, just have to make sure not to leave any crumbs this time.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            My most recent unwelcome visitor entered while my father was, supposedly, sealing around my kitchen door. It cost me a large pan of lasagna, an apple pie, and muffins. I had snap traps and glue traps set and baited with lasagna, apple pie, muffins, etc. - all foods that he had "sampled". However, this mouse had discerning tastes and would not return to the "leftovers" on the traps. So, I placed all boxed and bagged perishables in my kitchen and pantry into plastic tubs. The only food left out was that on the traps. It took a couple of weeks, but the mouse finally went for one of the baits, peanuts, which he hadn't "sampled" previously. I must say that the "snap!" of the trap was rewarding.

                                                            1. re: Vidute

                                                              an insulting rodent no less.

                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                well, at least he liked my cooking!

                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              They do eat through it if you don't use it to seal over copper or stainless steel mesh stuffed in there first. Our method with outside utility entry gaps is to stuff the metal in tightly and then use expanding caulk or mortar (stucco house).

                                                          2. re: suburban_mom

                                                            the only problem with that is their tendency to go expire somewhere where their rotting, stinking little corpse is difficult or impossible to find -- my grandparents made that mistake, and the vengeful little bastard died in an air-conditioning vent -- what a mess.

                                                            Steel wool packed around the open access under your sink will deter them -- it pricks their noses and is impossible to chew.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              Yes, those "rotting, stinking little corpses" LOL,LOL,LOL, are indeed a problem. The smell of rodent death and decay. I once had a dead possum in my basement. The smell was spectacular. A one of a kind experience.

                                                              1. re: Willa

                                                                Yeah, I never understood the old phrase in the Jimmy Cagney movies "I smell a rat," until we had one decompose! It was even outside, and took us awhile to figure out the source of the awful odor.

                                                            2. re: suburban_mom

                                                              I never want to use poison in or near the house. A dead rat in the walls or attic will be hard to live with due to the smell and flies. I would use traps in and around the house and poison only far from the dwelling

                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                ahh but the charm (charm?) of arsenic is it makes them really really thirsty and active so they go search for water, usu. leaving the house and dry up. I have a mouse mummy I found in an old bucket. I may have it framed someday.

                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                    Yep, blood thinner.

                                                                    Our exterminator said the same thing about the "bait", that it drives them outside to seek water.

                                                                    If I hadn't seen so many posts about catch-and-release, I wouldn't have believed people would be so troubled by killing/trapping mice.

                                                                    A mouse or two in your bed will cure anyone of those warm and fussy feelings!

                                                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                                                      air conditioning vent = condensation = water. = dead mouse + smell.

                                                                    2. re: hill food

                                                                      But with them getting out of the house poisoned you have to worry about secondary kill - especially if you don't live in the city. I used to care for injured birds of prey (owls and hawks), and I would hate to think of a wild animal dying because I poisoned a mouse.

                                                                      I've always used the old fashioned wood snap traps. When I worked at camps way out in the middle of nowhere in old housing, there was little you could do to prevent them coming in, so traps it was. One winter we had a chart on the wall - over 40 mice.

                                                                      I caught one in my house just by the leg on a snap trap. I didn't want to have to dispatch it myself, and I couldn't let it just linger there, so I let it go outside. Two days later, I caught a 3-legged mouse. Guess it just couldn't resist coming back in for my delicious trap bait - I use super crispy bacon pieces smeared with peanut butter - always a success.

                                                                      1. re: jw615

                                                                        heck at a friends house we discarded a good 6 one night. not even baited at that point.

                                                                        secondary kill is a good point, I love our raptors (eagles, falcons etc.) and given a choice, I choose the birds. I refrain from suggesting the more direct methods as some can't get past certain grisly issues.

                                                                        but then again hanging out with a shotgun waiting for rodents by the back door would wreak hell on everyone's sleep.

                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                          Hill food,
                                                                          A good baseball bat would work as well as the shotgun. The bat I would take to the rats and mice. The gun I would aim at the wolf spiders. Yes, indeed. Bang.

                                                                          1. re: Willa

                                                                            a baseball bat requires too much finesse, dexterity and aim.

                                                                            can't get half in the bag and expect to do anything other than snooze on the porch with a bat... of course a shot gun has it's own drawbacks/limitations as well.

                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                              I suppose you're right, it would be hard to hit a fast-running mouse with a bat. A big rat -- maybe. But I can't hit anything well with a bat. A heavy shovel might be easier.
                                                                              Neither of those tools would work well on a wolf spider. A big heavy shoe (someone else's) does it if the spider is on the ground away from the wall. If the thing is on the ceiling, oh boy, good luck. Damn! Brooms, mops, shoes, papers....nothing is quite right except a ladder and a personal smash with a paper towel, squishing the thing as hard as you can because they play dead and are not always easy to kill. I can't let them live in my house.
                                                                              I'm lucky. I have a friend who is a park ranger and she worked in the Everglades for a number of years. She said the wolf spiders down there were so big you could hear them make a thud when they landed on the floor.

                                                                              1. re: Willa

                                                                                uggggh I hate when spiders are big enough to make a squeak/splat noise upon smooshing.

                                                                                but the big scary ones aren't the super poisonous ones.

                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                  Had spider smoosh leave a mark on the wall that I couldn't 100% dissipate. We repainted the whole room!

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    Ha,ha,ha,ha! That giant spider that lived in my mailbox last summer, so big my adult son was afraid of it? I killed it with poison on the end of a long hose.

                                                                                    And it's body is STILL in the mailbox, a year later, as if it were just killed. Don't those things decompose? Are we talking vampire spiders?

                                                                                2. re: Willa

                                                                                  yeah -- the wolf spiders in Florida are bigger than a man's hand. *shudder*

                                                                                  I had a hatch of them in the suspended ceiling in my office. Holy hell, I had some serious nightmares -- some while I was awake.

                                                                              2. re: Willa

                                                                                Wolf spiders. Ugh.

                                                                                They won't hurt most people, but I'm massively allergic. The last time one bit me it was on my calf muscle. The resulting swelling was so bad that I could barely walk for several days.

                                                                                I used to work outdoor ed. I relocate lots of spiders to the outside. But those die when I see them.

                                                                        2. re: scubadoo97

                                                                          Anyone I know who's had rats indoors and used poison has had to live with an awful stench for a long time due to the interior demise of rodents. One person I know had to rip out brand new kitchen base cabinets to get rid of it. Baited boxes in our property have kept us from seeing any out there for years... never had one gain entry to the house, due to diligent sealing.

                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                            Only had one inside the house once. Not sure how it got in. Maybe one of the kids left the door open but it was a big sucker. The body was just under a foot long. It pulled loose from the big sticky traps I first bought and didn't touch the peanut butter and bacon I put out. Sucker stayed in the house for about a week and I had traps all over the house. After finally thinking, hey these are citrus rats I put a cumquat on the trap and got it the next day.

                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                              I'd have FREAKED... I've heard horror stories about folks listening to rats screaming all night, stuck to sticky boards... I think it's a terrible method. I could never use snap traps with three cats in the house, though, either. Best to keep the critters OUTSIDE!

                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                I got rid of the sticky traps after the first day when I saw a bunch of hair on one of the traps. I knew that rat was too big for the sticky traps. I was trying to avoid a mess from the snap traps but knew it was the only way because I wasn't going to buy a cage trap and relocate this rat. That wasn't going to happen

                                                                                Tossed all the stickys and went for the big snap traps. I was freaking when it was bypassing the snap traps with the peanut butter and bacon. A professional exterminator wasn't going to do anything more than put out traps so I had to endure until I got it. It was a rough week, seeing it dart from under the stove to the living room and back. I Kept rolled up towels under the doors to the bedrooms to keep it from getting to those rooms. Tried to limit it's movements in the house

                                                                                I got no love for rats and don't have cats

                                                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                  I know that it's possible to catch rats on sticky boards, but when I was reading up about them I learned that they are very suspicious of any new objects/things in their path, so typically will avoid a new trap, even baited, for at least a few days until it seems familiar or safe. Folks posted about seeing trails in dust around traps laid in the paths they'd seen, for instance. There is some kind of kill trap that keeps you free of the sight or handling; a zapper that kills them and then you dump the contents and use it again...

                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                    I saw the zappers but didn't see a zapper big enough

                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                      Don't forget that rats fit through a space about the size of a quarter. They squoosh and flatten their bodies to a very disgusting degree... and just slither on through.

                                                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                                                        No way this one fit through a hole that small. This rat was the size of a cat

                                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                          Just sayinzall. You can look it up. Check out video of big rats squeezing through small openings.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                            Yeah Ive heard that. Just hard to believe this fat rat could get through

                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                              our rats were almost that size and the only openings behind the stove and under the sink were that small. to the uninitiated I try to explain: if the rodent wants to get there, it will find a way.

                                                                                              one housemate was confused how and why mice got upstairs. uhh the stairs, just like you and me. those suckers can squirm, climb and jump like nobody's business. the 'why' beats me, no food up there but then mice aren't known for discerning palates.

                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                in my previous house, the mice would eschew the stairs and climb the heating pipes between the walls. fun times seeing a mouse pop up out of the floorboards.

                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                  coming back from vacation I once discovered a dead mouse in the bathtub. The drain was pushed up. Apparently it came up (to the second second floor) through the pipes. It then couldn't get out of the tub and apparently died of thirst/starvation.

                                                                                                  1. re: DGresh

                                                                                                    Do you use your tub often? A plumber recommended making sure you pour water in the drain of fixtures that you don't use often to keep the trap filled with water. This water keeps not only odors but insects and other unwanted visitors from getting in your house.

                                                                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                      good advice. You're right, that tub does not get used much.

                                                                      2. With all do respect if you don't want things like this to happen to you and the mouse do something to prevent them from coming in.
                                                                        We once had a bad mouse problem b/c I was frankly too lazy to do anything about it until they stared running over my wife's face in the night. I assure you I did get the message then.

                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                          Um, from my experience, most people don't find it so easy to prevent them from coming in but I'd love to hear your tips.

                                                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                                                            and sometimes they find their way in before you realize that they even have a way in. And once they're in, they're in...especially if more than one of them found the entrance.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Mice can get in through incredibly small openings (I read 2 cm for a small field mouse). I believe they don't have a collarbone, which is one reason they can squeeze through small spaces. Makes it hard to seal your house against them.

                                                                              1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                According to our exterminator, an average mouse needs a hole no bigger than the tip of a pinky to get in. They can almost flatten themselves too.

                                                                                We went through a really bad period and we sealed hole after hole, crack after crack and knock wood, so far so good. I am insanely careful about food, crumbs, etc. and learned that they will eat ANYTHING.

                                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                  I'm not a chemist so I don't know why we don't ever seem to get stinky-mouse-syndrome when we put down poison. The occasional mouse that the cat catches and leaves to die in my daughter's room (she likes to carry them, mortally wounded, up there and leave them in boots or laundry hampers as a little 'surprise' for her beloved girl) stinks like nothing on the earth. Honestly...they weigh a few ounces, but they can foul quite a lot of house with their stench. I was terribly paranoid about the poison, but the vet and the kids' doc both assured me that the children and/or the pets would have to actually ingest the poison in considerable quantities for it to do them any harm. I am careful to put it in places where they can't get at it, anyway. I try to keep food 'locked away' but the little suckers keep coming in, particularly when the weather is cold. And this is a big brick house built in the 1880's. I dare anybody to try to seal it up completely. I am longing for complete gentrification of the neighborhood...the house two doors east just sold to a rehabber, how much do you want to bet we have a mouse problem crop up again as soon as they start tearing up that house?

                                                                                  1. re: tonifi

                                                                                    nasty as it seems to us, the cat obviously adores your daughter!

                                                                                    I'm knocking on wood (and have been for several years) -- I live in a house from the same era, and every winter, I'm vigilant, but so far haven't seen so much as a calling card....but yes, unfortunately, when they start tearing up the house down the street, you're bound to have refugees.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      A couple of years ago I noticed a snake hole near the foundation of my 20's era house. Though the thought of a snake living in my basement gives me the willies, I never have mice! Get a snake.

                                                                                      1. re: Leepa

                                                                                        Leepa - our neighbor Jenny LIKED when she had a black snake AKA rat snake living in her root cellar.

                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                          I like it, too. I just don't look too closely when I go down there.

                                                                                          1. re: Leepa

                                                                                            that was sorta Jenny's position, except she did look closely if reaching into a deep shelf. while not poisonous, they will hurt you if threatened.

                                                                                            I had one in the woodpile 2 years ago. I sort of miss it (beats having copperheads which we later did).

                                                                                    2. re: tonifi

                                                                                      yeah like S842 says, the cat is offering tribute.

                                                                                      but also why I laughed in DC when asked in late 2001 if I was going to seal my house in plastic against anthrax "are you fucking kidding?!" it was built in 1894. vermin get in easier than me. and I held the lease.

                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                        Our female cat was especially proud of her catches. It took me a while to figure out why we were getting so many mice at the foot of the bed, on the floor.

                                                                                        Then there was the nigth the male cat brought a very much alive and kicking mouse into our bed in the middle of the night. Fun times.

                                                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                          aww, he wanted to let you play with it too!

                                                                              2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                There are plenty of ways to TRY to prevent rodents from entering your home, but with all due respect, there is no foolproof way to do it. Let's give the poor homeowners who are under attack by rodents the benefit of the doubt. They are defending their homes. Speaking of defending your home. There is a good product called Home Defense that i used to get rid of my giant spider infestation.

                                                                                1. re: Willa

                                                                                  Sadly, other than feeding our hummingbirds, we had to give up our 15 bird feeders--the birds scattered so much seed to the ground (and we tried every product known to Amazon to catch the overflow) that it attracted mice/rats. Haven't seen evidence of 1 since we took down the feeders.

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    I had that problem til I bought a Duncraft feeder with a big dish at the bottom and a cage around it, selective for songbirds and filled it with only shelled sunflower hearts. No more problems; there's no waste, they eat every bit, and the morning doves and juncos, etc... eat any odd pieces that fall right away. Has to be truly waste free, and that's the only way to go. This is the feeder: http://www.thebirdwarehouse.com/duncr...

                                                                                    Also, rodents are indifferent to nyjer, so I have a finch feeder on another tree for them.

                                                                              3. Well, as long as others have displayed their warped humor on this thread already, I thought it was ironic that a "Mouse" thread was on the board "NOT about food."

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                  well it's just far too tedious to gut and 'dress' them. and they don't work as a sub for ortolan so the "Home Cooking" board wasn't appropriate.

                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                    well, if you catch them live on the glue traps and round up a herd of females, you've got yourself a dairy! or a farm-factory producing, possible, infant formula

                                                                                    According to Discover Magazine, June 2009:

                                                                                    Could milk from mice be the next key ingredient in infant formula? Perhaps…if researchers can find an efficient way to milk them, that is.

                                                                                    Apparently, getting the tiny rodents to produce lactoferrin, a protein found in human breast milk, wasn’t a problem, once the Russian scientists added a few human genes to the mice’s genome.

                                                                                    Mouse milk naturally has a higher concentration of proteins than the human stuff, so when the mice began producing human milk protein, they made a lot of it. In fact, the fuzzy creatures produced up to six ounces of lactoferrin per quart of milk, as opposed to the measly four to five grams per quart pumped out by humans. The lactoferrin in breast milk is important because it shields babies from infection as their immune systems form.

                                                                                    Mass production of human milk protein could allow the substance to be used in synthetic infant formula. Today, formula is largely made up of protein from soybeans or cow’s milk, and although the subject remains controversial, some experts say it does not provide babies with the same health benefits of human milk.

                                                                                    The scientists admit that milking mice on a large scale would be nearly impossible—but that didn’t stop them from trying it. Using a technique reminiscent of the cat in Meet the Parents, scientists gave the mice anesthesia and used tiny pumps to draw milk from their minuscule teats.

                                                                                  2. re: Florida Hound

                                                                                    You must know that guy who collects fresh road kill and makes tasty stews out of it.

                                                                                  3. The first house I bought was next to two empty lots and had a big back yard. The cats would regularly bring in critters (as all of my indoor/outdoor cats have done). One mouse took up residence. During the day, it lived behind the range and snuck out to eat cat food. At night the cats would chase it around the house, but didn't hurt it. They were all having a great time! We'd catch it when it got beside a bookshelf that had a gap between it and the wall - broom and plastic bag. We let it loose in the back yard a couple of times, and I'm quite sure it was the same mouse that was back the next day each time. Finally we took it two lots away and let it loose. THAT one never returned.

                                                                                    Another time, the barncat of the two I had brought in each one of a large litter of young mice. I don't remember after all these years what happened to them.

                                                                                    1. We had mice in my old house. I *insisted* we get the humane traps to deal with the issue.

                                                                                      Worst. Idea. Ever. Several mice got trapped in one of the traps while we were at work and were all dead when we got home--apparently after considerable suffering. In my quest to be humane, I managed to torture the things to death.

                                                                                      We replaced the traps with the pre-baited kind that look like large hockey pucks. There is a little switch that shows you the trap is now "occupied" and you dispose of it in its entirety.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: sub_english

                                                                                        we have some traps that have a little electric plate in the floor - the mouse steps in and gets the shock of his life... literally. a light blinks on the top to show you it's occupied - if the tail sticking ot the end doesn't give you a clue. you bait it at the far end from the entrance, where there are some vent holes to let the bait scent waft out to tempt them. unfortunately they discovered that it was better to just chew through the bait holes than to walk into the trap! smart little sh*ts, LOL.

                                                                                      2. For real excitement, nothing beats a bat flying around the house. I've shot a couple with my .22 rifle, inside the house. I think it's illegal so don't rat me out. : )

                                                                                        1. Woohoo...they are officially back for the winter! Walked into kitchen to meet a mouse crawling on the closed trash can lid.

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                            I say you trap this one and give the disposal a much deserved rest. Poor you getting uninvited winter guests

                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                              I screamed too loudly and he scurried off but I'm sure there are more where he came from and he'll be back now that he has smelled food. Operation set up traps around counter perimeter.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                He'll be back. Its warm, there is a garbage can just daring him to find a way in,there's someone in the house that shreiks in fear at his mere sight(quite an ego boost for the mouse). Oh, he'll be back alright

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                  Uh oh. Word's gotten out about their poor friend's demise and they're probably plotting against you. ;)

                                                                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                    Yup! I've never seen them on the floor before, only the counter though I'm sure they've wandered below in the past and I just wasn't aware. Time to load up on full fat/full sugar/fully processed peanut butter.

                                                                                            2. so much written i have little to add. be sure to pick up the sprung traps as soon as possible, whatever the type. mice/rats are smart, once they have seen one of their ilk in a trap they will avoid the rest like the plague, regardless of the bait. i once put a cardboard barrier across the entrance to my kitchen, with a sticky trap behind the only opening I put in it. I caught one mouse. After that I saw evidence where they had climbed right up the cardboard (3 feet high.)

                                                                                              1. Folks, this thread is getting to be pretty much 'random stories about mice in our houses' which is a little far afield for Chowhound, and not really solving a problem, so we're going to lock it now.