How to kill field mice...

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by jessiehewong, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Hi, I have a problem with field mice, ate all my tulip bulbs in winter and come back again now.
    Victor snap trap doesn't work for me, never caught one.
    Can't buy poison poisonous enought to kill them. They ate all my poison bait and still strong and fat. In Vancouver I get poison bait which contains less than 0.01% poison, how to kill mice. I wasted money and gave up.
    Now I set peanut butter on snap trap, didn't get any yet.

    Help??? Thanks.

    jessie
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    The best detterrent I've ever found for mice is a cat, preferrably a frisky kitten. The pouncing action will drive them off, and the smell of the cat (which they perceive but we don't) will keep them away.
     
  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    I've got 3 quasi-feral farm cats, and they do a good job, but I haven't noticed the mice staying away on that account: they still catch a bunch every day. Might be different in an urban setting, but even with cats I still have to set traps. Make sure you buy the white plastic traps (the kind that open by squeezing the back), these are more effective than the wooden snap traps. You're using the right bait with peanut butter, but really gob it on and put a bunch of it farther back on the trip lever, so the mice have to get right inside....better chance at catching them.

    A cat would be a big help, though.
     
  4. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member

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    How do you know it is "field mice" that are eating your bulbs? Rats and squirrels also love to eat bulbs. Were they eaten after planting or while being stored? Killing rodents only works indoors where you have already stopped up all the entrance points. If you try to kill the rodent population outside in your yard more will just move in from nearby to occupy the vacant real estate.
    If the problem occurs after planting it is probably squirrels not mice, and you can deter them by smearing your bulbs with a thin layer of mustard oil (readily available from East Indian grocery stores) just before planting. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. It doesn't harm the bulbs but does seem to deter rodents, possibly because the smell masks the "tasty food" smell or possibly because of the taste.
    If the bulbs are being eaten during storage the get yourself a metal container to keep the rodents out. A cheap old file cabinet will work fine.
     
  5. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Thanks, everyone. Yes, I know is field mice because I saw them eating my poison. They only dug out my tulips at night, not during the day. Squirrel is day animal, they do eat tulip bulbs but during the day.
    Mustard oil, good ideal, I will try it, thanks. I plan not to dig out my tulip bulbs and replant them in Oct to avoid eating by them, yet they come and dig out the bulbs now and eat them. Field mice, they are small and stay out door in my garden only. Once I caught one by using glue trap. They are cute animals but not cute any more when they destroy my stuffs. Glue traps are not too good because other small guys got stuck and before the mice. Thanks again for all your contribution.
     
  6. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    Old-style...soak bulbs & large seeds in kerosene (diesel is similar) for 15 min before planting. My Grandfather did this with peas, beans, bulbs, tubers & corms. It doesn't seem to be in favour these days.
     
  7. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Will the kerosene hurt the bulbs? It seems that it doesn't, that will be amazing. I guess, just soak in petrol, will be the same. I have some petrol at home for my lawn mower. Thank you so much.
    jessie
     
  8. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member

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    Using the term 'petrol' is a bit like common names of plants; it can refer to different things in different countries. Generally here it refers to a gasoline fuel which is highly inflammable with many additives, while kerosene (called parrafin in the UK) is more oily and much less volatile. Either can contaminate your soil, and I'd think gasoline would likely be absorbed and harm bulbs. Mustard Oil which is edible is much safer for you and the environment than kerosene or other petroleum products.
     
  9. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    I'm with Lorax. Get a cat. Ours kills mice almost daily. Or get a small terrier dog, as they love mice as well
     
  10. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    Don't get a cat. There are too many already, both pets & feral. I won't put up a bird feeder in garden or encourage the birds too much, since many feathered beings seem to end up as fodder for the 5 (or thereabouts) cats in 3 adjacent properties. Compared with the damage to the bird population, scratching up my vegetable seeds & seedlings, damage from un-neutered males spraying plants (it burns them) & contamination by cat faeces, a teaspoonful of kerosene in the soil is insignificant environmental impact IMO. Maybe kerosene would deter cats?
     
  11. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  12. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    Obviously the last two posters have never had problems with mice. Just wait until they girdle your expensive fruit trees in the winter, or destroy your vege gardens after a season's worth of care... A word of advice; never put up a stacked rock retaining wall. you will be providing a high rise/high density home for mice and will attract more mice than you can imagine. Ask me how I know...
     
  13. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I figured out a long time ago it's cheaper to buy produce than to grow it in
    an unfavorable climate. Others will come to that conclusion at their own pace.
     
  14. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    Are you saying if you have mice then you are growing in an unfavourable climate?? I believe mice exist almost everywhere, especially where there is food.

    It is true that mice have little impact on factory farms as basically they create large dead zones with little habitat for anything except for the crops, and the liberal use of pesticides eliminate all pests. However, some of us prefer to grow some of our own sustenance, and have to deal with what nature throws at us.

    On another note, I was reading Rudolf Steiner's "Agriculture" book last night (he's the father of biodynamic gardening) , and he mentioned an interesting way to get rid of mice. First you catch a young mouse or two, and skin them. Then you burn their hides in a fire until there is nothing but ashes left. Finally you spread this "pepper" around the areas where you don't want mice.
     
  15. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    The Steiner stuff seriously sounds like sympathetic magic to me. I prefer dehydrated potato flakes myself. Worked great on our "cabin mice" at the lake. Less work, less spooky & more dramatic.
     
  16. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Nope don't have a single solitary mouse. I've got 4 years of drought,
    temperatures that hover in the low 100's for 4 months (or more),
    Phymatotrichopsis omnivora that kills over 2000 known woody and
    herbaceous species. Alkaline soil and water that vary between pH8 and pH9.
    Dense clay soil and Fireants. Racoons that devastate any fruit or ornamental
    planting and squirrels that want to outdo the racoons for spite.
     
  17. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    Wow, sounds like a tough place to garden!

    I no longer worry about mice, as I no longer live where they are a major problem. However the deer are taking a toll on my fruit trees, and the bears and jays always seem to know when the fruits are ripe. This may be the year I get an electric fence!
     
  18. jessiehewong

    jessiehewong Active Member

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    Someone mentioned replanting the bulbs every year..... yes, for tulips, we keep the bulbs and replant them in Oct every year. The mice problem is, eating up the bulbs where we replanted. A lot of ideas, thanks for sharing... I guess, kerosene, mustard oil, I will definitely try.... cat is not suitable for me because I won't keep my cat out in winter, especially. Most damage is done during winter season. Cats like indoor with people. Mustard oil may be better than kerosene.
     

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