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Thread: How do you get rid of mice, voles and shrews?

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    Default How do you get rid of mice, voles and shrews?

    I have so many large, short tailed rodents in my garden it seems like a plague. What they don't destroy the dogs tear up while chasing them. I put two types of poison under the house and cornmeal outside (I was told this will swell up in their stomach and kill them if they eat it) and nothing helps. I just looked out the window and saw one scampering up the hill. It's ridiculous. Is there something else I can do? Or am I one the right track with the poison and/or cornmeal and just need to be patient? I have even caught a live one inside my house! And please don't say get a cat. I have four of them thanks to my kids and none of them are particularly good hunters. They will bat them around a bit but seem to prefer to keep them alive. And the cats don't go outside. The neighbors have a dog that kills cats. Any advice would be appreciated. I have lost all of my zinnias, marigolds, livingstone daisies and tall snapdragons to the mice and dogs in the last two days. I fear the mice will invade the greenhouse next.

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    Get a owl "scarecrow" and palce it on a post above your garden. Setting poison out is BAD idea being that you have dogs who likely find dead rodents and consume them, you may be poisoning your dogs and cats! Red rice if you can find it will swell and in the bellys of the rodents and cause a non-poisonus death. A pellet gun is another great tool and it will sharpen your marksmanship, sit, wait and shoot them as you see them. You can also try putting some bait in a coffee can or small vessel that is to deep for them to jump out of and set a ramp that allow them to enter the vessel, then dispose of them as you see fit, you can put 3-4" of water in the bottom and they drown if you don't want to deal with live capture.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Make a comfortable shooting platform on the edge of the garden. Get one of the high quality, match grade pellet guns with a sound suppressing package. Mount a night vision scope and dial it in. Spend the night in your garden playing "sniper".

    Also, trade in your 4 lazy house cats for a 'real' outdoor cat. A good cat can really make a dent in rodent activity.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Make a comfortable shooting platform on the edge of the garden. Get one of the high quality, match grade pellet guns with a sound suppressing package. Mount a night vision scope and dial it in. Spend the night in your garden playing "sniper".

    Also, trade in your 4 lazy house cats for a 'real' outdoor cat. A good cat can really make a dent in rodent activity.
    What he said, plus small rodents HATE certain smells. Ammonia for one, Cayenna Pepper, cloves, peppermint etc... in both oils and dry. I've even heard of someone spreading out used cat litter in areas. Basically the smell of cat urine "ammonia" Keep your food/Garbage secure. And I agree, get a real cat. Nothing better than a good Barn Cat!

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    Many Alaskans like to rely on their tried and true big bores for such work, but with the price and availability of ammo, I think that's a waste. 22s work better, but again, ammo today is a problem.

    One friend likes the drowning bucket method:

    Put several inches of water in a 5 gallon bucket. Suspend a wire across the top with a beer can on it (a pop can will work, but the beer can is better, because you get to empty it before building the trap). The wire is threaded through the can from bottom to top. Smear peanut butter on the outside of the can. (Peanut butter, for all rodents, is worth dying for.) Mice get on the can, the can rolls on the wire, and the mouse drops into the bucket and drowns. The water keeps them from rotting and stinking too badly too quickly. It even works in the spring and fall (fall is commonly really bad for rodents trying to get into houses before it gets too cold) if you put a little antifreeze in the water.

    Can I interest you in some mouse, shrew, and vole recipes?...............

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    [QUOTE=Can I interest you in some mouse, shrew, and vole recipes?...............[/QUOTE

    Wait a minute! Are you the guy that starred in the movie "Never Cry Wolf"? Man, I bet you have some great recipes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    Can I interest you in some mouse, shrew, and vole recipes?...............
    Wait a minute! Are you the guy that starred in the movie "Never Cry Wolf"? Man, I bet you have some great recipes!
    No, Mowat ate them raw. I'm more of a Paul Prudomme of rodent cuisine.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    No, Mowat ate them raw. I'm more of a Paul Prudomme of rodent cuisine.........
    LOL!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Brain View Post
    ,...........Smear peanut butter on the outside of the can. (Peanut butter, for all rodents, is worth dying for.) Mice get on the can, the can rolls on the wire, and the mouse drops into the bucket and drowns. The water keeps them from rotting and stinking too badly too quickly..............
    Pretty Impressive idea Brain,...
    looks like it would be as fun making all that,
    as it would be living, "Critter Free," afterwards

    "Good Hunting to ya, Dragon"
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon3464 View Post
    I have so many large, short tailed rodents in my garden it seems like a plague. What they don't destroy the dogs tear up while chasing them. I put two types of poison under the house and cornmeal outside (I was told this will swell up in their stomach and kill them if they eat it) and nothing helps. I just looked out the window and saw one scampering up the hill. It's ridiculous. Is there something else I can do? Or am I one the right track with the poison and/or cornmeal and just need to be patient? I have even caught a live one inside my house! And please don't say get a cat. I have four of them thanks to my kids and none of them are particularly good hunters. They will bat them around a bit but seem to prefer to keep them alive. And the cats don't go outside. The neighbors have a dog that kills cats. Any advice would be appreciated. I have lost all of my zinnias, marigolds, livingstone daisies and tall snapdragons to the mice and dogs in the last two days. I fear the mice will invade the greenhouse next.
    Sounds like Voles if they're tunneling and have short tails, if so you better get aggressive with em right away cuz they reproduce fast!!!
    Voles can't climb , and have no desire to live in your house so the one you found in the house was probably brought in by a cat.
    The most effective method of wiping em out is poison bait, something like PROZAP, or any product with Zinc Phosphide, only problem with that is it's not something you want in a vegetable garden and can also be pretty rough on any birds or critters that eat the poisoned vole.
    Breaking up Juicy fruit gum into small pieces and putting it into every hole you can find is pretty effective, they will eat it but won't be able to digest it.
    If they are Voles,,,,,, good luck!!!!! yer gonna need it.

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    ...Voles can't climb...
    Trivia: Voles can and do climb, and will get into cabin/house insulation just like squirrels.

    Perching poles located around the perimeter of garden areas will give your neighborhood owls a place to hunt from. Drowning bucket traps as described by brain work well.
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    I think we've had this discussion on an annual basis in these forums. Voles do indeed climb, and a friend continues to catch them in the unheated area of his home (his annex) where he stores his clothing, etc. I watched one such well-fat, rotund little bugger climb up the spruce poles of my raised beds, getting up top like a recruit in the midst of his first basic training field obstacle course. Reminded me of early moments involving Leonard in 'Full Metal Jacket.' A lot of effort went into topping that three-rung spruce-pole bed.. Almost made me feel badly about helping him meet his demise after watching him work so hard to get to the top.. but he was, after all, a garden-raiding vole. Anyway, forgive the fact that I can't seem to impart paragraphs herein, so this mini-rant may run on into another extended paragraph.. Voles access the best food source they can in the middle of winter, when pickin's are scarce. In our case, that's the compost bin out back, which we continue to feed throughout the winter. As a friend recommended, in the early to late spring season, before any gardening has begun, place mouse traps with raw oatmeal mixed with peanut butter on the traps' triggers, in a circumference/perimeter around your compost bin, and empty the proceeds daily. You'll put the hurt on 'em in the early part of their breeding and feeding season, without having to expose your mouse traps to the sprinkler that you'll later have in your garden, and which are nearly guaranteed to destroy your traps, as they did mine when I failed to nip the buggers in the bud and do 'em in earlier in the year. Again, I apologize for not being able to put this into paragraph format; it's the only site I post at where I can't put spaces between my paragraphs.

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    And yes, though I don't particularly care for most cats, a good barn cat that stays outside and feeds on voles, with the occasional serving of tender vittles, is worth its weight in .. silver? Probably not gold, but at least a semi-precious metal like silver. Sorry, I'm a dog guy, and while my son's German shepherd has demonstrated the rare vole capture, rocketing her snout through the snow's surface like a lawn dart, initially looking a lot like she's suffering from psychosis with accompanying hallucinations (what she's actually doing is hearing them as they run under the snow), she can't compete with a good cat. Did I just combine the words 'good' and 'cat'???? Twice? In one post?? Must be the heat...

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    Default good cat

    Our place has been settled since the 30's and had several buildings full of mice when I bought it years ago. Long story short; my daughter got a couple of Maincoon cats(sure spellings wrong) which decimated the mouse population, the bodies were countless for months. Now they rarely bring in the prey for display, and have moved on to bigger game. They are awesome hunters, I even found a Spruce Chicken they got. Other than poison the cats did the job better than anything

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    Thumbs up Cats . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by mark oathout View Post
    Our place has been settled since the 30's and had several buildings full of mice when I bought it years ago. Long story short; my daughter got a couple of Maincoon cats(sure spellings wrong) which decimated the mouse population, the bodies were countless for months. Now they rarely bring in the prey for display, and have moved on to bigger game. They are awesome hunters, I even found a Spruce Chicken they got. Other than poison the cats did the job better than anything

    Couldn't agree more . . for the first few years after we moved in here with our three cats, our driveway looked like killing fields.

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    So I wouldn't be an evil, animal abusing tyrant if I kicked the cats out and made them work for a living? Interesting thought. It seems like when they did go outside they brought more live mice in than they killed, but that might just be how I saw the situation. I don't have any poison outside and it has been four days since we put the last batch under the house. I think I might wait a couple more days than start kicking the cats out during the day. I don't want them eating contaminated mice, but I can't undo the poison so I will just have to wait. We have 2 shops and a half dozen other buildings on the property so there is cover for them. I havent seen the neighbors dog in a while. He keeps it in these days, but when they first moved here it was well known for killing neighborhood cats. The guy across the road lost 5 of his 7 cats but I suppose that must not have went over too well because I don't see the dog much anymore. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffle View Post
    ......Did I just combine the words 'good' and 'cat'???? Twice? In one post?? Must be the heat...
    Indeed, it can be difficult to spit out the words "good" and "cat" simultaneously, but I think it's important to remember that rodent control is the reason why cats were domesticated eons ago (if one can realistically spit out the words "domesticated" and "cat" simultaneously). Indeed, it is well arguable that the ONLY thing "good" about a cat is it's rodent hunting propensity.

    We've had a single cat in the family for quite a while. We also have livestock, and before we had a cat here, we indeed had lots of rodents. A single cat fixed that. We haven't had any rodent problems whatsoever as long as we've had a cat here.

    The problem with their only grace is that the best rodent hunters kill everything else in the area, too. One particular female (always the best hunters among cats) killed everything in the vicinity including ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, red squirrels, snowshoe hares, robins, and even flying squirrels. That was the most murderous cat I've ever seen. Now we have a more inept feline, which seems to be a great balance.

    What is a remarkable thought, when considering the domestication of a species like a cat, is the domestication of weasels, which we've seen in the latter part of this century on a small scale. While cats can be accurately described as "curious", weasels are better described as "fearless", yet we see people with domesticated European ferrets/polecats. With that in mind, the outdoors experiences I've had with Alaskan weasels leave me in wonder at the potential of American weasel domestication. One marten hung around our moose camp once with perfectly fearless behavior rummaging through our garbage burn pit and growling warnings if we came too close. He also would come right up to us as we sat in camp chairs eating our own meals. Once I spent a rainy night in an old, broken down trappers cabin with an ermine who rummaged through the litter while I laid on the rotting floor in my sleeping bag. At one point as the rummaging sounded very close, I lit my flashlight to find the ermine just a foot or so from my face staring at me. I simply told him that as long as he stayed in the litter and out of my sleeping bag, we would be fine, and sure enough, we spend a cooperative night together in that tiny crumbling structure. Given a few hundred years and the lack of an environmental police agency, I could see Alaskans "domesticating" ermines or martens for the purpose of rodent control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark oathout View Post
    Our place has been settled since the 30's and had several buildings full of mice when I bought it years ago. Long story short; my daughter got a couple of Maincoon cats(sure spellings wrong) which decimated the mouse population, the bodies were countless for months. Now they rarely bring in the prey for display, and have moved on to bigger game. They are awesome hunters, I even found a Spruce Chicken they got. Other than poison the cats did the job better than anything
    We have a beautiful Maine Coon Cat. She brings the mice and birds in the house alive to play with. Drives my wife crazy. At least she kills the squirrels before bringing them into the house. All this with no front claws. They are quite the hunters. The other cat is one of those lap lazy cats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    We have a beautiful Maine Coon Cat........They are quite the hunters.......
    All of our cats in the past 20 years have been Maine Coons. I agree, they're quite the hunters, and even the females tip the scales at 13 lbs+. Other than waking me up all night long during the non-winter months with her in-out-in-out desires, I actually enjoy the creature.

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    the srews are eating the mice and voles
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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