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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mice Mice Mice....

Okie dokie, so you've got mice in the barn. Some of you are saying "what's the big deal? I like mice, they are cute.

I like mice too- when they are in cages in the house. Or at the petstore....or out in a field far away from my stuff.

A mouse in the barn means all kinds of things. For instance, they may have chewed a hole in the feed bag and are now living and defecating in the food you give your rabbits. Or they are climbing in the the cages and hanging out in crocks and J feeders. Maybe their base of operations is in that bale of hay you just bought.

I was horrified just the other day to hear Tim say "aww, look a mouse!". Really? Where? Catch it, Kill it, Get RID OF IT! If you want a small furry rodent to play with there are two pet rats at my house. Go cuddle them.

We keep our food and our hay in plastic bins, with tops on them, to keep bugs and rodents out. That doesn't mean I want the wild creatures running around. Rats in particular WILL EAT BABY RABBITS. We had a rat attack on my first litter ever. That poor little baby was crippled for all of it's short life.

So how do we get rid of mice/rats?

You can set the traditional rat traps and use peanut butter, cheese, a little rabbit food, whatever you want, to lure them to it. I don't recommend catch-and-release traps simply because if they found their way in once, they can do it again. Now, if you want to drive 15 miles and then dump it out, by all means feel free to try it! Make sure to check the traps at least once a day, and remove anything you find, you may increase or create a fly problem.

Barn Cat. I know a lot of folks that have them and swear by getting a good mouser to live in the barn. For me, that's just something else I have to feed. Not to mention we live close to 2 roads, and I'd hate to find the kitty dead in the street. I'm also not 100% comfortable letting a creature that preys on small animals (including rabbits!) into my barn where I may have babies or juniors escape the cages (it's happened before).

I don't do the glue trap method. To me, it's cruel, because they starve to death, or when you find them YOU have to figure out how to kill them. It is an option, however, just be prepared to personally put them down.

I also don't recommend sitting out poison- as someone with 3 dogs, I know they'd be the first ones into it. I'm also afraid one of the few Houdinis in my barn would escape and- well I wouldn't want to find them in the morning.

*Warning The Next Idea is Graphic*
I've personally never used this idea, but I have heard it's extremely effective.

Make your own bucket trap by threading some wire through a 20 oz coke bottle, and wire it across the top of a five gallon bucket so it spins freely. Fill the bucket halfway up with water, and then smear peanut butter all over the bottle. Lean a 2x4 or other wooden piece up against the bucket so it reaches about 2 inches from the bottle. The mice will run up the ramp, and try to jump onto the peanut butter covered bottle, then flipped into the water (and drowns). It resets itself, so you can get more than one mouse in a night. You can also make this a catch-and-release trap.

Keep's Rabbitry

1 comment:

Fred Sowerwine said...

Kristen, You are right about the bucket traps being effective. I invented and manufacture and market the ISS (It's So Simple) mouse bucket trap http;//www.issmousetraps.com The ISS trap is more efficient (mice can escape from the rolling can) and easier than the type you speak of. The ISS trap has no moving parts and is not scary at all to mice and has the ability to use most any high aroma food as bait. Once an animal goes for the bait, he is caught.

For the best in mouse control, the ISS (It's So Simple) mouse trap is the answer.