Lets talk MICE...... and how we keep them out of our barn.
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Thread: Lets talk MICE...... and how we keep them out of our barn.

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    Brian's Avatar
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    Lets talk MICE...... and how we keep them out of our barn.

    Every place I went today, at work and on the net, people were talking about their mouse issue. One guy even had them eating through his "fart fan". I guess that's architectural slang for bathroom exhaust fan. While at work, listening to the comical stories of sticky tape and electric shock traps, I started thinking that I caught one mouse last week in the barn (first one of the winter).

    My barn is highly protected from these vile critters with 4 electronic pest repellants, 6 dishes of mouse poison, steel wool stuffed up all the corners of the siding and 6 traps baited with peanut butter. Its rare that I catch a mouse as they really don't want to be in my barn. At least thats my hopes. So I went out today to start the tractor, withdrawals ya know, and I caught another mouse. This time it was a baby. Now I am thinking, was this little guy raised in my barn or did he sneak in from outside? Either way, not cool. So I rebaited the traps with fresh peanut butter and looked to make sure all the poison containers were easily accessible.

    BUT, this has me thinking. I have my jeep and zero turn out there just sitting and since we have not got any snow, my tractor has been sitting also. Should I be taking extra measures? Some people were talking about drier sheets in and around their cars. They say mice hate the smell of them? Really? I have a hard time believing that any critter could dislike the smell of a drier sheet. (I need to check that out on snopes)

    So what do you do to keep your barn free of little critters?



    Brian

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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Well, here's what I can tell you about mice. When we designing a new 2,500 square foot research lab at NREL, we learned that mice can get in a hole 1/4" in diameter. So it doesn't take much for them to get in.

    I use stainless steel sponges to stuff up cracks as it doesn't rust. http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/NNSRIT...-SearchResults You can cut it with scissors and a 6-pack of these things goes a long way.

    An old boss of mine at NREL advised against using poison as the little buggers will go find a place to hide when they start feeling the effects of the poison. Then they croak and stink to high heaven as they rot.

    The problem is that barns are notoriously full of holes making it easy for the little buggers to get in.
    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    I have had good luck with using moth balls in and around equipment and cars. This is the first I heard of using laundry sheets for mice, I have heard of the sheets working on spiders though. The mice just don't like the smell of the moth balls. I have not tried using them to protect a whole building. I did use moth balls when storing a car outside, it work great. Placed them in the interior, trunk, and engine compartment.
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    BigDogTrain's Avatar
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    Mine are killed by shocking them to death.


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    neeltburn's Avatar
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    It might not work for everyone, but the best suggestion I have heard/ seen is a Cat.
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    Neel

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    Brian's Avatar
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    Neel,
    The last cat my family had lived in our barn and kept the mice out. Unfortunatly it marked it teritory all over the cover to our old boat. Not real cool! With the items I have in this barn, it would have to be declawed and I am unsure how that would work out.

    I checked last night and the fresh PB traps did not get anything. I am hoping that the two I caught were ones that came in from outside.

    The war is still on!



    Brian

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    dmay's Avatar
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    Nothing beats a good outside barn cat (or two).

    At my old ranch I had two female cats. Actually sisters. Fixed but fully clawed. I added cat doors on my 40 x 60 barn and double car garage so cats could enter/exit freely. My vet told me at one annual checkup that my cats were very healthy and probably were eating 20-30 rodents a day. As cats do they like to bring you their kills and show their hunting status before the bite their victums heads off and devour them completely. My cats never damaged or sprayed anything. I gave them scratching posts of their own. When I sold the ranch the new owner kept the cats. They continue to patroll the property and perform their duties admirably. I go visit from time to time. They are happy cats.
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    Darrell

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    neeltburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Neel,
    The last cat my family had lived in our barn and kept the mice out. Unfortunatly it marked it teritory all over the cover to our old boat. Not real cool! With the items I have in this barn, it would have to be declawed and I am unsure how that would work out.

    I checked last night and the fresh PB traps did not get anything. I am hoping that the two I caught were ones that came in from outside.

    The war is still on!
    I know they wont work for everyone but for some it is a good fix to the problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by dmay View Post
    Nothing beats a good outside barn cat (or two).

    At my old ranch I had two female cats. Actually sisters. Fixed but fully clawed. I added cat doors on my 40 x 60 barn and double car garage so cats could enter/exit freely. My vet told me at one annual checkup that my cats were very healthy and probably were eating 20-30 rodents a day. As cats do they like to bring you their kills and show their hunting status before the bite their victums heads off and devour them completely. My cats never damaged or sprayed anything. I gave them scratching posts of their own. When I sold the ranch the new owner kept the cats. They continue to patroll the property and perform their duties admirably. I go visit from time to time. They are happy cats.
    Another thing cats are good at is keeping snakes away.. found a couple in a barn on a friend of mine's farm and a week or two later they got 2 barn cats and no more snakes or mice the rest of the year, or to this day that I am aware of. But as said they won't work for everyone.
    Neel

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    Field Mice

    I live next to the Yakama Indian Reservation and a creek. It's like "wild kingdom" at my place. I live and let live, as long as whatever it is, doesn't bother me or my things. I buy those bulk plastic buckets of One Bite Mice Bait at my local COOP. The bucket contains a bunch of those little throw packets. I keep all my out buildings well stock with the packets. I also put out the PB baited Victor smack-um-dead traps along the inside walls. The old horse barn, with dirt floors, I use to park my truck, tractor, off set mower and some other things which are of mouse non-interest. Fall is when they seem to start winter house hunting and that's when I load up the out buildings with the bait. I keep putting it out until it's no longer taken and then monitor the packets thereafter. I had one die in my Jeep one year and it did stink it up for a week or so. Critter problems are different around the country. Come Spring, my annual battle begins. Gophers, Moles, Woodpeckers, Magpies and those Gray Ground Squirrels become the focus of my attention. One year, when the kids were still home, I offered a $5 bounty for every gopher they caught. My number two son made $15 in three days! Dad was a bit slow to catch on, that I had paid bounty for the same gopher, three times!! From then on, I kept the gopher. That ended my son's, short lived, gopher-bounty-business. You just can't beat living out in the country

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    kml
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    Mice have been bad this year or so my neighbor tells me... He has this perpetual battle with rodents and racoons tearing up his things He traps and poisons but still has lots of troubles. A racoon "ate" the seats in his boat last year, completely destroyed them

    We have two barn cats and a dog and the only issues we seem to have are dead things being left at the door for us to admire. The cats take care of the little stuff and the dog's gotten two coons so far this spring. I guess thery're not for everyone but they sure are good at what they do.

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