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View Full Version : Mice are eating my Couch - HELP!


gonzoron
04-10-2008, 10:12 AM
Soon after we moved into our new townhome in October, we started noticing our couch cushions starting to fray. At first we blamed the dog, but my wife saw the first mouse. I caught a glimpse of one soon after, and when we found holes gnawed in the dogfood bag, and clusters of mouse poo on the couch, the war was on.

I've bought some mousetraps (standard "Victor" snap traps), and caught two with peanut butter bait. (They were very small, maybe 3/4"x2" without tail). But then for weeks, nothing. I thought we might have scared them off, but then we found more poo, and more shredded cushions. For some reason, they were avoiding the traps.

So I switched the bait for nesting materials (cotton balls and embroidery floss, scented with vanilla extract), and still nothing. I tried adding a few more traps with gummi bear bait. Nothing. Not even stolen bait or sprung traps. But we're still finding poo.

I can't use poison because I have a toddler and a dog in the house and I don't know where the mice will take it. We've seen them run under the closet door, but putting traps right outside the door hasn't worked either. HELP!

bbs2k
04-10-2008, 10:19 AM
Others will disagree with me, but I have recently had a lot of success with glue traps placed in areas where you assume the mouse traffic is. For months the mice evaded my traditional traps, but they get caught in the glue ones.

Here's the thing, they are borderline cruel. Which means you must place them in an area where you will notice on a daily basis, and you must have the stomach to put the trapped mice out of their misery. I do both. These traps have worked out well for me, but whenever I hear a squeak, or find one caught it means I must go through with the final act.

WhyNot
04-10-2008, 10:29 AM
I suppose getting a cat is out of the question?

Here are instructions for a simple and cheap live mouse trap. (http://www.humanemousetrap.info/) You can put a lot of these out in many places, because they won't even snap your kid's fingers.

Brunhilda
04-10-2008, 10:33 AM
WhyNot, I was so expecting to open that page up and see a picture of a cat.

WhyNot
04-10-2008, 10:36 AM
WhyNot, I was so expecting to open that page up and see a picture of a cat.
:D Oh, man, I wish I had done that!

bannerrefugee
04-10-2008, 10:39 AM
Get one of these (http://www.kentscientific.com/products/productView.asp?ProductId=6205&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=ppc&utm_content=1&utm_campaign=Guillotine&utm_link=direct), and put it were they can see it

BrainGlutton
04-10-2008, 10:45 AM
Get one of these. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_Trap_(board_game))

(You'll still have mice but you'll be having too much fun to care! :) )

gonzoron
04-10-2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks, gang. Always good for a chuckle. :)
- Cat's a no-go. (We're allergic, and we have our hands full with a kid and a dog and another kid on the way, and oh yeah, they're evil.)

- Gluetraps are too inhumane to me. And I don't think I could deal with the euthanasia.

- the guilliotine is a bit pricey. Otherwise, yeah, perfect.

- already have the game. The little guy always seems to miss the tub.

That soda bottle trap might be an option... just seems like a big project....

Any advice on better bait? Any way I can figure out where they are coming from?

WhyNot
04-10-2008, 12:14 PM
That soda bottle trap might be an option... just seems like a big project....

I think his directions make it way more complicated than it really is. Bottom line: cut a soda bottle in two, invert top into bottom, poke some holes in the sides, wire together through the holes and secure onto a board so it doesn't tip over when a mouse falls in. Use cooking spray to lube up the top so the mouse slides down the ramp, and don't forget to lube the spout of the bottle so it can't grab it to climb back out. Toss in some cereal and peanut butter for bait.

Meyer6
04-10-2008, 01:08 PM
I had mice in my old apartment and I brought on MOUSE WARFARE! Here's what I did:

1. Pull all the furniture away from the walls and look for cracks where the mice could get in. Often these exist around vents, pipes, under cabinets, where wires go into the wall, etc. Don't forget to look under the fridge, sink, behind the toilet, and inside any built in cupboard! Mice only need about 1/4 inch of space to get in. If you have tiny mice, they might need even less.

2. Any little hole you find must be filled. I used varying methods for this - a combination of drywall repair compound, caulking, bits of steel wool stuffed in the hole, and pieces of wood screwed over the hole.

3. Remove ANY source of food for the mice. Dog food should go in a big rubbermaid bin or similar, same with anything else in a bag or cardboard box - cereal, flour, sugar, etc. Pull out the fridge and stove and sweep or dustbuster behind them. I imagine it's tricky with a small kid, but try to keep crumbs off the floor. A single kibble of dogfood is like a huge feast for a mouse!

That's it. This worked like a charm for me - I wasn't comfortable with using traps. Like you, I had them living in my couch, which grossed me right out. I took the couch apart and vaccuumed it out during mouse warfare, and they never did come back.

beowulff
04-10-2008, 01:31 PM
I have always had very good luck with standard snap-traps baited with peanut butter.

Cub Mistress
04-10-2008, 02:12 PM
I haven't tried it but I've been told that instant mashed potato flakes make a good mouse poison. You just put some dry flakes (about two tablespoons) in a plastic sandwich bag and close it up. place where you have seen mice and let them eat it. Best of all, it is non-toxic to kids and dogs.

You can also get child-resistant mouse bait stations and put them somewhere the child and dog won't be able to get at, like a secured cabinet under the sink.

Kuboydal
04-10-2008, 02:35 PM
Peanut butter works quite well. Peanuts and butter would probably work, too.

jay-c
04-10-2008, 02:45 PM
My sister had this same problem... she was remodeling her living room, so stored the sofa out of the way in the basement - right beside a jumbo bag of dog food. Remodeling over, they came to move the sofa back upstairs, and mice sprang out like it was a clowncar at the circus. Seems they'd moved in and multiplied quite a bit, what with the comfy nest right there with all the dog food they could possibly want right beside it.

She tried traps first, then poison. No dice. Unfortunately, the only working solution she found was glue traps. Too squeamish to dispose of the little buggers once they were stuck, she paid her 12-year old son $1 for every mouse he disposed of for her. At the end of 2 weeks, he'd earned $32. :eek:

They threw out the sofa after that, and kept the dog food in a snap-lock plastic bin. My sister still refuses to go in the basement alone.

tdn
04-10-2008, 03:13 PM
Exactly how allergic are you to cats?

I petted a friend's long haired cat until I had a handful of fur, then placed bits of it in strategic places around my apartment. Problem solved.

emmaliminal
04-10-2008, 03:26 PM
My bait of preference is pieces of Milky Way bars. I first learned about the Milky Way magic when as a ten-year-old, I sorted and lined up all my Halloween loot very carefully in my cupboard, like a candy counter at the drugstore, with a special shelf of honor for chocolate bars. It was a good haul that year, including the full range -- Snickers, Hersheys, Butterfingers, etc. I had six little Milky Way bars and as they were my favorite, I was really looking forward to making them last. We got a mouse in the house, and the little bugger got into my cupboard; he took a few bites, wrapper and all, of each Milky Way, and left everything else alone.

So the next trap Dad set was baited with the remains of a bar, and the bastard was caught within hours.

tdn
04-10-2008, 03:28 PM
Goobers work too, but they're hard to stick to anything.

beowulff
04-10-2008, 03:29 PM
I haven't tried it but I've been told that instant mashed potato flakes make a good mouse poison. You just put some dry flakes (about two tablespoons) in a plastic sandwich bag and close it up. place where you have seen mice and let them eat it. Best of all, it is non-toxic to kids and dogs.

You can also get child-resistant mouse bait stations and put them somewhere the child and dog won't be able to get at, like a secured cabinet under the sink.
Sounds, ummm, I don't know...ridiculous?
Yeah, that's the word. :dubious:

BrainGlutton
04-10-2008, 03:31 PM
Thanks, gang. Always good for a chuckle. :)
- Cat's a no-go. (We're allergic, and we have our hands full with a kid and a dog and another kid on the way, and oh yeah, they're evil.)

How about a ferret?

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
04-10-2008, 03:34 PM
They're likely nesting in the sofa.

Get rid of it.

redtail23
04-10-2008, 03:41 PM
I've trapped lots of mice in dog food bags (the large 50# kind) and garbage cans (again, the large 33gal size). You need to leave the top open to give them access, and make sure whatever is only half-full at most, so they can't jump back out.

You'll need to check it at least once daily, or they'll eventually chew their way out.

I used a grabber-stick (one with multiple prongs) and nabbed 'em by the tails to remove them. Final disposition is up to you.

Also, check the couch thoroughly. They may be nesting in there, in which case you could just move them out entirely along with the sofa.

Nanoda
04-10-2008, 03:44 PM
At first I eschewed glue traps also, but got some after the little bastards ate my inner tubes and crapped in my cycling gear. :mad:

For any trap, put them along the edge of the wall, and any place you can imagine mice might run; don't just bait them and stick them away.

As for bait, as emilyforce noted, my mice loved chocolate. Didn't touch any of the granola bars I had in my biking kit. They left me a little pile of tinfoil where they'd grabbed creme easter eggs and run away to devour them, and ate all the chocolate coating off a box full of chocolate peanut wafers.

Thinks2Much
04-10-2008, 04:05 PM
I haven't tried it but I've been told that instant mashed potato flakes make a good mouse poison. You just put some dry flakes (about two tablespoons) in a plastic sandwich bag and close it up. place where you have seen mice and let them eat it. Best of all, it is non-toxic to kids and dogs.

You can also get child-resistant mouse bait stations and put them somewhere the child and dog won't be able to get at, like a secured cabinet under the sink.

This is not true. I currently have a rat (was meant for snake food) who escaped who is living in my garage on potato flakes.

I had mice once who were eating from the coffee can of congealed grease, mostly from bacon, that I kept under the sink. I kept it to add to it, rather than throwing it out mostly empty - you know, recycle and all that, but I didn't cook all that often. The mice had chewed a hole through the lid and made quite the dent in the half full can. When I caught them (in a snap trap after throwing out their grease), they were the fattest things you ever saw! My dad used to get mice in his workshop and he swore they liked salami best. Either way, I think high fat is the way to go for trap bait, but it also has to be the only source of food around. You do need to clean up to remove other sources first as others suggested.

Pixilated
04-10-2008, 05:29 PM
Also, check the couch thoroughly. They may be nesting in there, in which case you could just move them out entirely along with the sofa.


Reason #I-lost-count for the SO to trash his couch and chairs. Although I havent seen any tracks lately, doesnt mean they arent there somewhere.... cant wait to get a cat or three! Or a dozen.

BMax
04-10-2008, 05:54 PM
They're likely nesting in the sofa.

Get rid of it.

I had to do the same thing a couple years ago. The dog kept tearing the shit out of the couch because he was trying to get the mice that were nesting in it. The bag of birdseed and new work gloves I had forgotten in the pantry was turned into half a bag of feces.

I did what everyone here has said so far about gettign rid of the sofa, storing all my food, includeng dog food & birdseed, in sealable plastic containers & glass jars, then set spring traps baited with peanut butter and glue traps in their runs. I put the dog's bowl on top of a 5-gallon plastic bucket high enough that he can reach it but the mice can't jump into it. 3 weeks later, no more mice.

Speaking of good improvised mouse traps, a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a little bacon grease dribbled in the bottom of it and some sticks leaning from the floor next to it up to the rim. Mice smell the bacon grease, climb the stick to the top of the bucket, jump inside but can't jump back out. I've caught 5 a night with this.

gonzoron
04-11-2008, 08:45 AM
Yeah, I already checked the couch. Found that they'd gone inside, but weren't actually nesting in there. The inside was empty, and feces-less. I patched up the hole they'd made.

I am so very allergic to cats, that even thinking about having some fur around is making me start to itch.

thanks for the tips everyone. I'm gonna try some chocolate, probably Milky Ways (and hey, if it doesn't work, I'll still have a bag of Milky Ways, so win-win.) And I may try the soda-bottle traps. I'm just not sure how far I'll have to take them to find a release site that won't send them right back here. (or to some neighbor's house, which I would feel bad about.).

gonzoron
04-11-2008, 08:55 AM
Yeah, I already checked the couch. Found that they'd gone inside, but weren't actually nesting in there. The inside was empty, and feces-less. I patched up the hole they'd made.

I am so very allergic to cats, that even thinking about having some fur around is making me start to itch.

thanks for the tips everyone. I'm gonna try some chocolate, probably Milky Ways (and hey, if it doesn't work, I'll still have a bag of Milky Ways, so win-win.) And I may try the soda-bottle traps. I'm just not sure how far I'll have to take them to find a release site that won't send them right back here. (or to some neighbor's house, which I would feel bad about.).

Projammer
04-11-2008, 09:11 AM
Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


Sorry. Late to the thread and everything else I might have suggested has already been said.