Safe way to get rid of mice with a dog in the house?

We’ve gotten a mouse problem, in that we’ve found a total of 4 little mice in the last few weeks. They’re in the kitchen, and we’ve found them all in our bag of dog food (they’re not chewing through, rather going in through the top because someone isn’t rolling the top down after use. Tonight, I found the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th mouse all in there at the same time. Not knowing what to do, I put the bag in a tupperware bowl (there’s probably only a few cups of dog food left in there), and stuck it in the freezer. In a few hours, I’ll probably just put the mice down the garbage disposal or something).

So, I don’t want to use spring-loaded wooden ones because of the hassle of setting them up, baiting, disposing of bloody mouse carcasses…

Glue traps might work, but I have an inquisitive puppy, and there are only a couple of places I could put them without her meddling.

I can’t find any mouse holes, mainly because I’ve never seen one, and I’m looking for cartoony-style semicircles in the baseboard. I know that due to the mouse poop, they’re hanging out somewhere along the counter on one wall of the kitchen.

I don’t care about being humane.

Then poison. Place bait traps along the wall in the areas that they frequent. The dog can’t get in there, but the mice will. If you put them in the areas where the mice have been, you’ll get most of them within 24 hours.

The more important task is to find out where they’re getting in and seal it up. Otherwise it’s a continuing problem. You didn’t say whether you were living in a house or an apartment. Mice can get in through a dime-sized hole, and the most common entry point is where wires and pipes come into your house. But there could also be cracks in your foundation, or a broken basement window, or near a dryer vent. This is the time of year when they start coming indoors.

I’m not an exterminator, but I just dealt with this problem at my house over the last few weeks.

We had this problem as well. Spring traps worked but we also had an exterminator come in and set up bait traps. As it was explained to us, the bait makes the mice thirsty and they’ll go off in search of water and die, in theory. We do have a dog (and the mice seemed to love her food as well), so I’m vigilant about keeping an eye out for dead critters but the only one I ever found was in the basement storage room where the dog doesn’t have access.

It seems to be under control. I haven’t seen mouse droppings in months.

I have to ask though…why on earth would you want to put the frozen carcasses down the garbage disposal? If you’re not referring to the garbage disposal in the sink, my apologies for misunderstanding but if you are, you might want to think about the…gore and germs. I’m sorry, that just squicks me out.

But the dead body of the mouse can get where the dog can find it, thus poisoned dog. Yes, many rodent poisons are no longer deadly once fully digested, but a mouse can have freshly eaten poison in his stomach.

Spring traps work and are not dangerous to the dog. (They should be placed where the pup can’t get at them. Seal up all food.

The squished mouse bodies can be thrown in the trash, or somewhere where feral predators can find the body but the puppy can’t.

Good point, I hadn’t thought of that. Ideally, as Little Wing suggests, the mice will vacate before they die.

For fun. I can always run just run some bleach down into the disposal.

You can set glue traps where the dog can’t reach and bait them with peanut M&M’s, but disposing of the still wriggling mice is fairly squicky.

There are small live traps that work pretty well for awhile, until the scared mouse smell permeates them and you have to buy more. They look like a small plastic box with a hinged opening at one end. You still have the problem of disposing of the mice, but this time, they’re alive. This may be more or less squicky for you.

Poison works well, and (anecdotally) I’ve never had a problem with my dogs or cats, even when they ate the dead (or dying) mice. The problem I’ve had was with mice dying in inaccessible areas and rotting for a week or so. Most unpleasant.

For all the hassle, spring traps are really effective, especially indoors. Put them where the dog can’t reach, like behind a closed pantry door, and check them daily. Wash them well after use, and replace them after a few catches. You should run out of mice in a week or less.

You might want to nix the dog food bag altogether and get some kind of container for your food.

I have a garage so I keep 60lbs at a time (I have a big dog) in the garage in a locked pest-prohibitive container, and put about a week’s worth inside in a plastic container. I lock it because I have raccoons that like to try to get at it, too. A metal garbage can with a tight lid also works.

There’s lots of different sizes too, if you can’t keep the food outside.

I guarantee the mice will chew through the dog food bag one of these days.

Here’s how to make an awesome non-poison really-well-working mouse trap.

Gather together:

  • a big bucket - I use drywall buckets, but anything knee-high or so will work.
  • a stiff wire long enough to span the opening of the bucket. I use a straightened wire clothes hanger.
  • an empty soda can
  • a stick or flat piece of wood, long enough to make a “ramp” from the floor to the edge of the bucket
  • peanut butter
  • water, enough to fill the bucket a few inches deep.

Punch a hole in the bottom of the soda can, and string the wire through it. Punch two holes in the edge of the bucket and string the soda can and wire through the holes, so you have the soda can suspended over the opening of the bucket. It needs to spin freely, so give it a couple turns and make sure it does.

Put a few inches of water in the bottom of the bucket. Place the whole contraption where you see mice. Lean the stick up against the bucket to make a nice mouse ramp - it should touch the bucket perpendicular to the can. Smear peanut butter on the can. Go to bed.

When you wake up in the morning, you will have mice in the bucket.

The idea is the mice smell the peanut butter and climbs the ramp to the edge of the bucket. They see the PB on the can, and will take a flying leap and end up on the can. Can rotates, mouse falls into bucket, and drowns in the water.

It really works, plus is easy to empty, just take bucket o’ dead mice and dump it somewhere that the dogs can’t get to.

Oh look, here’s a very similar trap.

I try to limit my smilie use but in this case, there’s only one that’s appropriate. :eek:
Seriously, good luck with the mice thing. I hated seeing those nasty little rodents in my house. We don’t leave food out at all and our dog’s food is always in a sealed heavy-duty plastic container BUT all it took was a few spilled pieces of kibble and the game was on. It doesn’t help that our property backs up onto undeveloped land.

Try getting (or borrowing) a cat, or a ferret.

When I first moved into my old place, there were mice. The ferret made short work of them within a few weeks. Building has been mouse-free now for two years.

Dogs can be taught to be good mousers.

Rodent poison is Warfarin, an anti-coagulant, so the lethal dose is weight based. The amounts they use in mouse/rat baits is unlikely to harm a dog, especially after the mouse has processed a dose (!).

Years ago I watched an exterminator spreading bait packets for rat control near an outdoor trash bin and he opened the packets WITH HIS TEETH. Apparently he wanted a little DVT therapy on the job.

I think it depends on the breed and on the individual dog. I seem to recall that some small breeds were actually bred to kill vermin. On the other hand, I don’t see Newfoundlands or Great Danes as being particularly effective mousers.

Poison works, but if the mouse dies inside your walls your house will smell GOD-AWFUL for weeks.

Spring traps are what I use. I bought one like this: http://www.amazon.com/d-CON-Ultra-Covered-Mouse-Trap/dp/B000P9URDQ/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1200418364&sr=1-3 and have been very happy with it. It is easier to set than a regular old-fashioned mouse trap, plus isn’t quite as gruesome to bystanders.

Terriers of any sort tend to be good mousers. My parents have an Irish Wolfhound who’s been raised with Jack Russell Terriers. She’s convinced she’s a little dog just like they are, but she has finally accepted that she can’t dig. She lets them dig the prey out of the holes, then she, as a sighthound, takes over.

Ditto on this. I seem to have finally won my battle with the roof rats and it took several hours of labor to find and seal up the holes where they were getting into my attic and crawlspace. Admittedly rats need a slightly more visible hole so you’ll have to be extra rigorous, but get out the flashlight and a notepad and start checking all the gaps - around pipes, inside and under the cabinets, under the appliances that never get moved (fridge, dishwasher, etc). Make a note of all the openings and then seal them up - something solid is best, I used plywood in my attic but hardware cloth (fine metal mesh) and expanding foam will also work well.

Take away their food as well - anything a mouse can chew through (like bags) should go in some kind of sealable container, invest in a bunch of tupperware. Put the dog food into something that a mouse can’t get into and your dog can’t open. Even putting the bag into one of those big plastic bins with the flip-top lids might do the trick. Also make sure to clean up any food/water spills immediately.

One place I lived in college had mice, traps caught some of them but if you don’t take away their food and entryways they’ll just keep coming back. I don’t care for poison since (a) your pet might get into it and (b) you may get dead, rotting mice in the walls someplace until their stinky corpses dry out (or something eats them and then comes gunning for your Fritos).

Or, as others have suggested, do some All Natural Biological Warfare - adopt a cat. You’ll have to clean up some random mouse parts now and then but it’s worth it.

I take it the dog herself won’t go after them? (If she’s a terrier, I’d let her have a go)

I dunno. We had a thread here about cats and rodents, and two posters absolutly insisted that cats have no effect whatsoever on rodents. :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I really love Athena’s idea, but due to my own lethargy and small space, I’m not actually going to implement it. If she (the dog) would do anything but play with small animals, having her hunt them would be fun, if not really cute.

Tomorrow, I’m going to pull the mini-fridge out and see if there are any mouse holes behind it. I haven’t seen any mouse droppings in the cabinets, so I don’t think they’re coming in there. Can mice live under refrigerators or stoves?

Good point about poison being weight dependent. I’ll have to stop by work tomorrow and ask for some coumadin! :stuck_out_tongue:

Or buy some mousetraps, because they’re fun to play with. Think those would (badly) hurt my dog if she got into one? I’d love to see her face when a spring slams on her face. (Call me mean, but watching my dog do dumb things is really funny for me.)