Sunday, December 30, 2012

barn mice

The barn mice are like winter ticks. Except I don't bring the mice home. The mice have decided that my locker is comfy and cozy and I have just enough things for them to ruin for their little homes. I am not down with this. . .
I'm cute, but I will ruin ALL the tack!
They are pooping little mice turds everywhere. All over my tack, shelves, grooming bag. . .just everywhere. They have invaded an empty plastic bag and destroyed a sponge to make a nest. A nest where I am sure that they plan on having millions of little mousey babies. 
Mouse house
The kicker was when I discovered that they began to take the fluff from Shyloh's too big shipping boots! Heck no! I plan on selling those! (Anyone want horse size navy blue shipping boots?)Luckily they just began to tear into the shipping boots and you can't even tell. I promptly removed those to my car before any further damage can happen. 

Mice are cute, but vectors of disease. The barn cats are not doing their job controlling the mouse population. I think they spend too much time in the heated barn. Oh cats. . .

I really don't want to kill the mice. They don't bother me, besides pooping everywhere. But destroying tack is a no no. I can't afford to replace tack just because a mouse needs a home. My first line of defense was all natural. I heard the peppermint oil put on cottonballs will keep the  mice away. So I went to the herb store where I get Shy's raspberry leaves and got some fresh peppermint oil. I doused practically the whole bag a cottonballs and placed them strategically around my locker (in the paces where the most poop was found). The I dumped the remaining peppermint oil on the wood shelves and floor. I thought my work was done. And the tack room smelled quite strongly of peppermint.
Puh-puh-pul-leeease don't kill me!
A couple weeks went by and I saw no evidence of critters. Yay, I thought! A natural way to keep the mice away. But this week I have noticed a poop increase. Boo. The peppermint smell is still pretty strong, so I think I have to resort to more forceful methods. I don't want to use poison. It is much too dangerous with the cats and horses. So I think I will go to live traps. We have some at the house, but I keep forgetting to bring them out. Basically, the mouse is lured in a box and a trap door shuts behind it. It doesn't kill the mouse. But I'm not sure what I am going to do with them after they are caught. . .if I set them free, they will just come back. Any suggestions? What do you do for problem critters at your barn?
Super goatee Shy!

9 comments:

  1. The live traps are great, but you'll have to re-locate them far, far away and that doesn't stop new mice from moving in.

    When it comes to mice, I'm all about killing them. Especially since the barn cats aren't doing it. How do you feel about a pet snake?

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  2. Oh, I feel your pain. We are all animal lovers here, but I have a terrible fear of mice and rats. Brian, my husband, catches mice in "mice cubes" -kind traps that have the door you describe. He used to release them at the back of our yard and of course, the mice would just come back inside. Now, he takes them to the Appalachian trail each day when he runs and releases them there. He and I still worry that we are being unkind because what about their families - what if it was a nursing mom, etc. Our Noodlebug usually keeps the population down "naturally" which is still horrible. It is a never ending question. Good luck - sorry no help here!

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  3. We're lucky Margeaux & Maizee do their job. Last winter we were over run. Mom keeps everthing up at the house in winter time.

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  4. Too bad Shy doesn't have Doc's trait of stomping mice! Between Doc and our barn cat, we rarely saw evidence of little critters.
    I used a live trap for ground squirrels, and would take them 5 miles away. In some ways I thinking a swift death is not such a terrible option.

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  5. I'm glad you tried natural methods first...even if it didn't work. So many people overlook those kinds of methods, it seems. :/ Hopefully your live traps will work.

    And for the record...those mouse pictures are freakin' adorable!!

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  6. Oh no mice are grim, our Catanian friend is a very efficient hunter so we are lucky. We have tried putting her hair in parts that she can't reach, the smell of her tends to ward off the mice. Your tack locker will be a safe place for the mice I guess!

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  7. I hate to say it, but I would be killing those buggers left and right!

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  8. My neighbor's cat works on the mice population and I do use traps when they are bad.

    I store all my really good tack inside my horse trailer which seems mouse proof.

    Mice do spread disease where they walk so keep that in mind.

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  9. Jack Russel...invest in one for the tack room!

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