Mice in machinery

Zeedman

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My suburban lot & those adjacent to mine still have a lot of undeveloped land. Because of that, there is a fairly high wild animal population, even an occasional fox or coyote. I don't really mind the deer in the back yard (now that I have fenced them out of the vegetables), and other animals are only occasionally annoying. (I'll ignore the raccoon in my shed for the present.)

Mice, however, are another issue. Besides the damage they do in the garden, they get into everywhere & everything. They get into my basement & attic often enough that I need to lay bait every year (fortunately they have only once got into the house). Needless to say, they also get into the outbuildings; and that is the biggest problem. Between the size of my lot & the scale of my gardening, I have a lot of machinery... and mice love to nest in the engines. I've tried using moth balls to repel mice, with mixed success. Someone else suggested placing drier sheets in the engine crevices, which I am trying this year. Does anyone have other suggestions for solving this issue, or things which have worked for them in the past?
 

flowerbug

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My suburban lot & those adjacent to mine still have a lot of undeveloped land. Because of that, there is a fairly high wild animal population, even an occasional fox or coyote. I don't really mind the deer in the back yard (now that I have fenced them out of the vegetables), and other animals are only occasionally annoying. (I'll ignore the raccoon in my shed for the present.)

Mice, however, are another issue. Besides the damage they do in the garden, they get into everywhere & everything. They get into my basement & attic often enough that I need to lay bait every year (fortunately they have only once got into the house). Needless to say, they also get into the outbuildings; and that is the biggest problem. Between the size of my lot & the scale of my gardening, I have a lot of machinery... and mice love to nest in the engines. I've tried using moth balls to repel mice, with mixed success. Someone else suggested placing drier sheets in the engine crevices, which I am trying this year. Does anyone have other suggestions for solving this issue, or things which have worked for them in the past?

i went through this with my car that was parked outside and not moved often enough to keep them out. i could never find where they were getting in and since i didn't have a lift to get under the car to figure it out myself i tried to get a mechanic to help me but he could not find any way they could be getting in either. eventually i got rid of the car and it smelled so bad from dead mice that crawled into places inside the doors or wherever and then rotted. also all the poo and pee. it was just horrible. i pulled all the carpeting out and the back seats out and scrubbed every surface down with bleach water twice to help knock back the smell and that did help but it did not eliminate it. when i sold it i told the guy who was buying it about that and he said it was ok he could take it all apart if he wanted to and was fine with that. he wanted it mainly for the engine which was in excellent condition.

dryer sheets, no work, any other smell, no work, mouse traps, work only if you can keep the mice from getting in again once you've trapped them out. finding all holes and plugging them so mice cannot get in to begin with, worked the best. it is what has worked here for the house for 20-something years. mice have gotten in the walls as the house was not built securely, but over the years i've gone through various things to get them out of the walls and to prevent them from getting into the house even if they make it into the walls and or into the crawl space.

major thing first. remove all food from any place they can get at it. put it in steel or glass containers if you can't remove it, with securely fitting covers they can't get through. eliminate water sources or other things that will attract them.

caulk, and/or foam seal every crack you can because if they can sense the warmer air or smell something through a crack then they will perhaps start trying to find ways in or chew their way in. once sealed they won't be as interested and the surface just becomes yet another inert barrier.

traps, traps and more traps. get a few dozen and bait them with peanut butter. make sure to secure the traps against animals fiddling with them. raccoons will learn to leave them alone after getting their patties slapped a few times, but i still lose a few here or there each season to the new raccoons that don't know any better. sometimes i find them years later in strange places. this was how i got the several hundred mice out of the exterior walls of the house when i first moved in here. i could not sleep they made so much noise scurrying around and chewing. so i bought a few dozen traps and went to work and spent the next few months getting as many as i could. it was over 200 and of course they would keep making more so until we got the walls properly sealed up they were going to keep coming back.

eventually we did improve the walls, but some gaps remained until the past few years as i finally got the garden shed fixed and tiled so that removed their access to the walls of the house from there and also i found the spot where the mice were getting into this area of the house which happened just last winter/spring. i have not had any more problems since then. i have traps just in case.

now that we've gotten some snow i can check for tracks too. that is how i know to put more traps out to keep them from using the area around the house as a breeding ground. too many rocks too close to the house though to ever expect they will be gone for good. just not going to happen.

the get into the AC unit and i always have to keep an eye on that now and also a few other spots. just have to make sure they are not doing damage before i can get them trapped and otherwise discouraged from being around those areas.

the semi-feral kitties, hawks and owls are also welcome to visit any time. once in a while i do hear owls hooting and i love it. :)
 

Dirtmechanic

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I use glue traps in addition to baits. Best. Things. Ever. They run so are pretty easy to ensnare. I trim the traps to fit against walls and such.
 

Zeedman

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So far, mice in the walls have not been a problem. Occasionally I hear one chewing in the wall, but when that happens, I lean a small fan against the wall backwards & let it run. The vibration scares them away. I think bats were getting in too, before the roof was redone... we could hear their scratching. Vibration seemed to drive them out too.

Bait seems to work in the basement & attic. Of course the only down side of that is a mouse occasionally dies & decays somewhere in the house, smelling horribly for a few days... I am seldom able to locate them.

It is really only the mice in the outbuildings which cause problems. I've tried putting bait there too, but the bait doesn't seem to be as effective where they already have a food supply (which is all the stored food stolen from the garden).

I hear you, @flowerbug about the car. I had an old Impala that I was working on, in the detached garage. When it finally came time to start the engine, I turned the key... and a few seconds later, had flaming plastic dripping on my legs. :ep Mice had nested behind the dashboard, and chewed up the wiring harness so badly that it shorted out. Fortunately, I had an extinguisher in the car, or things could have gone South very quickly. Also fortunately, all I got out of the incident was a few blisters.
 
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baymule

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Now that we live in a doublewide, mice come to see us in the winter. I buy Just One Bite bars, break them up and toss them under the house. It's underskirted so the dogs can't get under the house. It has helped to kill them before they get in. They are out in the portable building, need to feed them. LOL LOL

HEEEEERREEEE MOUSIE MOUSIE!
 

Carol Dee

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@Zeedman I will be trying the fan trick! We have more mice in the house, basement, attic and walls than I can remember for many years. :( We have trapped about 13 so far. time to check traps in crawls space. They have stopped getting caught in Kitchen and Living Room for now.
 

baymule

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Terminix Pest Control wanted NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS to crawl under the doublewide and plug the holes with "their special" steel wool to keep rats and mice out. It came with a warranty. Uhhhhh....... nope! For $200 he crawled under the house and plugged holes, no warranty. It lasted 2 years, greatly slowed the little devils down so that I can just feed them special treats under the house. LOL LOL
 

flowerbug

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Terminix Pest Control wanted NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS to crawl under the doublewide and plug the holes with "their special" steel wool to keep rats and mice out. It came with a warranty. Uhhhhh....... nope! For $200 he crawled under the house and plugged holes, no warranty. It lasted 2 years, greatly slowed the little devils down so that I can just feed them special treats under the house. LOL LOL

with all the mice we had getting in the walls the first thing i did when i had a chance here the year after they finished building was go down in the crawlspace and fill all the gaps with steel wool and then i stapled hardware mesh over any of the larger ones that the mice might try to chew through. no mice have ever made it into the living space of the house from either the crawl space or the walls, but a few have been brought in when Mom moves boxes of fabric or other things inside from either the garden shed or the garage. however, since i've plugged up both of those areas really well we've not had any more mice in the house or the garage.

that last spot they were getting into the walls from i finally found it (i think and i hope). so far this summer and fall since i plugged that up there's been no more incursions. if i can go another few months and see how the snow situation works out for showing me tracks then i will know better, but so far it's been nice to not have chewing in the walls.

now if past history is any guide i will soon have it happen again as it seems any time i notice that we've seemed to have finally taken care of something and i mention it i end up having to eat my words. tasty words, few calories, but not something i really like to do... :)
 

Dirtmechanic

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Terminix Pest Control wanted NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS to crawl under the doublewide and plug the holes with "their special" steel wool to keep rats and mice out. It came with a warranty. Uhhhhh....... nope! For $200 he crawled under the house and plugged holes, no warranty. It lasted 2 years, greatly slowed the little devils down so that I can just feed them special treats under the house. LOL LOL
Consider copper brillo pads. They last.
 

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