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Old 01-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
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Varmints!

I'm going nutso. about a month ago, I saw my doggie go after something and realized it was a shrew. Now, we live in an area where mice and such are a problem in the late fall/early winter, after the corn/soy is harvested and cold weather sets in. I told hubby, who prides himself on getting those critters, that I'd seen a shrew. He insists mice. Nope, shrew. Then we saw nothing else for awhile. Unlike our previous dogs, Rosebud eats when the food is put down for her, period, so that problem went away. Then I was putting away groceries in my pantry closet and saw droppings. Looked further and realized that the corn meal, popcorn, one pasta container, etc, were broached. Threw away all the stuff that had been opened by the critter(s), scrubbed the pantry with a bleach solution, and husband set a trap. The damned creature is managing to eat food from the trap, and open more food (most recently a completely sealed package of crackers).

Help. HELP! I don't want to put out poison for fear of poisoning my dog.

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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I've had those problems many times. I think you have to clear your pantry out for a while to make the food in the trap the only thing available to your uninvited guests. They will eventually get around to trying it if they have no other source.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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Oh, deary me. Don't know where else I'd put the food!
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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Where are they coming in at?
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Oh, deary me. Don't know where else I'd put the food!
Cans and jars are fine. Can you not just put wrapped stuff in boxes somewhere else in the house\apartment for a few days? I have seen them chew through plastic containers. As long as they have a food source they will keep coming back. If all that is left is the food in the trap, I think they will eventually go for it. And I don't think they come back everyday. They take food back and store it, so they could go a long time before returning to your pantry.

One time I found a few cups of dog kibble in the bottom of my gas range by the burners after returning from a two week vacation. It started smoking after I turned on the oven a couple of days later. The bag was in another room at the time, so they carried it a long way. It took me all day to clean and disinfect the old range..
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Oh, deary me. Don't know where else I'd put the food!
I would suggest systematically going room by room, inch by inch and blocking, filling, covering up small access areas. These include any cuts in the walls made for pipes or wiring, behind dishwasher, washer/dryer, refridge, stove, and cutouts of any kind made to the walls. Check that all exterior foundation air vents are screened.

Pests often go down chimneys. If you have a chimney, you can buy a pest grate, it installs in seconds with thumbscrews.

Here's a exterminators trick for setting traps. Place bait on the traps but don't arm them. Wait a few days or a week and let the pests take the bait so as to feel accustomed to the traps, then bait the traps.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #7
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My house was built in 1854. I have seven chimneys; two actually have fireplaces, the rest are blocked off, but I'm pretty sure the mice/shrews are living in one of them. There is no access to them (for me, obviously mice/shrews find a way in). After the first few years, I stuffed everything I could find with steel wool. It worked for awhile.

My biggest problem is that there is no way for me to get behind my refrigerator to clean or set traps. I know that sounds stupid, but you have to live in an old house to get it. In previous years they were mice, and mice aren't as smart as shrews. I'd like to find something that repels them. Everything I've seen requires an outlet. Remember, 1854 house. I still think of poison, but my husband would kill ME if I killed the dog (no, he wouldn't have to, I'd commit suicide). Seriously, my mother says that varmints don't die in your house, they seek water and leave. But when I'd only had Rosebud for a few months, she brought me three shrews, just as a cat would. "Hey, new Mommy, see, keep me, I love you." So I don't want to use poison.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
My house was built in 1854. I have seven chimneys; two actually have fireplaces, the rest are blocked off, but I'm pretty sure the mice/shrews are living in one of them. There is no access to them (for me, obviously mice/shrews find a way in). After the first few years, I stuffed everything I could find with steel wool. It worked for awhile.

My biggest problem is that there is no way for me to get behind my refrigerator to clean or set traps. I know that sounds stupid, but you have to live in an old house to get it. In previous years they were mice, and mice aren't as smart as shrews. I'd like to find something that repels them. Everything I've seen requires an outlet. Remember, 1854 house. I still think of poison, but my husband would kill ME if I killed the dog (no, he wouldn't have to, I'd commit suicide). Seriously, my mother says that varmints don't die in your house, they seek water and leave. But when I'd only had Rosebud for a few months, she brought me three shrews, just as a cat would. "Hey, new Mommy, see, keep me, I love you." So I don't want to use poison.
Can you purchase glass canning type jars and put your box stuff in them. I have several of them for aesthetic reasons. But I do keep my flour, pasta, and other dry goods in them. I just like the way the jars look on the shelves. Even though it means more work for me. But the lids lock and it is almost impossible for critters to get into them, if I had any floating around. Good Luck!
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Oh, Claire, I understand EXACTLY what you're going through. The house Buck and I lived in was built in 1880 and the challenges that come with a house of that age are far different than any one would encounter with a home of modern construction.

We HAD a problem with mice. Conquered that. Then a slight problem with snakes. Conquered that. And, finally, raccoons in the attic. Now THAT was a real problem, but we managed to be victorious.

Don't know what's happening in the house anymore because someone else owns it and is remodeling it. With any luck (and good sense) they'll seal all possible entry areas for critters.
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #10
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Use a tiny bit of peanut butter on the traps. They have to lick it off, which in turn triggers the trap and off they go to meet their maker.

The only other thing I can suggest is to seal all holes they are entering through.
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