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Old 10-26-2006, 07:24 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by PA Baker
A couple years ago, when DH and I lived in the woods, I went down to the basement and discovered a four and a half foot long black snake in the basement! . Of course DH was out of town. I ran upstairs, stood on a chair (don't ask why--some goofy natural reaction! ) and called a neighbor to get it out for me. I slept better knowing it was out of the house, but soon enough, the mice were back. Guess we'd been feeding that snake well!
We had a black snake living under the coal house for years. We became so accustomed to each other, that the snake didn't even move if we walked by while he(?) was sunning on the cistern cover. The last I saw, he had to be nearly 8 feet long, but it has been 5 years or so, and I assume he's dead. The cats have had much more productive hunting since he's gone. We're not so tolerant with the copperheads . . .

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Old 10-26-2006, 09:25 PM   #32
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We have had mice, rats, squirrels, and racoons in various houses over the years.

They each require a different approach, so you really need to know who you are dealing with.

As Beth (I think it was Beth) said you can go up in the attic and look for scat. Mice poop is very small, rat scat is somewhat larger. You may not find find racoon or squirrel poop because they often leave during the day.

If you can figure out what type of critter it is, go to the local farmers' coop, or a hardware store (even Lowe's or Home Depot) and ask. They can often tell you what to use, and have found the web a great source of info on this.

If you cannot figure out what kind of beast you have, would call an exterminator. At least they can usually tell you what you are dealing with and probably cure the problem. But they sure are pricey. But you can learn something from them so if it becomes a recurring problem you will know how to proceed on your own.

If it is squirrels or racoons they need a port of entry that can usually be found and plugged (our racoons came in through a vent in the attic that they pried open and then proceeded to have kits, yeesh). Or you are just going to find some new 'friends' taking up residence.

Rats and particularly mice can squeeze into almost any opening, and in older houses there are usually many. But they are usually fairly easy to kill.

And so you may have to become vigilant and periodically leave out lethal presents for them.

As you can tell by the responses you are certainly not alone. It can be a very frustrating problem, best of luck.

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Old 10-27-2006, 01:27 AM   #33
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Our hunting cat keeps the rats and mice down around our house. He will actually find the nests, outdoors or in, and kill the babies. (Not nice to think about, I know.)

We've always had good luck with tiger-striped males--the generic alley cat. They get neutered if they come to live with us, but they retain their hunting instincts. Fluffy Persian types or other special breeds don't seem to be as successful.

Once we had a tiger tomcat who could actually catch flies with his paws! Ate them, too, sometimes.

And when we were kids, my parents had a little terrier dog, bred as a rat catcher, who did great service if there was an "invasion."

If you have a crawl space under the house, or air vents in your attic, make sure they are covered with heavy screening to keep the varmits out. And if you are truly desperate, the exterminators can help.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:20 AM   #34
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TexanFrench, my Siamese are born killers. Their mother also was a hunter, but her fvourite prey was rabbits.

Apart from the few the cats drop live in the house, we get loads of things. In spring when the birds are nesting we put collars with bells on them, and our rooster also takes a turn patroling our big hedge full of nests, but we get literally dozens of rodents a day.

Persians may well be too laid back to hunt, but the Orientals are gret hunters.
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Old 10-27-2006, 06:08 AM   #35
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In the attic you might have squirrels. They are tough to get out.
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Old 10-28-2006, 01:13 PM   #36
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The electronic things you plug into an outlets seem to work good but only for so long... we had some mice and we got some of those and it worked for a while but now we have them back! We got more of them and I Havent seen any in a few days... also they make traps that take batteris and electrocute them... we caught alot with those.... they are around 20 dollars a piece.. but worth it!
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Old 10-28-2006, 05:44 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Constance
I hope I'm not breaking any rules by saying this, but...
My daughter worked for Terminex for 10 years. The company flagrantly discrimates against women. She was not allowed to train for or apply for certain higher paying positions because they were "men's jobs". They prefer to hire new help rather than letting their female employees advance, and she was finally harrassed into quitting. And I do mean harrassed...she came home night after night in tears. She's a very intelligent and responsible young woman, and she deserved better treatment from her employers.
There was plenty of ammunition for a law suit, but she got another job, actually a much better job, very quickly, and didn't stir trouble.
I tell you this because you may want to take it into consideration when you choose an exterminator. Personally, I wouldn't give such an unethical outfit any of my bussiness.
Interesting! I'm so sorry for your daughters experience though. Aren't Terminex businesses independently owned and operated? People just open a franchise and run it themselves? I may be wrong but thats what I thought.
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Old 11-25-2006, 09:54 AM   #38
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I've sent my husband all these answers............he can pull up this and hopefully, it'll help

YIKES! we have critters living in our house!

thanks to all who participated in my dilemma.
we have tried the plug ins, they're still there and we still have the problem.
doesn't seem to bother them at all.
we got the sticky things, put them on the floor in the pantry by the wall.
there was rat/mouse droppings all around but none dead.
we've got the blue poison things that hubby threw up in the rafters and now,I'm scared if something dies, the smell will kill us and we won't be able to locate the dead buggers.
we have done the peanut butter to no avail. I will make sure my DH tries the nut thing or the really hard dried bread with the olive oil.
I want someone to tell me what the pink/red pellets are called so I can look them up.
there are people online that charge for their 'verbal' help, in other words they tell you what to do. they're gonna tell us to clear out the wood pile on the side of the house and make sure that our garage is cleaned out of anything including clutter which isn't happening anytime soon.
their droppings are dangerous to have in the house and I am sick of finding droppings on my cutting board every morning. for some reason the droppings now appear to be green, sort of this color.
I have also heard that cats are good, but NOT if you feed them cat food cause then they're not hungry . we did used to have two female cats and at that time, no mice/rats. how can I tell the difference in their droppings to see if I have mice or rats?

__<< that's about how big the droppings are, a tiny bit fatter though.

I'm losing my mind here over this...................................
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:45 AM   #39
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We caught the one mouse that had been thumbing it's nose at me (literally!) with a regular trap baited with boloney. The peanut butter or cheese was not doing the trick. I hope that your problem gets solved soon, LEFSEover.
Polly aka Shunka....the Def Leppard crazy in AZ!!
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:57 PM   #40
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Lefse, look for Bromone or Warfarin. And you don't need to worry that they will stink after they die, it dries them up and they just turn into dust. No smell at all.

Having said that, be CAREFUL cleaning up the droppings. Spray a bleach solution on them first, then wipe up and wash your hands very thoroughly afterwards. The droppings you describe sound like deer mouse droppings and they could be Hantavirus carriers. If you spot a mousie, check its ears, big ears are the ones to be concerned about, nonexistant or teeny ears are not as big a worry.

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