Our downstairs neighbors used to have a couple of cats and since they got rid of the cats we have been having a problem with mice. We live in a 4 story building and the 4 apartments are having problems. We told the landlord and they came to cover the wholes (I guess they didn't cover
all the wholes, it is hard because of the electric radiators) and put some poison tablets around (in the places where our 16 month old daughter wouldn't reach). We have also used glue traps but they don't fall on them. I keep seeing droppings almost every morning in the countertop and floors. I clean throughly every night. The other neighbors are all very clean, and we don't know what to do. The landlord wanted to fumigate but as and our downstairs neighbours didnt' let them do it because we both have kids. They said they have fumigated on the other 2 apartments but they still have mice too. I think the landlord is not very responsive and lazy but I don't know what else we can do!
Any suggestions out there? I think the mice avoid the traps and the poison tablets...
I'll post any responses I get to the list...
Thanks in advance, this is such a great list!
PSP member reviewed exterminators
On Glue Traps:
"Put the glue traps where you see the droppings and get new traps often, they don't work when they get dusty."
"My upstairs neighbor has a mouse problem. She has been using glue traps and luring the mice to them w. peanuts. She has caught a lot."
"We get mice occasionally in our brick stone when the temperature drops. Glue traps have never worked for us. Others told me that if mice get stuck to them, they actually might chew their legs off etc. A biologist friend of mine who works with mice said that they are actually crueler than the "kill traps". We have bought the covered snap mouse traps in the hardware store on 7th because they are safer with toddlers and have the added benefit of hiding the cadaver. Whenever I see droppings (every couple months or so) I put one inside the burner area of the stove over night (have you checked in there yet?... it could be nasty... ) and two more under the cabinets. I fill them with peanut butter and am careful to put a little of it past the bait "cavity" since very small mouse sometimes don't set them off otherwise. I'm sure you'll catch some immediately. Usually we rid ourselves of the small invasion after a couple of days until a few months later. It's awful, I know. I'm cleaning everything like a maniac when we have them too. So stressful.I heard that the only sure-fire thing to do is getting a cat which we will do in a couple of months when our daughter turns 18 months or so. Until then, I always keep the traps set under the counter and check them every couple of days to see whether the peanut butter hasn't been eaten yet."
Get professional help:
Professionals can assess the situation, cover holes, and offer specific tips to your situation:
"I had a problem with mice (a couple visiting every night) and I thought it was due to the fact that everyone in my co-op (5 units) had cats but me. I saw an exterminator. They really know how to cover up the holes and how to find them. They put metal over them, really effective. He also told me that cats actually don’t scare mice away, they just catch them (sometimes) and that this was a really bad mouse year. The mice had a boomer birth cycle and everyone everywhere is seeing more mice than ever. Even if your building won’t pay for the exterminator, you might want to splurge since my feeling was if they were going to be in my building I just wanted to make sure they weren’t in MY apartment! (self centered perhaps, but when it comes to mice I didn’t care). By the way, many holes are behind stoves and washing machines – the guy pulled out my stove and covered those holes, He did say if I still saw the baby I’d need to have a dishwasher expert move the dishwasher, then he’d come in to close the holes and then the dishwasher guy would have to come back – but I have not had to do that."
Check every nook and cranny of your apartment:
"I had an infestation. You must go through every nook and cranny. In your closets, under the sink where the pipes come out. Even the radiator covers must be taken off. I was 8 months pregnant and terrified that there would be mice crawling in the bassinet. I haven't seen one in a year. I stuffed every crevice with steel wool then corked over it with cement in a bottle(fould it at Home Depot)."
Figure out the mice's patterns:
"Over the summer we had a mouse problem and we killed six of them in snap traps in a very short period of time. We put the traps out in the evening after the kids were in bed, and removed them first thing in the morning, before anyone was out of bed. I used cheese or bacon for bait,
and only a little tiny bit of it, really jammed into the bait holder so it could not easily be removed. You also have to set the traps very "loosely" and it apparently helps to put out a lot of them - I used 5 or 6. We also had sticky traps, which didn't work for us. That said, I think what really solved the problem was when we observed their patterns (we saw them running around in the evening), we figured out where they were coming from, went into that closet, and plugged every imaginable hole. That solved the problem - at least for now."
Make steel wool - and peppermint oil! - your friend:
"I have been told that dryer sheets ( Bounce) placed around the apartment work. . We pulled out all the appliances, and put steel wool in all the holes after putting poison down and around any pipe that comes into the apartment .There is steel wool around the radiator pipes covering the holes made when the pipes come thru the floor. . We also have become the tupperware family Everything is in hard plastic and NO FOOD is left out at night Every box of crackers, cereal etc. is in hard plastic, not baggies. This is hard to do when you have small kids, but it seems to work My downstairs neighbor still finds mice but we don't."
"I know in the past a few of my friends have tried steel wool in the holes, they can't chew through it, and Peppermint Essential Oil works wonders as well, for whatever reason the mice HATE the smell. Good luck!"
"We didn't fumigate and managed to solve the problem a few years ago... for now :-) . Buy steel wool - not the soapy brillo pads. Cut it into smaller pieces, and using a chopstick or similar, shove it in anywhere you can fit the head of a chopstick. You'll be surprised how many small holes exist that exterminators miss. We also used d-con traps that trap the mouse inside the box semi-humanely. The bags of blue poison tablets put down by the exterminator and his spraying were useless. The best thing is to make sure you have absolutely no food products accessible. Put everything, sugar, flour, crackers, bread, drink mix, etc in the refrigerator or in hard plastic or glass containers. Ziploc bags don't count. It's clear the mice are still finding a food source...."
"You or your landlord should go around the perimeter of apartment, looking especially around radiators and pipes, in closets etc and find any holes and stuff them with steel wool to prevent entry; they cant chew through steel wool. when I had an exterminator in my tenants apartment, that’s the first thing we did and, with the traps, it took care of the problem . whenever I have had mice incursions, its in the fall, just when it starts getting cold. You may not have an established colony if its the first you saw."
Try D Con Pellets:
Mice! We had them when we did construction 10 years ago in our house, and there was no one to help but us, as we owned the house! We tried many things, but what finally worked was the pellets from the hardware store, I think they were called D-Con. I think, just like with cockroaches, the mice can get immune to a particular brand of pellets. So what I would recommend, is going to a hardware store and finding someone who knows about the mice pellets and ask them for what they think works. I know the kind we got wasn't poison perse - it thinned their blood and they eventually die, but not right away and behind the walls. We never smelled anything.
Try Silicone Caulking:
"Try plugging the holes with a sililcone caulking and use peppermint oil to keep them away. It really works. Otherwise get a cat. Good luck."
Borrow a Cat:
"Are there no cats in the building now? Honestly, a cat is the only thing that worked for us and everyone else we know. Too bad I'm not a cat person... but I like our cat better than I liked having mice!"
Try Rat Zapper:
"Try rat zapper. We had the same problem and it totally solved it. Plus it is much cleaner than other traps. Mice get electricuted, no mess, just dump them in garbage.
On snap traps:
"I recommend the snap traps. While you covered the holes there are mice still in your apartment. Put the traps near where you saw the dropping. Mice like Peanut butter."
"I had good results with these black plastic covered snap traps that decon makes -- they have them at the key foods on 7th ave. i put peanut butter in them. i tried a couple of different spots until I found one that catches them every time -- right where they'd jump up from behind the stove onto the countertops. we also have a little person so I put the traps out at night (that's when they're active anyway) and take them away in the morning.
Seal up everything:
"Also seal up EVERYTHING -- if they find food they can get into, they keep coming back. we also would put fruit we left sitting out to ripen into the microwave at night -- or else they ate pears, etc.
On plugin / sonar devices:
"I had a big mouse problem which was completely cleared up by a LENTEK PestContro, a plug in device which emanates a sound inaudible to human ears but mice and other rodents can't stand - so don't get it if you have hamsters or guinea pigs! I got this one from the GAIA catalogue but I know Sharper Image has a version also. Good luck."
"We have been using one of those sonar mice things - basically it emits a high pitched noise that mice cant stand to be around. We got it at Sharper Image, but I think you can get them other places as well. Anyway - we've used it for more than two years since we had a
mouse sighting and none since..."
Figure the source by process of elimination:
"We just went through a very frustrating 2 months of mice and ultimately must have found the hole they were coming from since we havent seen one for a month now. our culprit was the dishwasher and the hose in the back of it , which ironically i only looked at very closely since a friend of mine told me that is what cured her mouse problem.... you must cover up EVERY hole! or else they will always have a way in. i wish you luck!!
Get to know your mouse's patterns through a webcam:
"We just went through our second bout of trying not to cohabitate with rodents--and this time it was so much easier, so I thought I'd post the idea for anyone else trying to deal with this problem.
We had gotten a webcam (dropcam, but I don't think it matters) so we could check to be sure our pipes didn't burst when we were away in the winter. Once I figured out that there was a mouse, I upgraded to be able to see the footage archived (rather than just live feed). I also had a motion alert that I set on my phone.
By doing this it allowed me to know the mouse's pattern (he was only "out" at around 1am--almost to the minute each night) and so I wasn't afraid of bumping into him in the kitchen--this helped me SO much. It also allowed me to move the camera around until I found where he was coming in (the spray foam we filled holes with during the last bout is apparently chewable). And it allowed me to set a have-a-heart trap and catch and drive him far far away. Four weeks later and still no mouse. But if they come, I'm ready."
" I also got the following advice:
1 -Get a ratzapper at your local hardware store.
2- Place peppermint oil around the hosue
3- Place Irish Spring around the house
4- Find ALL the holes in your apt - behind every appliance, plumbing, radiators and plug the holes with steel wall and plaster those holes. This is a little more difficult in newer buildings and/or apts with baseboard heating.
(This is essentially what the exterminator did for me, but he did use some chemicals/poison that he placed inside the wall, so I dont have to worry about my daughter finding it)
5- A few recs for those high pitch noise makers - although the exterminator did not think they really work."
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