Sunday, 13 November 2016

Mouse Trap Stations

I'm trying to tackle my mouse problem in the garden before they get out of hand. A few years ago they ringed a lot of my young fruit trees which would have killed them if I hadn't inarched them with new root stocks. 
I've decided to be a bit more proactive in my approach and get them before they do any damage (I've got a lot of young fruit trees in my nurseries) and I don;t want to use poison if I can help it. This is purely for selfish reasons, I don't want rat poison being carted off by the mice and then going into my soil or the children finding it. 
Beets damaged by mice

I watched a lecture by Eliot Coleman the other day on YouTube and he was giving his answer to keeping mice under control. Little trapping stations set out in the field. He doesn't bait them and just relies on a mouse's natural love of going into dark spaces and tunnels.
So I bought some fancy new mouse traps (I get fed up with cheap wooden ones that are tricky to set and make a real mess when they kill the mouse) and knocked out a few little "mouse houses" out of some old wood in the workshop.
I think the downside of these is they look too cute for their own good. 
"Ahhhh, look, a lovely little house for a mouse..."

Inside they each have two traps ready to go and a lid that is easy to lift off and check each morning.


I set four trap stations yesterday afternoon and caught three mice when I checked them this morning, so not a bad start. With anything like this I think consistency is the key, I need to make sure I keep checking and resetting these traps so they constantly keeps numbers down.

I'm going to make a few bucket traps next as well, as these have been recommended to be before, and see how they do. 

How do you deal with mice in the garden? 

Do they cause you much trouble?

12 comments:

  1. Domino our cat keeps the field mice in control. Did you see the River Cottage episode when the white witch told HFW to write a letter to the mice and asked them to leave River Cottage?

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    1. I remember it well! I'd need to write fair few letters though as I have so many mice!

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  2. Our two cats deal with any mice....

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    1. It's what they do in my beds I can't stand so I'd rather keep cats away!

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  3. Hubby took to "running a trap line" in my garden this year. We caught DOZENS of mice. He did bait them. And they certainly weren't adorable like your mouse house. Now I'm going to have to show him your way. I'm sure he'll be ......thrilled. One more project. Ha!
    :D

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    1. I should have kept on top of it more in the summer really, I only put a trap down if I had a problem but I need top leave more just set up.

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  4. Our cat catches loads! As much as I dislike her to do it, I can't stop her. I know they're vermin and pests but there you go! I'm soft!!

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    1. I'm not soft when it comes to mice and rats, but then I'm no cat lover so have to deal with them differently!

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  5. Personally, we find the bucket, cooldrink can (with a dab of peanut butter) the most effective (http://ecofootprintsa.blogspot.co.za/2014/02/another-eco-friendly-solution.html). The dead mice get chucked into the field next door where all manner of creatures - both great and small - polish of the corpse. At the worst of the field mouse infestation in 2015 we were catching a field mouse every hour - they couldn't resist the peanut butter... It seems we scared them off, as their presence has been noticably less since the summer of 2015.

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    1. Yeah I remember seeing your link last time I had mouse problems, I'm going to make a couple of these and keep them round my young fruit trees.
      A mouse an hour sounds like plague proportions! not good! At least it sounds like you made some difference to their numbers.

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  6. Two ideas; the second one seems to work really well but you have a live mouse to deal with at the end:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4PaGvAhV9I
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NT6mC2C6CgE

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  7. I have no trouble with outdoor mice, just the ones that come indoors. About a month ago we had an invasion of mice who, I presume, were looking for cosy winter quarters. We dealt with the problem, and are now mouse free. I use both ordinary spring traps and poison; I take no chances.

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