Man vs. Mouse

The place to discuss worms, mites, lice, rodents, wild birds, foxes, badgers, dogs etc.
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rick
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by rick » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:03 am

Update, while I'm here and in the flow. Roof liner that was up to spec has finally arrived and, if its not too cold for the adhesive, is going on as soon as possible. Wool insulation below - from black sheep - not cheap but so much more lovely to work with than the glass stuff.
I think the mice have taken a hit in this cold weather and the challenge of getting into the run. Have seen a few out in the daytime gleaning stray bits of scratch over the past few weeks so belts are a bit tight!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by Hen-Gen » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:19 pm

Worst year for mice here too. It’s field mice that come in to escape the winter weather. So I’ve initiated blitzkrieg with traps and sonic deterrents. Also all animal feed is kept in an old freezer which keeps them away from that.
But starlings? In the hen sheds, stealing food and pooing everywhere. I have a kiddies plastic tennis racket in each shed hoping that a few deaths would spread through the grapevine to deter the multitude. Hasn’t worked!
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rick
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by rick » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:23 pm

Starlings are funny. I dont know why they live in quantity in central Brum but I never see any around here. They seem to like places where herring gulls also frequent (but not black headed gulls like we have on the river in droves??) I quite like them in the city - cheeky with speckles! But, so, what do you do Hen-Gen? Im imagining you standing by the door and returning the serve when one whizzes through!
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rick
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by rick » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Well...
I had a small area (space between the nest boxes) that was definitely sealed with half inch weld mesh (a little less, 10mm I think) and they got in and left a load of dropping as evidence. They do seem to have been getting smaller in response to the challenge but squeezing through that is a surprise!
However, I have had a bit of a breakthrough.
I bought a very small electric fence unit because a mouse had been sitting on the eggs in the nest box if left in overnight (this means war!!!) So I used some copper tape to go round the nest box sides (its a plastic tray) and because I didnt want to run the risk of a hen ever getting zapped, covered the copper in insulation tape.
Ive also got the fence generator on a timer so its only on in the dark.
No more mice in the nestbox. They seem to dislike very much the EMF given of by the charged pair of wires even without getting close enough, or being able to, to touch them and get a shock.
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Marigold
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by Marigold » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:25 am

What a brilliant idea! Only you could have thought of that one, Rick.
I can't help thinking it would also help with the problem of hens sleeping in the nest box overnight....
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by Margaid » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:07 am

I used the battery operated electronic mousetraps for a while when I was living in the caravan and the cats often brought live mice in. The mouse ran into what looked like a cartoon mouse-hole and was then zapped when it had paws on both pads simultaneously. I think they were more humane than the traditional "break-back" traps which didn't always kill them outright.

The light on top changed from green to red when the mouse was killed. If the battery was losing power or, as happened once, the critter was too small to bridge the gap between the plates so the light stayed green, I used to pick the trap up carefully keeping the occupant against the end wall and take it outside to release it. i did the same thing with the dead ones and the semi-feral cats who had brought it in would dispose of the corpse for me. :D
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chrismahon
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by chrismahon » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:19 pm

We put our dead mice in the septic tank Margaid- they do a great job of keeping it working properly. At the peak we had 13 traps going here catching house mice, but having caught around 300, in the last 3 weeks the remaining 6 traps have caught nothing, so hopefully we have wiped them out. At some stage I'll need to check the loft for damage to the insulation because they did take it all off the oil boiler, presumably for nesting material. You are quite right about the snap traps- they don't always kill them outright, but they are cheap!

I'm amazed your mice can get through 10mm holes Rick, but I was told years ago if you can fit a Biro through a door gap a mouse can get through it. Great idea with the EMF. We've had no mice at all in the chicken enclosure and perhaps the electric fence is keeping them away? Fortunately we have no rats here now, but we bought two with us hidden in garden equipment we had stored in a barn. Fortunately our terrier sniffed them out, so I set traps and caught them.
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rick
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by rick » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:24 pm

chrismahon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:19 pm
I'm amazed your mice can get through 10mm holes Rick
Yes, I don't quite believe it either! I did catch 3 of them and one was in a bad way with lots of scratches on the back which could well be the cat but maybe from the wire
Maybe they got into the box some other way but I couldn't see any gnawed holes, just the bottom vents covered in the mesh.
The little fence generator produces 1000v pulses and draws very little current. I can happily hold the output ends. I'm going to run a pair of insulated wires right round the run at the bottom edge. I don't know why nice would be sensitive to this - it's not like they migrate and need a compass! The chickens don't seem to notice it running at all (unless they got a direct shock through contact, of course.)
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by Margaid » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:57 pm

Maybe it works in a similar way to the plug in "pest scarers" which are supposed to rid your house of woodlice, spiders etc.
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rick
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Re: Man vs. Mouse

Post by rick » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:12 pm

I have a feeling that they might be sensitive to tiny electric fields through their whiskers. Useful for finding small prey in the dark like a catfish looking for hidden prey under the silt. If so, then the electric field from a fence would be very 'loud' and disturbing.
Anyway, seems to do the trick!
Its on of these - really dinky.
https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/gb/de/mi ... 9.html?r=1
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