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Author Topic: Mice Advice please  (Read 2363 times)

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Offline Ichnusa

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Mice Advice please
« on: July 13, 2015, 10:36:47 AM »
Hello Everyone

I have a mouse problem.  I saw one little black thing pop out of a gap in the ceiling boards in my lounge and scurry down the wall a couple of weeks ago. As soon as it heard me, it turned tail and ran back.  I saw another one about 3 months ago, scurrying across the floor.  The house was empty for the earlier part of the winter, and so I think I may have more than one.

I've tried to use a snap bait (quite a chunky thing called a Supercat), with some lovely 72% chocolate in it, as I was told mice love chocolate - but that hasn't worked.  I'm not sure if I just used the wrong chocolate.  Maybe it was a little too high in cocoa solids and I should have gone for a milk chocolate.  I thought mice liked cheese or peanut butter?

I once tried poison when I had mice several years ago - but the mouse died in the roof space above my desk and the smell was absolutely horrid for 3 weeks or more.

The bad news is that I noticed droppings on the cushions of my lovely sofa, and sure enough when I investigated further - there are more droppings under the cushion and a little area which seems to have been nibbled away at, so I wonder if they have been living in there.

Stupidly, I hoovered the droppings up - and then tried to Google info on cleaning a sofa up after mice.  I see that I have done entirely the wrong thing by using a hoover  :(  It seems I will mostly likely have caused a major problem because the mouse poo gets sucked up by the hoover, and the wooshing of air causes the release of deadly airborne particles into the atmosphere, which are then breathed in by anyone in the immediate area (ie - me).  This causes a flu like virus which can be fatal and could possibly result in my untimely demise within days  :-[

Could anyone offer any advice as to A) whether or not Abruzzese mice carry these potential plague like viruses and if there is any antidote B) How I can get rid of the mice quickly and effectively and C) Whether I need to destroy my beautiful sofa, or whether it can just be cleaned and if so, what with?

It would be great to get some answers quite quickly please....especially to (A) because otherwise I won't really need to do anything about (B) and (C)  :(

Thank you


thediggers

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2015, 10:53:45 AM »
They most definitely do like peanut butter or in fact any nuts, walnut is a favourite! Don't have any answers on the rest ("A" and "C"), never heard of people dying from mice droppings! You get loads in the food chain do you not.... As for the sofa, far too hot for such things here, ah that's another post...

Offline maritodi

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2015, 11:45:58 AM »
I can vouch for peanut butter in snap traps, the sticky substances that you put down in a foil tray are very effective but less humane, the mice stick to them and then die of starvation, also the sticky trap is not good in a living space as I once stepped back onto one and then had to walk around the house with my foot playing cymbals until I could prize it off.

Offline levissima

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 12:04:17 PM »
Last year I had a mouse problem, they were nibbling away on the cherry tomatoes I had stored in the downstairs kitchen. I decided that as this was what they were after, I'd bait the trap ( humane trap) with them and it was very successful I caught lots. No matter how far I took them it was never far enough and they kept coming back so in the end down went the poison and the problem was solved.

It horrid and if they choose to die close to you the stink is awful but it's the only method I've found which really gets rid of them.

Offline tobylap

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 05:00:45 PM »
Peanut butter traps work, but nothing like a cat 8)

Offline maritodi

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 05:17:34 PM »
Two cats?  ;D

Offline Vignaverde

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 05:45:04 PM »
Three cats ?  8)
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Offline Grimsby Ranger

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 06:44:48 PM »

Offline Allan Mason

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 07:15:11 PM »
Three cats ?  8)

and no lizards  >:(

We had five cats at one point. There were still a lot of lizards around, although quite a few had stumpy tails and a worried look in the eye. We also had lots of birds and I can't recall one ever being killed by a cat. I think any healthy Abruzzo bird is far too wary to fall victim to an overfed housecat.

We also occasionally had problems with mice, but the cats definitely made a difference. Someone in the nearest village left a car sitting for six months and, when he tried to start it, found that it was unusable due to all the rodent damage in the engine compartment. We also left a car sitting unused, but it was for seven years. The only mouse destruction was a single nibbled wire.

The amount of damage I've seen the little blighters cause leads me to have a zero-tolerance policy towards mice. I would never use humane traps, but the sticky ones seem to me too cruel a fate even for a mouse or rat. We used the little sachets of poison you can get in various places. I can't recall a rotting mouse corpse ever causing problems. I've a vague recollection of reading that some poisons make the victim very thirsty, so they leave the house looking for a drink and never return.

I assume the disease you're concerned about is Hantavirus. It is present in Europe, but here's what seems to be a fairly reputable source that suggests you would be extremely unfortunate to acquire the disease in Italy: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/707836_3

Even so, I think it's wise to treat rodent droppings, urine and carcases with some caution. They are known to carry various nasties that can cause problems for humans.

Al

Offline Grimsby Ranger

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 07:31:39 PM »
Not sure if the country vermin carry as potent diseases as sewer rats etc. (don't know just guessing) but I'm always wary of rats as I knew someone who died of weils disease in the UK when doing up an old house in a village near us. I'm with you though Al, zero tolerance in our house with rats and mice.

Offline Ichnusa

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2015, 08:02:13 PM »
thank you for all your replies.

Does anyone have and suggestions about the sofa though please?  It was brought from the UK and was very expensive...it's a large three seater, so it would be heart-breaking to have to get rid of it...

Offline Ichnusa

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2015, 08:15:11 PM »
Not sure if the country vermin carry as potent diseases as sewer rats etc. (don't know just guessing) but I'm always wary of rats as I knew someone who died of weils disease in the UK when doing up an old house in a village near us. I'm with you though Al, zero tolerance in our house with rats and mice.

I just Googled that.  It says Weil's disease is caused by 'rats and other rodents'.  I was trying to get rid the humane way, but I think after reading this, and after Levi's post - I'll be down the ferramenta domani for the poison  :(

Offline levissima

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2015, 08:30:11 PM »
If the mice are actually nesting in your sofa, you have real problems, especially if you poison them and they die in there!

Can you see where the mice are entering? Can you chase them out and then seal the entry? Can you take the sofa apart and check? You might have to get it reupholstered.

Offline Allan Mason

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2015, 08:36:20 PM »
...Does anyone have and suggestions about the sofa though please?  It was brought from the UK and was very expensive...it's a large three seater, so it would be heart-breaking to have to get rid of it...

Our sofa is nothing special - an Ikea model more than a decade old - but if we knew it had been exposed to rodent droppings, the slipcovers would be in a hot wash as soon as possible. If we thought an animal of any sort had urinated on it, we'd launder the slipcovers and remove the down covers on the foam cushions so they could be dry cleaned.

What you do with your sofa is obviously something only you can decide. From what I read, it seems that Hantavirus is spread by inhaling dust created by an infected rodent's feces or urine. If your sofa has cloth upholstery, then I suppose that makes it a bigger theoretical threat than a leather sofa which you can fairly easily wipe down and maybe even semi-sterilise.

The symptoms of Hantavirus appear from one to five weeks after exposure. I suppose that needs to be factored into your consideration.

I suppose you could also consider that, if the rodents are indeed infected, you've probably already inadvertently done exactly what you should do in order to maximise your exposure to the virus. So maybe - as long as you get rid of the infestation and ensure there's no further contamination - sitting on the cleaned sofa really isn't going to increase your risks.

But I do think you should try not to get too anxious about all this: the virus is extremely uncommon in Europe and, it seems, virtually unknown in Italy. I'm sure the risk of you dying due to an idiot driver while on your way to the ferramenta is much, much greater than the chances of you falling ill with Hantavirus.

Al

thediggers

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Re: Mice Advice please
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2015, 09:37:11 PM »
thank you for all your replies.

Does anyone have and suggestions about the sofa though please?  It was brought from the UK and was very expensive...it's a large three seater, so it would be heart-breaking to have to get rid of it...

I doubt anyone on here can give you any more sound advice than that from a search on the internet like "cleaning up after rodents"  :(