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Need to trap mice in basement - concern for cat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I've been blessed with a mice problem in my basement. We've been catching a bunch of small field mice in a basement closet. Have not seen a single one elsewhere in the house so far (upstairs/2nd level). I've called numerous exterminators and each one has told me they would use poison so the mice eat it, then seek out water and if they can't get outside or find water, they die.

After trapping them for over a week now, I may have to go the poison route. However I have read online that almost everyone says if a mouse who dies of poison were to die in the open, where Reggie can get to him, and if Reggie treats it as a snack, that he can become very sick. Obviously this is something that makes me nervous. Even though every single exterminator has told me he would be fine if he ingests them.

Has anyone dealt with this situation before? I'm thinking about completely closing off the basement, poisoning, and hoping that if the mice do die in the open, they will die down there opposed to upstairs where Reggie could find them. But does anyone have any suggestions on other ways to handle this? I'm not sure trapping for weeks until I'm blue in the face is going to be the best solution here and putting Reggie at a risk like this doesn't sound good either.

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 11
We had a mouse problem in an apartment about 10 yrs ago. Our experience was that every trap we tried didn't work. Our cats ended up "taking care of" the problem. We tried everything from an old fashioned trap with a couple baits, a glue trap, and a humane trap. I refused to use poison. I was very paranoid about it as when we moved in, the bottom of the sink cabinet was covered with rat poison. I vacuumed it out and emptied the vacuum before we moved in, of course.

My parents had similar experiences--their cats worked better than traps.

Make sure to get your cats checked for worms if you have mice in the house.

PS-When Raven caught the mouse, we took it away so he wouldn't eat it.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I wish it were that simple. We've caught 13 over the last 2 weeks and they aren't out in the open. They stay confined to a small closet area and in a wall around the closet in the basement. Reggie is 14 years old so he isn't such a hunter and don't think he's up to the task.

We would love to go the poison route but I was just hoping others on here have had experience with using it around cats in the event that they find a dead poisoned mouse.
post #4 of 11
I don't think I would use poison in the house in the event your kitty does find the dead or dying ones. :-(

I used to watch a show on Discovery channel called Verminators, and one of the traps they used a lot was called a T-rex trap. It snapped shut really quick, and sometimes didn't even need baits. Maybe you could see if there are traps "the pros" use that you could get? I know there was another one where they went in and ate the bait but couldn't get back out. But I can't remember what it was called.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by suprax View Post
Well, I wish it were that simple. We've caught 13 over the last 2 weeks and they aren't out in the open. They stay confined to a small closet area and in a wall around the closet in the basement. Reggie is 14 years old so he isn't such a hunter and don't think he's up to the task.

We would love to go the poison route but I was just hoping others on here have had experience with using it around cats in the event that they find a dead poisoned mouse.

As others have said, poison is potentially dangerous for Reggie, so it's not worth the chance, and glue traps are extremely cruel. There are humane traps available - you can trap the mice and release them outside, but you seem to have a steady supply of the little critters.

No matter what you use, nothing will solve the problem until you identify the point of entry for the mice. You're lucky, because they're exclusively in the basement closet, which really narrows down where they're coming in. Get a strong light, clear out the closet, and go over it inch by inch (don't forget the ceiling) until you find even the slightest opening - you'd be amazed how mice can squeeze into the tiniest crack. Seal up everything you find, no matter how tiny the hole or crack.

That's the only way to keep them out of your house.
post #6 of 11
I would not use poison. I get mice in my attached garage and caught
two this past winter.
Use a standard snap trap. Buy a new pack of them. set several up,
not just one.
I use very fine crushed potato chips sprinkled
on the trap. You can also smear a little peanut butter with chips on top.
Key is keep the mouse from walking away quickly and keep them coming
back for more.
The mouse will be sucking up the chips and get trapped,
some times it take a couple times since they are very light.
That is what I do. My dad tied a piece of bacon some how on his
trap and that is how he caught his in the back building.
I think you can buy those sticky ones too. I dont know that seems
kind of cruel.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I've learned more about them the past week. I am pretty sure that they are coming in via 2 holes under my front bay window. I am going to dig it out and fill it with either rocks and metal mesh or concrete. However I am holding off on that until I decide whether I am going to use poison on the mice or just keep using the traps (as they will retreat outside when the poison dehydrates them).

For the past week I've been using 4-5 traps each day/night, with peanut butter and also a mouse bait gel. It seems to be working on trapping them however who knows how many are left if I'm at 13 and Reggie hears more down there.

Again my concern with using the poison is NOT the chance of Reggie getting ahold of the actual poison itself, but possibly "consuming" part of a mouse that dies in the open where he can get them that dies FROM the poison. With around 10 exterminators repeatedly telling me that Reggie would not be harmed if he got ahold of a dead poisoned mouse, I am interested in anyone who might have been in this situation before and used poison.

I appreciate the advice so far.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by suprax View Post
Well, I've learned more about them the past week. I am pretty sure that they are coming in via 2 holes under my front bay window. I am going to dig it out and fill it with either rocks and metal mesh or concrete. However I am holding off on that until I decide whether I am going to use poison on the mice or just keep using the traps (as they will retreat outside when the poison dehydrates them).
Why wait? If you think you've identified the entry point for the mice, you'd be better off sealing those holes now. The longer you wait to do that, the longer the problem persists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suprax View Post
Again my concern with using the poison is NOT the chance of Reggie getting ahold of the actual poison itself, but possibly "consuming" part of a mouse that dies in the open where he can get them that dies FROM the poison. With around 10 exterminators repeatedly telling me that Reggie would not be harmed if he got ahold of a dead poisoned mouse, I am interested in anyone who might have been in this situation before and used poison.
I understand your question. You've asked 10 exterminators their opinion, they tell you Reggie would be ok, but you're not using the poison. Why not?
My guess is that despite what they're saying, your gut is telling you it's not ok.

As I've said before, I wouldn't take the chance. Whatever chemical that's in the poison is strong enough to eventually kill a small mammal, not just make it sick. If Reggie consumes all or part of a mouse that has ingested that chemical, it goes into his system as well. The exterminator I spoke to about this said it "shouldn't" kill a cat, but would definitely make him sick, ie. vomiting, diarrhea. Not exactly reassuring.

If Reggie were my cat, I would not use rodent poison. It's not worth jeopardizing his health.

Seal the holes, trap the remaining mice that are still inside. It's the best advice I can give to ensure Reggie has no chance of getting sick, or worse.

Good luck!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTLynn View Post
Why wait? If you think you've identified the entry point for the mice, you'd be better off sealing those holes now. The longer you wait to do that, the longer the problem persists.



I understand your question. You've asked 10 exterminators their opinion, they tell you Reggie would be ok, but you're not using the poison. Why not?
My guess is that despite what they're saying, your gut is telling you it's not ok.

As I've said before, I wouldn't take the chance. Whatever chemical that's in the poison is strong enough to eventually kill a small mammal, not just make it sick. If Reggie consumes all or part of a mouse that has ingested that chemical, it goes into his system as well. The exterminator I spoke to about this said it "shouldn't" kill a cat, but would definitely make him sick, ie. vomiting, diarrhea. Not exactly reassuring.

If Reggie were my cat, I would not use rodent poison. It's not worth jeopardizing his health.

Seal the holes, trap the remaining mice that are still inside. It's the best advice I can give to ensure Reggie has no chance of getting sick, or worse.

Good luck!
I am waiting to seal the holes because if I did use the poison, you are supposed to allow them to leave through where they came in. The poison dehydrates them and they desperately seek out water. The first place they go is where they came in, and they die outside. If the entrance is sealed I am told they will go anywhere to find water - upstairs to sinks, toilets, etc. At this point I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll probably seal the holes this weekend and continue trapping with traps and pray that they don't breed 50 more and create a bigger problem.

Thanks.
post #10 of 11
I had field mice in my basement a few years ago and called an exterminator who used poison.

He didn't think the mice would die in the open, but I kept my cat out of the basement by keeping the door locked (it's unfinished and I don't use it) until the exterminator came back to check on his traps and see if any dead mice were around. There were none.

I had no further problems. I occasionally think I might have a mouse around because my current cat sometimes seems "on alert," but I haven't seen any specific signs so far.
post #11 of 11
Plug the holes and keep trapping them.
Once you keep them from breeding that should be it.
I always keep my eyes open in my garage for any signs
and immediately start trapping them. I once caught something like
20 one year. I am a little smarter now to get on it and dont give
them a change to start breeding what a nightmare.
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