Mice are a PROBLEM - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Mice are a PROBLEM

We have a few mice in our barn...and today I discovered they started making a nest under our saddles!! They chewed a little on the fleece and leather and put a hole clear through a saddle blanket! Luckily we don't use that blanket at all but it's just gross! They chewed on my good saddle pad too!! And they probably got in the feed..cuz they carried crumbs of it up under the saddles! I just would like the best advice of how to eliminate them! They got a lot of nerve! So should we use traps? Poison?..but not where it would harm the horses? I just want them gone!
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 05:08 PM
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Oh I do feel your pain! LOL
I've got three stupid cats and it's the dogs who actually catch the blasted things. The best hunter is our Akita which rather surpises me. Anyway, There is a place here in the Northwest called "barn cats are us" and they have what are otherwise ferral cats that they will come set up in your barn. The cats live soley in the barn, you feed them but otherwise they do their thing and catch the mices. I don't know where you are but perhaps you could do a quick check online for something similar? I think they are closely related to the local humane society and the like.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 05:14 PM
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Yes, they are industrious little creatures. Despite having excellent feline hunters, we've been on the receiving ends of their antics as well. In addition to going after my tack similar to your situation, they took over the engine of one of our vehicles one time and stuffed it so full of "bedding" material and food stores that we had to take the vehicle in for professional help (that was a $700 touch).

I have tried these which appear to have worked (or else the cats just got caught up with their backload of work): A scented bounce (or other scented dryer) sheet and/or a dab of peppermint liquid (I bought some from the drug store as I recall) placed in strategic spots. The premise is the mice don't like them so avoid those areas (I assume it's the scent they're reacting too).
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 05:15 PM
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Cats! I was over run with mice several years ago and began looking for barn cats. Before I was able to find any, a nice mama cat moved into my barn and had a litter of kittens. She took care of the mouse problem all by herself. Once the kittens got big enough to hunt they even ran all the birds out of the barn that nested there and pooped all over everything.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 05:47 PM
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I feel your pain. I'm having the same issue. I can't keep horse or human treats in my tack room anymore, even if I put them in plastic bins they've eaten right through the plastic!!!!! Barn cats don't do a thing about it.

Started keeping anything eatable in mason jars if they'll fit. But it seems like the mice just get more desperate!!!
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 06:06 PM
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I haven't had a problem with a heavy infestation of mice at my own barns, but have at a couple where I would go to work.

Western saddles I hang by wire from a rafter through the gullet. English saddles I hang by wire from the rafters through the irons. Pads can also be hung by wire from the rafters as can bridles and buckets of brushes. Metal cans for grain, blankets, extra pads, halters.

One ranch lined their feed room with aluminum sheets. Completely.

I don't mind using poison, but one has to think about barn cats and dogs, or other wildlife eating the poisoned mice. There may even be restrictions in populated areas for that reason.

Beyond removing any possible food (including wheat straw with too many grains in it), and eliminating as much material and location for nests, I have used traps. Blasted, dirty little critters.

Good luck.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-16-2014, 07:23 PM
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Cats. Semi-feral is a must, even though every cat should have the instinct to hunt, in truth it is the mother who teaches her kittens how to do it. You need cats that know mice and how to hunt them, and have access to the saddlery during the night.
Home-bred sweet kittens (maybe even weaned too early) will be nice pets but useless hunters.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-17-2014, 12:31 AM
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I once lived in a house that was so overrun with mice my cats couldn't keep up! Because I had cats I was also reluctant to use poison for fear of accidently poisoning my mousers. My neighbor at the time suggested that I mix plaster of Paris and oatmeal together and feed it to the little buggers! When they get a drink after eating the plaster sets up and forms a small pellet which is not harmful to the kitty's if they find and eat a downed mouse. I thankfully moved from that house and its mouse problem. I unfortunately moved next to a neighbor who refused to use anything but poison, and as a result I lost my best mouser to a tainted mouse.
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