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Rats or mice? HELP - How have you dealt with this..?

(25 Posts)
iloverhubarb Sun 16-Oct-11 09:28:15

We think we have either rats or mice. Scurrying noises behind/under sink and dishwasher. We have one large kitchen cupboard on floor next to dishwasher. Cereals kept on upper shelf. One of cereal boxes has possible bite marks/ incisor holes at top of box. Also a brown powder on shelf floor and up box (or are we just freaking out). NO droppings found anywhere, including on floorboards behind cupboards and sink. Could a mouse or rat really climb up through a gap, up to top shelf, walk along, up a cereal box but not leave any poo behind?

Also scrabbling noises behind skirting boards in living room from time to time.

Yesterday bought an ultrasonic and electromagnetic repeller and plugged it in. Cleaned all cupboards thoroughly. Removed cereals. Today there is a tiny bit of the same brown powder again in cupboard under sink. No scrabbling today (or yesterday eve).

I have also bought poison as possible next step. Cannot afford the £160 or so charged by pest control company (who do same thing anyway but on basis of more knowledge) unless we get desperate. Prefer not to use the poison as we have a dog. I'd put it behind fixed cupboards but obviously dying animal could stagger into kitchen or garden; dog could eat. Pest control people say 'this never happens' but I am wary and will speak to vet first.

So HELP. Anyone know what the brown powder is? Anyone successfully used the repellent thing? Anyone used the poison successfully? Or any other methods/tips at all?

God this is long. We are all feeling slightly hysterical. We did find mice last year in under stairs cupboard. Droppings right size and definitie. Removed dog food, no sign since. A rat has been seen in neighbour's garden. And a dead rat in our front garden earlier this year. So all adds up to one or the other.

partystress Sun 16-Oct-11 16:29:19

Usually indoors is mice I think - though they can sound big! We get rats outside (we have chickens, so I think it goes with the territory). Successfully trap them using big trap baited with peanut butter. They will go high up for things, so you just need to find somewhere your dog can't reach. Good luck.

trixymalixy Sun 16-Oct-11 16:42:50

The electronic repellers do not work.

Your best bet is just to get a load of cheap traps from B&Q. We tried the humane ones but they were crap.

There's no need to panic, all my friends and family ( even my immaculate MIL) who live near fields get mice regularly.

scaryteacher Sun 16-Oct-11 17:37:49

I find my cat does a sterling job. The cellar was completely devoid of mice last winter, and it was very cold here, so I had expected some, but got none at all.

The previous winter we kept score of how we were doing as my condensing drier drains into a bucket and we used to find drowned bodies in the water. None at all last winter.

lubeybooby Sun 16-Oct-11 17:50:28

Three cats here grin

trixymalixy Sun 16-Oct-11 17:51:07

My cats used to keep the house clear of mice too. Unfortunately DS was allergic to them so they had to go ;-(

Earthdog Sun 16-Oct-11 20:01:46

Traditional snapper traps are best with cheese, always works for me. We had them in the loft this year.

MissBeehiving Sun 16-Oct-11 20:21:25

Mmm sounds more like mice to be honest - if a rat fancied a bit of your cereal there wouldn't be just a few nibbles marks, the box would be trashed. If you can find some poo then it would confirm it. Rat poo looks exactly like guinea pig poo. Mice poo is rice grain sized. They're incontinent, mice. No idea what the brown powder is confused

MissBeehiving Sun 16-Oct-11 20:22:03

Chocolate is good as a bait btw

RatInMeKitchen Sun 16-Oct-11 20:28:18

I posted similar a little while ago. Turned out to be mice, four of them to be precise. We caught them in the traditional (cheap) snapper traps, with peanutbutter and/or nutella.
Might be worth chekcing your cupboards for places where they have been gnawing (on the wood) also. In our kitchen they cewed throught hte bottom of one of our cupboards.

nocake Sun 16-Oct-11 21:46:19

Mice won't just leave bite marks. They will be through the box and munching on the cereal, creating a big mess while they do it. They also leave small dropping pellets everywhere.

But... I agree with the advice about spring traps. They're much more effective inside than poison. I bait them with peanut butter.

fastweb Sun 16-Oct-11 21:52:37

re brown powder

Do you have beams and/or proper solid wood kitchen ?

Cos that could be wood worm.

I had little piles of brown powder, amd then one day the leg of my dresser fell off and the whole things fell over.

Which made for some panicked checking of my entirely wood kitchen ceilimg, cos I'm not too keen on that falling down on us.

iloverhubarb Sun 16-Oct-11 21:59:31

Right, feel MUCH better after reading all this, thanks so much everyone.

Sounds like mice then, and I'll try some traps. Ugh. Love to borrow a cat but the dog would have hysterics.

Very reassuring to hear about trixymallixy's MIL et al, that the brown powder is not an obvious sign, and that as the cereal box not trashed they may not have got to the food. Still no poo, no urine... What a subject.

iloverhubarb Sun 16-Oct-11 22:05:44

fastweb! no, just have chipboard/melamine units, and no beams. The brown powder is inside the cupboards, on the floors. Thought it might be dirt from the potatoes in one cupboard, but it was all over. And it was in the cupboard under the sink too - a tiny amount again today - no potatoes there!

Will have a really good look tomorrow. Everything has become evidence of an alien invasion...

crazynannawitchbitch Sun 16-Oct-11 22:07:23

Maybe the buggers are knawing at the chipboard confused

cowboylover Sun 16-Oct-11 23:43:15

Can your local council help?

My tenant had rats in the loft and they sent out pest control the next day and kept xomin until they where gone so excellent service and for free! He said they don't do it for gardens wct but do if ifs in the house so maybe the same in your area?

queensusan Mon 17-Oct-11 10:09:54

When I went to the local hardware store to buy traps for mice the guy asked me if I wanted to annoy them (in which case he would sell me the electromagnetic thingy) or get rid of them (in which case he would sell me spring traps).

I find nutella is the best bait.

We do have an electromagnetic thingy in one room as I believe it deters them from coming in. It doesn't get rid of them once they've taken up residence.

LalalalalalaSummerHoliday Mon 17-Oct-11 14:58:43

I've got to recommend an electrocuting killer thing. You can buy mouse or rat sized ones, so if you get the rat sized, it will do mice as well. Bait it with peanut butter. Vermin wanders in to get bait and gets electrocuted when it touches the metal plate, dies in place (unlike traditional breakback traps where they'll often get injured or drag the thing around). No worries that dog or child will set the thing off, and vermin doesn't wander off to die somewhere smellily like with poison.

They're not cheap, but so good! Easy to empty. Open lid, tip in bin. Though I'm told that rats tend to wee in them when they die, so they need a bit of a rinse then. I found mine on ebay, a mouse sized one, and it did the business to get rid of a mouse in the car, and one in the house.


fastweb Mon 17-Oct-11 16:35:29

so they need a bit of a rinse then

But don't forget to unplug them first grin?

I wouldn't trust myself not to end up joining the rat.

iloverhubarb Mon 17-Oct-11 16:56:53

Oh my god lala. I feel faint. I suppose a quick death is best tho if I'm going to get into this killing thing...

FroOOOOOtshoOOOOOOts Mon 17-Oct-11 17:05:21

I have 3 cats but for when my stupid Persian who never kills anything releases her victims indoors they occasionally miss one I have about 3 of these as i am too wimpy to kill the mice. Also I dont want to find the dog chewing on the remains in other types of trap.
I have been known to paint the mice with a blob of tippex to identify the reoffenders, or release them way up the field across the road so they can't possibly find their way back!
However most of the mice that get into our house end up as a sad pile of guts on the bathroom floor.

FroOOOOOtshoOOOOOOts Mon 17-Oct-11 17:06:36

and don't use poison as they will crawl away and die slowly and there's nothing quite like the smell of a rotting mouse under your fridge/washing machine/ tumble drier/ cooker.

QueenofJacksDreams Mon 17-Oct-11 17:15:44

I'm going to disagree with everyone else here and say its probably rats, mice have no bladder control so just pee all the time. We had rats and they didn't destroy food containers just nibbled the bottoms. The council will come out within 24 hours and put poison down for free if you have rats.

We didn't know what we had til our JRT caught one of the little buggers under the cooker one morning. Turned out they'd been coming from our neighbours house which was empty at that point. We couldn't get rid of them til the we had some new neighbours move in and they started laying down poision.

The smell and flies are awful though, our house was full of flies for weeks and ended up hanging fly paper after 24 hours we had 30+ flies on one strip of the stuff.

QueenofJacksDreams Mon 17-Oct-11 17:16:49

The brown powder sounds like they're gnawing out their own little runways they did this in our kitchen under the sink.

LalalalalalaSummerHoliday Mon 17-Oct-11 19:57:52

Should have said, they're battery operated, can use some types outdoors too, and battery should only need changing every 50 kills or so shock, though I've used rechargeables that need more. Ya switch 'em off before opening lid, but it breaks circuit anyway so no electrocution risk for handler, child, etc.

here's one....

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