If I see one mice or cockroach, how many DON'T I see?
November 10, 2004 9:17 PM   Subscribe

What is a good ratio for vermin sighting to vermin population? If I see one mouse running around in my apartment one evening, how many mice total should I assume I'm deailing with? How about cockroaches? Is there an authoritative source or agreed upon shorthand for this?
posted by finn to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
Four more.

I saw a mouse in an old apt. I placed traps and caught five.

It felt like that episode of NewsRadio.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:21 PM on November 10, 2004

I saw a single, solitary mouse, placed traps, and caught one mouse.

No more have been seen, no evidence of other mice has been noted.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:32 PM on November 10, 2004

Do you have a cat that goes outside? I only ever see mice when my cats bring them in for sporting purposes.
posted by zadcat at 9:36 PM on November 10, 2004

Response by poster: no cats or pets of any kind.
posted by finn at 9:48 PM on November 10, 2004

common wisdom says : several / 20 / 17-20 / "a lot" / 20 / 10 / 20 / 100 / 60 / 10 / ++1 / 10 / "a bunch" / 17-20 / 20 / a gajillion / 100 / 24 ...

So, removing the verbal, and averaging the numerical ... If you see one mouse, chances are you have 33.076923076923 more.

As far as cockroaches are concerned, common wisdom is less specific, at least from a cursory glance at the results.
posted by crunchland at 10:02 PM on November 10, 2004

I so want to know the answer to this question.

I have a big fat lazy cat and a kitchen full of mice, at least judging by the mouse shit I think it's 'full'. I mean, how much can one mouse poop? On the poop based algorithim I have at least 3287 of them living in my house. The upside is, I got one today and the rest should be running scared (while the cat sleeps).
posted by cedar at 11:18 PM on November 10, 2004

I saw one in my laundry room, set a half dozen traps, and spent the next two hours in the living room listening to SNAP! SNAP! in the back of the house as the death toll mounted. I wound up bagging about 15 over a few days.

Oddly, I set some traps in the basement under the laundry room, same bait (peanut butter), and so far something(s) have licked the peanut butter out of about a dozen traps without springing them. So, all the stupid/clumsy ones are apparently out of the gene pool, and I'm worried I'm creating a superrace of communicating, tool-using, PhD-having mice.

Anyway, my advice is plug up the mouse entry points before you go killing, because if they can get in, you'll be fighting a never-ending supply of reinforcements. Use steel wool pushed tightly into every little chink.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:26 AM on November 11, 2004

Cedar's mouse is a deer mouse, not a house mouse. You can tell the difference because deer mice are white underneath and have big eyes and ears. Deer mice (and field mice or voles with very short tails) aren't really vermin, they're wildlife. They come into houses this time of year looking for somewhere nice to spend the winter. They won't breed in your house. You'll run into them if you live in a rural/exurban area (deer mice if you're near woods, field mice if near fields). The best way to control them is to seal off your house, which you probably want to do for energy saving purposes anyway. Plug all holes with that spray foam stuff.

House mice are the same color all over and have little beady eyes. They will breed like crazy and my experience is that one means at least several. Or billions..
posted by TimeFactor at 6:52 AM on November 11, 2004

my experience with mice has repeatedly been the same as crash's
posted by jessamyn at 7:11 AM on November 11, 2004

So, I've been planning on posting an anti-mouse Q for a while... but this may do just as well. I live in an urban (read: vermin infested) setting, where there are lots of mice. Gross, shit-all-over-my-kitchen mice. I've tried several different types of traps and have killed, so far, about 9 mice (the glue type trap that Cedar used being the most successful) and see one scurry by most nights.

My question is this: How do I eradicate the bastards? My house is mid-(stalled)-remodel, so my kitchen isn't really "sealable" and I live in the inner-city so I'm sure there's a huge mice population, regardless of what I do. Should I try poison? Do I just have to live with it? Mouse droppings are so gross.
posted by maniactown at 8:45 AM on November 11, 2004

maniactown -- Get a young cat (1-2 y.o.). The smell cats emit is a natural deterrent to mice, as are their claws. I suggest a young cat as opposed to an older cat because, well, older cats can be really lazy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2004

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