Roasted Rodents?
July 19, 2009 2:45 PM   Subscribe

There are mice nesting in our BBQ!! What do we do? We use the BBQ every week or every other week and in between uses mice keep rebuilding the nest that we keep removing. How do we get them to stay away?

If it matters, we've been keeping the cover on the BBQ between uses and this only seems to be a problem in the spring/summer and not in the winter. We cannot get a cat and have no mouse problems in the house. Any tips?
posted by saradarlin to Home & Garden (14 answers total)

Seriously though, probably some metal grating around where ever they could get in will do the trick. It has to be on there pretty tightly, as those guys can get through really tiny holes. Around that, put some D-Con or other mice and rat blood thinner/killer around in the yard, but not so pets could get at it.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Grill more often and close all the vents when you're done.
I use my grill several times a week and nothing ever nests in it. And if something did, they'd better like hot coals.
posted by Jon-o at 2:57 PM on July 19, 2009

I was once told that a mouse can get through a hole the size of a pencil. Block up any holes bigger than that.
posted by Solomon at 3:03 PM on July 19, 2009

If the mouse can get its head through, so can the rest of the mouse. Block up all the holes. Mothballs will also repel them, but probably not good idea in a grill.
posted by fifilaru at 3:07 PM on July 19, 2009

Get a snake? (Seriously, I used to have some trouble with mice in some outdoor equipment I was using for work - until a snake moved in and ate them.)

More realistically, mice seem to hate steel wool, probably because, unlike most substances, they can't chew through it. Plug any holes and openings with steel wool, and while barbecuing, remove any that is in the way. It has the added benefit of being weather resistant.
posted by scrute at 3:12 PM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mouse traps left inside the BBQ when you're not using it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:20 PM on July 19, 2009

I like that steel wool idea, but it is frightfully flammable. Perhaps copper scrubby stuff. If you can not keep things sealed well enough a few traps should take care of the problem.
posted by caddis at 3:27 PM on July 19, 2009

Best answer: I have been having a similar problem, but with my lawn mower. The little rascals have been nesting there with similar results to your BBQ, perhaps even worse since you can see the nests!

Anyhoo, after an (unrelated) repair, the guy at the shop suggested fabric softener sheets. Apparently mice hate the smell.

I didn't believe it either, but apparently some people agree.
posted by jeremias at 3:32 PM on July 19, 2009

Hmm. Well, the primary thing for rodent control is to eliminate food sources. Make sure that you don't have something nearby that is tempting to the mice. Next would be access, though you don't have house mice, so I would just look around for anyplace else they may be using as a refuge like a crawlspace under the garage or something. Look around for things like old and rotting wood or mulch that could also attract them.

You might also just try relocating the grill. Why is it attracting the mice? What's nearby? Why is it a better nesting place than what else is around?
posted by dhartung at 4:03 PM on July 19, 2009

Best answer: I've had good luck keeping mice out of areas with a cotton ball soaked in Mint Oil. Remove before you turn on your BBQ (you didn't mention if it was gas or not. I imagine if you use coal it's not so much of an issue). Essential oil is flammable, so be careful!
posted by 6:1 at 4:18 PM on July 19, 2009

Clean the grill totally. The mice were probably attracted to the residual grease. For a while our grill was attracting unusual attention from the neighborhood's dogs. They wanted to sniff it, not pee on it. Then we found that the ash trap was ful of congealed grease from grilling fatty cuts of meat.
posted by bad grammar at 4:45 PM on July 19, 2009

You could keep mothballs in the barbeque in a small open container, between uses, and easily remove them when it's time for grilling. That smell, with the lid down, should be enough to deter habitation, but it should dissipate quickly when you warm up the bbq.
posted by fish tick at 7:20 PM on July 19, 2009

According to a friend of my dad's, peppermint oil also repels mice and you might prefer to start with that rather than mothballs in the grill.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:10 PM on July 19, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, I've cleaned the grill and fired it up for an hour. I have ditched the cover for the rest of the season and will try the peppermint/dryer sheet tricks. Thanks!
posted by saradarlin at 9:53 PM on July 19, 2009

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