NewDogOwnerFilter: Kill the mice not the dog?
July 21, 2010 1:42 PM   Subscribe

How do I kill/get rid of the mice without hurting the dog?

I recently adopted my first ever dog so I'm kind of learning as I go - bear with me if the answer seems self-evident.

The problem this week is I have mice that I'd like to get rid of but every solution I would normally use seems like it will be hazardous for Eddie. I've always sworn by poison but I'm afraid even if he can't get the poison he might eat a poisoned rodent. Snap traps may not physically injure him but I bet they would scare the hell out of him if he put a snout in them. Ditto for glue traps. I've considered the zapper style traps but A. its pretty pricey and B. I'm not convinced he couldn't/wouldn't get a paw or even *shudder* a tongue into that.

So dog-having-mefites: how do you get rid of the mice while keeping the dog safe.

Links to the more esoteric product suggestions would be much appreciated as the retail selection is somewhat limited where I live.
posted by Bango Skank to Pets & Animals (17 answers total)
The key to getting rid of mice and other rodents is inspecting your home thoroughly and sealing off all the little nooks and crannies where they are getting in. Once you have plugged all the holes, then put snap traps down in places where the dog can't reach them (under the kitchen sink, for example, under the stove, inside cupboards, closets, and so forth.) Check the traps daily and dispose of any dead mice, replace traps. When you've gone for two weeks without catching anything, you're done.

Without sealing up the perimeter, all the traps and poisons in the world won't fix your mouse problem- they'll just keep coming back in.
posted by ambrosia at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2010

I have had a lot of luck with the multiple mouse trap, sort of like this one. Your dog won't mess around with it, you can catch multiple mice at once and if you're a softie like me, you can then humanely get rid of them. Put it near a wall where the mice scoot around. Other good mouse tips

- try to plug up any entry location [bigger than a dime, I know, good luck!] with steel wool
- box up ALL food in containers that are mouseproof [especially dog food, they love dog food]

I have had luck with the sonic noisemachine things. I am aware that some people think they are hokum so all I will say is that my mice-in-the-bedroom problem was sharply reduced about the same time as I got one of them. Might be coincidence or other mouseproofing issues.
posted by jessamyn at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2010

These are the ones I've used when I can find them. The only con is that they are a bit wasteful, since they're one-time use only. But your dog (or my cats, who should be much better mousers) wouldn't be able to be hurt by this.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Snap traps. It might give him a scare the first time he messes with it and even give him a little snip, but he'll learn. Dogs are kinda like kids IMHO: you can tell them "NO" all you want, but they gotta learn for themselves at some point. We've always had at least 2 pooches around (currently a Giant Schnauzer and a Mini-Schnauzer) and have always used traditional snap traps. Trust me, the dogs learn not to mess with them.

* Bonus tip: If you have a dog that wants to dig in flower pots, put a snap trap in the pot unbaited and upside down. When the dog's paw hits the upside down trap, it will snap with a bang and hopefully deter them from further digging.
posted by webhund at 1:54 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Put the snapper traps on the kitchen counter and elsewhere that your dog can't reach them. If you're lucky enough to have a hot, dry spell, use watery but not particularly smelly produce (watermelon, etc.) to bait; the rodents will seek the food and water but there won't be anything like cheese or peanut butter to get your dog interested.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:54 PM on July 21, 2010

The way I've caught lost hamsters before is with a bucket.

Put something fragrant and yummy (cheese, peanut butter) in the bottom of a deep, steep-sided bucket. Place books or something similar leading up the outside like a staircase so that it can get up to the rim easily. Rodent goes over the side to get the food, but can't get back up the sides. No poison, no kill traps; it will just get itself stuck and then you can dispose of the little guy however you wish. Just put the bucket in a cupboard so the dog doesn't disturb it.

And yes, definitely seal off all the ways the mice can get in.
posted by phunniemee at 1:56 PM on July 21, 2010

I use a mouse trap that's entirely home made. You can put it on a shelf or in a cupboard so the dog doesn't knock it over and steal the bait.

I use a bucket with a bit of crackers or nuts or something else tasty (never had amy luck with cheese tho). The trick is you make a ladder up to the edge of the bucket, so the mouse can climb up easily. I use boxes - cracker boxes, etc. The bucket shouldn't be so tall as to make a smart mouse peer over the edge and say, 'not worth it.' same goes for the quality and quantity of the treat. Two peanuts is not going to do it.

As mentioned before, this gets the mice out of your house, but you have to address how they got in. Yes, a mouse can and will fit through a hole the size of a nickel. I've watched it.
posted by bilabial at 1:59 PM on July 21, 2010

Eddie is a good boy!

We have a RatZapper out in one of the sheds and it does what it is supposed to do. It isn't an instant shock thing, there's a bit of a delay, but I wouldn't leave it on the ground with bait around our dogs. Just don't forget about the trap. We're on our second one because the first one had a giant rat in it that had turned to goo in the heat. Cheers!
posted by wherever, whatever at 2:08 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

A cat?
posted by TheBones at 2:47 PM on July 21, 2010

Mice cubes. They work really well. Other no kills don't.

Just cause you are a new owner, I'll also add that certain household foods are poison for dogs. A few raisins can kill your dog painfully. There are other foods too.
posted by about_time at 3:52 PM on July 21, 2010

Yeah the best way to deal with mice is the starvation and making it difficult for them to get around. There are plenty of no kill traps and the dog can't get everywhere a mouse can, so putting them under the sink etc. is a good way to go.
posted by Nish ton at 4:04 PM on July 21, 2010

The best all-natural, organic solution to your problem is a cat.
posted by whiskeyspider at 4:09 PM on July 21, 2010

Much as I dislike the idea of poisoning animals, I lose my squeamishness when it comes to rodents invading my space. The good news, as a dog owner, is that the mice tend to frequent places that the dog can't access. Under the stove; behind the water heater; on the pantry shelves. My preference has always been for the poison in the paper packets that the mice eat into and then have the good manners to go elsewhere to die. The kind I've always used doesn't seem to be available anymore, but this is what I would choose as a substitute.
posted by DrGail at 4:30 PM on July 21, 2010

My wife (who used to work for a commercial pest elimination company and has a state pesticide applicator's license) echoes a lot of the advice here. Your focus should be on eliminating entry points for the rodents (as previously stated, anything larger than a dime). Put snap traps where the dog can't get but the mice can and do. If you use a poison based on an anti-coagulant, you can make sure and use no more than the instructions call for (anything else is actually illegal) and there wouldn't be enough poison to harm your dog. Though you should still try to put it places where you dog can't get.
posted by VTX at 5:16 PM on July 21, 2010

We use the Victor Electronic Mouse trap (less than $20 on Amazon) in a drawer. Since it is in the house, you usually smell the deceased mouse if it has been more than a day.

We've also had dogs who caught mice. I don't suppose Eddie is interested in doing that?
posted by Agatha at 6:54 PM on July 21, 2010

If you use a poison based on an anti-coagulant, you can make sure and use no more than the instructions call for (anything else is actually illegal)...

Wait, WHAT? There are regulations on this? On the extent to which you can kill a mouse? I've never heard of this! Please elaborate!
posted by phunniemee at 8:51 PM on July 21, 2010

phunniemee, technically using more pesticide than the product label allows for is illegal. So if the label says it's OK to put down 1 block of poison per 10 square feet, putting more than that is against the law. It's usually the EPA and state departments of the environment or or agriculture that enforce these laws.
Now are you going to get arrested? No, but it's part of the licensing requirements that manufacturers have to go through to be able to sell these products.
posted by Coffeemate at 7:45 AM on July 22, 2010

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