Help, I have mice.
September 25, 2016 12:01 AM   Subscribe

I am willing to pay to have someone seal up my apartment, but I worry about getting ripped off. Can anyone recommend an exterminator in Brooklyn who did a good job? And how much should I expect to pay to seal up a studio? Also, any recommendations for traps? I absolutely cannot do glue traps. I am not opposed to killing them, but could not handle a trap that might leave them alive but mangled. So, maybe humane traps are the best option for me. Poison is out because of the cat, even though she is completely useless at killing.

I saw a mouse (or honestly maybe a rat, it was big) in my apartment a couple of months ago. I didn't see any after that, or any signs of them (no droppings, no chewed food), so I thought things were ok. Then tonight my cat was fixating on a gap between my dresser and the wall. I opened the bottom drawer and a little mouse (I think, I wasn't wearing my glasses, but it was small and not a bug) sped out from behind the dresser.

Any and all suggestions welcome, including how to sleep when I'm afraid a mouse will run across my face.
posted by Mavri to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check this out-

I recently made one of these using pencils instead of chopsticks. But my bottle wasn't as big and the bait I used was apparently not functioning as one.

Ended up buying a wooden trap with the same principle. It has a strong spring and for bait I learned that Jerry liked raw noodles (like asian ones) much better than cheese or anything else. Trapped Jerry within two hours of setting it up. You also have to set up the trap along the walls- observe the pattern they run across in the rooms but along the walls.

We carried him outside far from home and set him free in a few hours. You don't have to kill them, you've just got to find or create what you want..
posted by xm at 12:41 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Poison is out because of the cat

Most poison baits I've seen were designed to contain the poison within a box that would only be accessible to mice. It might be worth speaking to whatever pest-control person you find about options for placing poison inaccessibly.

In terms of sealing a property, all I can tell you is it's not a skilled job. I've done it myself using wire wool for stuffing the holes, and expanding foam sealant to hold it in place. That got rid of mice in a 200 year old dockside property, and lasted for the two more years I lived there. The wool is vital, because they'll chew through most things. Seal any hole you can fit a pencil through, is the rule, apparently.
posted by howfar at 2:11 AM on September 25, 2016

Electric traps work great and are instantly lethal. You don't want a humane trap of the kind that traps them alive - it's Brooklyn, where would you let them go? Plus, releasing a house mouse outside just means that five seconds after you leave, they get eaten by a cat or a hawk. Not really super humane.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:55 AM on September 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've had the most success with the old-school wooden traps (Victor is the brand I believe), using peanut butter as bait. I just kept laying them out until they stopped showing up. I never bothered sealing anything and they haven't come back. If you're squeamish, lay them in small paper lunch bags for easy disposal.
posted by STFUDonnie at 6:43 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

The only success I've had is with Victor-style wood traps and this weird blue gel mouse attractant. Peanut butter and cheese didn't catch the mice in my apartment for two weeks, but the blue gel attractant caught several within an hour of placement and continued to work until the problem was gone. The attractant was Victor branded IIRC.

The electric ones work too apparently, but I wasn't willing to spring for them when the wood ones are a buck ninety-nine for three.

The gimmick stuff, toilet tubes over the sink or a bucket, the bottle traps or anything else homemade, is a waste of your time. Vermin should never be caught and released anyway.
posted by Sternmeyer at 8:10 AM on September 25, 2016

Call your landlord/super/property manager; if they don't send someone, call 311.
posted by kapers at 9:14 AM on September 25, 2016

I know this is not much comfort (I've had mice before, most recently earlier this year, and I didn't sleep a wink until I trapped one and saw no more activity the next night) BUT they really don't want to be on your face.

I'm phobic but also a vegetarian who hates killing animals, so it's really fraught. But I try to separate the emotional from the practical. Reporting it to the super, placing covered traps, and cleaning the whole place top to bottom help to relax me, as does getting out of the house.
posted by kapers at 9:28 AM on September 25, 2016

We moved to an old house last year and as it got cold we got mice. We tried humane traps that never caught a single mouse. One of our 14 year old cats turned out to be a late-in-life killing machine, but I don't think that's actually a humane way to get rid of them, as cats typically aren't fast about killing them. We had the best results with the snap traps with peanut butter--they're cheap enough that you can just throw the whole thing, mouse and trap away, and putting them in a bag does work.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2016

And how much should I expect to pay to seal up a studio?

If you know where the holes are, you can do it yourself for $20-30 of steel wool and spray insulation foam. The foam expands a lot and is sticky, so put the wool in the hole first, then spray in a little foam (deep as you can) until you get the hang of how it expands.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:54 AM on September 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

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