What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Field Mice Problems

Until our last three houses, we did not have to deal with field mice getting into the house.  Oh good gosh, these little critters are horrid to deal with.  All of our food is protected in glass, metal or heavy plastic containers.  The problem is when the fields come off the mice come in and if there isn't an easy access they will gnaw one so you have to keep a constant vigilance.  All holes, cracks and points of entry must be sealed.  You can bait outdoors providing the bait is out of the reach of children and pets but this really should be a last resort.  The reason being is poisoned mice will poison any predators, something you don't want.  Predators (eg. hawks, owls) act as a natural population check for mice. 

Even though our community is urban there is ample surrounding farmland surrounding the community and pockets of farmland within the community.  Any building regardless of its age within the vicinity of this farmland is fair game for the field mice.  Our new house backs onto a small stretch of a farmer's field that has residential homes on each side with our street ending at the larger field to the west.  Field mice are a problem for all the homes on both sides of the field as well as a couple of churches and school in the area. 

We saw signs of a mouse in the pantry in late December so took the steps to get rid of it.  The mouse was smart enough to get the peanut butter off of all three traps.  We saw no signs of the mouse so figured it was gone.  Then it snowed and sure enough there was a trail of mouse tracks across our deck into the corner where the garage meets the house, precisely where we thought the mouse got in.  My husband reset the traps with cheese, pushing hard into the bait holder.  The next morning we had caught the mouse.  It snowed again two days ago and I noticed mouse tracks in the same area of the deck.  My husband set another trap with cheese successfully catching another mouse yesterday afternoon.  The trap has been reset and we have a pretty good idea where to look for the point of entry. 

Weather is hindering any sealing on the outside but if we can get to the point of entry on the inside by moving the footer insulation, it will be possible to block from the inside.  We will still have to patch that spot on the outside when the weather permits as mice will simply gnaw their way into the house  again.  So far this looks like the only point of entry but we will continue to keep the traps set even after this entry point is sealed up just in case.  I'll be glad when spring arrives so we can do a good check of the house exterior for anywhere field mice can get in!

Garden Gnome