Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Capturing Field Mice in the Home

Usually I try not to turn the heat on in the house until November 1.  Didn't quite make it this year due to that one cold snap in Mid-October.  Warmth is something most mammals seek out during the winter and we humans are not the only creatures seeking a dry warm place to hang out during the next few months.  Now is the season when the "field mice" and other rodents come into structures to get in out of the cold.  What prompted me to write about rodents coming in from the cold was a situation one of the interns at the Pine Mountain Settlement School told me about at the fall color weekend.  Evidently they had a wood rat that came inside the house and was keeping them up at all hours of the night.  They tried everything it seems to capture this little critter, even though I think wood rats or pack rats as they are sometimes called, are quite cute with their "mickey mouse ears, cute pointy nose, and loveable nature." They were at their wits end as they had tried everything under the sun to capture and kill this little rodent. When I asked about the trapping they told me they were unsuccessful and it had sprung the trap several times and had escaped with the bait.  Being the good Extension Wildlife Specialist, I then explained an alternative trapping approach and instead of using a single trap, use two traps.  Instead of placing the trap parallel to the wall, place the two traps side by side, perpendicular to the wall because you then get three chances to capture it compared to a single change with one trap.  They then baited the trap and used a snickers bar (heck that would have worked for me and a whole lot of other people who have a sweet tooth) for bait.  The next morning at breakfast there was excitement in the air; the perpetrator had been captured and disposed of.  Yes it tripped the first trap but got caught with the second trap and the problem was solved.  So if you are averse to putting out poison bait for those pesky rodents this time of the year, go out and get some snap traps and place them two by two, perpendicular to the wall and let the rodent capturing festival begin in earnest.
The correct method for using snap traps to capture small rodents.  Place them perpendicular to the wall in pairs.  Bait can be anything they like such as peanut butter and oatmeal, candy with nuts, but probably not cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment