Remove ads

Introducing the LemonFools Personal Finance Calculators

mice in the greenhouse

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
scotia
Lemon Slice
Posts: 576
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:43 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 144 times

mice in the greenhouse

#138356

Postby scotia » May 11th, 2018, 2:45 pm

In the past, I have had an occasional mouse visiting my greenhouse, without doing any particular damage, but this spring has been an exception - I have been inundated with mice who have eaten my seed and chewed through several Lewisias. Being a soft hearted soul, I purchased two traps, which allow me to safely deport the trapped mice to a field several hundred metres away from my garden. These have been reasonable effective - with seven mice having been captured, and only one fatality.
There now seems to be a marked reduction in mouse activity in the greenhouse, so I suspect I have matters under control. But I would like to find some device which will keep the mice away. There seem to be a number of ultrasonic devices advertised, but lots of poor revues. Does anyone out there have a device that works? I don't have power in the greenhouse, so it will need to be battery operated, or not use electrical power at all. And I don't want a cat!

Itsallaguess
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2189
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:16 pm
Has thanked: 416 times
Been thanked: 1064 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138357

Postby Itsallaguess » May 11th, 2018, 2:48 pm

scotia wrote:
There now seems to be a marked reduction in mouse activity in the greenhouse, so I suspect I have matters under control.

But I would like to find some device which will keep the mice away.


You've not mentioned at all if it's obvious where the mice are coming into the greenhouse, but have you determined how they are getting in?

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

kiloran
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1233
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:24 am
Has thanked: 188 times
Been thanked: 480 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138385

Postby kiloran » May 11th, 2018, 4:04 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:
scotia wrote:
There now seems to be a marked reduction in mouse activity in the greenhouse, so I suspect I have matters under control.

But I would like to find some device which will keep the mice away.


You've not mentioned at all if it's obvious where the mice are coming into the greenhouse, but have you determined how they are getting in?

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

Abseiling down through the roof vents?

--kiloran

scotia
Lemon Slice
Posts: 576
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:43 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 144 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138395

Postby scotia » May 11th, 2018, 4:49 pm

How do they get in?
Its an old inherited greenhouse. The corners of the metal frame were located on blobs of concrete, with the side pieces of the metal frame running along the ground. I have paved the interior, but this leaves small gaps to the frame, so the mice tunnel from the garden, underneath the frame, and popup in these small gaps.
However, I have noticed that the mice are getting smarter, managing to eat the bait without getting caught in the trap. Probably one holds the trap door open, while the other one eats the peanut butter. So they may even have learned how to abseil.

Itsallaguess
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2189
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:16 pm
Has thanked: 416 times
Been thanked: 1064 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138399

Postby Itsallaguess » May 11th, 2018, 5:25 pm

scotia wrote:
How do they get in?

Its an old inherited greenhouse. The corners of the metal frame were located on blobs of concrete, with the side pieces of the metal frame running along the ground.

I have paved the interior, but this leaves small gaps to the frame, so the mice tunnel from the garden, underneath the frame, and pop-up in these small gaps.


I was just thinking that there may well be an infinite supply of mice, so whilst you might find an effective way to catch them, it's likely to be a full-time job, and in the meantime you're precious crops are likely to continue coming under attack.

Would it be more cost and time-effective (in the long run....) to fill the gaps around the internal paving with cement of similar, and simply stop them entering the greenhouse in the first place?

Either that, or bury some strips of thick, doubled-up chicken-wire around the outside vertical edges of the greenhouse, so they cannot burrow in? I'm thinking of perhaps digging out a thin trench of earth, to a depth of perhaps 6" or so, and then putting the chicken-wire vertically in the trench up to the edge of the greenhouse, and then filling the trench back in?

I think I'd have more fun thinking of ways to keep them out than having to continually emigrate them! :D

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

Nimrod103
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1404
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 6:10 pm
Has thanked: 45 times
Been thanked: 126 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138405

Postby Nimrod103 » May 11th, 2018, 5:45 pm

Does Lewisia taste nice (to mice)? I would have thought it might be easier to try to make the things that the mice eat - make them mouse proof. Like keeping seeds in a mouse proof box.
Last autumn/winter I had rats munch their way through my stored apples. I put down poison, but in the end I just wrapped the remaining boxes in plastic netting to keep them out.

swill453
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1604
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 6:11 pm
Has thanked: 73 times
Been thanked: 343 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138412

Postby swill453 » May 11th, 2018, 6:25 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:Either that, or bury some strips of thick, doubled-up chicken-wire around the outside vertical edges of the greenhouse, so they cannot burrow in? I'm thinking of perhaps digging out a thin trench of earth, to a depth of perhaps 6" or so, and then putting the chicken-wire vertically in the trench up to the edge of the greenhouse, and then filling the trench back in?

I don't think that would be effective. Apparently mice can get in a hole the diameter of a pencil.

Scott.

scotia
Lemon Slice
Posts: 576
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:43 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 144 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138420

Postby scotia » May 11th, 2018, 6:56 pm

Apparently mice can get in a hole the diameter of a pencil.

Agreed - it may stop the rabbits, but not the mice. The local cats disposed of one rabbit that ventured into the garden.
The suggestion of concreting all of the gaps between the paving and the frame may work - but I'm looking for a simpler solution.
Does Lewisia taste nice (to mice)? I would have thought it might be easier to try to make the things that the mice eat - make them mouse proof. Like keeping seeds in a mouse proof box.

It was my Lewisia "Little Plum" they particularly fancied. There were occasional nibbles to my Lewisia Cotyledon, and I kept my Lewisia Tweedyi on a high shelf out of reach. The Meconopsis were unaffected. So for all those out there seeking to plant crops to feed mice - Lewisia Little Plum (and its relations Little Peach etc) should suffice. The seed was planted in seed trays - they dug it up and ate it. I have now placed the replacement seed under plastic transparent covers.

bungeejumper
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2104
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 397 times
Been thanked: 530 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#138990

Postby bungeejumper » May 14th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:Last autumn/winter I had rats munch their way through my stored apples. I put down poison, but in the end I just wrapped the remaining boxes in plastic netting to keep them out.

You must have some pretty soft rats. ;) Ours chewed their way through scrunched-up chicken wire in order to get into the dahlias in our potting shed. (It's not the rats I mind, it's the way the sparks shoot out when they gnash their teeth at night. :lol: ) And the local pigeons will bite through a single layer of mesh if the reward is enough to repay their patience.

We have tried sonic repellers in the distant past with reasonable success - they expelled a family of grey squirrels from the loft, where they were causing a terrific mess. IIRC, the ones we used ran on a 9v DC supply from a plug-in transformer, so it should be possible to get them running off a battery. Not to be used if there are bats around, of course.

I'm afraid I'm a bit more red-in-tooth-and-claw about mice these days, because they do breed so fast, and some of them are capable of 'homing' back from as much as half a mile away. I just go for the cheap ("Little Nipper") snap traps and set them as finely as I can possibly manage. (Hint: put an upturned margarine tub over the traps, with just a single cutaway to let the little perishers in. That way, they have fewer options for attacking the bait from any side-angle of their choice. It improves your chances of success very significantly.)

Covering the traps will also make it less likely that inquisitive dogs or cats will get accidentally nipped. In fact, our cats, who were keen mousers, were not too proud to accept a freshly-dead mouse from a trap, since it didn't smell of any other predator. Indeed, I went up in their estimation quite a lot when I proved to be nearly as good at catching mice as they were. :lol:

scotia
Lemon Slice
Posts: 576
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:43 pm
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 144 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#139005

Postby scotia » May 14th, 2018, 3:29 pm

We have tried sonic repellers in the distant past with reasonable success

Thanks for the feedback - I may give them a try.
So far, I seem to have won the battle. There are no longer any fresh droppings, and the traps remain untouched. There are also no uncovered seed trays, and the favoured plants have been removed. Its possible that with the warmer weather there are more enticing meals to be had elsewhere, without the need to walk back a few hundred metres from their release point.

Itsallaguess
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2189
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 1:16 pm
Has thanked: 416 times
Been thanked: 1064 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#139038

Postby Itsallaguess » May 14th, 2018, 6:32 pm

scotia wrote:
So far, I seem to have won the battle. There are no longer any fresh droppings, and the traps remain untouched.


Uh-oh - that's usually a sign of an imminent upgrade -

https://i.imgur.com/3Zmesib.gifv

:D

Itsallaguess

bungeejumper
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2104
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 397 times
Been thanked: 530 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#139066

Postby bungeejumper » May 14th, 2018, 8:32 pm

scotia wrote:However, I have noticed that the mice are getting smarter, managing to eat the bait without getting caught in the trap. Probably one holds the trap door open, while the other one eats the peanut butter. So they may even have learned how to abseil.

Tried Nutella? Or (soft) chocolate?

IIRC correctly, our one experiment with a humane trap ended on the morning when we found it on the opposite side of the kitchen from where we'd left it the night before. Something a bit bigger than a mouse had got the whole damn trap stuck fast on its greedy great nose, and had then careered blindly around the room with the rodent equivalent of a traffic cone wedged upon its bonce. Only to knock it off once it hit a wall.

The horror, the horror. You remember that line in Jaws where the hero says: "We're gonna need a bigger boat"? A couple of rat traps later, and we'd evened up the score.

BJ

sg31
Lemon Slice
Posts: 313
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 47 times

Re: mice in the greenhouse

#140342

Postby sg31 » May 21st, 2018, 1:01 pm

swill453 wrote:
Itsallaguess wrote:Either that, or bury some strips of thick, doubled-up chicken-wire around the outside vertical edges of the greenhouse, so they cannot burrow in? I'm thinking of perhaps digging out a thin trench of earth, to a depth of perhaps 6" or so, and then putting the chicken-wire vertically in the trench up to the edge of the greenhouse, and then filling the trench back in?

I don't think that would be effective. Apparently mice can get in a hole the diameter of a pencil.

Scott.

They can get through anything bigger than a 6mm square. I use 6mm Twilweld to stop them. I buy it by the roll and make frames to protect my soft fruit from mice and birds. Mice enjoy nibbling one strawberry then move on to the next and on and on. Blackbirds will strip any unprotected strawberry plants before they are ripe.

I've just made some protectors for my bean seeds to stop the woodpigeons eating the shoots.

It's a war out there.


Return to “The Natural World”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests